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Hot Take of the Day: There Is Too Much Content

When does the bubble pop?



Watch me not thread this needle at all and end up stabbing myself in the webbing between my thumb and my index finger. It will be fun. There will be blood …

Mrs. Pistols and I were sitting in our living room on Sunday afternoon post-digital church, and she said something I found insightful (as she often does). She said, Isn’t it weird that everything has slowed down while the world of content-making has seemingly sped up? Why is there so much stuff?

That is, the content makers (raises hand) are actually doubling down on downtime and seemingly producing more than ever. There is a business reason for this of course — mostly because ad dollars are going to look like a Pedro Martinez changeup when we look back on the graphs from this period of time: Right off the edge of the table.

But when you slow down and something around you speeds up, you start to notice it more than you did before. You start to notice the endless well of stuff on Netflix and just how many books are released annually and exactly how many people can write a “97 things you can do at home while quarantining” post. And the thing I’ve noticed (that Mrs. Pistols simply put into words) is that there’s too much content.

Again, this is tricky for me. Because the very mechanism that ushers in this content — namely the long tail of the internet and, more broadly, the digital distribution of content globally — is the very reason a place like PFB can exist. So while I bemoan the state of content-making, I also praise the fundamental foundation upon which it is built.

One of my golf content-making friends has been hollering about the content bubble for a few years now. It’s certainly there, and maybe COVID-19 is the thing that will pop it. Again, is this a good thing? I don’t know. Sometimes I think yes, sometimes no. It’s quite complicated.

Let’s take the OSU world in which we all exist for example. Do we need 8-10 digital outlets covering the same stuff? I mean, I honestly don’t know. On one hand, it engenders speed and keeps everyone honest when it comes to making the goods. On the other hand, like, we probably don’t need 12 posts on Ferron Flavors and his college announcement.

To be clear here: I don’t bedowngrade for any individual outlet covering OSU comprehensively. That’s what they (and we) should be doing. I’m speaking broadly across specific industries and niches.

Again, I know I am (and we are) a chief culprit here! And when every outlet believes they are the best outlet covering a given entity and there is enough capital (or the hope of enough future capital) to go around, it’s difficult to suppress ambition (and who would want to anyway?).

However, there might not be enough capital to go around depending on how all of this lasts. And again, maybe this isn’t the worst thing in the world. Because in light of getting hit with a tidal wave of content across the board — much of it not super impressive — as the rest of my life slows to a crawl, I’m becoming an even more staunch proponent of less and better in lieu of worse and more.

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