Is there too much content?

67hulu_vs_netflix We’ve been talking a lot in my new office about what things we like. I, of course, being a geek like TV shows, YouTube series, podcasts, books, comics and it’s ilk. They ask me about XYZ TV show that they like and I realize that I’ve fallen tremendously behind because it’s a CBS show and I don’t have it on my Hulu queue.

Later I’m listening to the Billboard Hot 100 playlist on Spotify and realize I haven’t even heard of 10% of the bands on the list, let alone listened to their singles. It’s a relief when Maroon 5 comes on, but then I’m upset to learn that Kenny Chesney (aka my husband who doesn’t know it yet) has a new song AND IT’S ABOUT A PIRATE FLAG.

The next day I’m looking through Walmart for the next book in the Heroes of Olympus series (not realizing it’s not out until October) and I stumble across another book that I had been waiting for, but forgot was coming out in March.

Meanwhile I see updates of amazing Kickstarters that I didn’t realize were going on and when I log into Netflix there’s the cover of a movie that I had told myself I’d see in the theater.

Yipes.

Content is vast and easy to find and, as you can see, everywhere online. If it weren’t for my Hulu Plus account I’m sure I’d miss 90% of the things I wanted to see. Even then, I have to go on binge watches while I grade papers to catch up. Don’t like mainstream content? There’s a whole world of really great things on YouTube and Vimeo. Hey, you can even watch Korean dramas on Hulu.

The great thing about this. One of the great things is it gives you choices. Gone are the days of the big three channels or your single local radio station. Yet, it seems more and more that the choices available are paralyzing or confusing. With so much great stuff out there should I really suffer through this “bottle episode” of this show?

Another great thing is it allows independent creation. Stories that wouldn’t have normally seen the light of day can be made online. Music that would never have found a producer can now be made in GarageBand. Books that never would have gone to print can be downloaded on to your Kindle app.

The amount of choice also allows for a middleman to enter the scene – the tastemaker. The person(s) who tell you what to watch, read, consume, etc. They take some of the guesswork out of the noise – if you choose to listen to them. Of course, that limits you in some ways, but it takes out the paralyzing choice making.

In the end, while there’s problems with the amount of content, I’d rather have more than less. More means that maybe some of my personal favorites thrive and, if I weed through the stuff I don’t like, I may be able to find them.

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    There’s so much fracturing happening within our media and cultural worlds that it’s becoming more difficult to find that “mainstream center” that (seemingly) used to be so clearly defined. It’s good for creators, as it means that the gatekeepers of yore no longer wield the kind of control they used to. But, it can be bad for… all of us, in a way. Because, it gets harder and harder to connect with other people on a fundamental level when we’re all going thru life having vastly different media/culture experiences.

    And I don’t know if there’s really too much content out there but I do know that things aren’t going the other direction anytime soon (if ever). I guess the takeaway is, enjoy what you can and don’t be afraid to hit that Next button. And when someone you meet references something you haven’t experienced yet, make a note to yourself to check it out. Or don’t.

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