Is content truly king on the Internet? The eminent speakers at the iZone Round Table on ‘Business on the Internet: real or virtual’ said that content on the Internet would serve no great purpose if it were to be seen an extension of the print or television. Content drives commerce and for business to pick up on the Internet, the content needs a complete makeover, the experts said.
Illustrating this point, Mahendra Swarup, CEO, Times Internet Limited, the content on the Internet is voluminous but lacks good quality. “There is need to bring in greater interactivity in the content plan,” he said.
Swarup said that the current search engines throw up huge volumes of information. “After few years of evolving a point will come when search for specific purpose will be available. For example, users looking for information on games, news, jobs etc will get the specified results with a single click,” he observed.
He was emphatic in stating that the content writers too need to adopt a different approach as far as Internet is concerned. “At present, most of the content writers come from the print medium and follow the writing styles suited for print publications. This proves to be a boring exercise for the Internet users,” he said.
Aping newspapers or other media wont do any good to the Internet, Swarup said.
“To attract users there has to be a clear-cut differentiation between content on the Net and other media. However, to differentiate most content writers look at multimedia where as it is again convergence of technology and nothing new. In fact, that worsens the experience of users. The creativity of writers on the Net is still to see light. Only then, the B2B relation on the Internet can transform into B2C,” Swarup noted.
Taking the discussion further, Arun Tadanki, President & MD, Monster Asia, pointed out that content on the Internet should be more user-generated. This helps in increasing the interactivity. Giving examples from popular sites like MSN, he said that users themselves write most of the reviews on the site. Hence, for content on the Internet to yield best results, the users should play a more defining role.
Presenting a regulator’s perspective, Amitabh Singhal, President, Internet Service Providers Association Of India, said that with Internet access becoming easier users are taking on the role of content providers. The content on the Internet needs to be in sync technology and only new innovations can help in generating commerce for the same, he remarked.