Conversation is king

  Proping up a dead failed mantra and dressing it up in new garbs does not amount to anything.

Director-Asia Pacific, Akamai Technologies, and Jasmeet Singh, VP,, agree on one thing: “Content is King”. Says Singh, “After the euphoria of high-speed, always-on connection dies down, content is the most important factor”  ”  ( via Contentsutra).

     Have’nt we seen existential proof that “content is king” is so untrue,those companies who chanted this mantra in the boom heydays are nowhere today. The basis for the “content king” argument is that switching cost to media consumption is high so firms should control/own the content. The  new media(blogs etc) have led to an explosion of content which has sort of slashed the switching costs immensely. To understand this more intuitively try this simple question, which one is that you read more & more for your news source “Times of India” or Blogs. To understand the fallacy of the manta read this old but a killer paper by Odlyzko titled “Content is not king” where he gives a very good argument supported with numbers..

     The article from which above excerpts have been taken refers to blogs & new media but comes up with wrong conclusions that content is the king. The  argument about distribution/connectivity is getting comodotized is something that I will agree to.  When distribution gets commoditized the value ofcourse shifts to somewhere else in the value chain but certainly not owning the content.

     Thinking about content vs distribution might not be the best way to look at. content vs distribution are not tightly coupled as it once used to be but nonetheless are still dependent on each other. If we look at the dynamics of new media say for ex blog, the key parameter in it is the ability to enable content to be more dynamic or put it in other it enables conversation.   Therefore it is conversation that is the king.

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