If you love  your content,  set it free
hello - I am Mike Ellis - I have spent 10+ years working on the [content] web - I am a user experience zealot, strategist,...
 
number of slides > pain bearable n childbirth frankly, quite unreasonable 10 today, I am going to try the “n-slide experim...
and no clip art... why are we all holding hands? rest assured, however: there is no   comic sans,
<ul><li>what  value  and  free  mean in a web world </li></ul><ul><li>how the network has  changed  us </li></ul><ul><li>w...
what does  “ value”  mean?
scarcity
if we have valuable things, we: lock  them away, guard  them, hide  them, charge  for them, protect  them
“ ...any particular unit becomes worth  less  to people as the supply  increases ..”
scarcity is ok until the content arrives on a  global network  like the web...
1. radically reduced  cost  of distribution
“ It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a  publishing industry , because the  core problem  publishing solve...
“ 17 million fewer CD buyers in 2008  compared to the prior year” ZDNet UK // “ CD sales drop, digital downloads on the ri...
2. nearly ubiquitous piracy  opportunities
“ If the product you make becomes digital, expect that the product you make  will be copied ” Seth Godin // “ Music Lesson...
(an exercise in  usability  rather than scarcity...)
3.  a profound and lasting  change in our  relationship  with content
“ ..for my generation you partly constructed your identity around what you owned..but for the digital generation this  str...
users: native, lazy, fickle, “mobile”, search-focused...and expecting  free
these 3 things are fairly  radical
 
so how should we  respond ?
#1: recognise that this isn’t just a  blip ...after which things will  return to normal
..this cannot be ostriched
#2: notice that the  value probably hasn’t disappeared,  just  shifted  somewhere else
“ So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my  pirate editions … and I created a site called  The Pirate Coelho ” “ ...she e...
closer to home..
#3: ask: what  can’t  be copied?
Kevin Kelly // “ Better than Free” //  http://bit.ly/blNo9b “ the value in this networked economy does not follow the path...
things like trust, authenticity, immediacy
#4: realise that your content is like a  teenager
(you may want to  protect  them, but if you try, they’ll just climb out of the window and go clubbing anyway)
#5: if you can’t re-use it, you’ve  wasted  it
http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8727 http://unicorn.lib.ic.ac.uk/uhtbin/opac/webcentral http://...
#6: this is, has been, and always will be about  content  and  users
(not technology)
#7: the future is uncertain
open stuff helps with uncertainty
API RSS RDF RDFa REST OpenSearch JSON microformats iCal #8: it doesn’t really matter  how  you do it
..as long as what emerges is  loosely joined
#9: recognise that open and free = eyeballs
Dion Hinchcliffe // “ Open API’s” //  http://bit.ly/9yBIN7
“ stuff  moves around  the network freely” sharing web scale meaning extraction user generated content personalisation rea...
“ Losers wish for  scarcity .  Winners leverage  scale ” Ian Rogers // “ fistfullofyen” //  http://bit.ly/9DVnDN
 
free birds http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmybrown/2886088004/ barbed wire http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonycunha/42784344...
and thank you, too slideshare.net/dmje @m1ke_ellis labs.eduserv.org.uk
 
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If you love your content, set it free (v3.0)

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This talk is a re-working of previous talks with the same name. This time it focuses on three big ideas which hang off notions of “free” and "open":

- what value and free mean in the networked world we’ve found ourselves in
- how this network has also changed us, as consumers and producers of content
- how we, as content-rich institutions, might respond to these changes

