A Conversation for What is h2g2's Place in Internet-land?

Public value

Post 1

Woodpigeon

Could "public value" just simply be a rather mathematical concept?

Say you take 1000 randomly selected license payers, normally a good approximation of society at large, and poll them on their interests and favourite items on TV, radio and new media. A wide spectrum of preferences could be expected, with some aspects of programming doing particularly well, while other aspects suiting very small niche audiences. You could think of it as a sort of Pareto curve.

Now a commercial outfit might analyse which of those 1000 people are most willing to spend money as a result of programming and tailor its content to suit those people primarily. The metric used would be revenue focused, not targeted at a broad audience, but at specific niches within that audience.

A public broadcaster might take a different approach. Because everyone equally pays the same amount of money through the license fee, the aim of the public broadcaster might be to provide output which, overall, appeals to the widest sector of the audience. It might use a metric which links value to broad audience satisfaction.

In a nutshell, public value is achieved if you are providing content that appeals to a very large proportion, say 90%, of the total audience. Commercial value is achieved if you satisfy the 40% of high-earning clients who are likely to buy products based on your advertising.

I'm not sure how H2G2 would fit either the public value model, or indeed a commercial model. If it fits into a very small niche of respondents, then we might be in trouble.


Public value

Post 2

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

I suspect 'public value' could mean a lot of different things, depending on one's agenda.


Public value

Post 3

Woodpigeon

I hope so! I'm probably being over-pessimistic. However more often than not in the business world, value comes with £ signs attached.


Public value

Post 4

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

I was thinking more in terms of its being a smokescreen; nobody's going to defend public waste, or social injustice, but the adoption of nice-sounding terms can serve to distract from the important question of what's actually meant.

Good to see you haven't been distracted.


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Public value

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