John McCann

Content tools

In Content workers, Technology on April 12, 2006 at 11:48 am

In an earlier post titled "You are in the Content Business," I concluded that all white collar workers are Content Workers (CWs). As Content Workers they locate, combine, create, refine, store, protect, communicate and display content. In this work, they use Content Tools (CTs) such as computers, networks, software, hard drives, DVDs, phones, mp3 players, video devices, cameras, camcorders, PDAs and other digital technologies.

When we look at the world in this way, we can see that the digital technology industry is all about conceiving, designing, manufacturing and marketing CTs. That's what the digital technology industry does, year in and year out. In the 60s, the industry focused on large computer systems for office automation. In the 70s, the focus shifted to the medium-sized, time-sharing systems for use in factories, process control, etc. The 80s was the decade of the personal computer and its empowerment of the individual through productivity software. The 90s brought us two new networks: 1) the Internet for connecting all of those computers into a global universe, along with email, instant messages and the World Wide Web, and 2) mobile phone networks. So far, the 00s is the gadget decade with digital devices that connect to these networks and enable mobile content creation and management.

The Participation Age is enabled by these digital technologies. Each new generation of CTs allows non-experts to participate in the content world in ways that were previously reserved for the highly trained professional.

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