Notes

People & Content

I’m joining my Wiggle Work friends in a daily blogging challenge, attempting to publish one post here each day in February.

I’m nervous about it.

I’ve never posted this frequently, nor have I stuck to a theme.

But I’ll be writing daily on the theme of people and content.

I’ve spent the majority of my life helping people manage content on the internet: family, friends, clients small and large. I love being a nerd that helps people coordinate and refine and present words and images to the world. At the same time, I detest the way we use the word “content” to describe a unit of labor product that’s ready for The Algorithm.

I think frequently about the difference between art having something to say and content having to say something, and I worry about how I balance art and business in my life. They often feel at odds with one another, teetering to either side.

I’ve been writing my way through this balance as I explore what I do with my time and focus every day, in a daring attempt to evolve with conviction while paying for groceries.

The idea for the theme came from a friend that suggested I could write a newsletter about the CMS landscape. I like exploring how different products and teams approach content management software and web projects, so why not write about it?

On one hand I’d love to run with that and use a newsletter as an excuse to interview people and spend more time with different projects and platforms. I could offer a high-level view across languages and frameworks that might inspire developers and designers and content strategists whatever they may happen to be working with. I have seen and learned things that could be useful. I am clueless about even more, but an audience would further stoke my curiosity to explore and report what I learn.

On the other hand, I have no interest in exploring or advancing the commodification of art. Content mills and generative garbage and SEO games are the cloying smog that blankets a digital landscape I grew up with and loved, and these are all relevant to content management whether I like it or not. I’m also more cautious about the tools I rely on for the sake of longevity, and have a reluctance to trust certain kinds of projects because of how they’re organized, how they’re funded, or even just the sensibilities they exude. My cheer and objectivity are finite resources.

Plus, do I have as much to say about all this as I think?

I have strong positive feelings about the value of human expression and people working together happily, especially when nerd powers can be used to build systems to support them.

I have strong negative feelings about the content assembly line and matters of heart crushed by a stampede chasing profit.

So join me, if you want!

Will I write really good stuff?

Will I have a few interesting thoughts buried in a pile of hasty rants?

Will I poop out on day four and be embarrassed that two people saw this?

Will I tap into some deranged force that has me writing with caps lock at 3am?

I don’t know.

But tomorrow is day one.