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  • ...I used to be Head of Web at the Science Museum, so I have some experience of working in museums, but no experience of libraries. I’m interested in what is going on “out there on the web” and what our institutions can learn from this
  • Firstly, this isn’t geeky, which may or may not be a relief. Secondly, these slides will be available on slideshare shortly - address at the end
  • - Rather more reason to panic is the ridiculous number of slides I have - &amp;quot;n&amp;quot; is A Very Large Number...this could be interesting...
  • But, DON’T PANIC...I will NOT be using Comic Sans (which was the true failure of Andy Powell’s IE diagram) or ClipArt
  • Rather than talking about tech or funding, or any of the hard stuff like reality, I’m going to focus on three high-level thoughts which hang off this notion of “freeness” - “out there” rather than necessarily in our institutions - what value and free mean in the networked world we’ve found ourselves in - how this network has also changed us, as consumers and producers of content - how we, as content-rich institutions, might respond to these changes
  • First off, let’s ask the question: what is “value”? According to Wikipedia, lots of different things...
  • In our context we’ll take it to mean scarcity: something is valuable if we want it and it is also scarce . There are of course complexities - our wants change over time and also according to a kind of Maslow-like pyramid of current circumstances. Diamonds are of course more valuable than water, until we’re on a desert island without anything to drink..
  • Our natural response to owning something that is scarce is to amplify that scarcity The less of the thing, the more valuable it is
  • This is all apparently called the theory of Marginal Utility . But don’t go thinking I know anything about economics :-)
  • This is all fine, until our stuff - our content - arrives on the web. Then, three big things start to happen:
  • The huge effectiveness of the network at distributing material means of course that the cost of that distribution drops, radically. In many instances this cost reduces to zero.
  • Some commentators - here is Clay Shirky with his slightly depressing piece about newspapers - see the distribution model as being the only thing which has sustained entire industries. His perspective here is that once that distribution stops being a problem, the whole industry falls apart.
  • Whether or not this is true, the power of these distribution networks at making our content-consuming lives easier is pretty easy to understand. Popping into iTunes to buy music is always going to trump going out in the Manchester rain to the CD shop, where they might not have what we want anyway...
  • The second thing that happens is of course copying and piracy. In a world where copy/paste is as invisible and easy as it is, this is pretty much inevitable
  • Seth Godin puts it pretty bluntly..
  • You can see the failure of the scarcity model in many places, without actually having to try terribly hard. This question from Yahoo! Answers asks why the Beatles aren’t on iTunes. On the right is a Google search for a Beatles album, freely available to download. The difference between iTunes and doing a Google search is really one of usability and utility rather than anything else. Oh, and currently - honesty :-) Let’s not even talk about DRM, apart from to say it doesn’t work :-)
  • The third thing that happens is a subtle change in our relationship to content ...both as producers and consumers.
  • Martin Weller from the OU wrote this excellent post: Ownership ain’t what it used to be . There are shades of other discussions in here: singles vs albums, chapters vs books, skimming vs in-depth analysis, ..but the point is this: our emotional attachment to this stuff has been altered irrevocably.
  • ..and whether it’s a cause and effect or effect and cause, users have changed radically. by “mobile” here, I mean mobile across networks, places, devices, means of access
  • So that’s: a completely re-drawn distribution model, an environment in which piracy is pretty much inevitable, ...and users with hugely changing expectations
  • This slide is here purely to check you are all still awake...
  • We know all of this, right...? The question really is - what should we do about it? I’m not going to try and answer this - lots of people are going to do that hard work today and tomorrow. But I am going to talk about nine things that seem to be important in this context, whatever content-rich environment you inhabit Nine? Because EVERYONE does ten :-)
  • There is always a vague sense that this is somehow an environment which will eventually settle down somehow, back to “how it was”...
  • Many old business models and practices simply don’t work in this environment. Some still do, but others need either radical tweaking or simply binning...
