In the early 1990s the internet was a big empty space waiting for people to fill it. Today, there still is a need for new content but the need for better content seems to be growing faster.
One of the challenges that online initiatives face is the contradiction between being a publisher and being a platform. A publisher works to gain trust through professional selecting and editing whereas a platform gives a voice to the crowd. This Harvard Business Review article explains this dilemma in detail.
When I interned at Time Inc. in 2009, CEO Ann S. Moore proclaimed that the world would desperately need more editors to channel the stream of content. In a way, that has turned out to be true.
At Textcase we work with both publishers and platforms and we’ve been observing the tension between them up-close. Publishers are experimenting with creating platforms as new business models while platforms often underestimate the costs and expertise of publishing tasks.
In any type of selected content, online or in print, committed and professional editors prove their long-term value time and time again. Simultaneously, user-based platforms are admirable because they make information flows more democratic. Yet the selection and creation of high quality content demands professional attention. We believe that the care that goes into creating valuable content will become a higher priority and that the purpose of both publishers and platforms will crystallize during the next few years.