The rapid atomisation and commoditisation of content online is turning the economy of content on its head. As more and more tv shows end up on MyTube and more of almost everything musical appears on iTunes – the concept of infinite shelf-space is becoming real. But with infinite shelf-space comes infinite choice and with infinite choice comes infinite indecision. Check out Barry Shwartz on the subject – too much choice can lead to depression.
Hence the rise of the recommendation engine, filter system, recommendation community. This week alone, I’ve found loomia and lala
offering delightful, del.icio.us like takes on different ways to find stuff – whether it be loomia tagging or lala wished for or having used CDs. Lala has such a simple, elegantly classical model – I have these used CDs – I want these – let’s trade – it seems destined for great things – although it’s hard to see what’s going to stop them being copied to hell. They deserve some glory – and they’re promising to pay the artists 20% of their revenues which is more than artists get for used CDs any other way.
So the meta-data – the what I’ve got – what you want – what I like – what you like – how I classify this – how you classify – all this fabulous data about the stuff – is becoming the asset here.
It’s as if it doesn’t really matter anymore whether all the content were free or cheap. The only issue there is simply that if you pay you might receive some guarantee of quality and lack of spyware. But it is hardly the point – the content is still out there – and what everyone wants is someone they trust, someone they want to be more like, some group they want to be part of, to tell them what to buy, listen to, watch, eat, wear….
Hmm – it’s the meta-data economy stupid… now inflate that!