Content is becoming a cost burden, what you have to have to get the links, but in and of itself, content can’t draw value without an audience, without links…links are presents that can be given or earned but not bought. But the AP is still operating in the content economy, which values control instead. That age has passed.
I like Jarvis’s explaining of the link economy:
This changes the dynamic of editorial decisions. Instead of saying, “we should have that” (and replicating what is already out there) you say, “what do we do best?” That is, “what is our unique value?” It means that when you sit down to see a story that others have worked on, you should ask, “can we do it better?” If not, then link. And devote your time to what you can do better.
As people adhere to the new rules of the link economy the best stuff is credited and the reader’s ability to get the information they want is improved:
This leads to a new Golden Rule of Links in journalism — link unto others’ good stuff as you would have them link unto your good stuff. This emerges from blogging etiquette but is exactly contrary to the old, competitive ways of news organizations: wasting now-precious resources matching competitors’ stories so you could say you’d done it yourself. That must change.