Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Amazon patents - Content Management

Amazon continues its push into content management technology. Their  US 8,639,817 patent issued on January 27, 2014) is the latest in a series that covers delivery of digital media.

The patent applies (among other things) to delivering ads based on the original content. In their terminology, a first set of users consumes the "real" content, while a second set gets [relevant] ads. For example, Claim 2 reads:

In claim 3, they continue using the anticipatory approach we found earlier in their other patents, which cover delivery of physical goods.

With physical goods, Amazon describes a scenario where the system
1) routes packages to a general geographical location in anticipation of demand;
2) re-routes packages to a specific address, based on a customer order.

With virtual goods, Amazon patents a scenario where the system
1) delivers content to a content delivery network in anticipation of content demand;
2) delivers content to a specific user device, based on user requests or targeting logic.

In system terms, Amazon creates a smart Distribution network, which sits in between the content providers and users. We model the arrangement in Scalable Innovation, Chapter 25. Anticipating Control Problems. Because Amazon collects a lot of information about both content (Packaged Payload), users (Tool), and providers (Source), it has the ability to determine and anticipate consumption patterns. The patents are a strong indication that business value migrates from the Tool -- Source axis, to the Distribution -- Control axis.

Similarly, Facebook, Google, Twitter, NSA, and others sit between users and content providers (e.g. other users). Remarkably, Amazon doesn't cover social networking scenarios in their patents. Vice versa, Facebook doesn't talk about content management in their patents.

tags: patent, system, aboutness, distribution, control, business, value, amazon, facebook

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