The future of online content

September 12, 2012 10:28 am

Old technology is changing the face of content – across a variety of fields

When it comes to online content, video is on the verge of winning the relevance race. Sure, some might say it’s not a competition, that traditional media can co-exist with new media with a bit of careful planning and a progressive outlook, but the fact remains that more and more of the content we’re sharing – and therefore consuming – comes in the form of a video clip.

The changing face of news

It seems inevitable that eventually, video will become the main – or at least the biggest – form of online content. At least that’s what HuffPost co-founder Ken Lerer told Mashable last week:

‘You pick the calendar year: When does the web become more video than not? Is it two years? Is it three years? Is it six years? It’s inevitable, and that’s why the time for video is now.’

Lerer has good reason to believe in the future of video – he is about to launch a video news site called NowThisNews that will attempt to compete with traditional, non-digital news channels.

The site focuses on video sharing and viewing through mobile devices, and has brought a number of big names in US media onboard to add weight to the project. While the site is yet to launch and therefore cannot yet be judged on its quality (or its breadth of coverage), we’re guessing that if technology merges with quality content, it could change the way people consume news and signal a big threat to the likes of CNN.

Education through video content

Education is another field in which video content is just starting to hit its stride. The Khan Academy and start-up Knowmia are two examples of how teachers and students can put video content to greater use.

Both sites feature an impressive catalogue of online videos covering subjects from languages to physics, but Knowmia looks likely to surpass the success of the Khan Academy, offering an interactive iPad app (described as ‘iMovie for teachers’) that allows educators to better illustrate their points in video form.

As more is learned about the different ways in which students learn, the availability of sites like these is a great step towards making sure no child is left behind.

Video and content farms

Just as it seemed content farming was on the way out, those cheeky web-ri-culturalists figured out how to translate it into video. Howcast is one such site, and although it can be classified as a content farm, it is essentially the video version of sites such as, providing the creation and distribution of hundreds of thousands of instructional videos. While these videos are of varying degrees of quality, it is the grain of an idea that could translate into higher engagement, social sharing and better search results.

In the battle of the online content forms, it seems we’re all still looking for a bit more action.


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