September 22, 2014
Why I Hate Content
In the material world there is no single word that encompasses both art and a beer spill.
There is no word that creates a unity between a Rodin sculpture and a photo of a foot.
There is no term that forges an equivalency between a Gershwin melody and a bloody handkerchief.
In the online world there is such a word. It is content.
Content is anything you can upload to the web. In other words, it is pretty much anything.
It is a Shakespeare sonnet and a picture of my cat's ass.
It bestows value on anything, and in so doing, debases everything.
It takes the symbol of a witless age - the selfie - and gives it status. You're not guilty of narcisstic self-indulgence, you're creating content!
Worst, it is spoken of with respect. It is, in some quarters, regarded as a serious and compelling expression of online value.
If there has ever been an asset with a lower value, I'd like to know what it is.
We have conferences about content. We have books about content. We have seminars about it, and companies that specialize in it.
Content is everything, and it's nothing. It's an artificial word thrown around by people who know nothing, describing nothing.
It is an excuse masquerading as a resource.
Content is a con.
It is the ultimate Seinfeld episode: it's a show about nothing.