What Arthur C. Clarke Imagined: The Intersection of Technology and Content

Keith Cooper, CEO, Connotate, Inc.

Keith Cooper, CEO, Connotate, Inc.

Post by Keith Cooper, CEO, Connotate, Inc.

“Imagine a console in your office that will bring the accumulated knowledge of the world to your fingertips.” This is Arthur C. Clarke’s uncanny prediction, published in an April 1970 Popular Science article by Wernher Von Braun.1The prediction came true-and that console is your Web browser.

What Now?

As we approach the 2013 IIS Conference, much attention will be focused on the constantly evolving intersection of content and technology. As Clarke predicted, the world’s accumulated knowledge is indeed just keystrokes away, but the traditional business model has been to charge for content … and Web data is “free”. What now?

Timeliness-Aggregation-Validity.

If you want to profit from “free” Web content, you need to understand and leverage three salient characteristics of Web data identified by Dave Schubmehl, Research Manager at IDC.

  • Timeliness: If you can consistently capture and disseminate information about market-moving events faster than other content providers, you can charge a premium price. Automating Web site change detection into your workflow can enable this.
  • Aggregation: Leverage the Web’s volume of data. Aggregate and analyze this volume in unique ways to reveal patterns and trends. You can command a pretty penny if you can provide transparency into non-transparent markets, for example.
  • Validity: The Web is filled with spam and bias. Discover and leverage the difference between surface Web(content turned up by Google) and Deep Web (unindexed content) where content is less biased and more valuable, and you’ll uncover revenue potential.

As the CEO of Connotate, I work with established global leaders such as Thomson Reuters and the Associated Press, as well as up-and-coming startups such as Altitude Digital Partners-all of whom have fashioned their own techniques for harnessing Web data profitably by focusing on these three aforementioned characteristics. While I don’t own a crystal ball, I can easily predict that 2013 will reveal new and even more creative and profitable uses of “the world’s accumulated knowledge.”

Looking Ahead

I am constantly amazed at the genius of visionaries such as Arthur C. Clare, Tim Berners-Lee and many others who envisioned the extraordinary power of marrying content and technology to achieve breakthrough results. I anticipate IIS 2013 to be a great opportunity for exploring new and profitable ideas in content delivery.

1. Von Braun, Wernher. “TV Broadcast Satellite,” Popular Science, May 1970, pp. 65-66.