Talk:Content (media)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

7Gbs.Net, Ms-LadyJ welcome comments and edits to this article. --Jblossom 19:58, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

One question: are you sure about this? I thought the "happyization" of consumerism (or the equivocation of contentedness) was just an unfounded Orwellian conspiracy theory. --Tene (talk) 20:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

No references, author readily admits to coming up with the term and definition himself Ms-LadyJ. --pansy aka.jpg (talk) 08:23, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I've read through it and tried to scrape whatever real information there was into a paragraph. Most of the article was a self-promotion. If someone more knowledgable in media and publishing has a more specific objective and informed definition, then please feel free to add it. As it was, it was just marketing material. --pansy aka.jpg(pansy aka.jpg) 07:04, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Having not met you at any of the many content industry conferences that I attend and at which I speak I am not sure what expertise you have on which you base your critique of the article. It was original work, to be sure, but I find your critique to be shallow and highly uninformed. When I publish this and related materials in a book later this year perhaps I'll provide you a link.--Jblossom (talk) 20:33, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
BTW, your reference to "marketing material" is fairly cryptic and seems to be rather hypocritical given Wikipedia's direct promotion of products in other articles. Take, for example, the article on Vundo_trojan, which provides a recommendation for a specific product called VundoFix and a link to that product's Wikipedia page. Crass commercialism, even if the product is effective. The only reference that I can recall (you took off older revs so I cannot reference it accurately) is a reference to the Shore Content Market Model, which was provided in full in the article.
What I find to be particularly frustrating about this exercise is that I was encouraged to write an article when people were working on the disambiguation page on Content. :-( --Jblossom (talk) 20:45, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
"Other people seem to get away with it, so I should too" is hardly an excuse. You seem to be suggesting that my conscience is equal to that of the entire Wikipedia community. Unfortunately there are a significant number of people, or entities that abuse the WP in the ways you highlighted. I'm sure it would be appreciated if you could remove such self-promotional text if you spot it in future.
My main problem with what you originally wrote was that it was waffly and didn't explain things in objective terms, along with using a lot of loaded language. This is an encyclopedia, not a PR platform (although I'm sad to say, it is used as the latter far too often). Also, quoting your own company's definitions strikes me as a bit of a conflict of interest. Perhaps you could build upon my re-write in a way that's simple, concise, objective and free from loaded language or self-reference. I don't appreciate appeals to authority, by the way. --Tene (talk) 03:40, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Whatever. There's nothing left to edit here, anyway. Instead we have your cryptic paragraph that doesn't say anything useful except to say that the concept of content is tosh. Why bother improving on that? You've said it all. --Jblossom (talk) 04:18, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
It's hardly cryptic. It's trying to be as unemotive and specific as possible. What was here originally sounded like someone trying to push the field. I mean 'actualised', since when was that used outside marketing? ...and would you please, please glance at Wikipedia's own informal logic articles, particularly those on informal fallacies such as appeals to emotion. --Tene (talk) 20:55, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I tweaked it a bit, it really wasn't accurate. Content is not just about subjectivity, it's about what happens to published materials in new contexts. Content is the consumable form of information and experiences.-- (talk) 16:56, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Eh, I hate marketing speak. Isn't "experience" subjective anyway? I don't see how perceived value that's generated from reading, watching or otherwise experiencing some form of media can be objective. In that case, one may as well just use "media". Regardless, can someone who knows the etymology of the word add a section on it? In an E-mail conversation with Richard Stallman he suggested that it derived from the noun suffix used in nutrition (fat content etc). I'm wondering whether content in this sense is actually an Americanism as American plurals (in this case contents) often arbitrarily switch to singular, abstract words (content). Of course, I don't know, which is why I'm asking someone knowledgeable in the subject to write one. ;) --Tene (talk) 20:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I really don't understand what you are asking here? Are you asking if the meaning of media is subjective, the meaning of media content is subjective, or the meaning of any specific media content is subjective? If you are asking all of the above, then the answers are no, no and yes. Oicumayberight (talk) 00:49, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm asking how the value of an experience instilled in a member of the audience cannot be subjective. Medium and information are specific, universal terms. This article seemed to differentiate between medium and information, and content as content being the value perceived, or intended to be perceived by the audience - and that that is the difference between medium and content. Are you saying then, that the value is absolute? Why even use the term content if the value is absolute, if the value is a given?
As I said further up this page, I really can't grasp what content means if it isn't this subjective value that the publisher perceives as being held by the audience. In my mind, it seems to just be eluding definition. If it's not to be dismissed by the lay reader as marketingspeak, then the description needs to be more specific and concrete. --Tene (talk) 03:28, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
...or is it simply the value a context gives information? A sort of 'context-shifting effect'? If so, then that needs to be made clear. --Tene (talk) 03:59, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
You are raising multiple questions:
  1. The medium vs the content: The medium is the presence of technology to contain and deliver the presence of content (information), neither of which are subjective. It's either there or it's not there, regardless of how it is perceived.
  2. The potential of some value vs the amount of value: The amount of value that the content provides is relative to the user/audience and is subjective. However, the potential for some value is not subjective. Every piece of information is potentially of some value if it's accessible by a user/audience. The way I interpreted it, the article was describing the potential (not the amount) of value provided by the content. A user/audience simply accessing content is proof that the content is of some value, even if it's merely to satisfy their curiosity of what the content is about.
Oicumayberight (talk) 19:01, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
After revisiting the original version, the value of content is not stated as being the difference between the medium and content. However, value is being used to make a distinction between content and information, which I don't understand. I've always thought of information as synonymous with content. That part needs to be made clearer, sourced, or left out. The way I see it, there is either no content (blank medium), valuable content, or invaluable content. But if it's information for the user audience, then it's content, regardless of the value. The value of that content may change over time.
The only information that I can think of that is not content is recording container format information, such as sectors on a disk. But if that formatted disk is blank, then there is, no content. It's just an empty container. Oicumayberight (talk) 19:52, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, what I meant was information rather than medium (I was tired, it was 3am or so). But regardless, this really needs to be cleared up. I think with that last distinction you're highlighting the difference between data and information.
The first time I saw this article I thought; "Here's someone trying to push a synonym and justify it, by making a overly-broad and undefinable distinction between it and its synonym". (information).
If it is indeed a synonym, why isn't it just a redirect? With a possible subsection inserted into the article on information, as to the language the publishing business uses? --Tene (talk) 21:57, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a slight difference between the three things mentioned here. Content is a specific type of information, geared towards a user audience. Information is either a superset for content, or it overlaps content if you include interactive elements as part of the content like GUI widgets, input devices or dice; although some might call that media. And data is the superset for information. Data doesn't always have meaning, whereas information does.
To sum it up, the key differences are:
  1. Data, may or may not mean anything.
  2. Information, must mean something to anyone or anything.
  3. Content, must means something to a user/audience, and may include interactive elements.
It would be oversimplification to just redirect "content" to information. This article should be used to make the contrast between content and media. I thought the "Key Attributes of Content" section was useful as well. Oicumayberight (talk) 00:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, in ICT data is most certainly not information. ;)
Anyway, how about this as an introductory statement:
Content is a word used within the publishing business, which refers to a superset of information that is said to have a potential value for its intended audience.
Then go on to mention that it is often misappropriately used in place of the medium rather than what is contained within or on a medium.
The word is often used colloqually to refer to media, which is eroneous as it instead means the contents of the medium rather than the medium itself.
Also, development (etymology), rationale and criticism of the term would be good. -Tene (talk) 20:58, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with the current introductory as it is, but the new one you suggest here would work as well. My only problem with the article as it is, is that it lacks content. The content that was there before could have used some editing. But, I don't think it should be completely deleted. Maybe your new introductory and the list of examples that was there before in the "Key Attributes of Content" section would suffice. Without the list of examples, at least label it a stub. Oicumayberight (talk) 21:52, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we should resort to a bullet pointed list and I think what was here before was inaccurate at best, saying the same thing over and over with different wording at worst. But I agree it should be tagged as a stub. --Tene (talk) 22:20, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Aside from the WP:SPAM mention of "Shore Communications Inc" (that I just noticed is the company of the editor) in the list, what parts of this list did you have a problem with? What parts did you feel were inaccurate? Oicumayberight (talk) 22:45, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
It was laden with buzzwords, loaded language and described content in incredibly vague terms. As I said before, it sounded like someone trying to push the term and convince readers of its value rather than explaining what it is. --Tene (talk) 00:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I liked the structure of the article with all the subsections and lists of examples before it was removed by Tene (talk). I thought it was useful information on a very important subject. I didn't think it was waffly or self-promoting, but I may have missed the parts that Tene was referring to. Nonetheless, if the content was waffly, self-promoting, or biased, then the content should have been edited rather than deleted IMO. Oicumayberight (talk) 21:01, 19 February 2008 (UTC)


