Two cents blog

Feeding the insatiable content beast

by Alex Hind on 30 March 2016

Hello from the lab at CSI Bris-Vegas!

I know it might stretch the bounds of credibility given that I have no formal training, but I’m actually a highly accomplished forensic investigator. You see, I have solved the Steven Avery murder case. You know the one, the subject of the “Making a Murderer” documentary series that became an international phenomenon. Impressed?

After much detailed analysis I have concluded that Mr Avery didn’t do it. It was a shocking set-up by the Manitowoc Sheriffs Department, Netflix, and I suspect there may have been a bit of extra terrestrial involvement. Just sayin’. Case closed.

How was it I was able to come to such a concrete, some would say questionable conclusion? I cracked it by pouring through the mountains of content that has been generated around the case. There have been countless blogs, tweets, long online deconstructions, podcasts and TV morning show interviews with the main players and the filmmakers all in response to the global obsession with the show, and demand for more and more content associated with the case.

In the past ten years our learning behaviours have changed. Where we once gleaned information by engaging in conversation with trusted sources, we now relentlessly scour the internet for any titbit of information. We devour content. Our hunger is seemingly insatiable. We want to be able to research and source engaging material relevant to us. It must be immediate, useful and interesting.

Never before in human history have we been more informed. All of human knowledge and understanding sits in our pocket a mere click away. No more hours spent pouring over mouldy obscure library books, encyclopaedias, or sifting through periodicals.

Now we have easier access to information and product comparisons. Many moons ago we would have had a chat to the man at the local nursery as to how to remove nutgrass from our front lawn. We now spend hours reading gardening blogs and find ourselves in our pyjamas, sipping red wine, at 10pm on a Saturday night searching for online outlets that sell halosulfuron-methyl… Or, is that just me?

meme

Podcasts have been around for over ten years, they were launched through Apple’s iMusic app. However, in the past two years, as our content lust has grown so has the popularity of the Podcast. Hit murder investigation “Serial” has been attributed to the Podcast Renaissance. It quickly became the world’s most popular podcast. In fact, each episode was downloaded at least 1.26 million times.

Thanks to podcasts we have the opportunity to become “specialists” in almost any  field you care to think of. There are now masses flocking to other podcasts including “Freakanomics Radio”, “WTF”, “How Stuff Works” and “The Nerdist”. So popular and powerful in fact has the “WTF” podcast, hosted by comedian Marc Maron, become that US President Barack Obama recently spent an hour or so sitting in the host’s suburban garage where the show is recorded.

Kevin Moreland, Managing Director of BCM Partnership said in a recent social media discussion looking at the increase in demand for content, “we live in a fragmented world; one that is defined by micro-moments.”

Reading a newspaper from cover to cover is passé, nowadays we flit between our social media accounts. We watch 20 second activation videos, laugh at memes about US presidential wannabes, glance over lists of life hacks (can you really cut a cake with dental floss and would you want to?), and keep abreast of world events by monitoring the subjects trending on Twitter and Instagram… All while listening to a TED Talk. Incidentally, TED Talks contains videos that have been viewed over a billion times.

FACEY

I would love to talk about other popular content avenues, but I can’t. You see my local post office has just called querying the package that’s just arrived addressed to me. Apparently, I’m to explain to the nice HAZMAT officer awaiting my arrival exactly what I need 20 litres of halosulfuron-methyl for.

Alex Hind is a Content Writer and Video Producer at BCM 

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