Thursday, September 22, 2016

Not content with content.

Over the last 15 years ago, really since the rise of the internet, a myth has formed that essentially propagates the idea that amateurs are as good as professionals.

Today, everyone is a "content creator." We "crowd-source" ideas. We're told we must collaborate with everyone and his sister and that creative needs to be iterative.

In a word, this is all horseshit.

Just about every day, I am asked to review "content" that is so egregiously bad I can barely make it through the first five seconds. There is no hook, no story, no craft, no idea, no elan, no spark, no clue, no clarity, no simplicity, no argument, no nothing except a taking up of space and pixels.

Last night I had a had a drink with a few friends in the business.

I told them about a precept of mine--austere, I'll admit--but valuable to me.

In economics there is something called "an opportunity cost." It is the loss or gain from an alternative when another alternative is chosen. So, if I were freelancing and got a call for weekend work, I'd have to make a decision. Is my leisure-time worth "selling" for the money I would be receiving?

I apply the same logic when I view content. Is it worth the time I am being asked to give? 

In fact, I utilize something I call the "Citizen Kane" rule. Citizen Kane is 119 minutes long. If a video I am being asked to watch is 3 minutes long, I ask myself "will it be 3/119ths as good as Citizen Kane?"

In other words, simply, is it worth my time? Will viewing it unlock/pay-for something I want to see? Will I learn something in an effective and entertaining manner? 

Or, will I just see more crap?

By producing crap we train viewers to become accustomed to expecting crap.

This evening, on your way home, find a pile of dogshit on the sidewalk.

Even the most oblivious people try to avoid it.

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