Content Is _____

I have a pretty clear definition of what content is in my head. But, I also know that it is something that is hard to put into words when you need to so I was curious how others might describe it.

While attending Blogworld Expo last week I carried around my video camera asking friends and strangers to complete the sentence “Content is ____”. I had a blast sitting down this morning and pulling out some of the nuggets to share with everyone. It was fascinating how many different directions people went with their answers.

You might see some familiar faces in the video like Scott Monty, Todd Defren, Maggie Fox, Steve Hall, Jenny Cisney, Ewan Spence and Steve Garfield. Thanks to everyone who allowed me to film them. I ended up with so many great answers I couldn’t fit them all into the video.

Now, if I asked YOU the question how would you answer? What is content to you and how do you describe it? In the comments answer the question: Content Is _____

Update 11/19 – Adding links to content that people in the video are creating. If I forget someone, please let me know and I’ll add them.

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41 Responses to “Content Is _____”

  1. Matthew Ebel Says:

    Content is impossible to automate.

  2. Alex Hunter Says:

    Content is… substance over CSS.

  3. Dan Gorgone Says:

    Content is THE GOODS. If you don’t have it, your users will find someone else who does.

  4. C.C. Chapman Says:

    *grin* Leave it to you my friend to go there. LOVE it.

    And you are right. It is up to each individual to provide content because if you don’t then I bet someone else in the space will!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Content is EVERYTHING. What are you marketing/selling/etc, if not content? Bad content is impossible to sell; good content is impossible to hide.

  6. DS Says:

    Content is creation

  7. C.C. Chapman Says:

    Simple and on point!

  8. jakrose Says:

    Content is defined by the consumer not the creator. Content is media that was chosen to be consumed.

  9. jakrose Says:

    Content is defined by the consumer not the creator. Content is media that was chosen to be consumed.

  10. jakrose Says:

    Content is defined by the consumer not the creator. Content is media that was chosen to be consumed.

  11. C.C. Chapman Says:

    Wait, aren’t you the King of all Robots? *laugh*

    I agree with you. If your content doesn’t have a pulse than no one is going to pay attention to it.

  12. C.C. Chapman Says:

    I LOVE that last sentence!!

  13. matthew gordon Says:

    is the things that keeps people coming back for more.
    is what turns “followers” into advocates.
    is crucial when the competition provides bad, wrong or misleading information.

  14. C.C. Chapman Says:

    I wonder if that is why CSS has always baffled me more than it should.

  15. Says:

    Content is KEY!

  16. Says:

    Content is KEY! 🙂

  17. C.C. Chapman Says:

    Now THERE is an interesting angle on the whole argument that I really like and think I need to wrap my head around some more.

    Damn you! Now you’ve got my mind in overdrive.

  18. Jeremy Meyers Says:

    Content is a secret code for business-minded people to not be scared into thinking they’re doing ‘art’.

  19. jakrose Says:

    Those are my personal definitions. I define media as information that holds value. All information holds value to somebody.

    But the question that most people should consider more often when it comes to the value of their content is which end of the production line considers all this stuff worthwhile? The CEO or the customer? The creative director or the blogger than might share it with 100,000 readers?

    Looking forward to the book man.

  20. davinabrewer Says:

    Content is connective tissue that when shared, it brings people (brands, consumers, etc.) together. Like the video, someone used the “it’s like porn, you know it when you see it” line, I use that one when defining social media. FWIW.

  21. C.C. Chapman Says:

    Are you SURE you didn’t sneak read a copy of our book? *laugh* Your point
    about who is the content for is a CORE part of what we cover in the book and
    try to drill home. Sure, you need to be internally happy about anything you
    create, but if it isn’t exciting or engaging to the people you hope to reach
    then what is the point?

    An ongoing balancing act for sure.

  22. Alex Hunter Says:

    I love how you genuinely follow your own rules CC, of having conversations. This is the few places you can genuinely have a conversation. Practising what you preach should be one of the rules for internet commentators!

  23. Anonymous Says:

    The internet is the road network, websites are cars and content is the gaz that power the cars 🙂

    A car without gaz is useless.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Content is everything… because, well, Content Rules!

    (You knew I was going to say that!)

