Your work is better than "content"

Anything truly creative is more than just content.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Om Malik shares my hatred of the word "content":

You can tell a lot about a person and how they think about their work based on whether or not they use “content” to describe what they do. A photographer who says that he is creating “content” for his YouTube channel is nothing more than a marketer churning out fodder to fill the proverbial Internet airwaves with marketing noise.

When I first became self-employed, back in 2012, I flirted with describing myself as a content strategist, but I just couldn't warm to the title. The above quote is exactly why.

This isn't just semantic pedantry, or an arrogance born of my journalism past. As Om puts it:

[…] words matter, and we can choose which ones we use to talk about what we produce and the things we admire and cherish. I encounter so much imaginative work on the web, and I guess I just can’t help but be peeved when I hear it discussed (often by the creators themselves) as if it is essentially marketing copy.

Please aspire to be more than a producer of content.

contentcontent strategylanguage

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.