The Content Explosion: What does it mean for quality?

“More content will be created today than existed in entirety before 2003.”  –Steve Rubel, EVP/Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman – the world’s largest independent public relations firm


This quote has been showing up all over the internet lately.  I’ve been thinking about what this means and how “experts” will spin this to their advantage.  

Now that anyone can publish from anywhere, it should be no surprise that this is going to be the case.  The pessimist may say “sure, we have more content, but it isn’t any better, in fact it’s worse!”  I argue that the world is learning how to create.  Everyone can create now, we all have a lot to learn. There is going to be a lot of growing pains as we create to gain experience; to know how to engage the world.  In the end, this will result in a much more informed, immaginiative, and creative world.   


Before cable and satellite, the TV networks could get away with Gilligan’s Island and Dragnet.  Then cable and satellite gave us an exponential growth of programming, more networks available, more bad TV, but also more good TV.  The complexity of the story in many TV series’ are now far more complex than they were in the early years of TV.  (Everything Bad Is Good For You -Stephen Johnson)


So now we have the internet.  Access to ANY content is measured in seconds and require key strokes rather than a physical trip to a record store, library, school, university, movie theater, ect. Content is published in new ways.  Books are interactive and are packaged as “apps” and will never be bound or require you to travel somewhere to buy it!  Anyone can gain access to resources easier now than ever before. Content that used to only exist in one’s imagination and never had a chance to reach a “published” or “produced” stage due to lack of resources (time and money), can now be achieved with a minimal investment in time and the monetary expense of a digital device and an internet connection.  


Just as with Television, we are now entering a content explosion on the internet that will transform the overall quality of what we have access to.  Yes, some will create the internet equivalent of Soap Operas, but interest in poor quality content will wane.  All of us will get better at creating content that is of value.  We just have to start creating!


It’s simple to run and it’s simple to fall

It’s simple to do nothing at all

It’s simple to hide and it’s simple to feel

It’s simple to spin round like a wheel

But it’s hard to do something that’s yours 

-Dan Burn, Simple  


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