There’s been a lot of discussion over the last year about so-called ‘content farms.’ These companies – Demand Media, Answers.com, Seed.com, etc. – produce large amounts of content based on reader demand, as determined by search and social media trends. In a nutshell, they listen to the questions and search requests of the global internet audience and try to provide answers. Of course, they don’t try to answer every question or search query; just the ones that appear to have enough interest around them to generate a solid return from ad dollars or syndication fees.
It’s a smart business, but calling it journalism is a stretch. Let’s learn from them to create better journalism. What can we learn? How to be better listeners.