Wrapper over content

Original author: Joseph Tartakoff
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The Inside Word column once a week examines the topic most actively discussed in the blogs of electronic media employees.
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Blogger: Scott Karp
Position: CEO and co-founder of startup Publish2 , a platform for journalistic collaboration. One of the startup’s tools allows journalists to tag and share links to what they read online.
Blog Name: Publishing 2.0
Background: Google launched Fast Flip last week, which allows readers to quickly browse online articles. The product is not particularly welcomed. In particular, ReadWriteWeb wrote about it under the heading“And is that all Google could offer to save the news?”

Blog post text: Karp writes that regardless of Fast Flip quality, Google is on the right track. “The main problem of media companies is not to figure out what to do with their content. Content alone does not matter. The problem is with the wrapper, ”he writes, referring not only to the headers and columns, but to everything else - from aggregation to user interfaces.

“Newspaper articles are meaningless without a newspaper. Journal articles are meaningless without a magazine. TV shows are pointless without an ether or cable channel. The newspaper’s inability to make the same profit on the net as in the press has nothing to do with content. The point is in the network (in which it cannot make a normal “wrapper” in any way) and in the very essence of the newspaper business, as well as any other media business. Instead of their usual work, they put their content on the network, allow others to find and make a “wrapper” for it.

A separate unit of content on the network without a “wrapper” has value tending to zero. And attempts to charge for a single piece of content are unlikely to change that. What you CAN take money for is a “wrapper”. Media companies should do what Google does — experiment in content packaging, which in the world of electronic media means new user interfaces and new methods of aggregation. ”

PS But wait, don't news sites pack their content at least somehow? In a subsequent correspondence, Karp told me that newspapers should collect content from a wider range of sources on their pages, as well as introduce a “revolutionary interface” on their own, like an iPhone.

“If the newsmen were puzzled by cooperation in the field of packaging the best content on the network, only slightly setting priorities at the level of editorial policies, then they would have a chance to compete with Google,” he said. “The innovative“ wrapper ”of digital content also opens up clear ways to pay for content, that is, the consumer is more likely to want to pay for a high-quality“ wrapper ”, which he actually does in the print market.”

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