Topic 5: Advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online


December 9, 2014 by sylviakangkang

Check out this 55 seconds video to get an idea of what a content producer is!

Watched it? Yup, that is where your all online information comes from!

But imagine students like us were to face pop-up paywalls for every single research we do? Well, that is a lot to ask for a student! Especially in the tertiary level, we have abundant of projects and research to do. Isn’t it scary when you have to pay for school fees and homework?

I bet you want to have a “heavy brain” filled with information. Of course it wouldn’t be possible without open access.

Now, put yourself into the shoes of a content producer, what do you think are the pros and cons if they were to put all their work online for free? While you think about it, let me share some of my views!


Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.13.43 PM

The above illustration is done by me to show a bigger picture of what a content producer can gain. Let’s say I am a passionate content producer that writes everything about electronics. My materials are free and informative. Thus, it can be shared amongst everyone. If my work is good, people will download my work and i will gain many citation flows. So how do I feel when my work is constantly shared in the electronics forum? AWESOME! Now that my work is trustworthy, I will gain recognition and confidence to produce even better work because it is valued by people. Then, outstanding content producers may eventually be headhunted by many companies!

Here’s another video from Mohamad Noor that supports my view!


When there is open access, readers (Sponge) are able to absorb all the information from content producers (Water). As a content producer, would you dig out every single penny (just like how a sponge absorb every single drop of water) to pay for publication fees and share everything you got? Content producers pay and share their researched work online for free while you get a “heavy brain” of knowledge without a single effort needed. So who is gonna pay their bills?

There are definitely more pros and cons to answer this question. As a student, I would SURELY support open access! But as a content producer? Maybe not. What I feel is, it depends on how content producer sees it. Some may feel that its not worth doing it because some people take advantage. Here is a interesting discussion video-

 What online content producer do we support?


Admin. (2014, January). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from

Geib, A. (2013, October 25). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from

Personal. (2012, April 25). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from


12 thoughts on “Topic 5: Advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online

  1. rochellezc says:

    Hi Sylvia!

    After watching the videos, it is so much easier for me to see this topic as a big picture. I also like how you share your point of view as a student and also from a content producer. It is true that online access makes research so much convenient but what if a user just simply copy your work without any citation, wouldn’t that be wasted? Simply put, your work is not recognised by the user and whoever he/she is going to share the information with.

    Anyway, got to love this post with videos to watch! Keep up the good work!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rochelle!
      Thanks for taking time to read my blog post! Hmmm, that would be the downside of providing free online material. But i I guess for school or work, most of us take citation seriously to prevent plagiarism. If there are people who choose to just copy and not cite it, I guess it’s inevitable. Therefore, I would say these people should have some integrity!


  2. kellysayswee says:

    Hi Sylvia! Thanks for sharing the videos by the different type of content producers.
    I thought that it was a really interesting idea to show the different perspective from different content producers as they might otherwise think differently.

    Indeed, though the content producers shared different ideas (first one being supportive of free access while the other one is not so) with regards to online access.
    However I wonder if you realize that though they have different perspective, they both have something in common. Ultimately, both of them do it for a reason to benefit from. For example in the first video the guy says it ultimately hopes that this would help him end up getting a good job etc while the other say paid bills help to pay off his bills etc. At the end of the day, I believe that the sustainability of free online materials by content producers needs a series of benefits for them to keep going, be it monetary or not.

    Similarly I have also shared the same ideas as you that – I do not want to pay for the content I get online. I feel that this would definitely affect students who are not that financially abled and therefore paywalls actually creates unfairness for students who are rich and poor!
    What do you think?

    Enjoyed reading your post ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kelly!
      Thanks for your encouragement! I see that too as well! Content producers are also humans and they have bills to pay. And yes, for as I mentioned from a student point of view, how can i study and pay my homework at the same time? If every project research requires paywall, I don’t think i can score well for my exams anymore. I’ll end up doing plenty of part time jobs to pay for my education!


  3. limmingru says:

    Hi Sylvia!

    It is an interesting post! I like how you view this topic in different positions – content producer and student. The con you mentioned of open access for content producer is to pay fees for what they publish. However, there are cases whereby they receive direct or indirect subsidies from universities, hospitals, learned societies or government agencies, etc. Ultimately it all comes down to the intention of the author himself. If their main intention is to get people to obtain their knowledge and share it to as many audience as possible, They would not mind to pay for the audiences to get advantage because the intention is for them to gain advantage; in return the authors get recognition, acknowledgment of work, sense of achievement, it’s also advantages to them. On the contrary, some content producers publish to gain money. Obviously, they would love to have their articles in closed/subscription access.

    Here is my question for you,

    The main argument to go against open access is the negative impact to the overall quality of the journals as it may affect the peer review system. As a student, how do we make sure the “free” article(s) we searched online is of certain quality?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Zoie!
      Thanks for reading my blog and commenting! Hmmm, I would check out the citations and also the website that provided the information. When it is from .gov or any news websites like Straits time, CNN, Forbes I would be sure it is of certain quality. However if information are given from a unknown website i will try not to use it because the quality will then be questionable!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ruhuanng says:

    Hi Sylvia,

    Thanks for sharing the YouTube videos. It makes it so much easier to understand the whole topic regarding the content producer. The last video on “what content producers do you support” gave me a lot of thinking.

    What he said in the video was true. The most important thing to content producer is to have interaction with them, so that they know who are exactly supporting them. It is true that many people take content producer for granted. However, I suppose that it is human nature. Everyone likes free things. If the content producer builds a paywall behind its content, there would not be as many people who read it as compared to the ones that are free.

    So, if that is the case, how do you make sure that the content producer is able to gain exposure as well as earn credits for producing the content?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ruhuan!
      Thanks! I’m glad you liked my videos! Hmmm. If I was a content producer, I would choose certain information up for free and some with paywalls. In that way, people still get to see my work but no necessarily able to get everything for free because I want to make sure I’m still able to make money. From my free materials, readers will know if i’m a capable content producer or not. Once they know, readers will pay for more of my work!


  5. […] watching the video’s shared by Sylvia, I actually felt guilty towards the content producers who have made their resources freely […]


  6. […] Sylvia attempted the topic in two different standing points — the student’s point of view, as well as the content producer’s point of view. She believes that it is better for the content producers to build pay-wall so that they are able to pay their bills. One of the videos in her post made me think that maybe we should pay content producers for their effort. Here is my comment. […]


  7. evantangs says:

    Hi Sylvia!

    ): No idea why my comment didn’t manage to get posted like the rest.

    Anyway, loved that you first explained what a content producer is and what they do from the start of the post. I spent most of my time thinking in the shoes of the consumer and your post really gave me a new perspective.

    I also liked that you explored the various kinds of content producers out there and the implications of them sharing their research for free. In the last video, it was mentioned that there are very few ways to which we can communicate with these producers. Also, it is often that users just grab the information that they need and not even attempt to contact the producers.

    In your opinion, what do you think some of the ways we can communicate with the producers to show our appreciation and why would some content users not credit their sources?

    I look forward to your reply!

    Great post!!


    Liked by 1 person

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