It’s not because I hate them (spoiler, I do), because who am I, and why would you care?
But isn’t everyone churning out all this stuff so they can look like ‘experts’? I choose my words carefully. They would probably say they want to ‘demonstrate expertise’, but I would argue that most experts are too busy being so, to spend time telling people they are – just as truly successful people don’t spend time reading articles about what successful people do.
The invention of the internet has revolutionised publishing. What was once an elite activity has been brought to the masses. No longer do you have to have an especially interesting point of view, or advance knowledge in your field to get your voice heard. Now, you can simply recycle, and regurgitate, and lo! Everyone can become an armchair academic, a commentator, novelist, THOUGHT LEADER.
Many people are writing CONTENT to chase elusive ‘authority’ status to rank better in search engines. Authority, expertise – aren’t they the same? Well, not quite, especially if we’re viewing it through the lens of SEO. Content demonstrates relevance, people sharing and linking to that content demonstrates authority. Bingo. Rubbish proliferates.
But what’s the harm, huh? Words are cheap. Especially when you don’t have to pay for paper, ink. But they’re not free. There’s the electricity, developer time, all the things that went into creating the CMS you’re using to scatter your 5 pearls of ‘wisdom’ to the world.
A whole, self-perpetuating industry exists, scampering around in the shallows of various subject matter, just to help you try to differentiate from that other guy who does the same thing in the same way for the same money and outcome.
I find the whole thing wasteful. Who wants to read it? Would YOU be interested to read the stuff you’re churning out? Why are you even bothering spending time writing it (or paying someone else to)? In the hope of getting a few clicks? Maybe time would be better spent curating truly interesting content, and commenting on what it made you think, feel; translating it for a less expert audience; or talking about how you apply the same principles in your business.
Or maybe I should switch off social media channels, and it would stop bothering me. But I don’t want to live in a cave. I love that the internet lets me find things that might not otherwise have made it into print, onto the TV; as they’re too esoteric, irreverent, or the creator not good at pitching themselves or their ideas.
If someone could invent a giant filter to weed out the crap, that would be awesome. But then people would just game the algorithm, like they try to do with Google.
Ugh. There’s nothing else for it. We’re just going to have to kill ‘content marketing’. Who’s with me?