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John Blossom, probably the smartest analyst to follow the convergence of technology and content, has written a very thoughtful analysis of Salesforce.com’s Content as a Platform (aka Data as a Service) strategy.

John poses an interesting, and I think fundamental, question: who will own the content (e.g. professional profiles, company intelligence…), the platform companies or the information companies? I think the trend clearly points towards the inevitable conclusion that business content is quickly moving from information providers (editorial models like Dow Jones, D&B) to platforms, mostly user-generated and user-controlled (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Profiles, Jigsaw, Netprospex).

The next question is, in my mind: who owns the content, the platform vendor or the user? And if it’s the user, which platforms will they choose? I think it’ll be the platforms that people trust, and the corporate trust factor will become a bigger issue in the user-generated content world.

One inevitable conclusion is that business data will become more and more abundant, which will force the market to focus on the next two areas: which data is most accurate, and what is relevant to me from this boiling ocean of information? The companies that crack the accuracy and relevance challenges (the latter is likely to be job/context-specific) will be the ones that create real value in a world where data is abundant and attention is scarce. And this is where all our focus will continue to be.

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