A soldier in the content wars

I have a folder called “Dig.” In it are websites, people or concepts I’d like to explore further. Currently, I have sixty five items bookmarked. That’s a problem. Because there’s no way I’m going to have the time to explore them all.

So they just sit there, in my “Dig” folder, reminding me of the interesting things that I have yet to discover. 

If you’re someone who enjoys and aims to continue creating, a folder filled with so many bright ideas and people that you don’t have time to explore them all is overwhelming. But only when you think like a soldier in the content wars.

The content war is the fight to produce the best content in a particular space or niche. Participants in these wars measure “best” by an ever-shifting collection of metrics. Things like views, shares, comments, sign ups etc.. 

The content war is bloody. In any particular space or niche, there is a finite audience with a limited amount of time, attention, energy and money to distribute amongst the masses of people doing and producing interesting things. Naturally, most spaces are monopolised by a select few. These few people thrive while the majority struggle to survive.

That is the content wars. Everyone doing their best to produce something that captures the greatest share of the hearts and minds of their audience.

But you don’t have to fight. Unlike real world wars, neutrality is an option. You can choose to stay out of the fray. That’s what I would recommend. 

If I was a soldier in the content wars, I’d have thrown in the towel by now. By all the content soldier’s metrics, my blog and writing are unsuccessful. But I’m still here, showing up every day.


Because my aim isn’t 50,000 subscribers or a million uniques a month. Sure, that’d be nice. But it’s not the ultimate aim. 

My fight is internal. Unlike the content wars, which is external and driven by measurable feedback from the outside world. 

My battle is with myself. I’m fighting what I wrote yesterday. I’m fighting the things I thought last week. I’m in a perpetual struggle against past-me. Trying to ensure future-me is magnitudes better than him in every dimension. And unlike the content wars, there is no winning in my war.

The content soldier wins by achieving a certain predefined outcome. By achieving a particular status. I win by being better than I was yesterday.