If we look at the trajectory of content throughout history, it is no surprise that it has played a major role in transforming, recording and propelling human civilization forward. From the religious scripts and propaganda of World Wars, to 140 character tweets from the streets of Teheran and Cairo, content has catapulted revolutions and forever recorded the threads of human story. So how are we recording content today?
Over the past two years, I have found myself humbled by the power of social media content. As I watched the live feed from Al Jazeera and its broadcast of chaos on the streets of Cairo, I was fascinated by the importance that Twitter played in this massive revolution. I remember turning my twitter profile photo green, signaling my support for people of Iran. The protests in Egypt became one of the highest trending topics with #Mubarak, and #Jan25 hashtags. So does this mean that in (not so distant) future the record of history will become dynamic as well, powered by the dynamic nature of content?
Regardless of what your opinion of social media is, it has nonetheless become a content generator. Just as Evliya Çelebi, an Ottoman traveler who traveled for 40 years, recording customs, and history across the vast empire, so will social media outlets record human interactions and project them to generations to come.
I have recently been very impressed by Seth Godin’s “Domino Project” where he understood that content is no longer what it used to be. He harnessed the infectious nature of social media and used it to publish content. Regardless of the fact if the content has to be in printed or digital format, the paradigm shift underway is literally redefining the meaning of content.
So the design challenge is not what content will look like, but rather what content will mean today, and for future generations. What kind of content do we want to leave behind? Have we all become reincarnations of Evliya Çelebi, recording the world around us, and thus writing another chapter in this amazing human story? Personally, I think so. Therefore, keep tweeting, you have just become part of the human story.