What is web content? A definition

“We define content broadly as ‘the stuff in your Web site.’ This may include documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal Web pages, archived e-mail messages, and more. And we include future stuff as well as present stuff.”, from the book ‘Information Architecture for the World Wide Web’.

Wikipedia says: “Web content is the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations”.

Erin Kissane in ‘The elements of content strategy’ writes: “In the web industry, anything that conveys meaningful information to humans is called “content.””

This is just an outline of a thought, but though these definitions are true, I don’t think they describe what mainstream web content is, or is becoming.

The widespread adoption of amateur blogging tools and analytics software is transforming web ‘content’, as students of economics, business and maths apply the principles from their disciplines to the editorial process, often ignoring the formal rules laid down by journalists and content professionals in the past.

So, perhaps web content should now be defined as 50% editorial, 50% maths.

This mainstream mixture of art and science is producing some wincingly bad, tortured writing (especially on tech news blogs) as every aspect of the editorial process is re-examined and re-invented.

But it’s the birth of something new. And that could be interesting, right?

P.S. The picture, above, is a still of celebrity Jessica Biel from a Buzzfeed article that’s taken from a Youtube video that’s about responses to Tweets…

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