The other day, as I was walking up to the office, I was thinking about the different roles in the content creation and distribution process. For some reason, in that instant, my brain processed them in a somewhat medieval context.
You can look at artisans as content creators, crafting beautiful vessels of meaning. Alternately, that role is also filled by the town crier, broadcasting the news to all who are near enough to hear it.
What about the farmers, shepherds and the hunters? Both, to me, represent content aggregation. The farmers and shepherds tend and cultivate a community of content creators, while the hunters go right out and claim content to be, um, repurposed.
And of course, there are the craftsmen, the blacksmiths and carpenters who create the structures and mechanisms that store and distribute content — the crop silos and water towers of databases, the plumbing of RSS, the homesteads of websites.
Don’t forget the soldiers, the security in place to protect the village from outside threats. However, no village can survive in isolation; trade with other villages is essential to growth. The list of metaphors, surely, goes on.
The most important thing to keep in mind about our content village, however, is that all of these components are necessary. If one is diminished or removed, the entire system falls apart.
And what was it that Hillary Clinton said? “It takes a village.” To get the most out of content on the web, ain’t that the truth.
Photo by Bill Ward, Flickr/Creative Commons