This is the year when Web content comes of age.

Organizations will slowly stop viewing content as some cost that needs to be managed. Instead, they will begin to see content as an asset that can drive profits and productivity. A new role will emerge within many organizations: publisher/editor.

Here are some more predictions for this coming year:

1. Finally, content gets taken seriously in 2004. Management will start thinking about content in a whole new way. Content will emerge as a strategic asset. Better organizations will begin to identify processes that will ensure the creation of high-quality content and reduce the creation of poor-quality content.

2. Driven by the emergence of the view of content as an asset, the process of organizational restructuring will gather pace. The role of the chief information officer will come under pressure, as such people tend to have a technology-centric view of information.

3. The battle between IT and communications/marketing over who should be in charge of the Web site will continue. Communications will ultimately win. But IT will fight hard because it has a lot of budget to lose and will have to downsize if it loses responsibility for the Web.

4. The average communications department will be in for a big shakeup. Many organizations communicate with staff and customers not because they see any major benefit in it but simply to be seen to be doing it. With content now being viewed as a potential asset, that will require a very different type of communications department—one with a much sharper profit and productivity focus.

5. The practice of delegating content creation to the most junior resource will decline. Those who can create quality content will start getting recognized and rewarded more. Content creation will be added to the job description of many more people.

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image of Gerry McGovern
Gerry McGovern ( is a content management consultant and author. His latest book is The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, which teaches unique techniques for identifying and measuring the performance of customers' top tasks.