Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The accidental content foodie

Ok first, I must have full disclosure; I ain't no foodie! I eat to live, rather than live to eat (well apart from cravings for Natural Confectionery Company sour lollies and the odd Boost Juice). This could be because I have an immature palate. Or because I'm English and grew up on Birds Eye fish fingers served on 70s brown glass plates and never had the luxury of being educated by Jamie's School Dinners. I don't know. I'm just not that interested in wanking on about the origin of a tomato, haloumi or where to go for the best farmer's market fish in town. I could perhaps learn to appreciate these things over time but for the moment I am happy in the kingdom of take-away and frozen meals. Hell, I might even author a microwave cookbook one day. Prepare yourselves.

So in MarketingProfs style, I'll 'get to my point' - food is like content and content is like food. Versatile. Dynamic. Good and bad. Mixed. New and old. Sometimes convenient. Sometimes slow.

And... in the war of new vs. heritage media it is entirely to do with consumption. What I know about food is that too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing and the best nutritional dietry requirements involve variety. In the content game the same holds true.

Books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, tweets, texts, pings, ribbits (ok now I'm bullshitting...) all hold value and are all important in creating a balanced diet, ripe for consumption.

I love tweeting and following other people's tweets because they are, if you like, treats. Small, bite-sized portions that provide me with instant gratification. They aren't exactly good for me (time-gobbling, distracting, noisy) and they don't really fill me up but they are perfect for tasting everything that is out there so I can stay in touch and consume as many treats as I can within a small amount of time.

Blogs on the other hand, take a little more time to consume and do squash my hunger somewhat, but are often hard to find in my bustling pantry of RSS feeds due to too much choice. I have to make a decision, and decision-making is quite difficult to master, so often I return to the impulse consumption of tweeting.

After doing some analysis on consumption, I got to thinking, if I really want to start the new year with some good resolutions and really consume what I need to, to squander my hunger in the long-term so that I don't overindulge in content, I should be looking for a filling solution.

And then I saw it... a return to books (not that they ever went away). Glorious things that fill me up and provide energy (and ideas) for me to take away for weeks and months to come. Unlike treats (tweets) which sit in my short-term memory before being leaked out, books live on in me for years. After reading a book, I am at rest.

The same goes for all other mediums... appreciate that there's a balance and your metabolism will thank you. ;-)


  1. I love the analogy Kate. They say that a balanced diet must contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts and fibre. It must contain these things in the correct proportions.

    You can certainly get caught up consuming too much of one platform and either feel like you are missing something or feel bloated and un-fulfilled. But then sometimes pigging out on something is very satisfying (e.g. reading a book all day).

  2. Too true Daniel. Looking forward to doing some reading on the weekend actually. I've a growing pile of books on my bedside table that need attending to before the library ask for them back. ;-)

    Hope to meet you in Melbourne in a couple of weeks.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this Kate, it made me hungry ;)
    I'm working with traditional media channels and exploring how we work with online media channels... It's a very valid point that one cannot replace the other...they all need to have some space on the plate!

  4. Really great post Kate. I agree completely.

  5. Interesting post yo. Thanks for making me think about how our reading habits are changing - devolving? - toward smaller chunks, the treats that you mentioned. Finding the time to sit down with a book is tough when there's so much going on in facebook and twitter and rss and email land..


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