Jeff Jarvis: Don’t own the content. Don’t own distribution

Another thought-provoking post by Jeff Jarvis on the “value” of owning content or distribution:

Owning the printing press, broadcast tower, cable plant, movie theater, or chain of stores is a cost burden when your competitors and customers can, without friction, effort or cost, bypass your distribution and even your marketing.

So don’t own the content. Help people make and find and remake and recommend and save the content they want.

Don’t own the distribution. Gain the trust of the people to help them use whatever distribution and medium they like to find what they want. It’s hard for somone raised on the value of owning content and owning distribution to let go of exclusivity and instead value openness and participation.

I’ve been blogging long enough to buy into the idea of the web as a conversation but it’s a damned hard concept to explain. Much easier to grasp the idea of producing programming (content)…pumping it over some kind of distribution channel (radio/TV signal, newspaper, etc)…mixing in some ads…and feeding it all to the consumer (audience).