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Who wants to own content October 6, 2006

Posted by rajAT in media2.0, web2.0.

Jeff has an interesting post sometime back where he emphasized that content and distribution both cann’t differentiate a media house from other or even protect it.

Distribution is not king.

Content is not king.

Conversation is the kingdom.

The war is over and the army that wasn’t even fighting — the army of all of us, the ones who weren’t in charge, the ones without the arms — won. The big guys who owned the big guns still don’t know it. But they lost.

In our media 2.0, web 2.0, post-media, post-scarcity, small-is-the-new-big, open-source, gift-economy world of the empowered and connected individual, the value is no longer in maintaining an exclusive hold on things. The value is no longer in owning content or distribution.

The value is in relationships. The value is in trust.

BBC which gets widely quoted as the future media house who gets this new emerging media landscape with their various innovative ways is a tiny minscule.

The Guardian’s Mark Sweney blogs it:

The good news is that the BBC turned out to be the most commonly referenced big brand [in blogs].The bad news is that just 0.3% of the millions of blog posts analysed referred to the BBC.

What does this all mean? It means that what the BBC does, creating programmes, is just a tiny ‘atom’ in the new media world and how on earth can you grow that 0.3%?

The likes of YouTube and blogs equal cheap forms of production of content.

You can’t ‘own’ all the relationships audiences have in the web world so the best plan is to ‘atomise’ content, disintegrate, to ‘explode’ into places where they are.

I think that is so true even in the Indian context. I had a conversation with the New Media Head at Indiatimes some 8-9 months back. I asked him what is Indiatimes doing with the emerging trends like – Citizen Journalism, Blogs etc. He beamed with pride and said that we have already started a blogging platform where we invite Indiatimes users to blog. And a team of editors picks the best post and put them on the home page of Times of India also. I was quite impressed. He then went on and said that they have built a very vibrant though small community over there. At that time I thought that Indiatimes has got a winner as in people would surely like to get their post on front page of the leading news website in India. But that doesn’t happen.

Its been 8-9 months and I haven’t met a single blogger in various blogging events around the country who said that he blogs at Indiatimes.

Then the blog aggregators that I visit like Desipundit also never have linked even a single post from Indiatimes. Something is really going on.

Is this blogging hasn’t picked up in India or what ?

We all know that blogging has really picked up in India 🙂 but the anwer to that puzzle is that now no more a big media house can own this landscape. Blogs will crop up everywhere and will not be the forte of one single entity.

It was such a pleasure to hear Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan, Founder and CEO of Rediff.com, a nasdaq listed indian portal, that he doesn’t understand user generated content at all.

Goliaths are so last century :).

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1. Vaibhav Domkundwar - india 2.0 - October 9, 2006

There is a definite gap that is widening in the indian media space where news is less, and ads are more and quality is long gone. Is anyone thinking of the consumer?

Quality content will ALWAYS be originating from newer and newer sources, far beyond the traditional media companies. The real opportunity is to bridge the MSM and user generated content and deliver a seamless experience to the user.

Ofcourse, this is central to *indiagoes* (http//www.indiagoes.com) as well as *BlogHindustani* (http://www.indiagoes.com/indian_blogs), so we hope we can address this gap. Still some ways to go.

2. rajAT - October 9, 2006

@ Vaibhav –

There is definitely an opportunity in bridging the MSM and UGC. All the best to indiagoes and bloghindustani. I hope that it becomes a 1000 pound gorrila in that space.

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