Mass amateurisation of content publishing has taken a few knocks recently – most often from professional content producers, many of whom still have access to the loudest megaphones in the media space, lashing out defensively at the prospect of becoming irrelevant and losing their jobs. And, let’s face it, we amateurs have done our fair share of mud-slinging at the has-been professionals …
The key question for me is about what motivates professional and amateur content producers.
The professional producers are traditionally paid to write stand-alone content which is designed to attract as many eyeballs as possible in the shortest possible time, before lining the cat litter tray. That’s it … nothing more … and nothing less. To do this, it must be authoritative, well researched and well written.
On the other hand, the amateur content producer is writing to reach out to others. The content is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. That end is in making connections and forming relationships and starting conversations. For example, the quality of the content of an indivdual blog post might look poor, because the richness is in the context around the post not in the text of the post itself. Quoting snippets of amateur content out of context is a bit like only reading the top e-mail response in a long e-mail chain that has been forwarded to several people, each of whom has added their bit of knowledge … just reading the top response is going to be pretty meaningless and miss the richness of the conversation underneath.
I can see plenty of opportunities for both amateur and professional content to exist side-by-side long into the future and enrich each other along the way – if only the two groups would stop hurling abuse at each other for a few minutes!