  • When you look at the various examples, you’ll see immense levels of disruption Rarely, though, does the value just evaporate. Where there is good content, there will always be demand, and hence value / a business model
  • Here are two well-known examples. The first is from best-selling author Paulo Coelho “ In 2001, I sold 10,000 hard copies. And everyone was puzzled. We came from zero, from 1000, to 10,000. And then the next year we were over 100,000. [...] I thought that this is fantastic. You give to the reader the possibility of reading your books and choosing whether to buy it or not. [...] So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my pirate editions… And I created a site called The Pirate Coelho.” The value in this instance shifted from sale of book to viral marketing / mass distribution and then back again to sales of real books. It also calls to some fairly standard stuff: we’d all rather pay than download and print a 100 page book, for example The second example is Lady Gaga, who sees the shift away from music sales diverting instead to touring income
  • Here are two examples of new business models... the one at the top is chegg.com - textbook rentals via the web. The one at the bottom is flatworldknowledge.com (and featured in the most recent Strategic Content Alliance newsletter) - free downloadable text books, paid for hard copy... These may or may not work, but the important thing is they are innovating with new models
  • One way of locating the value is to ask this question: Of the things we do and the content we have, what can’t be copied?
  • Kevin Kelly focuses on the nature of the web as a “copy-paste machine” His suggestion is that the attention is where the value is
  • He goes on to talk about the “eight generatives better than free”. Immediacy, Personalisation, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiement, Patronage, Findability. He focuses on things like giving away software for free but charging for support or premium services; things kinds of things are the platform upon which your copyable stuff can be set free
  • ..not because your content is spotty, grumpy and wears low-hanging jeans...
  • I’m quoting myself here, sorry about that: “ Much as your natural response is to PROTECT and SHELTER your content, if it’s on the web, it is out there, partying. Your content is buying beers at the pub called Twitter, being slagged off in the Facebook night-club, being unruly on Google and ending up embedded and badly re-pasted on some random Wordpress site in the early hours. This may be uncomfortable, but frankly you can do nothing about it. In fact, your only option is to trust that it is good enough to return home after a long night, and help nurture it as much as you can by encouraging re-use and freedom”
  • Huge amount of time and effort are put into building new websites. But so often, we see content and data which is trapped by the site rather than freed by it...
  • Here are a couple of examples The effort expended in inputting is probably huge. The value to the end user could be much, much higher by allowing embedding, downloading, feeds... Think data, not websites! And as per the teenage thing - it’s not like developers can’t use services like Yahoo! Pipes or Google Docs to extract the stuff on the page. You’re just making it harder for them...
  • We used to say “content is king” back when I worked at Waterstone’s Online during the dot-com bubble. It became a kind of hackneyed, over-used reference, but it is still as true as it ever was
  • Not only that, but keeping a constant eye on how users are experiencing and interacting with our stuff is absolutely key. Our institutions need to strive to be way more user-centric . It is the only way we’ll be successful.
  • No-one knows anything about the future...
  • Free data allows us to focus on content when our future is uncertain. And that’s financial or technological uncertainty It lowers development costs, make visualisations easy, allows us to deliver to multiple platforms, helps integration with in-house systems... It allows you to respond to the “hey, wouldn’t it be great if...” question
  • You’ll hear some compelling reasons later why particular approaches are good. But doing it at all is IMO more important than doing it perfectly. Machine Readable Data is the key, allowing technologies to talk
  • The important thing is that it does that web thing of being “loosely joined”, without too much dependence on any one system or technology
  • The figures around things like API or embedded content access are pretty astonishing.
  • 75% of Twitter’s traffic is via their API - shows how much their growth has been driven by external developers and resource...
  • That’s all... Just to wrap up - these are the six key themes as identified in the conference paper. The thing that joins them is a notion of free movement around the network.
  • A final thought from Ian Rogers when he was at Yahoo! It’s a little bit yeehaa and soundbitey, but the point it makes is still profound.
  • ...or maybe just this
  • If you love your content, set it free (v3.0)

