This week I read notes from a panel at Independent Film Project (IFP)’s Film Week called Content vs. Art: Online Comedy Creators Talk. The panel reminded me of two things: One, the 2012 GQ interview with Frank Ocean in which he called himself a “content provider”, as well as my own interview on the Open Ended podcast when co-host James T. Green talked about how much he hated to use the term to describe what we produce and share on the web.
When did art become content?
Both art and content are valuable, and can serve the same purpose, but they aren't the same thing.
Art is messy, emotional, not guaranteed to be successful and difficult to measure. Content is a part of a larger strategy to stake claim to people’s eyeballs, ears, emotions and usually, wallets. Art can be so good and emotionally effective that it becomes great content. Although there are numerous online gurus teaching people how to make good content, grow your email list and increase traffic, followers and fans, even getting a successful content strategy in place is more art than science.
Personally I'm getting tired of content, but I never get tired of art. Content tells us how to live, art shows us how to live.
Show, Don't Tell,