Everyone has the content religion.
If you toil under the marketing umbrella, your updated job description likely includes the word “content.”
And publications ranging from BuzzFeed to Fortune to BusinessInsider have created business units to address — that’s right — developing content for companies.
Which explains why the mantra, “Content Is King,” has been chanted into the ground.
We tend to think of this infatuation with content as a recent phenomenon, that the rise of digital media prompted the invention of content (now there’s a patent with value).
But is this so?
I investigated the matter to determine if content existed before the World Wide Web.
It turns out that not only did content exist before the Web, its presence found its way into popular culture as far back as the 1960s. In the video clip below from the 1967 Academy Award-winning movie, “The Graduate,” watch Mr. McGuire offer career advice to Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin.
I’m sorry that the age of the video has somewhat eroded the audio quality. If you have trouble, here’s a written version of the dialogue from the scene once Mr. McGuire and Dustin Hoffman move outside.
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes I am.
Mr. McGuire: Content …
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in content. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Dustin Hoffman: Yes I will.
Mr. McGuire: Shhhh. Enough said. That’s a deal.
We can safely conclude that yes, content existed before the World Wide Web.
P.S. Watching this scene unfold never gets old. Business communicators can hone their storytelling technique from other movies like the opening of “500 Days of Summer.”