Subjective Perception of what's "Content", its "Quality"
and Relative "Price" and Value for that
Manual Curation Digest #6
This post is inspired by an interesting conversation occurred recently with @snook regarding her opinion on "Content Quality" and "Price" one is willing to pay for that (or not any at all). Below are my own thoughts in this subject matter in a bit more details. Because I feel that she has raised an interesting and important questions, which are related to my own contemplations on this subject, expressed in few of my previous posts (MCD#3, MCD#4, MCD#5).
Quality of Content
I have opined there that before trying to answer the question "What is Quality?" - first we have to answer question "What is Content?". which got a response from post author:
Content for a person can be anything and everything. It depends on your day and mindset...
It seems to be quite blurred and vague definition, rather more like an abstraction from an actual definition. which makes it further harder to define the "Quality". :)
Taking into consideration that nowadays by "Content" one may just understand sort of "data" or "bits of info" (on blockchain). in that sense yes, "anything and everything" hypothetically can be considered as "content". i.e. sort of whatever is "contained within certain container". (in terms of blockchain - perhaps withing one block; in terms of websites - perhaps within 1 web-page; in terms of more traditional publishing - perhaps within 1 page of A4 format; etc etc) however there is a lot of ... "noise" or "junk" around... in the "information field" surrounding us. Some is just like a background or "texture" (as in computer games, trying to closely and realistically simulate the real world with virtual reality). to some we pay attention more or less. kind of "zoom in or out" to particular details. Why, how, what, to which extent? that is determined by our criteria of the "Quality" discussed here and that "Quality" is quite relative. It can also mean different things completely. like we walk on the road, observing the things passing us by ... can say ALL that is one or other kind (and pieces / bits / units) of "content", in certain sense. however we do NOT stop at each and every stone on the way, do not pick it up and start examine it closely, study, make some lab tests of its chemical composition and physical properties... not compare to other stones we've seen before or after... we do not measure or evaluate that "Quality", applicable to the "stones found on the road" as one category of "Content".
Perception is subjective, evaluation is relative
We simply pass by... same as we pass by all other kinds and categories of "content": sounds, smells, tangible feelings... all those interactions of our 5 senses with their objects... what to speak of our mood, emotions, intellectual and mental focus ... ALL those various factors which make the PERCEPTION of that "Content" be "translated" differently inside our brain... which in turn depend on our cultural, religious, social, political, economical and various other backgrounds and influences.... (and other conditioning: age, gender, marital status, education, etc)
So, yes, Perception does play a large part in this (as someone has already quoted famous phrase "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"). therefore in that sense - it is all relative, both "Content" and its "Quality". especially in modern times of 140 characters on Twitter and less so elsewhere... as well as here on Steemit it is not only the text format of Content - but Visual (photos, graphics, paintings), Audio (podcasts, music, etc) and Video (combination of both, motion pictures + sound) ...
However mostly, I suppose, people are judging "quality" by whether it is genuine or not. i.e. made merely for the purpose of creating an appearance of "content" just to "fill the container" - or it is something what really matters to that person... at least that much criterium applied... and then also - the quality of expression, form of presentation, words used, etc. that is already sort of 2nd level of "quality"... then I guess there are other levels ...
Main point is: while almost literally "anything and everything" around us may be considered as "content" in some sense - we neither pay much attention to MOST of those things nor evaluate the "Quality" of that "Content". because it would be simply too freaking overwhelming! and in fact practically impossible to process or even establish the criteria and measurements...
Price is key factor to Quality
Thus answer to question "what is Quality?" - is too hard, albeit quite essential one! because I suppose it is compulsory before coming to the next raised question:
"what price are you willing to pay?" LOL!
Although in fact am not sure that most of people here are willing to pay anything at all. because I often get a feeling that quite a lot of people neither care about "Content" nor about "Quality". for them it is most likely non-important things - as those stones on the road or details and texture of background passing them by ...
So, ultimately, if it comes to the point of PRICE we are willing to pay ... now, that's entirely another dimension, so to say ! if for some "content" we are not even willing to pay a "price" of a side-glance, less so full focused attention - then what to speak of the MONEY! and the sum of it, i.e. price, one is willing to pay...
Thus in context of "price" it is already another story... although here it is quite different: it is more like a .... TIPS given to waitress after the main price is already paid. (perhaps main "price" is Attention; if it is not paid or not even come to that - then no tips either) so, it is not exactly as in normal "business transactions" between seller and buyer: where seller already fixed the price and buyer is deciding whether or not he is willing to pay it; or perhaps would try to bargain if possible or go find it from other seller cheaper ... (although here it makes it difficult: since every piece of Content supposed to be totally UNIQUE! which implies - can't find any single piece like that anywhere else) it is more like .... watching and listening to some street musicians and jugglers / artists: first absorbing that "Content" and THEN only, after it is done - deciding how much to tip (% of Upvote), if anything at all...
Price is measured and calculated differently
But then ... it is already not exactly the "Price" (as in normal trade, i.e. exchange of goods for money at fixed price) - but rather more like those "Tips". and then question "how much are you willing to pay?" becomes irrelevant and practically impossible to answer in advance - because it is decided AFTER "consuming" that "content" and depends on those various very subjective factors as mood, etc.
Therefore I suppose the "Price" one is willing or not to pay is mostly measured in different currency: in ATTENTION person spends for reading (or watching / listening to) particular Content (be that text post, video, audio, graphics) and the degree of how much focus, concentration and "amount" of that Attention person "pays". So, the VALUE of such a "currency" is also very subjective! Especially when it comes to "Non-Profit" aspect of the Value, i.e. measured in something else than actual money, like some intrinsic values...
As for actual literal Price, paid either in Fiat money or in Cryptocurrency (such as STEEM coins) - so far it did not even come to that point on Steemit platform. and frankly speaking, I am not so sure that it would ever come to that. unless the Actual Content Quality would be standardized or the entire arrangements between "Seller" (Author) and "Buyer" (reader / consumer) would change to something more common, like in traditional marketplaces. that perspective though quite unlikely due to the concept outlined in Steem's Whitepaper. Not even mention all the other factors associated with normal concept of Price: such as Costs and other expenses which constitute and influence it.