I am a content junkie. I read, watch, and listen to anything. The New Yorker, Vice, Rolling Stone, my daughter’s Instagrams, or Vine selfies from people I don’t even know: everything is fair game to be consumed at my all-you-can-eat content buffet. I even check my Facebook and LinkedIn feeds before I’m fully conscious of being awake in the morning. So it takes a lot (and I mean a lot) to lose me as an audience. And yet, some content publishers are trying very hard to do just that by polluting the digital world with tired, annoying content ranging from clickbait headlines to quizzes that test our tolerance for cultural trivia. Here are seven types of content that are ready for retirement now:
1. Stories that wallow in epic failure.
2. Clickbait headlines. (Thank you, @SavedYouAClick.)
3. 99.9 percent of all memes . . .
. . . especially involving this kid:
4. Political rants on social media. Hearts and minds remain unmoved.
5. Pop culture quizzes.
6. Definitely this guy. Everywhere. Every moment.
7. Articles that scold me for doing everything wrong.
And what kind of content should make me vomit but doesn’t? Well, I know I’m destroying all crediblity here, but I’m a sucker for photos of cats doing strange things, and I can’t get enough of those YouTube clips of crazy Russian daredevils dangling off buildings and balancing themselves on tiny steel beams hundreds of feet in the air (although I usually keep all those posts to myself when I see them). And that’s the rub: my inspiration is your soul-sucking waste of time. The lesson? Content is all about context. Content creates an audience, even momentarily. Content with context — shared at the right time to the right person — creates a loyal audience.
OK: what’s on your list of content that makes you want to curse the day the Internet was born?