Thanks, I thought that it was fine also, and having deleted it altogether seems to be a pretty elitist way of taking it out of the discussion. Frankly at this point I am just as glad - it seems that Tene is just trying to score ego points and not really contributing much of positive value. The whole thing about "Americanisms" is says it all. This is pseudo-intellectualism that really doesn't have much to do with what I encounter in the publishing industry every day. I don't have time for this right now, when I get a sense that I can contribute something positive here without being slammed as an idiot I'll try again. --Jblossom (talk) 01:51, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I am catching up on this article for a moment, it should probably provide a reference to my book "Content Nation," which was published last year by John Wiley & Sons. I used the definition which I dontated to Wikipedia in the book. What I find frustrating is that I was the original author of this definition on Wikipedia in 2004, and the Wikipedians have obliterated the trail to that history. Knol manages history much more cleanly. Jblossom (talk) 13:23, 21 October 2010 (UTC)


Well, I look another hack at it. The key concept to emphasize is that publishing is far less about the initial generation of information or experiences and far more about figuring out how to make it as repurposable as possible so that it attains the highest value possible for each and every potential audience. Companies like Elsevier, which used to focus almost exclusively on the publication of information in printed journals, now have invested heavily in technologies that will give them a very high level of repurposing of that content. Google's search engine and other search engines are basically content machines, enabling repurposing through search results, mashups, etc. So when these days we refer to the "content industry" we're talking about an industry that has gone way past the idea of storing information in retrieval devices such as books and databases to focus on what happens once you start pulling stuff out of those storage devices.

