PCTO2011 Coverage: When Creator Becomes Content

This is a live blog coverage of Anthony Marco’s (@anthonymarco) session at Podcamp Toronto 2011. Everything that follows this italicized paragraph is based on Anthony’s presentation, and are not my own ideas. If you feel I misrepresented any of his ideas, please leave a comment and let me know.

We can often get similar content from a lot of different sources online. But we often make our choice based on who making the content.

We first go somewhere because of the topic. We see raw information and that’s what draws us in.

After a while, though, the raw presentation gets boring. So what content producers try to also do is make you see the content from their mind’s eye. They offer some perspectiveon it.

At this point, we move from “objectivity” to “subjectivity.” It becomes less about the raw information, and more about the personality delivering it — i.e. taking a personality that you can relate to and having that personality deliver an otherwise “dry” topic.

And, of course, this is where the bias comes in. Here, the raw information is already taken for granted, and what’s happening instead is that the content creator is trying to put it into context.

Now the creator has become the content. The point of the content is now entertainment rather than information. Both Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart do this.

The content creator now relies on reflection, commenting, and introspection. How does the information impact me? How does it impact you? How should it?

And the way that content creators answer these question is through narrative. They tell stories to put topics and information into context.

As content creators do this, we begin to relate to their personality. So while we’ll start out consuming some of their content because of its topic, we’ll start to consume other topics that they cover because we’ve want to consume the content creator themselves.

It’s similar to when “learning becomes fun.” For example, you can have 6 math teachers teaching the same curriculum, but some of them are going to make it more interesting and engaging than others, and that’s because they can give us a perspective we can relate to. They put it into a context that we understand, and show us how that information affects us.

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