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Digital content RTD perspectives - after the dot.com fall - El.pub Analytic No. 8

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  Introduction | Digital content themes | Value chain aspects | Content sectors | Technology
  Business models | To be continued | Comment on this issue of Analytic

Content sectors

In the iconography of e-everything, we have B2B, B2C and a little of C2C. (C2B is the money flow - preferably not too digital). A broad breakdown of the digital content sectors is not as easy as for traditional publishing and broadcasting. There we had books, newspapers, film, etc. reflecting both the different media and the organisations concerned in them. With the spread of content across delivery media via cross-media technology - digital content - things change. News, film, books can all be viewed on the web. Even TV is becoming more an interactive mix of text, film and still image. The growth of educational and lifestyle channels is leading to greater choice, so that for example cookery information can be viewed at any time on the TV, the web, in a book or a magazine.

From an RTD perspective it may be that the most useful classification is one reflecting how the content is to be used. Entertainment and media is essentially ephemeral content intended for immediate consumption on a viewer (TV, PC, cinema, mobile phone, game console). Business information and some STM content is essentially an input to further processing by machines or humans. Financial data is used for decision making, business communications (e-mail, memos, reports) need to be organised for re-use and retrieval, reference material (manuals, data) must be available on demand. Business data (customers, transactions, orders) are passed between and drive processes. Education and training content lies somewhere in-between, as does consumer reference material.

On the business, STM and education sides the focus of RTD is on improving use of knowledge. As the amount of information available to knowledge workers grows, it is imperative that we have better tools for processing the information. Data mining, visualisation, and other processing methods for numeric data need to be extended to users in smaller companies. Integration of information inside companies is generally at a low level but is being tackled through enterprise nervous systems, Inter-enterprise collaboration is another developing area. At the same time it is worth pointing out that tools supporting KM for non-numeric data are almost non-existent. KM and related RTD is one of the topics that will covered in a future issue in the series.

In the entertainment and media sector content management and digital rights management are hot topics and are likely to continue to be so for some time. Although tools are becoming available they are generally specific to certain tasks, often fail to scale, lack interoperability with other systems and fail to integrate different problems (workflow, versioning, rights, cross-media translation). The proposed approaches to rights management and IPR security differ so much at this stage that it is difficult to focus RTD on specific aspects. However, without RTD there will be little chance of correctly assessing scalability, security, effectiveness and user acceptance of the competing solutions. One of the problems in this area, arriving at a consensus on 'rights' in the digital world - whose rights and to what - lies outside the scope of RTD.

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