Content as currency

Monday, June 02, 2008

We've all heard that on the Web --- especially  with respect to Search Engine Optimization and attracting traffic --- "content is king."  Janet Lee Johnson, blogging on the Content Management Connection site passed along a great quotation from Mike Berkley's SplashCast blog, which I in turn would like to share here:

Content is the currency used to acquire audience. Companies can print their own. Most don’t.
This was particulary striking to me because I've been in meetings over the last couple of days with two organizations that are just getting started with substantial Web projects. Both are going to be content centered sites (i.e. informational as opposed to commerce), and both have a lot to offer their constituencies in terms of information that has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of real people in their communities. 

To differing degrees, folks from both organizations are excited about the contribution that their sites can make, but at the same time leery of the commitment in terms of time and energy that will be required to create content.  I'm quite sympathetic to this concern, but I do think it's critical for organizations that would like their Web sites to be valuable resources to find the time to make creating content a regular part of their day-to-day jobs.

I thought one participant in a strategy planning session summed up what must be done almost as well as the quotation above.  Within the space of a couple of minutes, the conversation had turned from from how all concerned want the Website to be a valuable resource to, again, concerns about committing to creating content.  "If we want the Web site to be a valuable resource," she responded, "we have to commit to creating a something of value." 

This is exactly the point --- in most cases creating a valuable Web resource is not the job of the programmers and designers involved.  Those specialists can only lay the foundation.  Actually building the value of the site comes down to people from the organization rolling up their sleeves and doing the work of sharing their knowledge and expertise --- the things that make their organization unique and valuable --- by creating great content.  Of course, good tools for creating online content  help, but they can't do the work for you.   

Posted by: Mark Reichard at 4:36 PM
Tags: Content Management


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