Sunday, September 25

The New Ways of Describing the Life of Content

I have been thinking a lot about life of content. A few different dichotimies seem to frame conversations.

Staged vs. Organic: Staged events are one-shot. They need significant pre-establisehd processes and project management. They use up a lot of advertising and communication. Organic approaches are more incremental. They use small layers to build up over time. Television shows are staged, but they can also evolve over many episodes, as writers seize onto relationships, or the right directors are found. Organic content lifecycles stress less perfection up front, and often more feedback.

Transient vs. Peristent : This refers to the size of the window of availability, and/or the timeliness of the material. Even these can be fuzzy. DVDs should be totally persistant, for example, but advertising and shelf-issues make them somewhat more transient. Also, as with movies, there is a perceived success (being number one on the charts) that drives more success, and more of a staged content approach. DVDs can also make movies a bit more incremental, with multiple versions available. Computer games can also have various versions, and can also be patched on the fly.

Controlled vs. Community: Is their one-voice shapping this or multiple? Mods for computer games can subvert a very controlled piece of content. From a formal learning perspective, I always ask, how can I get the training group out of the way? How can the community generate the content, and how can the training group help that?

Is there a "so what" for these lenses? I think so. One is to recognize our own biases, and accept that these biases might be interfering with coversations with sponsors. The other is to recognize the current trends that are pushing towards incremental, persistant, and community, and selectively embrace some of this approach, and challenge others.

1 comment:

jay said...

This layout implies that a category of content falls into a specific location on the 2x2 matrix. Some media cover much larger ground. The shifts taking place right now are very interesting to track. A few examples:

television has more reruns than original programming. doesn't that make it persistent? and what about video on demand?

blogs can scroll off the screen and vanish -- or live forever, attracting people who follow search engine recommendations. the content can be quite structured and authoritative (e.g. press blogs) or amorphous, zany, and irreverent.

applications are moving from the persistent space to the transient. Web 2.0 is all about moving apps off the desktop and onto the net. i use editors, word processors, calculators, calendars, etc., that are entirely on the web. by the way, open office is a viable substitute for the microsoft office suite.