On the Financial Times, Lou Stoppard searches for a meaning of the word content and talks with a number of content professionals, including one of them, Raven Smith:
Content is the stuff that fills the feeds we’ve created. It’s meant to make us feel content. The idea of contentedness is now in question. The key is arresting people, keeping them watching, and ensuring they take something away from the watch (the takeaway could be anything from ‘the world is going to be OK’ to ‘I want that dress’). Tone and aesthetics vary greatly, but the ‘arrest, engage, activate’ process is the same.
A fascinating read. I have never quite liked that word myself, especially in French — contenu — which sounds off. The word content is so vague — from a single tweet to a whole TV show — and yet so useful for those numerous times when you cannot really say anything else without over-simplifying it, or for those times when you really cannot list all the different formats featured in one project.
The vagueness of the word is what makes it so appealing, and so empty at the same time. Sounds a lot like the nature of the content itself we generally consume in our feeds.