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The Content Economy Worker

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google was formal @ Lake Tahoe a couple of months ago: “every two days, we create more content than in all history of mankind… until 1993”. That is a staggering amount of content. New, fresh content. Every two days.

For everyone using the web; that content is a blessing and a curse. There are simply no topics not covered online, with an avalanche of info available in just a couple of clicks.  But what is good information? How do you find it? How do your consumers find it? How to sift through it? Who and what is to be trusted?

How do you survive, as a worker, in dealing with high speed, high tech, always on, fully traceable information? How do you cope, analyze, stay on top of it, process and turn it into something that returns value for yourself, and your company? Because, that is what makes the gold roll: creating added value.

I’m alarmed when I see way too many people sheepishly navigating their careers, propelled by their university degrees, PhD’s and MBA’s, plotting their path for the next two decades. What decade? A society that is more and more driven by information does not really follow a continuous, predictable line. Will these people make it?  I hesitate: More than people programmed to remember and chart, we need people with a knack to spot trends, find patterns, identify audiences, discover opportunities, gather information, and process it into actionable intelligence. In real time.

We’re looking for people with not only the capability to network, but with a born capacity to work the net. People that are street clever, fast-moving, eternally evolving, fast learning, and content hungry. People that scavenge info into tangible bits. People that deep dive, make their hands dirty, and excel in delivering spot-on bullet points. Learning by doing, leading by example, and generating added value. People connecting the story between two bits of information, 7000 miles but only 2 clicks away from each other. It’s work. But not as we used to know it.

The web driven content economy gives no points for knowing, but medals for finding. It has no morality, no set patterns, no agenda, and no guarantees. The content economy runs on servers, smartphones and esoteric bits called cloud.  The content economy speaks over a 100 languages, in a fistful of continents in over 10 alphabets.

The content economy gives you all you need to know, at warp speed, in a crazy information dump at the other end of a search window. Enough to make or break your company over the next five years.  Maybe even over the next five days. Did you add the right people to your workforce to digest?

I’m with Bruce Sterling on this one: as your machines are clearly not educated enough, your people will just have to be smarter and faster, eternal students that constantly evolve, and are willing to make mistakes.

Above all: have fun.

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