Wednesday, May 30, 2012

“Free Information” Series – Series Introduction

·      How is the concept of “free information” affecting those of us who used to charge for it?

·      Has providing “free information” become a cost of doing business?

·      Am I fast enough to compete in the Digital Marketplace?

Please watch this short “free information” scene on before reading…it's a scene from the Rookie...the video of Dennis Quad is a good image of how many of you may feel right now, not knowing if you can compete in this fast-paced, information-now marketplace. Since we are all still new in this arena, finding our entry in is the hard part, but if you have talent, and bring something to the table, like a 96-mph pitch, believing in yourself can be enough... 

To deny that the online marketplace, our “new” business arena within the World Wide Web, is intimidating would be impractical, at best. Transformation of this magnitude affects us all, in all aspects of our lives. We are all learning together, at the same time…

Like “the rookie”, when we step up to pitch we must remember that our “old” measurement systems may not be properly calibrated to measure our extraordinary abilities.  

In the “Free Information” Series, I will uncover real concerns and struggles within many industries, as seen through the digitization of: newspapers, encyclopedias, books and references, music and videos, most of which are now provided as “free information” or by a “per click” fee basis. Join me for the next month in my exploration of the real value of “free information”.   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monetized data: “Data with Value”

The real value of having data is in its use. Through the digitization process, businesses of all industries are increasing their assets by transforming their data into monetized data, or “data with value”. The value of that data is assigned by the tangible extension of their existing products and services into the vast Digital Marketplace. Data value is increased by the following:

1.   Usage by staff, resulting in new or supporting existing revenue streams.
2.   Enhanced service to existing customers, resulting in retention, therefore increased revenues.
3.   Exposure to new prospects, resulting in new revenues.
4.   Improved operational efficiencies, resulting in decreased costs.

The Library of Congress, strategically and physically located in three buildings on Capitol Hill, functions as the supporting organization for Congress, and serves as a national archive for the American public. Since 1800, this library has been the physical repository where massive data is housed for congressional research, critical to the governance of the U.S., including: all federal and state law books, foreign, international and comparative laws, all copyrighted material in the U.S., and the oldest and most comprehensive history of our country, and world. 

The Library of Congress houses 145 million physical items, and as a result of the massive digitization project underway, now includes virtual access to 19 million items within the Digital Marketplace. As a result, the value of this data continues to increase through the expansion of its usage. While this example refers to the Library of Congress, the principles can be applied to corporations, law firms, pharma, bio-tech, etc.

1. Staff benefits from advanced usage (i.e.) by automated cross-referencing of hand-written memoirs by past presidents, to historical accounts and economic trends of those time periods.

2. Existing members of Congress can more easily and effectively do their jobs, no longer required to travel, share, or wait for access. Congressional research can take place on a computer device from the office, during a flight home, evenings, weekends, or holidays even.  
3.  The Library of Congress accommodates approximately 1.7 million visitors annually. Through digitization, the customer base increases to 300 million Americans, and people all over the world, increasing the value of our assets and knowledge exponentially.

4. Staff is no longer involved in the access process; online access to this data eliminates all of the costs associated with retrieval, copies, fax, mail, mailroom, and tracking assets as they are viewed in physical form.

Library of Congress links, for your convenience:
Online Catalog:

“The farther backward you can look the farther forward you can see.” – Winston Churchill