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Content Curation vs. Creation?

In Discussion by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

hand on keyboardToday’s feature story on data mining in STM content discusses the idea that publishers “have concerns if the [data] mining results can replace, or compete with, the original content or if the mining is burdening their systems.”

So what is the more valuable position: creating original content or curating existing content? Data mining would not be worth doing if there weren’t already a substantial body of existing content. There would be nothing to look through. But like the newspaper industry that provides fodder for millions of bloggers who no longer need to do their own reporting or research, one could argue that original content creators feed the rest of the content ecosystem disproportionately.

Despite how easy it is to create a video or upload your latest short story to Amazon, it isn’t free for professional media companies and publishers to create high-quality content. Consider the cost of creating decades worth of academic journals vs. the cost of mining that content for data using a software program. From a financial perspective, curators appear to have the upper hand.

The other side of that is that curators don’t own the content they need in order to sustain their businesses. In the digital age, is that even a problem?

Is it better to create and own your content, or to curate and repackage existing content?

About the Author

Hannah Johnson

Hannah Johnson is the Deputy Publisher of Publishing Perspectives since 2009. Previously, she worked as Project Manager at the German Book Office New York. Find her on Twitter @hannahsjohnson.