Content is King


When I applied to speak at the 20 Something Blogger Summit in Chicago this summer I basically gave them a list of 239 things I could speak about in the hopes that they would select me. They ended up choosing me to speak about “The Future Will Be Vlogged.”

Seemed like a fancy title, but it wasn’t until I started thinking about it that I realized I had a lot to say about that. It wasn’t just because I had created content in the past, and made videos, and posted things on the Internet. No, it was because I was getting frustrated.

Everything I saw on the Internet was so negative and snarky. Or if wasn’t directly making fun of something it was parodying it. Now I definitely believe parody can be awesomely relevant, but it just seemed liked anything that was made was parodying something else and it seemed so derivative.

And video blogging? Forget it. It seemed like every video blog I had ever came across was some pimply tween whining about how they found a hole in their sock during math.

Who cares?

So how the hell was I going to lead a session in Video blogging when I hadn’t really found anything I wanted to watch?

Well lucky I didn’t have to talk about what I liked, only what the future would hold. And luckily people tweeted live as I moderated this panel so what follows is what I actually said, and what I meant.

There is a tremendous demand for content. The rate we share content outpaces the rate we create.

In the beginning there were very few platforms whereby you could create content and share it with your friends. But then the ability to share became second nature. And amongst the major social platforms we now get bombarded with the same videos from different people on a regular basis.

That becomes an issue when every channel is airing the same shows and movies. When every website has the same videos. When you can see a piano playing cat on YouTube, Facebook, twitter, and dozens of other places.

For a while the pendulum was swinging in the direction of sharing. And while the rate at which we share will never slow down, the demand for content is now just as important. That is why you have brands like Hulu, Yahoo, YouTube, Netflix and more doing their own original content.

For a while people wanted to ingest content as fast as they could, but with that means content gets old quickly. Those who create content in the future will control it.

Content isn't a well that runs dry. It's endlessly refreshed

So many people have had great ideas for scripts, a series, or some other type of broadcasted content that they haven’t implemented because they worried about using up their good ideas.

The thing about creating though is that it’s not a one-time thing. Sure you have one hit wonders and people who do one big thing and never work again. But for the large majority of people, if you have enough in you to make one thing, chances are you have enough in you to make another. Making begets making. Start making something and see where it takes you.

It's not a challenge to find out how to be different. It's a challenge to be MORE of yourself.

And now with the hierarchy of content creators flattened and everybody having the ability to create whatever they want whenever they want, people worry, oh how will I stand out.

And so that is why you have people being audacious and ridiculous online. Doing incredibly stupid things to get attention. And sure it might work for a time. But since now everybody can make stuff, the possibility that someone out there is making something for YOU is greater than ever.

My prediction for the future is that there will be fewer major celebrities and what you will see is the rise of middle class celebrities. Not to say that minivans will become extremely popular. Rather I mean that there will be new niches and audiences that will spring up as more people connect with those with the same interests. And the best way to do that is by talking about or just doing the things you truly love.

The transition from content creator to curator happens fast. They like you; they want to know what you like.

And this is how those middle class celebs will come to be. Since we now all have an online presence, the people who like what we make will be curious to see what we like. This is how community is built, people liking things together.

So the people that never thought they could make anything will make stuff and people will see it and follow the stuff that those people making stuff never thought anybody would care to see.

Make sense? It probably shouldn’t.

Things that people have said will never work, work all the fucking time.

OK granted this is pretty vulgar but it’s true. I swear when I’m emphatic. And I am emphatic about this. The success of our culture is based on the principle that people who say stuff won’t work HAVE to be wrong.

Nobody knows for sure anymore. I have no idea what will work or what won’t. But I know what I love, and I know what I love to do. And I know how I feel when I do those things. So if I can pursue those things without harming anybody and while making myself happy… why the hell not?

So if somebody tells you no, well, just remember what Brian Grazer says:

No is just a moment in time.

I left that conference extremely enthusiastic about what I had to say and what people were eager to know. And thusly, after mocking, making fun of, and privately judging video bloggers… I became one. (anything I made fun of I eventually became.)

It supports the things I stated here. I talk about what I love. I keep it relevant. It is positive. And most importantly, I make it happen fast.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

90 Second Love.