There have been many ways of looking at content that have emerged from the discussions in #rhizo15 week three (and some prior cMOOCs). Some of them are:
- Content as beacon
- Content as authority
- Content as conversation
- Content as message
- Content as goals
- Content as object
- Content as commerce
- content as network
- content as people
- content as experience
- content as stock
- content as flow
- content as influence
Content in these interpretations can be essentially classified or differentiated on the following dimensions.
- as constituted (form, format, mode of authoring, instructional design, reviewed, curated, open, emergent, distributed) – books, blogs, videos, people
- as communicated (medium, packaging) – web, TV, teacher, community/network, retweeted, liked
- as intended (purpose/objective, outcomes, commerce)
- as consumed (learning, entertainment)
- as extended (repurposed, reused, recombined, contextualized, value added, interpreted)
What most people are concerned with is its quality – the net impact of content on the receiver (which could be a network). Other assessments include factors such as its development or delivery cost, coverage and ease of use. It also predicates a level of competency of the receiver(s) to be able to “effectively” consume that content.
The fact is that content is really some of all these things, not just any one. Nor are people the only way “stories” are created or transmitted (or there would be no history or even lived experience). Nor are they the only starting point. The fact is that we learn also from nature, interactions with machines and man-made processes & objects.
In sharing openly what we have learned, we personify that content or our interpretation of it. Others may then consume this personified content to (as Dave said) function in the field.
Perhaps if we think of content as people, we may also be susceptible to the mind as machine metaphors. Would we rather think of content as network as a more appropriate metaphor?