Re: "Providing content" vs "writing"

Subject: Re: "Providing content" vs "writing"
From: Fred Sampson <fred -at- fredsampson -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 09:34:03 -0800

Steven Brown wrote:

Given the nature of prior discussions within this
group, and at the extreme risk of being a muckraker,
I'll answer your question with another question:

Must one be a writer to be a content provider?

From my admittedly limited reading on the subject of "content," I would answer Steven's question "No."

In the big bad world of media giants, "content" is the stuff that gets broadcast over the airwaves, squeezed through cable, pushed down your DSL line, or otherwise delivered to the content-hungry masses. "Content" can refer to entertainment, music, film, news, or advertising, for example. If you take a look at a magazine like EContent (, you'll see discussions of digital rights management, Web site security, electronic publishing, broadband deployment issues--and not a word about the writers who provide the content. While you and I know that most of this content has one or more writers behind it (including songwriters, screenwriters, copy writers, and so on), we're not who "content provider" refers to. The content provider is the company that buys, borrows, steals, aggregates, or otherwise gathers and distributes a large volume of electronic "content" which it can sell for a profit to folks like AOL Time Warner, Disney, or MSNBC.

So, IMHO, calling yourself a "content provider" tells a prospective employer nothing about what you do, and is potentially misleading.

OK, flame away.

Fred Sampson
Technical Writer
fred -at- fredsampson -dot- com

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