Friday, February 8, 2008

professional vs. consumer media

This post by Tim O'Reilly regarding a talk by Reuters CEO at MoneyTech makes some interesting references to professional vs. consumer media, semantic markup and metadata, as well as the concept of "curation", all of which have parallels in the academic information arena.

Basically, Reuters is making the case that their professional-level information products for the financial industry will deliver value above and beyond consumer financial information products, through semantic metadata. His points as summed up by Tim:
  1. The impact of consumer media on professional media. As young people who grew up on the web hit the trading floor, they aren't going to be satisfied with text. Reuters needs to combine text, video, photos, internet and mobile, into a rich, interactive information flow. However, he doesn't see direct competition from consumer media (including Google), arguing that professionals need richer, more curated information sources.

  2. The end of benefits from decreasing the time it takes for news to hit the market. He describes the quest for zero latency in news, from the telegraph and early stock tickers and the news business that Reuters pioneered through today's electronic trading systems. (Dale Dougherty wrote about this yesterday, in a story about the history of the Associated Press.) As we reach the end of that trend, with information disseminated instantly to the market via the internet, he increasingly sees Reuters' job to be making connections, going from news to insight. He sees semantic markup to make it easier to follow paths of meaning through the data as an important part of Reuters' future.
I think you could make the argument that these two points apply to the types of "professional" information resources that academic libraries provide to their patrons.

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