Late to the Content Party

If you’re reading this, it’s too late—the article within has expired. In fact, it’s a week late—disguising itself as current content. My apologies—I forget we’re in an age where content is expected on an hourly basis. Yes, hourly—you read that correctly. For viewers, endless content is a double-edged sword, but for content producers it is a potential nightmare. So, how did we get here?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, to a 2009 content creation discussion around what it meant to “overshare” and what defined an aggressive poster. At the time, oversharing was frequently aligned with publishing content that had no context to your brand, and being an aggressive poster was publishing content more than once a day or week—depending on the type of organization you were. Most businesses had blogs with weekly or bi-weekly posts, major brands would share content every few days, and YouTubers, well they were making weekly videos—and that was a dedicated channel.

Obviously, things have changed. Brands have become content creators, YouTubers have created content houses, and we’ve seen the birth of the “content farm” where aggregated and easily created content is made for the sole purpose of extrapolating views. All this, combined with streaming media’s ability to reward our content cravings instantaneously and the decreasing time it takes us to receive real-world goods is changing our patience—and our willingness to wait.

Consumers are so saturated with content at this point that everyone is running mental gymnastics on what to spend their time on, where, and why. We’ve gone from content trickles to a deluge of both high-quality and low-quality content—and it’s up to us individually to sort if it’s worthwhile. This means that streaming, cable, YouTube, podcasts, books, and blogs are all being weighed and measured for attention at the same time. So, who wins?

Beyond fan favorites, pop-culture phenomenon, influencer fandoms, and brand loyalists, the measure for attention to content has turned to how fast it is produced. This, in turn, is changing how we perceive both content creation and its creators. If creators do not publish content on a near-constant frequency, they now risk getting lost to the consumer—which means their livelihood declines if they create content for a living.

If they’re a brand or a service and their content and social media hasn’t been updated in more than a week—it makes them look bad, because they aren’t keeping up with the new rapid rate of content release. We’ve come to a point where we’re passively judging brands, services, and channels based on their content schedules—because in a sea of endless content, it has become the easiest pass or fail to give.

So, all that aside, here sits this post, fighting for attention, a week late and already expired on arrival. The world content engine is still on, and it’s not going to take a break for me—or anyone for that matter. As much as I’d like to keep discussing this, I really must move on; the next blog entry is already late—and in the grand scheme of things, you have plenty of other content to get through today.