In the past few weeks I’ve read quite a few articles claiming that content farms are lowering the quality of content on the Internet. ReadWriteWeb wrote one. Illuminea has one. And Outspoken Media has one.
It seems that the big publishers are all condemning the content farms so imagine my surprise when WebProNews came out and defended them. But who’s right?
Are content farms bad for quality all around or will competition increase the level of quality over time? Frankly, I’m skeptical of both arguments.
Content farms, like most things, have their pros and cons. There may be some diminished quality as a result of these websites existing. After all, if Demand Media is producing 7,000 new web pages per day then they can’t all be spectacular. But, chances are, they aren’t all bottom-feeding crap either. Most, I’d suspect are somewhere in between. But does it really matter?
Quality is often in the eye of the beholder. If someone is looking for information on how to fix a leaky faucet, they aren’t particularly concerned with whether or not you’ve won a Pulitzer. They do care if you can help them solve their problem. So if you’re an expert in a particular field then the so-called content farms could be a way beyond your own website for you to share your expertise.