Comments on Content

Sonja asks what makes quality content? In our information-overloaded world what content do you read and what do you ignore? “

Here is my response:

The content I regard as valuable is

  • useful and functional – gives me answers
  • beautiful and entertaining – gives me pleasure

It has to do at least one of those things. If it does both, I consider subscribing.

You ask specifically about what I read. In general I am operating on a lap-top or vertical screen, having not yet succumbed to an iPad. So reading is actually quite difficult. I don’t want to read, I want to see.

This may be related to the way I use the web in general, and blogs in particular. My primary use of the web is to look for information. For example I want to know

  • How much money does Amazon Web Services make?
  • What is the salary of an experienced teacher in a secondary school?
  • How do I make a hand sewn book?
  • What is meant by “resolution” of a digital photograph?
  • How are people using GPS on their running routes and bicycle rides?
I have found answers to all these questions in blog posts made available by generous and talented people.
So when I was researching trends in the IT industry I assiduously followed a blog by Om Malik. Another example is the blog LondonCyclist, which contained the information I was looking for about GPS for cyclists.
These are functional blogs.  I read them for the information they contain. I am no longer researching trends in the IT industry, so I don’t have the Om Malik feed on my browser window any more.
These blogs have “valuable content” because they have what I call “substance“: numbers, places, people’s names, descriptions of real events, graphs.
The blog post is particularly valuable if the author has made the substance mean something. Here is Om Malik in iPhone news giving us data on Apple usage, and showing how executive use of the iPad is driving Apple’s rapid increase in the business market.
I distinguish “substance” from “opinion”. Substance is more valuable than opinion. And opinion without substance is not valuable atall. Om Malik’s view on why Apple is growing in the business market is made valuable by his use of data to support it. I may not agree with him, but I will read the post.

Categories: Business Life

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