Original Content?

Thechnorati announced that it will start producing original content from next month.

Technorati claims that this is a great opportunity for writers to get exposure, whilst the site is entering a new area of sharing content and of rewarding contributors for it.

Many bloggers, new and experienced, will seize this opportunity and some great writers are soon to get the credit they deserve.

But how original can this content realistically be? And if it is original, what impact could this move have on Technorati’s reputation?

The answer to the first question is clear. Content cannot be fully original, because any site and especially one of the size of Technorati, has a social obligation and an obligation towards its users to respect the rules of journalism. Therefore, before published, the content will have to be checked not only for insulting or politically incorrect material but also for the the accuracy of any data given and sources quoted, for the site to preserve its credibility. Which brings me to my second questions.

Robert Preston’s blog is my trusted source of information for business news, whereas for film reviews I choose Time Out. In the same sense, Technorati is a trusted source of information, learned opinion and analysis for its users. Their credibility was gained over the years by consistency, unbiased opinion and quality writing. Publishing original content on Technorati might have a negative impact on its credibility, with its users turning away from a site written by amateurs.

As we are already seeing the impact of the revolution brought by social media, businesses (and Technorati is a business) should ask: where do we draw the line between quality and quantity? Between professional and amateur? Expert and having a interest?Business sustainable and unsustainable?

But then…these are questions that only the public can answer, with its reaction to the content of the new contributors. And the public, albeit strict, is always fair.

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