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Are You Ready For Content Revolution?
As the world gets smaller, demand for fresh contents will only rise.
If you are to sum up the Internet revolution in just 2 words, it would probably be ‘knowledge explosion'. Whether the topic is quantum mechanics or astrophysics, or just how to repair the leaking tap, you probably cannot complain that there is dearth of information.
When you come online and type in your search term in say Google, you are most likely to get a list of thousands of results spread of innumerable pages. Now you change your search term a bit and look for results again. What will you get?
You may get an altogether fresh list of thousands of results, perhaps with the exception of a few that look up in both the lists.
This is just a small experiment that goes to show the gigantic volume of information available on the web for ready access. You may wonder if so much information is already there, there is perhaps less need for fresh content.
In reality that is not true. Even if you leave aside novels, plays, and suchlike for which there is always a demand for new ones, there are several compelling reasons in favor of other fresh content.
Change And Challenge - The 2 Factors
The first of the 2 most important factors is that people love change. A change in perspective, a change in narrating style, a new discovery, a new twist in an old tale - there can be hundreds of them that people like.
The second one is that people love challenge. The lure to know the unknown, the urge to conquer the best, the unmitigated thrill to constantly try and better own performance are some reasons that are typical to us, the fellow humans.
Pause for a moment and think about it. You will realize there is never a moment when fresh content is not needed. In fact so important is its need that if you can write well, many online publishers will not mind paying you handsomely for well narrated contents.
If this is the bright side of it, the demand side, is the other side namely the supply of good content also equally bright? Not necessarily. And mind you, herein you'll find a bright opportunity.
New For Old
Let me narrate an episode. It's about my mother, a retired schoolteacher, who now teaches mathematics and science subjects to a couple of poor students free of charge at home.
Late last month she came across a new text book on school-level Physics brought by one of the students, and she was ecstatic about the ‘fact' that she has not seen such a good Physics text book for a long time.
My mother is now 78+ and has taught in the school for close to 40 years. There is no doubt she has dealt with maybe tens of Physics text book during her time. Yet she reserves full praise for the new text book she saw last month, which she cannot stop acclaiming.
There is small lesson here. I think my mother's instant liking of the book goes to show that there is a good scope for fresh content for as mundane a topic as school-level Physics.
Are there new theories in the book that haven't been known earlier? No. But yes, the way the new book is presented provides a fresh perspective of learning the same old subject in a more interesting way.
I felt a little intrigued at my mother's exuberance. After all, hadn't she seen similar well-written Physics text book in the past when she was a student and later when she was a teacher?
"Oh yes, there were good books," she agreed when I probed her, "especially the one when I just joined as a teacher in the late 60s." She continued, "Later those books were not to be found. Maybe the authors were no more, perhaps the publishers closed down."
And then came her that remark I prize the most, "You know people like new books. I doubt if today's students would like the books we used in our time."
Here is another lesson. It's not that good contents are not written. It's just that barring maybe only a few, all contents have a certain shelf-life after which their positions are taken over by new contents.
Democratization Of Knowledge
The digital revolution has flattened the arena of knowledge disparity between different segments of populace. A few reasons why the scope of learning will increase are:
- The easy availability of information will encourage people to take more risks across boundaries. They will face barriers like different language, different culture, and different styles of doing business. To solve them more and more fresh contents will be necessary.
- Since the spread of Internet will make the world ‘smaller' thereby requiring people to act fast and smart, there is likely to be demand for online coaching much the same way like Teaching Sells. That once again means commensurate inflow of quality contents.
- It's my belief that the Internet will also slowly but surely help in bridging the gap between quality knowledge and the ability to reach it by the less-privileged and the have-nots of different societies. When that happens, when knowledge comes to be recognized as a basic need like food, clothing, and shelter, there can be a big surge of the need for different types of contents. If indeed that occurs, we may be requiring a vast supply of contents than what is imaginable today.
Forecasts are merely an attempt to gauge the unknown future. Sometimes they become true, sometimes not.
In the foregoing I've tried to explain my take on what the coming days may have in store. I've less doubt about the need for large amount of fresh contents than what their type will be and how fast that will change. For example, there is already a definitive shift happening from text to video contents.
Will there be further change soon? If yes, how soon will that be, and in what form? Maybe my readers will have better explanations.