Ramblings & ephemera

How to add value to information

This is really old, but it’s still interesting & worth considering.

"So what can content producers do to make their Internet services more valuable? If, as the AEA/NASDAQ study proclaims, the IT industry has already generated $866 billion this decade, how do we get some of that?

The answer is by adding value to information, by becoming the manufacturers of information products that somehow transform and package information, the new raw material. How?

Well, there are two ways to add value to information. The first way is to provide information consumers with a way to access and manipulate information, so the raw information becomes more meaningful. On the Web you can do this by building databases with tremendous flexibility, searchability, and customization. Think about the way Bloomberg first allowed subscribers to generate analytical graphs and other kinds of models to real-time market data. That’s a valuable added service that makes something out of the raw material of real-time market quotes.

The second way you can add value to raw information is by transforming it into knowledge. How do you do that? By building up context, applying institutional knowledge, and otherwise adding perspective and vision to the raw stuff to make it into something bigger and better. … It’s also what high-end editorial products like newspapers have always done." [Source: Chervokas, Jason. Email from The New York Internet Newsletter (21 November 1997)]

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