Why “Content Developer” Might Be More Accurate than “Content Creator”
In world where people are really confused about what creatives do for a living, does it really help making it even more confusing?
It feels like there are a million different titles that mean the same thing. You’re a content creator. No, you’re a content marketer. Or maybe you’re a social media manager. Or a social media writer? Or maybe you’re a content marketer. No, a content strategist. Don’t all these titles have something in common, anyways?
One term that’s super catchy right now is that of “content creator”. It’s cool, it’s hip. And rightly so. “Content” is a much loved term — virtually anything these days goes by content. In reality, however, despite my own love for the word content, it’s less magical than it might seem. For example, by modern standards, anyone who creates something, creates content. Video is content. Email is content. Podcasts are content. I’m fine with that.
But when we simply attach “Creator” onto the end of “content”, things get a bit confusing. What does being a content creator mean? What real weight does it carry?
The Real Problem with Calling Someone a “Content Creator”
Just as a little side note: I don’t actually mind the term content creator. I think it sounds fun, it’s catchy, and it’s very much tied into the zeitgeist of today. In fact, if the world were made up solely of creatives, marketers, and ultra internet-savvy people, my main qualm with the term wouldn’t be a problem at all. However, given this is not the current state of our world nor will it probably ever be, the term “content creator” can lead to a profound misconception. It gives the idea that all you do is “create content”.
“It gives the idea that all you do is ‘create’ content.”
But content creators of the world — how much of your day is ACTUALLY spent creating stuff? If you’re anything like me, then probably, most of it isn’t spent creating.
If You’re Creating All Day, You Might be Doing Something Wrong
I don’t want to hate on anyone who is actually slamming out content all day long, their fingers glued to their keyboards, their eyes to their screen. It could be that this is how you live. When I first started out as a content creator — oh those glorious days — at the young age of twenty-two, I was getting paid by the article so I had to write a lot of articles in a day to make any money. In the real world, however, in the grown up world, and especially in the tech world, most of your time is not spent actually in the physical creating stage, fingers to keyboard, of content creation.
I can feel the shock and aww of everyone around the world at that statement. “You mean, you’ve been lying to us all along?” You might think. Or, worse, “so you mean you aren’t actually working?” On the contrary, the actual creating of content is just the tip of the iceberg. Again, if that’s not the case, chances are you’re doing something wrong.
A Lot Goes Into Content Creation Besides “Making”
As stated above, there’s a lot involved in creating content other than the actual sitting down and making of it. For example, let’s look at podcasting. A content creator, or manager, or whatever you want to call him or her, might only spend an hour or less recording a podcast. But does that mean that’s all there is involved in making a podcast? No way! There are a million other things involved in creating that podcast. Even if we think bigger picture — what about all the work that went into coming up with a show title, cover image, an angle for the show, and an angle for each and every episode. What went into the scheduling, the editorial process of selecting topics, the backend work of actually editing the sound, and then figuring out how to spread it across social media.
And podcasting might just be a very minimal part of a content creator’s job.
“Developer” Better Expresses What Actually Is Involved in Content Creation
Content Creation is more of the act of creating, and encompasses only a very small part of the content professionals job. As per my example above, you can see that in any creative enterprise, and any creative content produced, a whole hell of a lot went into it besides just writing, or recording, or publishing. This is why I think a much more appropriate term for what we content creators do is “Content Developer”. The word developer pays credence to the process of content creation. By including that word “developer”, it raises the gravitas of what we do, elevates our work to the level of other essential duties like software developer, real estate developer, or business developer. We are doing important work, and maybe — just maybe — we need a more serious title to reflect what we do.
Originally published at https://www.josephwriteranderson.com on April 29, 2020.