The Content Commodity – Worth and Value of Information

What is the difference between value and worth? The worth of a commodity has always been socially constructed, so it stands to reason that in our Age of Information and Information Economy the most valued commodity is content.

However, what effects the worth of the information and content?

Everyone has the ability to create content, that is the result of open media platforms and our ‘prosumer‘ environment [My blog on Prosumers here]. However, does this mean that content is worthless because the information is always available elsewhere?

With the wealth of knowledge available, and everything accessible via the internet why are some sources worth more than others?

Charlieissocoollike is a British vlogger who has 2,181,940 subscribers to his main YouTube Channel as of 13/09/2013. Now, obviously more then 2 million people have decided to value what this particular individual has to say (it is also aided by the fact he says it all in an adorable English accent). However, this particular “Content Creator” says that 

“A large amount of video bloggers do seem to make just ‘content’.
They will make videos about vapid topics that don’t feel like they have any worth”

The above video has Charlie discussing an issue that clearly have prevalence in the Information Economy. What is content worth?

Charlie says that traditionally worth should be found in the short film he created “The Tea Chronicles” which consumed a lot of time, money and effort. However, Charlie highlights the key point: How is the content he created deemed worthwhile? By the amount time he spends on it? Its monetary value? The number of views it receives? The like-to-dislike ratio?

Today, content and information is deemed to have worth by the number of times the information is accessed. HOWEVER! without the perceived value of a specific source the information would not be accessed from this creator, which lowers the worth of the content.

YouTube pays per view, so it stands to reason that the video worth the most is the one with the most views. But Charlie says that his most successful video [I’m Scared] is “the one that allowed me to make the strongest connection with the people who did watch it”. 

It’s the difference between value and worth.

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3 thoughts on “The Content Commodity – Worth and Value of Information

  1. Hi there, I agree with your point about what a video is worth and what it is valued at, in terms of if its value is increased by how many views it receives. I keep coming back to this video, and it annoys me that I’m giving it attention, but I’m using it only as an example of what not to do, and where adding value to something because of the attention it receives can be wrong. I’m referring to a certain video my Miley Cyrus that has 95 million plus views. This is where porn masquerading as a music clip wins in the battle for directing viewers’ attention. It’s another example that even when we are at a stage of setting the bar ourselves and being able to choose gaining a connection with someone as the important aspect of a producer’s income, it’s the marketing executives using the most primal of techniques to gain attention, that sees the highest quantity of views despite it lacking and quality.

  2. The argument of value vs worth is a very interesting one.It is also obviously very subjective in its nature, and will differ to the creator and the consumer. For example, such as Charlie’s video you linked. While he places the most value he videos works hardest on/got the greatest response from, other viewers would place higher value on his video with the most views, or the one with his cutest British boy smile.

  3. I really love this blog post; your perspective on determination of value, particularly on YouTube, is very thought provoking. It would be interesting to further add to your contemplation of value in the information economy by contemplating why people subscribe or pay attention to content. On the level plane that is the Internet, value is created by both advertisers and the force of big entertainment corporations, but equally the power of the crowd and popular demand, displayed in the phenomenon of the viral video and memes. After all, people are certainly willing to pay for content (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20026817-93.html), especially if it is legitimate and authentic. But why?

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