I am my content. I have been a content creator since I learned how to speak and how to hold a pencil. I’m creating content every day of my life both professionally and personally. I create content every time I send a photo of my dog to my sister and every time I write a review of a movie or book that I loved. Some of this content is shown in front of an audience of over 1 million and some of it is for my eyes only. Interestingly enough just about all of this content is digital and when I am not creating my own digital content I am consuming other’s digital content.
My previous paragraph makes it sound like I should be in a support group for content consumption. Hi, my name is Libby and I am addicted to consuming content. I would say that my love for consuming content began when I was about six, I became obsessed with the cartoon show Spongebob Squarepants and would absorb anything Spongebob related like it was oxygen. To this day I can still recite episodes word for word and scare my mom like it’s a fun party trick. I still find those episodes hilarious and I believe they had a big impact on my sense of humor, I literally became the content I consumed. You can’t tell me that show wasn’t comedy gold because it absolutely was.
The first time I created my own content was when I realized that I had a passion for art. I loved drawing and painting and designing and I would fill sketchbooks and margins and any napkin I could get my hands on with doodles. At the time I don’t know if I would call my half finished doodles content creation but now I realize that was exactly what I was doing, producing content. Today I’m almost exclusively a digital artist, preferring to use Procreate on my IPad or Adobe Illustrator but the content that I created when I was younger influenced me to creating content for things i’m passionate about today.
What’s interesting about being a content creator is that I get to decide who sees my content, in this case my art, and who doesn’t. It’s funny because sometimes I don’t even know what’s best for my audience. Often I will finish a piece and think it’s not worth posting but post it anyway and it becomes one of best received posts. I hold all the power over my content but I have had to drill into my brain that just because I may not like the way something turned out, other people may love it or not even notice it. I’m always drawn back to this comic in those moments (excuse the profanity):
My content could be somebody’s Spongebob Squarepants one day and that’s all the motivation I need to keep going. I do try to keep a consistent upload schedule and not rush or hoard any of my content, but this is just relating to my art. The “content” (if you can call it that) I produce on twitter is more of just a random stream of consciousness I use as more of a personal diary.
Moving away from my personal content into my professional content is like entering a completely different world. I work for NJ.com as a social media strategist and everything I put out on our socials with audiences on Facebook at over 1 million and Twitter and Instagram over half a million is strictly regulated. Everything I post must be created with the audience at the forefront.
I run the Facebook page from 6-10 am every morning and I decided which news stories to feature on the page. I need to ask myself “what stories does the public deserve and need to see if these are the only stories they see today.” That’s a lot of responsibility (even more so when it’s a slow news day). I have to make sure that I’m never insulting the viewers intelligence in any way and that I’m staying as unbiased as possible.
When I’m creating graphics to go up on socials that is also strictly regulated. We have a certain type of font to use and follow a certain format that makes it easy to digest for the audience. We save (often hoard) graphics to use on slower news days or in case of emergencies but usually follow a regimented schedule of when everything should go out.
I’ve loved being a content creator ever since my days of Spongebob and now that I get to do it professionally I love it even more. I love the challenge of following a strict content aesthetic because I love being able to draw whatever I want in my free time. It’s a really fun juxtaposition and at the end of the day I get to do what I love all day which is to create.