A spade is a spade, let’s call things by what they are

The last few years has seen the prolific rise of the content creator the people who create content for other people to consume. I dislike this phrase. I don’t like it for a few reasons, but the primary one is I don’t consume content and I hate to break it to you, but neither do you.

If you read books they are written by an author, someone who has taken a lot of time and expended a lot of energy in dedication to writing. Yet we don’t call books content, we recognise them for what they are. Why then do we call blog posts or articles published on the web content? It takes just as much time and energy to write a series of posts on a blog as it does to write a book. Those people are not writing content, they are also authors they just happen to author a website instead of a book. So lets call them authors or writers.

The same goes for video. We don’t classify TV programmes and films as content, they are made by teams of people including directors, actors, presenters, writers, sound engineers, editors, and many more that I’ve missed. Why then are YouTubers classified as content creators? Are they not film makers? More often that not they do all of the roles that whole teams do for films.

Likewise with podcasts, another form of “content” that I “consume”. The skill and effort that goes into producing a podcast is the same as the skill and effort that goes into producing a radio show. We listen to radio shows just as we do podcasts, we don’t consume them. Why then do we not call the people who create them by the terms they deserve? The people who make radio shows are referred to as DJ’s, presenters, or broadcasters. Why do we not use these terms to talk about people who create podcasts? They may not broadcast their shows by a signal and mast, but they are still broadcasting their shows for all to hear on the internet (just as most radio stations do today).

I think it’s time we started to move away from the generic terms we use to define people who create and publish things on the internet and instead start using the respected terms we have been using for decades in the more “traditional” industries. It does a disservice to the skills of those creators when the vast majority are very talented people and deserve the credibility that comes with proper names for their professions.

Phil Bowell

Phil Bowell

Cheltenham, UK