There is a saying “Content is King”.
According to a quick web search the phase is from an essay written by Bill Gates in 1996. I read a part of that essay over on medium.
… but I first became acquainted with it while reading “Content Inc.” by Joe Pulizzi. I got the audio book on my Audible account back in 2015.
The title of Bill Gates Essay was “content is king” it makes the case that the winners of the television revolution were those that “made television” more so than those who “sold televisions”.
From there to the internet where “content remains king”. The winners of the internets are those that publish content more than those who provide access to the internets.
So what is content.
In reference to television it is “shows, movies, commercials, interstitial programing”.
All of these things are on the internet.
In reference to the printed newspaper, newsletter, and magazine. All of “articles, photos, and advertisements” were content.
They are on the internet too.
Radio.. Is on the internet.
OK, so all of that is “content” but why is it “king”?
Content is the winner because it provides us with an experience. The modem we use is useful… But only as a tool to get to the content. The computer or mobile that talks to modem that talks to internet? Is our gateway to content.
The reason we let our thumbs do the talking is so we can experience “content”. Perhaps that's not quite right, “content is an experience”.
We can read, listen, watch, review, buy a thing. That is digital content and it is an experience. Outcomes from that content experience might be entertainment, information, perspective, a product or service.
Now not all content is good nor is all content equal. Some of it is outright misleading. Some is good in the wrong ways. Like a clickbait story about the collapse of your local economy.
Don't be alarmed it's probably nothing but an alarming headline designed to hook our emotions and just plausible enough to slip past our bullshit filters.
To give clickbait headlines some credit. It is quite the experience.
My attitude towards “Content is King” has changed in the last few years.
I used to think that clickbait scam content was a reason to call off the whole internet experience and start learning how to weave a basket.
I still don't like uncomfortable scammy content but after decades of information overload I am starting to see the human impulses that all “good content” interacts with.
For content to be king nothing needs to happen except that a tale is told.
A good story sets a scene and we know the players. We cannot help but love some and pity others. We relate to humour and their drama becomes our drama. We will not let inferior products or higher prices prevent us from imagining how much better our life would be with a Pixel 3 (recently released).
As a content producer I want to, for better or worse, become a master of “storytelling” or to put it more baldly “storyselling”.
As a human being I am a student of my own desires, aversions, and delusions. I at once want to have and be free of such experiences.
As human beings we are inevitably trapped or repelled by our experiences, never content.
So it is, so it has always been and always will be, that “content is the non gendered title that used to be called king”.