    1. If you love your content, set it free
    2. hello - I am Mike Ellis - I have spent 10+ years working on the [content] web - I am a user experience zealot, strategist, social(web)-ist - I work for a not for profit IT company called Eduserv
    3.  
    4. number of slides > pain bearable n childbirth frankly, quite unreasonable 10 today, I am going to try the “n-slide experiment”
    5. and no clip art... why are we all holding hands? rest assured, however: there is no comic sans,
    6. <ul><li>what value and free mean in a web world </li></ul><ul><li>how the network has changed us </li></ul><ul><li>what to do about it </li></ul>
    7. what does “ value” mean?
    8. scarcity
    9. if we have valuable things, we: lock them away, guard them, hide them, charge for them, protect them
    10. “ ...any particular unit becomes worth less to people as the supply increases ..”
    11. scarcity is ok until the content arrives on a global network like the web...
    12. 1. radically reduced cost of distribution
    13. “ It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry , because the core problem publishing solves - the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public – has stopped being a problem .” Clay Shirky // “ Newspapers and thinking the unthinkable ” // http://bit.ly/YoqJi
    14. “ 17 million fewer CD buyers in 2008 compared to the prior year” ZDNet UK // “ CD sales drop, digital downloads on the rise ” // http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=14758
    15. 2. nearly ubiquitous piracy opportunities
    16. “ If the product you make becomes digital, expect that the product you make will be copied ” Seth Godin // “ Music Lessons” // http://bit.ly/aJehN6
    17. (an exercise in usability rather than scarcity...)
    18. 3. a profound and lasting change in our relationship with content
    19. “ ..for my generation you partly constructed your identity around what you owned..but for the digital generation this strong link with ownership has been broken. It took time and money to build up any of those collections. Therefore they demonstrated a commitment which was worth exhibiting. In a digital world this effort is greatly reduced, and as a result so is the emotional attachment one feels towards them.” Martin Weller // “ Ownership ain’t what it used to be” // http://bit.ly/2vU1oB
    20. users: native, lazy, fickle, “mobile”, search-focused...and expecting free
    21. these 3 things are fairly radical
    22.  
    23. so how should we respond ?
    24. #1: recognise that this isn’t just a blip ...after which things will return to normal
    25. ..this cannot be ostriched
    26. #2: notice that the value probably hasn’t disappeared, just shifted somewhere else
    27. “ So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my pirate editions … and I created a site called The Pirate Coelho ” “ ...she explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free , ‘because you know how much you can earn off touring, right?’ ” Lady Gaga // “ Come party with... ” // http://bit.ly/93YZ0A Paulo Coelho // “ Author pirates himself” // http://bit.ly/ceaoeO
    28. closer to home..
    29. #3: ask: what can’t be copied?
    30. Kevin Kelly // “ Better than Free” // http://bit.ly/blNo9b “ the value in this networked economy does not follow the path of the copies. Rather it follows the path of attention ”
    31. things like trust, authenticity, immediacy
    32. #4: realise that your content is like a teenager
    33. (you may want to protect them, but if you try, they’ll just climb out of the window and go clubbing anyway)
    34. #5: if you can’t re-use it, you’ve wasted it
    35. http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8727 http://unicorn.lib.ic.ac.uk/uhtbin/opac/webcentral http://www.ucas.com/instit/i/h60.html
    36. #6: this is, has been, and always will be about content and users
    37. (not technology)
    38. #7: the future is uncertain
    39. open stuff helps with uncertainty
    40. API RSS RDF RDFa REST OpenSearch JSON microformats iCal #8: it doesn’t really matter how you do it
    41. ..as long as what emerges is loosely joined
    42. #9: recognise that open and free = eyeballs
    43. Dion Hinchcliffe // “ Open API’s” // http://bit.ly/9yBIN7
    44. “ stuff moves around the network freely” sharing web scale meaning extraction user generated content personalisation real-time
    45. “ Losers wish for scarcity . Winners leverage scale ” Ian Rogers // “ fistfullofyen” // http://bit.ly/9DVnDN
    46.  
    47. free birds http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmybrown/2886088004/ barbed wire http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonycunha/4278434497/f ree beer http://www.flickr.com/photos/16038409@N 02/2327138220/teenager http://www.flickr.com/photos/watt_dab ney/2329373883/valuable original content http://www. flickr.com/photos/10ch/3347658610/tap http://www.flickr.com/ph otos/vinothchandar/4415664247/store your valuables o ut of site http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalsextant/4491922646/internet h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/916142/ explosion http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaibara/35 18861937/value man http://www.flickr.com/photos/dac osta1/3383367663/bookshelf http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/729822/lonely tree http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomasrotger/3174249161/cop y-paste http://www.flickr.com/photos/newrafael/2247763119/addict ed http://www.flickr.com/photos/theredprojec t/3686402702/jealousy http://www.flickr.com/photos/gibbo ns/273524604/man blowing bubble http://www.flic kr.com/photos/37387749@N02/4236410524/sizes/o/louvre http:/ /www.flickr.com/photos/aeter/2437071133/moving ro ck http://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisbarnes/2430956891/bird on wire http://www.flickr.com/photos/antan ask/137069119/ascii soup http://www.flickr.com/photos/jes sicareeder/3276844349/glass candy http://www.flick r.com/photos/fred_dela/4046297366/ thank you to these people for free stuff
    48. and thank you, too slideshare.net/dmje @m1ke_ellis labs.eduserv.org.uk
    49.  

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