The odds are high that you’ll create some kind of content today, with the majority of it likely being on social media. Will it last?
Seth Godin recently shared about the “cultural half-life” of ideas, and how our world is moving increasingly toward vaporous ideas that come and go as the social media algorithms move on to the next click of the day.
There’s really two aspects to what Seth is trying to say: systems and content.
For systems, I’m talking about sharing your ideas on a platform that you control so that they don’t fade away. With my site, I can easily reference back to posts from years ago (like discovering WordPress in 2004), which is much more difficult with social media. Using Facebook as an example, they weren’t even open to the public until 2006, and it’s likely that people will move on to other platforms over the next 17 years.
The other side is content. I linked back to my old WordPress post, but it’s really not of much value today. It’s neat to point to it, but that’s really about it. The key on the content side is to write content that matters and will be valuable in the future, which is another issue altogether and is something I continue to work on for myself.
This came up for me recently when a friend published a great post about the future of WordPress. Myself and a few others left comments on his blog post to start some discussion, but most of the discussion happened on Twitter. The ease of discussion there is great, but it’s already essentially gone. Finding old threads on Twitter can be tricky, but finding that post on his blog will be easy to do into the future.
If someone looks back on how this particular WordPress issue was resolved, they’ll find his post (and our few comments there), but almost certainly miss the deeper discussion on Twitter. It’s a tough balance, but it serves all of us well to focus our efforts in areas that will last.