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Content Access, Sharing and Mashups

SharingThis is item #2 in my list of paradigm shifts noted in this earlier post.  In this case, I wanted to consider the impact of social networks on content.

I'm a widget freak and I've never met a Facebook app I didn't like.  Whether it's LibraryThing on my blog or iRead on my Facebook page, I love trying out new widgets and apps.  While these are both great technologies, I don't think we're likely to see anything groundbreaking on this front until content is truly part of the formula.

Imagine a world where you're reading a book on your Kindle and you come across a passage that makes you think of something you and your friend recently discussed.  Wouldn't it be interesting to be able to excerpt that passage and e-mail it to your friend with a note saying, "hey, remember when we talked about this?"  If the model is properly constructed, the message would include an affiliate hook so that if your friend eventually buys that book you'll get a cut of the transaction.

Sharing content is one thing, but how about allowing mashups with it?  What if you could take part of a book, magazine article or other piece of content, add your two cents to it and sell it as a modified version of the original?  Sounds like plagiarism, right?  Not if the appropriate content licensing models are utilized and followed.  Heck, this is exactly what organizations like Red Hat and others have built their business around in the open source world.

Sure, it's much more complicated in the content world, but I'd like to think we can learn a thing or two from organizations like Creative Commons, for example.  Who knows...maybe one day we'll have a model where a great deal of paid content will indeed be available for mashup resale and everyone who contributed to it along the way will get their fair share of the transaction.  How cool would that be?!


Eoin Purcell


I think you are spot on here. I don't know if you have been following the discussion in the UK about the differences and advantages of ebooks and websites these two posts have the best points wrapped up:

The reason I raise this is that I think it feeds directly into the requirement to rethink our models of copyright and rights management in the ways you are discussing. We are already seeing TV and Film executives and lawyers are shifting to a model that allows sharing and embedding content (the success of YouTube may have convinced them).

People will be spending so much time reading online or on kindles or iphones or whatever portable device they use (Mobiles in Japan) making the type of hsaring model you describe a critical tool both in spreading ideas and content and gaining extra granular revenue sources for authors and ppublishers. And publishers could make serious money from the aggregation of all those tiny payments as they flow in not to mention policing the myriad tiny deals that provide the flow just as now we monitor sales from many different sales sources of physical books!


Eoin Purcell

Just read your post in paradigm shifts! Ought to have read that first!

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