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@Jonathan - and we need more people who can think on their own.

@Brian - why don't you tell us what you really think? I agree with you. White papers should be useful to the people who read them, not gimmicks to get email addresses. In fact, I never (well, once and regretted it) sign up to download a white paper. We're in the content creation business.

@Sean - you want copy that sells? You pay for it. Period. Whether you agree or not, you may end up paying for it by buying cheap copy that sells you short. I've been around a couple of years and understand the power and magic of copy writing (not editing, not summarizing, actual writing). It's about quality of communication, no words wasted, long effects on share of mind. You could outsource that, but then you get what you pay for ;) Excellence is a worthy goal.

"There will be a time soon, when those who can write will demand to be compensated for it/ And so they should. The other day I got an email from a well-intentioned young person who was asking for a reference to someone "cheap" who could write copy that sells. That's an oxymoron, you pay for that kind of service."

I'm not sure I agree with this. The same argument could be made about software, yet thousands of amazing open-source initiatives appear every year. Enforcing copyrights on information is quickly becoming a battle no longer worth fighting.

We live in a world where copywriting can be outsourced to an Indian MBA for $7.00 an hour. The mass media monopolies, sheltered by the First Amendment, are gone for good. Organizations need to focus on quality and specialization. Your organization MUST be the best in the world at what it does. If it is not, it is time to reconsider what it is that you do.

@Jonathan - Oy. Whitepapers.

These are rapidly degenerating into shameless, desperate marketing fluff pieces. Publishers flood communities with them, hoping to gain more leads from the contact information provided by community members who download them. This bait and switch might not be so repugnant if...

- The organization responsible for the whitepaper had a presence in the community beyond ads; participating in group discussions about the subject matter which provided value.

- When the member got that phone call from sales, the person on the other end of the line was focused on discussing the subject in-depth, rather than scheduling an appointment to present, over-promise, and pressure.

Often, I saw that whitepapers promised time savings, yet delivered hassles which wasted it instead. Good point on the community filling in the gaps, but whitepaper publishers need to step into the void in order to create gaps. Otherwise, it's just empty space...

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