Being a content producer is akin to getting up on your own stage. It doesn’t mean anyone will stop and look and listen but it is the only possible way someone would ever see you. (the stage is a metaphor for putting stuff out on the Internet or the world- another good metaphor is getting out on the dance floor rather than keeping to the wall, being a wall flower- or getting in the game rather than just watching the game staying on the sidelines- or joining the conversation.)
You have a choice to get up on the stage but for others to spot you, you have to do something, to produce something, to say something.
What is content? It is anything you can produce and show someone. It is written word, photographs, video, graphics, any part of a web page… Content is the Internet. It’s anything you can sell, talk about, point to, or show on the web or in person.
If you don’t have a web page, don’t post to Facebook, don’t tweet, don’t pin, don’t plus, don’t “like” anything but you surf the Internet, you are creating content.
However this content is only for the watchers, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple are gathering information you create by your behavior. It’s like the wake of the boat. It tells you a lot even if you never see the boat. It can tell you the direction it’s going and you can map out the past of where it has stopped and traveled. You may never see the boat but know its favorite places, where it goes to the most. This content, the wake of the boat metaphor is akin to digital bread crumbs online. If you are not producing content online you still are leaving a trail that is being watched.
Those with cell phones are leaving the biggest trails. It’s not just web surfing but actual Global Positioning System (GPS) locations that are being mapped. Do you go home every night or do you sleep around town? The watchers know. You made content. They know your favorite stomping grounds. They know where you shop but also when and for how long. This information is gathered by your phone and shared with the manufacturer and cell provider.
So we all make content. If you surf the web or have a smart phone you are making content. The question is do you want these companies to have your number, your past behaviors, or do you want the info that you are creating? Do you want to look back at your bread crumbs? Does it make you think that someone can look at your bread crumbs and know you eat a lot of fast food but you can’t see your own patterns?
Do you know your favorite song? Apple does, or at least it knows how many times you’ve listened to “Gangnam Style” and for how long. So does spotify, amazon (if you listen on a kindle) pandora, or Microsoft for your zoon. If you listened to Celine Deon’s Titanic theme song for twenty two hours in the past five years and no other songs even comes close guess what? That is your favorite song whether you know it or not!
Being a consumer of content you are producing a bunch of data. You might not know yourself as well as those that are looking at the bread crumbs you are making.
Ok what is it I am talking about here? Content. Yes, content. I hear it all over the place “content” is just an over used buzz word.
So here is the big question; You are producing content for a few big companies, content you can’t even get your hands on. But are you telling your story to yourself, your friends, or those who would love to read, see, and hear what you have to say?
Are you not even going to get on the dance floor and dance even if your dancing alone?
Are you going to find your tribe and be more of who you are? Go ahead make a record of your life that you can see, that you can search and connect thoughts. Make videos, take pictures, write words. Interview, talk, have opinions, create content that you can point to. Create content that you can share with the world.
Seth Godin, famous blogger and author, says the final act of the artist is to ship. To get your stuff out in the world. Until that is done you are holding out. You are not done, your art was just an exercise. You are not making an impact or feeding the world until you ship.
So my final thought on content is ship. Your journey is not over if you ship, by shipping you free yourself of holding onto old thoughts. You free yourself to new thoughts and new art, you grow, by shipping. So throw your content out there into the world. You might not see your brilliance till one of your fans, your tribe points it out to you. We are all rock stars, authors, movie makers, and radio host in this new world we live in, might as well share your voice with the world.
Put it out. Let it be poked and prodded. Let others disagree with your opinions. Join the conversation, speak up you have something to say.
Hell it might be you don’t want to add to the noise. You feel that there already is too much information out there and you don’t want to add to the fire hose of information as its already too hard to drink from it! LOL
Yes I feel the same. But I write this to tell myself that the fire hose of information exists and I am contributing to it weather I like it or not. The data gathered about me that I can’t get my hands on is part of the information.
I might as well tell my story in my own words and images. I might as well get up on stage and show what I got. Show what I like and don’t like. Beat my drum, and wait for my tribe to come and dance.
Information is not going away. The fire hose becomes the river becomes the ocean. Your content could be lost in that ocean. Buried by the new stuff coming out from the rivers. But it’s shipped, if its there, it will be consumed, and it might make an impact.
Yes content is consumed. It ads to our perception of the world. Once consumed we have new metaphors and new stories to use in conversation. Your voice might be that voice that changes the world.
Hey let me know what you thought in the comments below. Thanks for reading.