14

JULY 2016

Content is Dead (Just Like Jon Snow), Long Live Lady Story!

Want Stories? We Have a Story to Tell…

content

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill. Please remain calm and breathe in, breathe out, try to stay where you are without doing any sudden moves. If possible, reach for a glass of water, keeping yourselves hydrated during this difficult time is crucial. Focus on your most successful chakra and bring in all the universal energy you can possibly harness.

A Short and Shocking Introduction

Once upon a time, there was a king who was awesome. Everybody was raising altars to his power to bring forth quality and establish authority. Everybody was ready to pay for this king to work his magic and bring them leads and sales, good ROI and good results. He was on everybody’s lips. A simple Google search for his name would be worth millions and everybody was ready to sell a kidney and their mom’s kidney to get in front of competition and prove undying allegiance to him.

But, just as it so happens, the King just died.

I told you… the news is hard to bear and details are not for the faint hearted. Please try to stay calm and focus on a positive. Keep reading for more details and there might be some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

When Did Content Die? What Was the Coroner’s Report?

Content was pronounced dead at 8 AM GMT on Sunday, January 30, Anno Domini 2016. The team of forensics experts was sad to pronounce him dead on site, no actual efforts from the paramedics yielded any results. Present at the scene, a journalist managed to get a few shots and gathered a few first impressions from witnesses and first-responders. They were so shocking, his editor hesitated to publish them.

I divagate a bit to ponder on that poor editor’s dilemma. You may actually understand where his hesitation comes from, if you have been into publishing for a while. All that blood and gore… those details that do not spare anyone, the stuff of nightmares only horror fiction lovers will manage to swallow, maybe not even them.  The many innocent children who can remain stigmatized after being exposed to the news! And still, the potential to sell hundreds upon hundreds of copies! The potential to even win a Pulitzer! What an interesting problem to have! Do you open with large square letters on your morning edition: CONTENT FOUND DEAD! MURDERED POLICE SAY – KILLER STILL AT LARGE! Or make this a page 5 story, but lead with it on your front page?

We must all admit we are living extraordinary times! After a brief life of so much unprecedented success, after becoming larger than life and the false god that many marketers were praying to every day, Content just up and died… without the decency of leaving an heir, someone to continue this legacy. Or did he?

Investigation: What Was Content Doing Wrong?

The forensic expert who examined Content’s body was very quick to decide: this was an unhappy accident. It just so… happened and there was nothing anyone could have done. It turns out Content was suffering from a very rare affliction, one found in a million: he had a tendency to grow without limit. So much growing, beyond natural reason, was bound to blow up at some point. After all, no living organism can sustain so much uncontrolled growing- without a clear purpose, without an end in sight.

So no, he was doing nothing wrong. He was just doomed from the start, to perish in this odd, senseless way. So many people had fed Content his success over the years. So many have written about him, millions and millions and tributes to his greatness have been pouring in from all over the world. Billions were spent force-feeding this fantastic child of the internet age, until everything, all this crazy downpour of attention brought him to a size that could no longer sustain his existence.

Maybe this was not the most scientific conclusion a forensic specialist could have reached, but it was the one that spoke the truth. There was a lot of speculation in the media, all sorts of crazy stories and talk of foul play, but the actual, hard truth was that we had all killed Content with our attention.

Who Replaced Content? An Introduction to Lady Story

And because no place in this world remains void for a long time, someone had to step in. Reluctantly at first, but still heir to a huge empire, there came Lady Story. She was not loved by all at first and many still contest her to this day. But the legacy had to continue.

Lady Story- a beautiful, darker, more sophisticated person. Although looking youthful, scandal magazines soon revealed the shocking truth about her: she was older, much older than she looked. Older than content, older than the written word. She was so ancient she had to rely on cosmetic surgery every two and a half years or so. Reinventing her every muscle, her every cell, she was renewing her appearance so often, even her family and servants had a hard time recognizing her. Weird…

The first thing she did when she came up to power was to declare storytelling the new god of the internet jungle. All followers, pundits, theorists, all marketers and slaves, they were all to follow this one essential rule: everything had to be a story. The craze! The horror that followed! So much confusion and compliance! Now, every mom and dad store site was trying to remember something worth saying, inventing their own story, making it all about a personal approach. Every little plumbing company was racking their brains to come up with a tear-jerking fairytale, hoping this will help them sell more.

And the same scenario started happening over and over again: millions of people involved, theorizing about the new ways, billions of $ spent on inventing everything all over again.

Understandably, it took just one single theorist to open their mouth and ask: “Is Lady Story Safe?” to get everyone hysterical about it. What if she continues to grow like Content and ends up blowing up?

Something Shocking This Way Comes…

It all happened on a fateful night, close to the end of summer that year. A stray paparazzo looking for an easy cash-out was stationed outside of Lady Story’s official residence. And on a strike of luck, they happened behind a tree, just outside her living room. A bold move, a lucky strike, a flash and boom…a picture was taken that was to change the world as we know it forever. What was it? Everyone was asking. Everyone was shivering in anticipation. Some called it a fake. Others said it was the truth and my god, how they knew it from the start!

The lucky paparazzo shot was revealing a shocking truth: Lady Story was in fact using a disguise. She was no other than Content… very much alive and kicking, just indulging his dragging obsession of new and fooling everyone into believing he had been dead and buried. Lady Story was Old Lord Content- not brought back to life by the sexy-looking Red Priestess Melisandre by channeling the ancient powers of some god…. just never dead at all…

Long Live Content!

…cried everyone from all the corners of the internet kingdoms…. some half-heartedly and somehow reluctantly, others in sheer and genuine surprise. What a relief!

All was now well with the world again! The sun was shining, the birds were chirruping in the trees, the grass seemed green again. The internet world was safe in the hands of the same old god or goddess… After all, who cared if they liked to drag? The future now looks brighter, that everything is old and new again. Nothing ever changes truly, it just sometimes undergoes a revamp.

Happy content marketing, darlings!

Note: The above is part of an upcoming eBook on content marketing and the state of internet today that Iris Content will be offering as a free resource later this year. The author advises caution in enjoying it: after all content marketing and creation is something very serious and we are proud to be able to help you deliver and improve it. 

Annie Ianko

Content Happiness Advisor

Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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