I have been a writer for a long time, and a reader longer. One of the things that I took away from my years of study is that when it comes to story arcs, nothing is new. That plot twist you had in mind? Somebody else has done it already, and probably better. It’s not about creating a new idea, it’s about how well you hide your sources (and recognize them if the opportunity presents itself organically) and how well you actually tell the story.
The Internet has a content problem but people are – at least to my eyes – slow to recognize the fallacy in pretending that our ideas are new. They aren’t. Wil openly admits that RCS is not a new concept. And SEO’s and websites in general are starting to see that problem – with more than 13 billion pages indexed you’d have think we ran into it sooner.
We did see and recognize the crap content to an extent when Google took an axe to content farms, but we’re also seeing it now with large publications. How does your content add value when there are 500 other posts about the “Top x things to do in y place”? Not very well, even if you are the New York Times.
Where is the value in your content, what are you offering to people that differentiates you from the billion other sites out there in your niche? Do you have unique research? First hand experience? I’m not sure which direction web content is going – we’re definitely heading towards more long form content, but I can see us swinging the pendulum either to more research based or more personalized, and I can see it going both ways dependent on the industry. It’s hard to be personal about accounting, but it’s easy to be personal about travel.
Where do you see the value in content being created now and in the future?