I’ve had a busy couple of weeks working on new reports for clients and developing presentations for forthcoming events where I’m keynoting, but amidst all this thinking about new ways of communicating and new opportunities to develop ideas, it’s perhaps timely that the recent Forrester 2010 Global Social Technographics report has identified that the most prolific content creators online have reduced their output recently.
Some commentators have estimated that the reason for this reduction of content output has to do with the novelty of content production wearing off. But Forrester themselves cite human behaviour as a reason for reduced content development, and there could be grounds for arguing that the variety of content production opportunities has expanded beyond the scope of the research parameters.
The Forrester report looks specifically at the production of blog posts, video, audio/music, web page development and the development of stories and articles for third party sites. Technically, the production of status updates, sharing of links, and annotation of location based services and general social conversations are not included in the research scope, and I suspect that more users are attenuating the time they spend uploading rich media or creating blog posts in favour of these more social and localised information production services.
This diversification of content production is absolutely explicable. Creators (as Forrester describes them) are ostensibly pioneers in online content development, and are thus more likely to experiment with emergent media (such as location based services and augmented reality, as well as short messaging services such as twitter) rather than spending time crafting content in maturing media such as blogs, YouTube and audio production facilities. It’s also likely that Creators are spending more time consuming content, in line with increased production of content globally.
Of course there are some who may say that the reduced production of content is indicative of a general slowing in capacity to engage in deep thinking. Fortunately, I feel that there is a more complex and rational explanation to the reduction of content production, and I have absolute belief in human capacity to engage as deeply and as profoundly as ever.