Fascinating
post by John Blossom
on the evolution of content in the Web world. It’s similar in
theme to AP chief Tom Curley’s famous Content and Containers speech
last year – and my own extensive thoughts
on the matter. Riffing on GoogleNet, Blossom wrote:

“As content and software services merge into common XML-based objects, the lines
between publishing and technology services are shifting rapidly. Salesforce.com is an
increasingly sophisticated example of how premium content and network-based software
services can blend into a single valuable package without I.T. expertise or involvement
required. At Shore we call these rapidly evolving packages of Web services “payloads” –
digital objects that are a blend of content and technology sent by content providers into
a user’s orbit that evolve into context-specific services as they are passed from one
context to another.”

He has a nice line on how the old webpage paradigm is increasingly being turned on its
head:

“In the Google network era every page brought down to a local context via the Google
network will become its own local Web service, enabled for commerce by virtue of
where it’s wound up rather than from where it was sent.”

Emphasis mine. Check out Josh’s and my (note the correct grammer this time) first Digital Web
article
for more on this theme. Blossom continues…

“There will always be a desire to experience content, communities and major events
accessible from a centralized source, but the emergence of the Google network publishing
model challenges publishers to be able to make content as relevant as possible in as many
distributed environments as possible.”

I agree, but I’d add that the creation and storage of the data itself will often still
be centralized. Accessible via APIs, yes. But one of the not-so-hidden secrets of Web 2.0
is that data isn’t yet as open and free as it could be. Most of the premium Amazon and
eBay data is entered into their systems and their APIs carry with them restrictions. I
don’t see Google or any other bigco changing that anytime soon. Blossom finishes with this:

“…at its early stages the Google network promises to accelerate changes to the
publishing industry about as much as the browser started to transform publishing some ten
years ago.”

I feel the same way, only I think it’s more generic than just being about Google. Tom
Curley’s speech was a major reason why I invested so much time and energy into the topic
of Web 2.0. But it’s not only the publishing industry being turned on its head, it’s the
whole media industry.

richard macmanus

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