Content Shock Is Solved
Yes, there is more content than ever, but hooray, we know what to do with it
The other day I read a wonderfully worded article on the future of content, one that resonates with a theme I almost always hear when the content crystal ball comes out: Content shock is real, and content creators have to do something different.
I’m not very good at looking ahead into the future of anything. I can guess, sure (in five years, blog posts will be spelled out in alphabet cereal), but my predictions are no more likely to come true than are my wishes for certain football scores. Too many variables. Life is intricate. People change.
So instead of looking ahead, I tend to look around.
And what I see right now really excites me:
Content shock, from what I can tell, is a solved problem.
Content shock — and what we, the readers, have done with it — is one of my favorite parts about the Internet.
Yes, content shock is real, this notion of content growing exponentially while our attention threshold stays fixed. But look at all the wonderful ways we’ve found to work around this, to help each other out, to turn a big, hairy problem into a fun, adventurous discovery.
- We share our favorite articles on social media, helping others to see what’s worth checking out
- We read newsletters, carefully curated by interesting people
- We email links to each other
- We write content that links to other content
It is easier than ever to find the content you enjoy.
Content shock might have been the best thing that’s ever happened to us (thank you Mark Schaefer!) because it has sparked us to work together to surface our favorite things. Twitter and Facebook helped solve content shock. Medium helped solve it (and contribute to it, ironically). New apps like Candy and Panda 5 helped in creative ways.
Five years ago, Seth Godin wrote We Are All Weird, a manifesto that celebrates the unique characteristics of us all — and what it means for business. In it, he mentions researcher Ronald Ingleheart and Ronald’s work about freedom of choice, which is the exact type of freedom we have in spades thanks to content shock.
The ability to be weird, the freedom to make choices, and the ability to be heard are the factors most highly correlated with happiness around the world.
Happiness = content. And the more content, the merrier.
Cindy Gallup has said, “Everyone hates advertising in general, but we love advertising in particular.” The same goes for content. The general idea of content shock is met with fear and trepidation. The particular impact of content shock, at the individual level for me and you, has been nothing short of fantastic, thanks to social media and everyone being so stinkin’ nice to help us find our favorite things.
Agree or disagree? I’d be thrilled to hear your response!
Click below to respond with your thoughts, as long or short as you feel like.