  25. Shannon Ennis Says:

    Content is substantive information subject to interpretation. One man’s content is another man’s crap. I believe George Carlin said it best. “My stuff is stuff. Your stuff is shit.”

  26. C.C. Chapman Says:

    AMEN to that!!!

    It is the one rule I’ve always personally and professionally followed. If
    I’m not myself or do something that isn’t right for me then everyone will
    know it.

  27. C.C. Chapman Says:

    *hugs* THIS is yet another reason why I love you to death Ann!

  28. Brendita'sBodyWorks Says:

    Content (adj.) is desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.

  29. Content is… a video at BlogWorldExpo : Ewan Spence's All New Musings. Says:

    […] More at Content Rules. […]

  30. Says:

    Content is king when the web is ubiquitous

  31. Marcus Sheridan Says:

    That it does Ann 😉 ….To be honest, I’m still jealous of that book title, it’s literally perfect…Tell me, whose flash of brilliance was it, your or CC’s?

  32. Marcus Sheridan Says:

    Content is any thought, doubt, question, or concern that a consumer(of your product or service) has had, may have, should have, or will have in the future. 🙂

  33. C.C. Chapman Says:

    Ann gets all the credit on the title.

  34. John Piercy Says:

    Content is capturing a moment that you will never feel see or touch again , it creates questions and soothes the soul

  35. Content for a Convergent World: Information, Interactions, and Experiences | Content for a Convergent World Says:

    […] Content Rules by C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley: Content Is _____ This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Stever Robbins on How to Live on Purpose […]

  36. averagebetty Says:

    I’m bothered by the fact that credit is given to “familiar faces” and not the content creators themselves that contributed to your video, CC. Why not take the opportunity to mention Walt Ribeiro (:29) who arranges pop songs for orchestra and link to his site? That’s some pretty cool content. Why not take a second to acknowledge Beth Cochran (1:22) who does a live cooking show and link to her site?

    If the “unfamiliar faces” in your video were good enough to “use” why not give them credit? I feel as though you have broken the first rules of creating and using content – site your sources and give credit where it is due.

  37. C.C. Chapman Says:

    Wow, I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone and didn’t mention everyone in the video because…well I don’t know why I didn’t mention anyone. When I posted the video I put in a few names of people. Wasn’t an effort to leave out anyone or forget anyone, I just didn’t put everyone.

    And while I am a huge supporter and advocate for always giving credit where credit is used, all the video clips used here are used with permission. I asked before filming everyone that was in the video if they were ok with me doing this and the few that were not ok, were not filmed. As the creator of this video I feel comfortable that I covered myself completely fine.

    Sorry if you feel slighted in any way. Walt, Beth and everyone in this video (minus one who I didn’t know until I filmed this) are friends and that is why I asked everyone to be part of this. If I offended you or anyone I’m truly sorry and that was not my intention.

  38. averagebetty Says:

    I’m not offended, I’m concerned. You are a friend, CC and I have a lot of respect for you in the new media space. I believe your actions influence others.

    Permission is different than credit. Let’s say a fellow food writer emails me and asks if they can use one of my photos. I say sure. Then the fellow food writer uses my photo but doesn’t give me credit for the use of my work. They have my permission… but their readers probably just assume that the photo is that of the other food writer’s, not mine. The other food writer didn’t give me the handshake. They didn’t share the love. And that’s all it takes.

    At the very least, I think we have the opportunity everyday to introduce new viewers, readers or listeners to other content and content creators through our own content. My reader doesn’t have to do anything but click on a link and suddenly they might be your reader too. This is just something I practice and I wonder why this is not something you do?

  39. C.C. Chapman Says:

    I have never seen a highlight type of video ever link in the way you are mentioning anywhere so it is not the norm. But since it seems to bother you so much I will go and grab everyone’s links and update the post with that information. I love directing people to other great content and everyone in this video certainly does this. Thanks for sharing your concerns.

  40. averagebetty Says:

    Well, CC for the sake of debate – Thank you for adding the links. I appreciate the sentiment. It’s strange I got so fired up about this topic and that I’d choose to debate it with the nicest guy on the internet (well, I suppose you’re tied with Steve Garfield). Thank you for taking the time to discuss this with me and for your consideration. Don’t hate me lol 🙂

  41. C.C. Chapman Says:

    I don’t hate you at all. Constructive debate is always a good thing.