Sunday, February 27, 2011

Curious about the Two Sides of Content: That Which Is Contained, and That Which Is Felt

Definition of Content: Contained within limits; satisfied; contented; at rest. That which is contained; the thing or things held by a receptacle or included within specified limits; as, the contents of a cask or bale or of a room; the contents of a book. To satisfy the desires of; to make easy in any situation; to appease or quiet; to gratify; to please.

Content is often the reason users come to your site.” - Jesse James Garrett, American businessman

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., American leader

Content has been king – and even queen – since I started working on the Internet in the early 90s.” So, I found what Doug Schumacher, President and Creative Director of Basement Inc., wrote the following about content in an IMEDIA article today:

Recognize that content is the new marketing.
The content a company produces is probably the most accurate form of marketing communications a company can deliver. If the company really understands its industry, then it should be able to produce good content. If not, it will show. Another plus to content development is that when your content is remarkable, you've already answered many of the questions around what your marketing messages should be.”

This is what led me to choose content – even though it has two sides – for this week’s blog. As usual, the different approaches covered by the quotations shone many lights on the subject.

Here is the first group:
  • "The next wave of the Web is going to be user-generated content.” - John Doerr, American businessman
  • The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.” - John Updike, American novelist
  • The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else.” - Yo-Yo Ma, American musician
  • A company like DreamWorks, all we do is make product. That's all we do. We don't own distribution. We are purely in the creation of content.” - Jeffrey Katzenberg, American producer
  • A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., American judge
  • After closely examining my conscience, I venture to state that in my historical novels I intended the content to be just as modern and up-to-date as in the contemporary ones.” – Lion Feuchtwanger, German novelist
  • There is just so much stuff in the world that, to me, is devoid of any real substance, value, and content that I just try to make sure that I am working on things that matter.” - Dean Kamen, American inventor

And some with a very different spin:

  • What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.” - Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychologist
  • What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” - David Ogilvy, English businessman
  • Most novices picture themselves as masters - and are content with the picture. This is why there are so few masters.” - Jean Toomer, American author
  • People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” - Andrew Carnegie, American businessman
  • People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” - Warren G. Bennis, American psychologist
  • The teller of a mirthful tale has latitude allowed him. We are content with less than absolute truth” - Charles Lamb, English critic
  • I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” - Anna Quindlen, American journalist

And a couple more:

I think my capacity to change has given me tremendous happiness, because who I am today I am completely content to be.” - Jamie Lee Curtis, American actress

It's hard to be ambitious if you're content, isn't it?” - Tucker Carlson, American journalist

So, what do you think? How important is content? And, how content are you?