In 2018 let’s start thinking about what we put out into the world.
I love words. In my younger years I spent over a decade in magazine publishing and have written numerous articles and books that have achieved moderate to zero acclaim. I got into marketing precisely because it is about telling a story. On the side I continue to write, I’m presently penning a series of short novels which revolve around a soon to happen apocalypse. I married a woman who loves words, a former book editor at a leading London publisher. I live in a town which was home to the greatest writer in the world. it was also home to Marie Corelli one of the best selling authors of all time, but we’ll talk about that another time. So given that I’m up to my neck in words I’m about to rant on a bit about something that’s really started to irritate me.
The power of words and language is part of our evolution, passing down learning, thoughts, dreams and ideas from one generation to the other. Words make us who we are and for that reason we should respect them.
Many things concern me about modern media: The fact it evolves quickly and endlessly so your online marketing processes are constantly changing. The fact I have to talk about Google a hundred times a day, so empowering and all encompassing that this two decade old company now is at the centre of all our commercial lives. The fact there is simply so much media being generated that’s it’s impossible to consume anything but the merest minuscule fraction, most of it bland filler text, much of it created by robots or $1 an hour third world spinners. Fake news. Social Media Experts. Their There and They’re. I could go on, but my chief gripe about contemporary media is the word ‘Content’. Content to me is the thing that fills a vessel. The contents of a container, the contents of a cereal packet, the contents of a road tanker. It’s the workaday stuff that’s in something. The banal material that fills a void. That we take our words and ideas and reduce them into padding to fills out a section of a website for the benefit of a search engine breaks my heart.
Here’s the truth. You don’t need to push stuff out every day just for the sake of pushing stuff out.
You need to put out much much less stuff that you actually care about.
If you write one article, shoot one video, create one photograph that is actually thought out, that you care about and that’s valuable to someone then you’re being true to yourself. The intended recipient of your idea will know you’re being true to yourself. In an ocean of mediocrity and repetition people want the real you.
Dig deep into yourself. It’s your business, your project, it’s a little bit of you and if it’s what you spend your life doing then take pride in it. Above all stop calling it content. Put a little bit of you out there because the world will be grateful for it.
In 2018 it’s going to be harder to cut through with your message than ever before. The internet has made us all connect but it’s also created 5 billion people that are all shouting. Let 2018 be the year of quality and let’s agree that we stop calling it content from now on.