By Scott Decker

What is Big Content?


So, I had a dream one night last week.

Alex Trebek takes the podium and opens the game.

“I’ll take Emergent Marketing Problems for $800,” I say.

“The answer?” says Alex. “This big problem that you think you have solved is about to become a huge issue for you.”

“What is analytics?” says the competitor on my right.

“No, sorry. That’s incorrect,” says Alex in his polite Canadian way.

The competitor on my left buzzes in. “What is content marketing?” he says.

Alex looks offstage. “Judges?” He looks back our way. “I’m sorry. We’re looking for something else.”

My turn. “What is Big Content?”

“That’s correct,” says Alex. The audience bursts into applause.

Then, out of nowhere, my third grade teacher appears holding a goat on a rope leash. But, I digress.

So, the term Big Content is getting bandied about – and yeah, I’m about to bandy it about some more. About a year ago, the incomparable Michael Brenner, then still with SAP, wrote a roundup post on Big Content. He linked out to many definitions. One definition comes from Gartner Analyst Craig Roth, who opines that Big Content is about the quantity of unstructured content. Another definition comes from Idio’s Andrew Davies, who argues that “every large organisation has a Big Content challenge.” A Moz post then came out and argued Big Content as the big quality of the content. And Matthew Gratt wrote a post on Convince and Convert supporting this idea of quality.

Most recently, even the President of the IAB, Randall Rothenberg (I call him the second-best-known RR – ha!), weighed in two weeks ago and seconded (or thirded depending on your point of view) the idea that Big Content is the Big Idea and that agencies and publishers had better pay attention.

Aaaaanyway, my point isn’t to offer up some new Buzzword Bingo game. That’s a discussion for different beverages. I think you can make just as good an argument for big idea or big pile or big problem. Rather, I want to bring up and support the notion that a large enterprise challenge is emerging.

Here are a few recent trends I’ve found in my work.

Last week at ContentTECH, I hosted a presentation from (PublishThis user) ThisMoment, talking through the rights-management and new workflow and aggregation challenges associated with user-generated content. This is an issue I hadn’t thought about before. I was fascinated.

I’ve had several discussions in the last month with enterprise marketing practitioners who are frustrated that the content in their enterprise CMS is “unfindable” and “trapped.” One even pointed me to a Google spreadsheet where they separately maintain every URL location of their thought-leadership content so that they can find it when they need it.

CIOs and CMOs are becoming increasingly frustrated that enterprise content is too hard and slow, or that it’s being created, stored, and displayed in ever-more disparate “lightweight” systems, and there are real scalability issues.

An enterprise marketing director, who is bleeding edge and acing it in terms of content marketing strategy and using the “Big Data” associated with it, is profoundly frustrated at the lack of scalable and proven ways to create and leverage an overarching tagging structure for marketing content.

In short, I believe that a crisis is fast approaching for many enterprise marketers who are scaling their content-production efforts at breakneck speed. Big Content is NOT just a management issue. It is a content-creation, curation, management, promotion, and measurement issue.

We all know that we need to produce content like a media company. But our existing people, practices, and technology are not there yet.

I think Big Content is tomorrow’s Daily Double.

Oh, and tune in next week for what happens to the goat.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn and has been republished with permission.

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By Scott Decker
Scott Decker is the President and Founder of PublishThis. Before PublishThis, he led technology at, Blue Nile, and development solutions for the government. When he’s not running PublishThis, the industry’s most advanced content platform, he’s exploring new technologies, preparing for next Halloween, or watching something with superheroes, dinosaurs, or at least a lot of explosions.