Sunday, May 14, 2006

necessary content vs. "content"

Should business priority be finding "content" to push at consumers...or should we focus on identifying actual customer needs and desires?

No consumer seeks content. They seek specific, customized or customizable products to solve current, aggravating personal problems. From surgery to comedy, a definable need is present. Not a lust for "content".

A company I like and support with free promotions, MoBuzz TV, the mobile vlog content provider, said: "...snacks for the content curious generation." and I took offense.

That made me mad.

"Content curious", indeed.

The big push for "content" means: sites need lots of material (text, audio, video, etc.) because users are consuming it faster and more abundantly than ever.

And if your content is stale, over a few hours old, you're dead. That includes your blog. If you're not publishing daily posts, one a day at minimum, you're worthless to the New Content Craving Generation.

Advertisers say "give us content that will please customers who we will then coax to buy our products!"

Content is not desired to fulfill the needs of users, content is desired to appear to gratify the content-lust of consumers, while driving traffic to online ads and product hype.

It's a Content Revolution...and it's way too much information, too much entertainment. Our brains are rotting away in luxurious beds of non-stop, infinite content.

Content providers and distributors seek more content. Can you give it to them? They may, they should, pay you for it.

They seek content-gushers: prolific writers like you and me. They seek video makers, music recordings, political commentary, cultural anthropology apologists, whatever.

Have you ever craved something elusive, a lightning butterfly flutter-flashing just on the edge of graspability?

Ever hungered for "content"? Raw data? Ideas as a pure concept, nothing specific?

Ever demanded "content", no matter what it might be? Those who "hate silence", the neurotics who fear the intrusion of the unconscious, who ward off the voice of conscience, they may crave "content" to drown out their self-loathing.

But you and I, us normal weirdos, we crave specific types of sensory input: text, audio, video, art, music, etc.

"Damn!" you swear in an ugly tone of voice. "If I don't get some content soon, I'm gonna go nuts. Shit. Where can I possibly get some fresh, relevant content? Everybody else seems to have plenty. Why am I so emaciated content-wise? It's not fair! I need some damned content, and I need it now, [expletive deleted]!"

Nobody wants "content". You don't consider "Sex and the City", "Deal or No Deal", "American Idol", "The Apprentice", "The Office", or "Oprah/Dr. Phil" to be "content". They're simply shows you like.

I bought the new Stereolab album last night, a CD entitled "fab four suture". I craved some new music, yes. But I was very selective, and passed over thousands of available "content" at Barnes & Noble last night. I was in a hurry. I settled upon one of my top 20 favorite bands of all time.

I've liked Stereolab since my first purchase, "Mars Audiac Quintet", followed quickly by "Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements" and "Switched On". I have almost everything Stereolab has ever recorded, but stalled about buying this new album. Now I'm glad I have it.

Really nice music, "fab four suture", dreamy Saturday morning electro-hippie these mind science, adult social retraining, easy-listening lounge rockers used to be post-punk drone-dirgey, and are still using minimalism, but in a lavish manner.

I don't consider Stereolab music to be "content".

But the online pundits, the digital marketers, blog media networks, social analysts, tech gurus, and everybody except normal average people, i.e., customers, are calling all the junk you like, they're calling it "content".

We call it "music", "project", "work, "book", "show", "movie", etc., but never: "Hey, do you have the fresh, new content of Stereolab yet?"

Have you seen the fresh, new content of Tom Cruise yet?

Are you curious about what every mind on earth is thinking every day? Do you see the absurdity of blogging? Psychic exhibitionists jabbering with peers and veers, no seers, no holy vision, just Self as Subject.

I am not curious rainbow.

I am not even very interested in my own thoughts, much less yours. Content-in-General? No thanks.

What I am interested in is Necessary Content. Necessary Content is not always desired, but is eventually mandatory. It's what you need to take the next step in whatever you're doing.

Necessary Content is what search engines spend time finding for people.

Necessary Content is what we must be largely composed of mentally and mnemonically.

Necessary Content is a number, word, sound, sight, or constellation of such items, that can be transmitted electro-compu-telepathically via the web, VPN, darknets, or exo-perceptually by traditional media.

Theory of Necessary Content:

The facts, data, image, insight you need right now to accomplish a specific vital task. Or an entertaining music video, podcast, or digital artwork to amuse and inspire you.


a_somjai said...

I came to visit Vaspers the Grate almost everyday, (pre sleeping and post wake up ...ha ha).I'm your blog fan.

Your "necessary content" lead me to find my "necessary content" for blogging.

I think 'Necessary Content' is "the power of blogger's will".


steven edward streight said...


carrie said...

if everyone has direct, instantaneous access to the entire body of collective human thought (through the internet)
this speeds up our evolution as a culture and thus our evolution mentally and in general.

so maybe we do want access to the thoughts of every single person...

steven edward streight said...

We don't have time to listen to or read all the thoughts of all humans alive today.

90% of those thoughts would be stupid, horrible, or erroroneous.

The contents of unenlightened mind are cravings, hostilities, and delusions. All possible types such flaws have been catalogued by the Buddhist and Freudian scholars.

Each of us must be, and shall be, selective.

We don't crave "music" as in just any old music. We seek specific content. We don't want to hear all the music in the whole world.

We champion the rise of individual voice in all blogs, but we must find the blogs, podcasts, music mp3s, videos, films, tutorials, news, product reviews, etc, that we personally are interested in.

We must filter out the extraneous noise of the blogosphere and all other spheres of communication.

Paul Woodhouse said...

Content may be necessary for a blog but that doesn't automatically make it necessary content.

Even relevant content isn't all it's cracked up to be. After all, the vast majority of spam blogs can claim to be 'relevant' to their chosen topic.

You've then got to move into the realms of worthwhile relevant content.

You can't use a search engine without making a request for specific content. That's one of the reasons why it's a vastly different method of taking in information that your average couch potato would indulge in. It's why TV is mind-numbing 99% of the time.

Content is the opiate of the masses whereas specific content is its crack-addled cousin without the Whitney Houston-esque downside.