Content vs Production

There is a common misconception with the job title of Online Producer, that is  many people see the idea of the Online Producer as the creator of the content. In fact, if you look at Wikipedia's definition for an Online Producer, you will see a lot of talk about web editors, content creation, journalism and the like. While I don't deny the Online Producer is indeed closely linked to a sites  content, the role of Online Producer is not so much around the creation of content, or even the management of content.


But don't producers make stuff?

Some of the confusion probably stems from the actual word producer. When most people think of the word producer, they can jump one of two ways: That of creator of content or television/film producer.Personally I prefer the latter of the two.

When attempting to explain the producer part of my title to friends, family or random people on the street, I align the role to that of a television/film producer; organising, coordinating, budgeting, "making sure stuff gets done". Richard Rutter extends this analogy well on his about page at Clagnut.com, further positioning the Online Producer as a director of sorts for a website.

So now your a Online Director?

Just as in Rutter's example, the Online Producer producer should have an understanding of the content and how this content is best presented to the user. An excellent Online Producer will have an innate understanding the content and how it works on the page for the user. So really it's not about content vs production as a producer, it's about content as part of the production which is something that is all too often forgotten when building websites.

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The Author

Simon Mainwaring is a passionate and innovative web professional with a broad background in web production and site management. For the past two years his focus has been as a Web Producer driving complex collaborative projects in the Telecommunications space. Alongside his professional interest in all things web, Simon is also studying for a degree in Internet Communication, with a focus on how the internet has changed communication and interaction within society.
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