The nature of content reflects the technological domain
#3237 Created 03/07/2013 Updated 10/27/2016
Our conversation turns around the elements of the current world of media, and the relations among the various components of media, the various types of media consumers, and the various content of media.
We have benefited from a century of research into the relationships between media content and consumer behavior, but less attention has been given to the relationship between the "structures" created as a result of consumer behavior, and the role those "structures" take in guiding consumer behavior.
"Structures", with quotes, is the wrong word, but no other word is better. It's the wrong word because it comes with a lot of pre-existing baggage. We use the word here collectively in the sense of physical structures, social structures of consumer preferences and consumptive behavior, and operational structures of production and distribution, and acknowledge that distinction from 'cultural structuralism'.
Consumers are attracted by content, which they consume. Their consumptive behavior stimulates the formation of various economic structures, including structures that sustain production, consumption and growth. The growth of these structures strengthens the production of the content favored by consumers, and that increased content production can have the tendency to dominate distribution and shelf capacity. That increase in distribution and display has the potential to initially constrain the overall range of consumer choices, further favoring the initial choice. This "feedback" mechanism enhances the structural effect on behavior.
Just as geomorphology studies the forces that shape Earth's geology into landscapes, media morphology is the study of the forces that change the structures of media.
"Similarly, a geological analysis is to show that a given system of relationships (among consumers, media, and commerce) are also the result of contingent turns of commercial and technological development."
Consumer media-related behavior is channeled by the structures of Media and Commerce, which both enable and limit choices.
Structures are enabled by technology and inflated by consumer behavior.
The nature of media content is changing. Produced news content is transitioning from publications (events) to streams (standing field), entertainment content is morphing around social media (standing field), and advertising is being atomized directly into consumers' personal, professional, and public affairs (attention field).
The 'means of production' is shifting from centralized, mass-media facilities to distributed, semi-independent individuals and groups. The 'method of production' is shifting from the "event" pattern of 20th Century media mass media to socially-woven streams.
The types of content that are created, and the method of its creation, are determined by the technological domain. The domain structures the basic business relationships, which in turn have a patterning effect on the content.
Content is produced to fill demand-produced capacities in creation and distribution systems.
The nature of content and content production is a function of the value relationships among media components (creator, producer, distributor, consumer, associated commerce).
The Pedigree of Content is the documentation of its creation, distribution, evolution, and consumption.
The value of content is tied to scarcity in physical distribution (valued as audience attractant), and to plenty in virtual distribution (valued as surface area for relationships).
Consumer Behavior Changes as Technology Drives Structure
Changes in structure guide changes in consumer behavior, and behavior in turn drives/reinforces changes in the structure of media.
As an example, the ability to distinguish between the processes of creation and consumption is blurring, as consumers take a larger role in the creation process.
The softness between content creation and consumption reveals the degree of structure in relationships among consumers, commerce (products, companies, services, identities, trends) and media.
Media business models opportunities are determined by the capabilities of the current technological domain, and content is among the many tools that can be used for the fulfillment of media business models.
Structure is the manifestation of personal rights over property,the representation of property interests in motion, composed of opportunities and limits,expressed in systems of creation, production, and distribution, and visible when property or value changes hands.