Hope that this helps. Oh, BTW, can we get rid of the "weasel words" warning? I don't see how it applies at this point. --Jblossom (talk) 05:10, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Let me preface my feedback by complimenting you on your willingness to take on this diamond in the rough of a subject. This is an important topic, but a difficult one to make into an article. I know your time is valuable.
The article seemed a bit choppy to me. I did a few things to make it flow a little easier:
  1. I Subdivided the article into sections.
  2. I added more commas.
  3. I thought it was redundant to refer to "information and experiences" 7 additional times after it was established in the first sentence that content is both. I replaced 6 instances with the word "content" figuring the single word suffices in those cases.
  4. I trimmed some of what I thought were superfluous words and phrases just to shorten the overall length of some sentences.
  5. I spent quite a bit of time rewording the section about the technological effect. It seemed to be repeating the same points with subtle variance each time. I tried to make the varying subtle differences clearer subjects of separate individual sentences. But without case examples, it still has the opinionated tone that is vulnerable to scrutiny on wikipedia.
In addition
  1. I took out the link to the disambiguation page. There's no alternate uses on that page that fall under this specific use of the word,
  2. I took out the part about "based on its presentation in one or more specific contexts" because it is possible for a person to derive or develop their own value from content in ways that the presenter didn't plan or imagine.
  3. I put the less disputable sections near the top to keep the left-brained analytical types happy.
After all that, it still seems opinionated, and will most likely get challenged for a WP:NPOV at least. My suggestion is that you add some sources and factual examples to keep the article from being challenged more than you are willing to defend it.
As for the weasel words, that's between you and the accuser. With my advertising background, I find it difficult not to use weasel words. I doubt wikipedia would have even a 10th of the articles or participation without weaseling. It's all part of the evolution of articles. Oicumayberight (talk) 10:39, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Oicumayberight, This is a very constructive hack at what we can build as a real article. I like how you re-integrated the ideas of live performance and events into the second sentence of the definition. I agree that "experiences" gets tiresome, I think that you solved that problem elegantly via that sentence.

I think that what we're zoning in on now is how the term "content" is so much more important now to people because there's so much value through transformation in the marketplace.

I will let this settle into my thoughts for a bit and then come back to it, but for now I thank you very much for your very positive contributions. Feel free to consider continuing the conversation on (talk) 17:11, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

This label was added some time ago, I don't see how it relates to the article in its current form. It appears to be quite objective at this point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jblossom (talkcontribs) 14:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Not a buzzword[edit]

Any reference to a backlash against this buzzword, or has it been cemented as a real term now? (talk) 14:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

It's a single word that has been in the dictionary for decades. It's not a buzzword.

I don't see much of any backlash against "content," if anything the media and publishing industries rely more upon this concept than ever before. I contributed this definition on Wikipedia originally in 2004 (wiped out by a disgruntled Wikipedian), have contributed to its refinement since then and include it in my book "Content Nation." Whenever I deliver a talk on the book and share this definition, the light bulb goes off in people's minds. As many of those people work for publishing firms, I assume that the definition remains quite relevant. --Jblossom (talk) 23:10, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

A follow-up note on "buzzword" - the word "content" referencing media and publishing is used in terms and conditions for a number of Web sites, including Twitter. If lawyers have come to rely upon this word, that's a signal to me that it's becoming a standard of reference. --Jblossom (talk) 13:47, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Revision, 5 Years Later (2014)[edit]

Taking a go at fleshing out this article a bit. I'm going through it with a fine-toothed comb, trying to eliminate anything that can be considered a weasel word and unoriginal research. In doing this, I'm hoping to add some new sources to this article and give it a more NPOV.

My first go through will be to clean up some of the language to hopefully make it less "weaselly." Torma616 (talk) 03:26, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Added references and links to Marshall McLuhan and his phrase "the medium is the message" in the Content value section of the article. Torma616 (talk) 03:52, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Moved the last paragraph from "Content value" to "technological effects on content." This paragraph deals with content becoming more of a general term and becoming more readily available, largely in part due to the internet, further echoing McLuhan and his comments about a "global village." Torma616 (talk) 04:10, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Added more missing references Torma616 (talk) 04:37, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Added a section discussing the difference between content and medium, hopefully to clear up some confusion on the blurred division between them.

IMHO, what this article still lacks most is sources pertaining to the core meaning of content. Prior to my edits, there was one reference to the way in which content was defined and 4 references to criticism of "content" (all 4 of which were in the very last sentence of the article). Surely, there are other intellectuals than McLuhan who have commented on media and the way in which information is spread in the digital age. The article could benefit from more scholarly sources regarding this information. Torma616 (talk) 04:58, 1 April 2014 (UTC)