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(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley dot com)

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Historically, libraries have been the unparalleled collectors of content. But others in the content market now provide syndicated and scoped content with personalization features that make their content very attractive to an ever more demanding information consumer. The Online Computer Library Center's 2004 Information Format Trends Report examines the unbundling of content from its traditional containers (like books, journals, CDs) and distribution methods. The report concludes that format now matters less than the information within the container, that consumers are "format agnostic" and don't care whether the information they want is in a book, blog or Web site. Libraries, the report suggests, should move beyond the role of content collector and organizer to establishing the authenticity and provenance of content and providing the imprimatur of quality in an information-rich but context-poor world. "What is needed is context," says the report. "There are plenty of efforts being made to address this gap by companies that see the need and, quite rightly, we predict, see the context challenge as the next 'big thing.' A contextual search tool might work like an invisible librarian, searching the Web and retrieving in real time news, book and article links, relevant Web sites, and any documents and e-mails related to the topic," then delivering it all to the consumer's digital workplace, wherever it may be located.

- "2004 Information Format Trends: Content, Not Containers," OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc. http://www.oclc.org ) Marketing Staff, http://www.oclc.org/info/2004trends

Directory: http://www.larryblakeley.com/Articles/monthly_articles

File Name: 2004infotrends_content (6,515 words)

Post Date: September 27, 2004 at 9:30 AM CDT; 1430 GMT

Note: I have placed the PDF and DjVu version for viewing of the charts, etc.

What I would like for you to pay particular attention to is the difference in file size between these formats for the same viewing experience. The PDF file is 3x larger than the DjVu file.