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Traditional Publisher Edge in Online

The debate about the poor quality of content in the “un-vetted” online world, is often raised by traditional publishers when expressing their concerns for the destruction of quality content that is occurring. The visions of the future that some in traditional media put forth present quite a dire picture of the future of media.

This Mediapost piece titled “The Death of Truth?” MediaPost Publications The Death of Truth? 03/18/2010 is interesting when considering this debate and the “advantage” traditional publishers have in the online world, if/when they are willing to take advantage of it.  From the piece:

“Trusted, branded, editorial voices, when on the Internet, attract higher quality audiences than the so-called portals.  The Online Publishers Association, the organization of publishers who invest in producing their own content (as opposed to those who create audiences through tools like email or strategies like aggregation) sponsored research that demonstrates the higher demographics and stronger purchase patterns for the audiences of their sites compared to the generic content on portals.

But these branded media sites have, in many cases, not seen the online audience growth that might be expected given the online traffic available.  Instead, new, irreverent, fast-moving, “raw” alternative content sites have captured much of the Internet traffic that might have accrued to the big, old, famous brands.  It seems that users feel these alternative voices and sites are based on more-specific, more-useful, even less “slick” content that is more honest and reliable.”

What do you think?  Is the future of content bleak and biased?  Or will the democratization of the web (think Wikipedia) make for an even more accurate and comprehensive database of knowledge than can be amassed through the vetting of a select group of editors?

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