Content marketplaces enfranchise many new
providers of content. They also empower consumers. They enable the
combination and exchange of digitized, contextualized content from
different publishers and in many different forms. These marketplaces
enable the crystallization of complex networks of expertise and
access to communities of practice. Performances, experiences, and
other high value products are made available as well.
A New Approach to Content Aggregation. The
KCE makes it possible to combine content from different publishers
and to aggregate collections of knowledge in different levels of
granularity entire texts, chapters, sections/topics, and
paragraphs plus individual simulations, graphics, and videos. Some
faculty and other users prefer to search, evaluate, and combine
at the topic level. However, most prefer to aggregate content at
the chapter level or to select competing content on the recommendations
of distinguished peer evaluators. The KCE aggregates content from
providers like MERLOT who employ their own content reviewers. Some
reviewer relationships are negotiated by Haddad who has attracted
a wide spectrum of expert evaluators, ranging from recognized practitioners
and content experts to distinguished critical thinkers who provide
periodic assessments of the best new ideas or learning objects they
have discovered, on a monthly basis. Professional societies and
trade associations create a preferred selection of the
best new content in their body of knowledge, which commands a premium
price. Experts are paid a small share when their recommendations
result in a purchase.
Horizontal Marketplaces. Marketplaces such
as the KCE have dramatically changed the marketplace for digital
content. The vertical silos of traditional content providers are
broken up by the horizontal structure of marketplace exchanges.
The intellectual property value of publishers content is driven
down by competition from new, individual authors who are engaged
in the marketplace through their universities, associations, and
other organizations. The exchange does not just contain textual
content; graphics, simulations, and videos of performances and interactive
experiences are also available. The exchange contains evaluations
of and linkages to communities of practice, providing access to
the ongoing creation of insights.
Insights from Experts. The marketplace redefines
the meaning of experts. Today, publishers establish
the experts through selection, development, and publication of text.
In the future, a far broader selection of professionals and practitioners
will be enfranchised to provide content expertise through these
marketplaces. Exchanges will also contain references to networks
of experts in a vast variety of hybridized fields of expertise.
Even in an era of powerful search engines, human expertise and judgment
is relied upon to identify what is really significant in most fields
of endeavor. Communities of practice have arisen around the influence
of key experts. As chief relationship officer, Haddad follows both
an architectural and a biological model; he specifically enlists
the services of recognizes experts in some areas and provides the
frameworks and protocols that enable natural experts to emerge in
these new disciplines.
Making Partners Smarter and Richer.
One of Haddads key roles is working with organizational partners
to provide guidance in preparing their knowledge and metadata in
ways that it can be repurposed in other fields and disciplines.
Many professional societies and trade associations
have found that their sales of learning objects and access to communities
of practice have increased by a factor of ten to new consumers outside
their usual industry markets. The American Association of Pharmaceutical
Scientists and the CSIEEE have been especially successful in driving
sales of their learning objects and access to tacit knowledge in
new, secondary marketplaces.
Resources of Interest
Crow, Raym. 2002. The Case for Institutional
Repositories. White Paper, Release 1.0. Washington: SPARC. www.arl.org/sparc
McElroy, Patrick. 2002. A New Paradigm for Acquiring,
Managing, and Distributing Content in Higher Education Institutions.
White Paper. July.
Young, Jeffrey R. 2002. Superarchives Could Hold All Scholarly
Output. Chronicle of Higher Education, July 5.