What is Content, Anyway? Part 1

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It is 3:50 p.m. and that dreadful moment hits—brain overload! If you don’t take a break and at least look at something other than what you’re working, you feel like time is probably going to start going backwards, pulling you back with it.

This daily afternoon struggle calls for one thing: new and engaging content. So, you pull out your phone, maybe a tablet, or a new tab on a browser and you’re passive-aggressively hunting for something to take you away from the mundane.

Content has become much more than information and entertainment; it’s become therapy to help us get through the day, something to help us fall asleep, something we use to communicate when we have no words—or when we can’t use them. Content has become so engrained in every aspect of our lives that now it’s like an invasive species from the internet, and it is made up of everything and nothing at the same time.

It begs the question: What on earth is content, anyway?

Content, by definition, is material. How that manifests itself, however, has become a whole other world. Content can be a 50-page paper, a two-hour movie, a ten second gif of a cat swatting at a child, a YouTube video . . . I could go on, but I think you get the idea here. Content isn’t just everywhere, it’s everything—good and bad. And speaking of good and bad, content is very much like art—it is both loved and hated at the same time by different audiences for different reasons, which is, in part, why it has become so hard to get the formula down for what makes good content. Good content is subjective.

That puts content creators in the position where there is so much content being produced, it seems there is an unlimited supply of unique, original content, all being pushed out to an audience at once. The reality is, though, that much of it is compiled content, that perhaps has a little commentary with it, but at its core is not really original thought.

This, in essence, is today’s content: a little original thought with a lot of surround sound! Much of today’s content is about applying original thinking to existing content. And that’s OK, because when you think about it, that’s called “discussion.”

We are in an era where we use the internet to formulate ideas, strengthen ideas, share ideas, and, often, refine ideas into something that moves our world forward. We’ll continue this “discussion” in Part II. . .

Locke Hilderbrand

Locke has grown up with an eclectic mix of travel and technology at all times. His views and ideas are inspired by the fusion of subcultures and street scenes, global travel and the internet. He is a cultural translator and scene adaptor by day, artist by night, always hunting for what's next and embracing what's now

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