The (Content) Shock of an Instant on the Internet

Content shock is one of those things, like global warming or having Ryan Lochte as your kid's guidance counselor, we'd just as soon not contemplate.

Some say it's imminent. Some say it's already here.

The numbers say we content marketers have got a shitload of work ahead of us.

I had a rude encounter with those numbers when I decided to do some research on worldwide web use.

I should've taken Dramamine first.

Here are just a few of the numbers, courtesy of InternetLiveStats.com:

ACTIVITY

 

That would a lot of images, searches, YouTube views and emails in a day. Or in an hour.

These are how many are being done in just one second.

One. Single. Second.

But wait. There's more. Lots more.

WEBSITES

 

That's just the total that exist on the day I'm writing this, of course.

That's a billion up there, BTW. Not a million. 

By tomorrow, there'll be more.

And there'll be more content to fill them. 

How much more, you ask?

BLOGPOSTS

That was just the day I wrote this, at the point I stopped watching the ticker climb.

It might have been a really busy day. Or it might have just been bloggery as usual.

What it means is, your content has an awful lot of other content to compete against. Nobody is going to cull the glut, either. 

The end is not near. Maybe.

Yet somehow, miraculously, "content shock" hasn't devastated every content marketer yet. The cost of delivering effective, quality content hasn't yet become quite as prohibitive as Mark Schaefer projects. Are his economics sound? Probably. Will there be a shakeout? Undoubtedly. Will there be survivors still using content to cost-effectively score leads? Yep. 

The survivors -- the prosperers -- will adapt to different channels and forms. They'll give audiences usable content that hasn't all been scripted by a machine or a content mill. They'll have value that lets them ride out the suckage.

What constitutes "content" in a few years may be quite different from what we're experiencing right now, too.

And people may rely more on curation mechanisms to sort the wheat from the chaff.

So don't be chaff, in other words. Rise to the top. Quality is the only rock to build on when chaos and craptent is multiplying around us.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go write blogpost #3,326,053.

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