Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bosacks Speaks Out: What is content?

Bosacks Speaks Out: What is content?

Content, Content, Content What is it good for? Nothing!
All this talk of content and mergers and increased content and increased
mergers. Phooey!

It's not about the content. Piles and piles of content is just that -- piles and
piles of junk. Useless to most, perhaps somewhat useful to some few dogged
focused pursuers of information. Content is not king, but quality content
might be queen. And focused quality content might be considered a king.
And Presorted Personalized Focused Quality Content might be the "Emperor of All Information" Content is the workshop where I store all my tools. Information is the exact and only "hexagonal wrench" I need to finish the damn job. Now where was that wrench? When did I use it last? I don't remember. It could be anywhere.

Here is a question -- what makes this newsletter useful to you? I think it is
the fact that I have spent 30 years doing a job very similar to yours. Not
exactly the same, but close enough. My experience empowers me to act as your "agent." I sort through the information of our industry and forward to you the best that I can find that might be useful for you to know, based on my parallel experience to yours. Am I 100% correct? No, not even close. But I am useful enough to have a very large readership. So where am I going with all this? It is not the volume of content that is important; it is the focused practical usefulness of information that makes the content valuable.

All this talk of content and the power of mergers, and the power of combined
content... Phooey! Mergers are good for business due to tangible efficiencies. Smaller head count, less office space and greater buying power. The rest is bull! Synergies? BULL! All this jabber of a "volume of content" is terribly misleading.

AOL ... and Time and Warner... Think of them as three separate companies for
a minute who have more content than the Great Library of Alexandria. So What?
Do you know that in the old great Library of Alexandria they had no idea
what they had? All they had were rolled up scrolls. Piles and piles, shelf
after shelf, room after room. I'm mean huge! For that time, it was the combined knowledge of all the ages. Awesome Huh?. NOT!

Most scrolls were not labeled at all, Just rolled up and tied parchment, placed in piles. They had little or no titles once unrolled. And absolutely none had an index or a table of contents on any publication. The concept of indexing or a TOC wasn't invented yet. So what did they have? They had tons and tons of content, without the ability to get to what they needed, when they needed it. There were no labels. Where would you begin? How would you find what you want? How would you even know what you want? Sound familiar?

I am a huge Internet user, and the truth is I love it. But there is still so
much to do. The billions of pages of information out there are for the most
part useless, until we reinvent indexing and a new system of personalized
delivery. What we need is a "true" personal agent. A computer program so
sophisticated and detailed that it does the searching and sorting based upon
our unique and personalized individual needs.

We need that computerized personalized agent that I have spoken of several times in this newsletter. An "agent" or "concierge" of cyberspace. An "agent" that fits where our wristwatches fit now. A total voice recognition system, answerable only to us. A program that will know all that is knowable about us. An "electronic friend" that will send birthday cards and meaningful presents to friends and family. It will pay all the bills and make all appointments with coworkers and doctors. An agent so integrated into the

cyber paths that my agent will call your agent to confirm or deny our availability to meet without our intervention. An agent that knows so much about us that it knows not only what we want to read, but also what we didn't know we wanted to read. That is to me the key to growth. This agent has to be so "smart" it will deliver to us not only what we have "asked for," but also information that we need to know about, but didn't know that we didn't know.

This "thing" or something very like it will happen. In fact I think it will
happen in our lifetime.

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