Context Is King

They used to say “content is king.” Kings, like anything, have value because they are rare. Is content rare?

With hundreds of millions of users on Facebook and Twitter and tens of millions of blogs, content is everywhere. Sure, the quality varies, but content is anything but scarse. Most is ephemeral, easily forgotten, and replaced. How is this valuable?

With more content constantly vying for your precious attention & those attention spans shrinking, what are content makers to do? Shout louder? Produce more often? Shorten content depth? Is content in a race to the bottom?

What about context – the enlarged perspective to properly view, understand, & analyze content? Instead of pushing sound bits, talking points, or LOL cats, could we give others context to show the significance of information and gain knowledge? Maybe instead of acting as if we have all the answers, we could facilitate thinking and ask better questions.

If quality context is more rare (and therefore more valuable), has it become king? What do you think? Is content still king, or is this a great opportunity to supply more context?

Originally posted on Rogue Polymath blog.

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Jeff Ribeira

Well in my opinion, content has never been king… Critical, yes, but so are so many other aspects of a website/product, so how can a person say one thing is the absolute most important item? The limiting and pointless argument of design vs. content really is nothing more than a fallacy, but I definitely think you’re on to something with the idea of context. As society at large grows more savvy to the ways of the tech/marketing world, the need to supply context and present a compelling story becomes increasingly important. It is essentially the only thing that can truly set your company/organization apart in a world where, as you said, content is a dime a dozen and anyone can build their own custom website for practically nothing if not for free.

Personally, I’d take things a step further and say, as it’s come to be known in recent years, the user experience is king. UX encompasses all of the things you talk about here, and then some. Content, design, context (story), sociology, demographics, tech- in reality, these things are inseparable, and all play a huge part in delivering a successful product that our tech-driven, hyper-sensitive society demands.

Jay Johnson

Thanks for the comment Jeff. Like the idea of the holistic approach to “customer” experience as the key driver to consider vice strictly content.