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What content (and #content) means

By , on January 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

Content is a commodity. Or, rather, #content is a commodity.

Yeah, we knew that. #Content is everywhere. Your brand needs #content. Panic!

Old news.

Sure, you can blame Internet piracy—the fact that just about any piece of information you could be looking for is accessible at the click of a button—and free, at that. Old business models, at least, are unraveling as a result of these unconstrained user behaviors. But it’s more than that.

You're a content producer? Cool

We working humans, we who love good content and who also consume lots of #content, who want to fight for good content—and most importantly—we who sell things are guilty.

#Content no longer has a definition. It’s been so abstracted that it’s equivocated to a check box or many check boxes.

You’re a content producer? Cool, I don’t know what that means. Pretty much all I know is that you are alive.

You made some content? Has anyone seen it? No? It doesn’t really matter does it? Just produce it and slot it in. Fast.

We talk about whitepapers and thought leadership and we know that we’re supposed to have something to say. We talk about the fact that we need to have something to say, but we don’t talk about what that thing is. We use hollow words to mask our lack of research or knowledge of what we are supposed to be talk about.

We design websites and print layouts before we know what fills them up. Meaning no longer dictates the nature of the container. It’s the container that wins. Every single time. It’s easier that way. After all, we gotta keep moving.

There’s something artificial in this need to fill the space, something self-imposed and unnecessary. If we’re not careful, we fill the space without actually saying anything. Without sharing a single coherent piece of information. Without articulating a point of view.

My challenge to us all? Be specific. The difference between quality content and #content isn’t length, price tag, or complexity. It’s clarity. If you’re sending a tweet or writing a whitepaper, don’t just fill space. Share something specific, have something to say.

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Categories: Features, Research