We create content and content also creates us

create content

By Mark Schaefer

Recently I was interviewed by my friend Elizabeth Sosnow and she asked me about an observation in Return On Influence: “We create content … but in a way, content is also creating us.”

It had been a long time since I thought about this and I thought it was timely to reflect on this powerful concept. I think my friend Jason Falls put it very well when he stated in the book:

“Before the social web, there was always a ceiling or a velvet rope – a limit to where you could go with your influence unless you were somebody famous. Now anybody can be heard. Social media and the Internet makes it possible for every person to be published, find an audience, and become influential.”

Let’s face it, most of the people making an impact on the social web today would not have been heard from even a few years ago, including me. Yes, I create content. But as you see, content is also creating me.

A few months ago, I was cornered at a conference by a lady who kept telling me, “You’re a rockstar! You’re a rockstar!” I realize that “celebrity” is something that exists in a person’s head and there is nothing I can do about it, but this kind of stuff makes me very uncomfortable. I’m no rockstar, trust me. This is a perception … a creation … manufactured entirely by what I publish.

And while I am occasionally unnerved by both the positive and negative extremes of fandom, I realize how very fortunate I am to live in a time when my voice can be heard and I can truly have an impact on a global audience.

And you know what? You can have an impact, too.

If you’re not using this amazing, historic opportunity to publish, you’re missing out on one of the greatest technological gifts of our generation. Free publishing tools. Access to the world. The ability to connect with people nearly anywhere.

If you’re not a decent writer, try video blogs. If you don’t like video, start a podcast. If you don’t want to commit to podcasts, how about slide presentations on Slideshare, or even photographs on Instagram?

This is Jason’s time because he found blogging and committed to it. This is my time because I have the courage to create conversational content.

If you haven’t become a content creator, what are you waiting for? This is your time too! What are you going to do about it?

SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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