Content (media and publishing)

In media production and publishing, content is information and experiences that may provide value for an end-user/audience. Content may be delivered via any medium such as the internet, television, and audio CDs, as well as live events such as conferences and stage performances.

Terminology

The word "content" is often used colloquially to refer to media, which is erroneous as it instead means the contents of the medium rather than the medium itself. Likewise, the single word "media" and some compound words that include "media" (e.g. multimedia, hypermedia) are instead referring to a type of content. An example of a type of content commonly referred to as a type of media is a "motion picture" referred to as "a film." The distinction between medium and content is less clear when referring to interactive elements that contain information and are then contained in interactive media, such as dice contained in board games or GUI widgets contained in software.

Content value

The author, producer or publisher of an original source of information or experiences may or may not be directly responsible for the entire value that they attain as content in a specific context. For example, part of an original article (such as a headline from a news story) may be rendered on another web page displaying the results of a user's search engine query grouped with headlines from other news publications and related advertisements. The value that the original headline has in this group of query results may be very different from the value that it had in its original article.

It is possible for a person to derive their own value from content in ways that the author didn't plan or imagine. User innovation makes it possible for users to develop their own content from existing content.

Not all content requires creative authoring or editing. Through recent technological developments such as mobile phones that can record events anywhere for publishing and converting to potentially reach a global audience on channels such as YouTube, most recorded or transmitted information and experiences can be deemed content.

Technological effects on content

Media production and delivery technology may potentially enhance the value of content by formatting, filtering and combining original sources of content for new audiences with new contexts. The greatest value for a given source of content for a specific audience is often found through such electronic reworking of content as dynamic and real-time as the trends that fuel it's interest. Less emphasis on value from content stored for possible use in its original form, and more emphasis on rapid repurposing, reuse, and redeployment has led many publishers and media producers to view their primary function less as originators and more as transformers of content. Thus, one finds institutions, that used to focus on publishing printed materials, now publishing both databases and software to combine content from various sources for a wider-variety of audiences.

ee also


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