The great (and highly mysterious) content gold rush


E-commerce, social networking, on-demand: It seems like every year or two, the media and communications industry discovers some new concept that's going to make everyone boatloads of money by virtue of its sheer awesomeness. But the latest buzzword is anything but new. It's content.

Yes, from Time Warner to Yahoo to right here at AOL, the media chieftains of the world are increasingly convinced that the business model of the future involves producing stuff that people want to watch, read, or otherwise feed into their brains. The latest to clamber onto the content-über-Alles bandwagon is Barry Diller's IAC, which, as BusinessWeek, notes, is placing some pretty heavy bets of late, backing celebrity editor Tina Brown of TheDailyBeast and former NBC executive Ben Silverman in a new $100 million production venture.