Most people in the traditional publishing believe that Google and friends want quality. And quality will always win. I don’t believe that to be true. I think that they favour Relevancy, more Quality. Quality is an abstract notion anyway. They can be the same thing, but commonly not.
Journalists and professional writers do a great job of writing well constructed arguments. Web content producers do a great job of meeting their brief. So, depending on what you want as a temporary commissioning editor you can brief that way.
Let’s think about online publishing and the internet specifically. So, if English (my preferred language) is used by many, many millions of people. For many it wont be their first language and they also want access to content, access to information and access to answers. Then relevant content is far more important than a abstract notion of Quality.
As a digital marketer and a SEO working in businesses whose objectives are about getting many visitors and conversion, choosing the appropriate level of content is what you need to do.
Maybe journalists could learn from SEO’s and digital marketers as we only produce content that is being demanded. And maybe we could learn from trying to ensure accuracy and minimum standards/consistency etc.
There are more people and with the democratisation of the web there is a progressive demand for all kinds of content.
A few articles have made me aware of the “Internet Content Syndication Council” and their own ambitions for content web standards for the net. They are likely to only read by like minded individuals If you wish to see their site, you’ll understand if I don’t make this a link
www.internetsyndication.org. But, if it does catch on, then if you are commissioning content and you want a minimum standard, someone who can demonstrate the levels of skills demanded is no bad thing.
The future is about companies, journos, writers who embrace the distribution model. Where is your audience? How do they want to read the content? How will you promote it and get it in front of them? As you are a competing with other content publishers. You competed with another daily newspaper, or another publishing house. You have probably been competing with online reading of your content versus the print form.
New services such as Demand Media, Associated Content and many more are satisfying a new demand. For How-to’s, Video and easily accessible volume content. There will be a place for ‘proper’ articles, but it will be in Sunday papers, books (still relevant in 2010, who knows when/if you read this?!).
I think we need them all.
Some related articles that sparked me into life writing these thoughts: