Thursday, October 06, 2016
Let's Make a Content!
The world has embraced the word "Content" for much of what we make. But that puts so much emphasis on the container and so much less on the things contained. I am starting to use the word "material" more to myself, to clarify that what we make has value and worth even separated from the container it comes in.
"Material" can be made into stuff. "Content" is bland and emotionally agnostic. My friend Shariq Siddiqui (with whom a conversation today inspired me to actually write out this post, a post that had been tumbling around in my mind for a while now) said,
people don't wanna pay for content (even if they'll pay for anything around it). Material makes it sound like...well...material! Maybe we start thinking of our film and TV work as more like material making its way through a digital mill towards the audience. And think of it less like some blank feature-less chunk of content being digitally shipped in uniform shipping-container-like units toward the viewer or user.
But "the medium is the message" rings true in so many instances, so no matter what's said, we all notice the way and place it is being said. But, I connect with the character more than the logos at the start of the show or movie, and I think you do too. That is how we all want it. That is how we expect it to be.
I'm suggesting we don't get bogged down in focusing on the "container," the "pipes," the "screen," or, heaven forbid, the "bucket," and lose sight of the reason those things exist. They were created in the first place to serve content, both to be of service to it and to deliver it. Stories of human life need to be kept somewhere. The people and the stories can live without the containers (ex: live stage performance), but the containers and outlets kind of become pointless without the people and stories.
Not sure we'll find ourselves calling a friend and saying: "let's make a great content!" But whatever we call it, let's make some great things.
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