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Got content?

Got content? published on 4 Comments on Got content?

Have you noticed that we aren’t writers any more? Or filmmakers, or video producers, or even musicians or cartoonists? We’re content-creators.

Way too often, I hear Web folks talk about “content” as some kind of undifferentiated commodity: “Yep, figger we’re gonna need ten, maybe twelve kilos o’ content for that page. You got a bulk discount?” Back a cargo truck up to the content silo, fill her up and you’ve got yourself a website.

But there’s actually something interesting about the term – once I get past my visions of container ships laden with content, plying the seven seas. It’s a way of dismissing the value of individual creativity, sure. But it can also be a way of capturing the idea that so many of us now communicate in different media, and that digital technology has gone a long way toward democratizing personal expression.

How about you? When you hear “content”, do you think of the lorem ipsum that fills in the space between the revenue-generating ads… or something else?

4 Comments

Content invariably makes me think in terms of units like, "I need 6 units of content. 3 medium, 2 small and 1 x-large." I agree it can be a term that pulls together all the different media but I usually hear it in the context of a commodity. I use the term myself but I think it's usually as a quick way of being all-inclusive (of the various forms it comes in).

In a way, it's spreadsheet terminology. It suggests something that might be measurable and thus lend itself to costing for number crunching. In other words, it's in MBA country. When we speak of writers, filmmakers, musicians etc., it takes on the suggestion of art and that sometimes comes with a few pretensions. We don't seem to have any middle-ground terms or better still one middle-ground term that would do what "content" does but with out the commodity association or other baggage.

I ramble. I'd be happy with content if I could just get the image of spreadsheets out of my head.

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