Even though the sign over the mine I descend into every day says, “content,” I’ve long held a nagging grudge against the name. “Content,” I’ve said before, sounds fundamentally generic, like grain or slop or pea gravel or the stuff slung from a hair-netted cafeteria aide’s long-handled aluminum spoon.
Fortunately (for me anyway), I’m not alone in my grudging. In today’s New York Times opinion piece, “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!” writer/cartoonist Tim Krieder goes to town against the opportunists who solicit free content from the talent in exchange for that ubiquitous Internet currency, “exposure.” (My response to this offer? “I’m quite capable of exposing myself, thank you.”)
Here is Kreider’s take on what “content” means:
“The first time I ever heard the word “content” used in its current context, I understood that all my artist friends and I — henceforth, “content providers” — were essentially extinct. This contemptuous coinage is predicated on the assumption that it’s the delivery system that matters, relegating what used to be called “art” — writing, music, film, photography, illustration — to the status of filler, stuff to stick between banner ads.”
Amen, brother, amen.
I don’t “make content” — I write and am damned proud of what I’m able to do. What about you?