Someone I know well attended Bike Week in Key West this year. While he was there, he sent me a text message that contained his whereabouts, and he happened to be in a place that I know flaunts a web cam. Excitedly, I replied to him and told him where to stand so I could see him.
How cool is that?! I thought. He’s almost 1500 miles away, and I can see him on my computer!
Then I wondered why that was important to me. I’ve seen him hundreds of times in person, I’m don’t have him under surveillance, and the scene isn’t really that exciting. What got me so jazzed up?
I truly believe that the power of the internet lies in helping people make connections–to ideas, to products, to services, to causes, and most of all, to people. Evolving technology has allowed information to bombard us faster. And because it’s so easy for anyone to participate, the amount of content is growing by leaps and bounds, too. Surrounded by so much noise, we tend to leap at opportunities to connect. Those connections offer small footholds we can use as either respite or jumping off points as we navigate our way through the din.
Continuing to turn over this idea in my head, I wonder how, as a content producer–personally, professionally, whatever–I can use this revelation of mine. If nothing else, I know that in order for my content to be meaningful to someone, it has to facilitate a connection. It has to draw people in and allow them to identify with it. I can’t just create noise; I have to create meaning. It’s a lot easier when we’re talking about personal content because I have relationships help draw people in. Making a professional mark proffers a more daunting challenge, however, particularly if I’m a new business trying to get noticed.
I know I’m not the first person to preach make-it-mean-something content creation, but I may be the first to arrive there from a bar’s web cam.