It wasn’t all that long ago that it was possible to get by, even professionally, without doing very much writing. If you can remember a time before email, there were a few select writers in most companies and everyone else did their best to leave the wordsmith duties to them.
But then along came the Internet, and everything changed. Here are a few stats from Wired to illustrate the point: Each day, we send 154.6 billion emails, write more than 400 million tweets, produce over 1 million blog posts and around 2 million blog comments. Keep in mind, this is just for one day.
What’s happened is that by necessity everyone has become a writer. And to a certain extent, the same logic applies to video content creation as well. Brands have to produce it now, so they do.
So the question has to be raised, is any of this new writing and video production any good? It brings to mind the ‘Infinite monkey theorem’, which states that a monkey hitting typewriter keys at random for an infinite amount of time would eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare.
Or here’s another way to look at it. Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon famously said that ‘Ninety percent of everything is crap.’ For the moment, let’s assume that Mr. Sturgeon is correct. This means that 90% of all the emails, blog posts, video production, songs on iTunes, movies, advertising, fashion, photography and marketing is in fact, garbage.
Brands are writing incessantly today because they have to. Your brand is one of them. Which means the real question for marketers today isn’t… are we creating enough content? It’s this: Is our content any good?
In an ocean of words, images and video the vast majority will barely be noticed and quickly forgotten. What matters now is quality. Imagination. Highly effective story telling. And of course risk-taking. It wasn’t by accident that the most talked about television show in recent history was about a mild-mannered science teacher who became a global meth kingpin and notorious murderer.
The goal today isn’t to produce more content. It’s to find the right resources and produce the best content you possibly can. And then do it again tomorrow.