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Content Should Be Liquid, Lubricated
Categories: Technology

At today’s Publishing Point meetup at Random House, Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures) spoke on the merging of content and technology and argued that content should be liquid and lubricated. See the video at – my summary is below.

Future of Content – Liquid

  • First, he thinks big media companies will do well because they are expert at sourcing, nurturing, and packaging talent.
  • He urges them to make content liquid, so that it can be used on any device, anytime, anywhere. “The movement to go straight to XML is smart,” said Wilson. “It will make faster, better progress to successful digital sales.”
  • He feels technology will peak, and then quality content will become a scare resource.
  • For a business model, he suggests a subscription model – a Netflix for books. He said it should have an open API to encourage development, and it should track consumer habits and dole out royalties accordingly.
  • Wilson says “DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a tax on your best customers. People who want to steal your content will steal your content.”

Lubricated Content – Ready for Engagement

“I don’t want to consume content I can’t engage with,” he exhorted.  “Consuming content in a vacuum doesn’t feel natural anymore,” he said. To illustrate, he gave us a virtual tour of the gizmos and apps. in his house:

  • Kindle – He thinks he reads more, and faster. Says he should be able to download a book and he can read on one device while his wife reads on another at the same time. The new version will allow you to share selections to Twitter/Facebook, he says.
  • Boxee – He shares video from his TV using Boxee.
  • – He uses this on his Sonos to listen to music. The “my neighborhood” feature in makes recommendations by keeping track of what his family listens to, and then making recommendations based on users with similar taste.
  • Hacker News – His “must read” is this crowdsourced site.
  • Huffington Post – Where he said there were more programmers than editors, in order to optimize for Google first and the social web.
  • – He likes WeAreHunted to discover the most popular music on the web.
  • iPad NY Times Crossword App – His kids love it, and he thinks it’s better than pencil-and-paper or iPhone.

I want to know: How do you make your content liquid and lubricated?

– Kathy Sandler

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