What makes content good, great or out of this world?

By Peter Ishii

What makes content good, great or out of this world?

Shouldn’t have gone there! I know, but I couldn’t resist. Curiosity—or maybe a touch of masochism—made me google to find out what the world’s content experts consider as good content. With literally thousands of opinions and advice from experienced professionals, now I know what makes content good!

But wait a minute! For the last 20 years or so I’ve been creating content of all different kinds. Don’t I have my own opinion about what makes content good?! Of course I do, but in this age of plentiful information availability, I can’t be bullheaded. With a 24/7 influx of online information I hereby confess that my opinions, perspectives and convictions are ever changing, while bobbing on the waves of the information deluge. Actually, my changeability is the result of content that makes me constantly re-evaluate, reconsider and realise new things. That is good content to me. 

Good content makes people change – in one way or another

If it has a purpose and achieves its objective, then content is good. Since objectives and people differ, also the perception of what’s good will differ. That’s why Pewdiepie on YouTube is premium content to my kids, but complete nonsense to my mother. 

From a functional perspective (I leave out ethics and philosophy for now) good content makes us think, feel or act differently—simply, we change.

What makes good content great?

Yes, there are tonnes of ideas and opinions on that one too. For the moment, let’s simplify and say that greatness is in the eyes of the beholder, and the beholder is either the provider, pleased by the great achievement, or the consumer who has a great experience. Really great content knocks them both by euphoria. Such content is sheer beauty. 

The ugly duckling – an exception to the rule

Suppose there was ‘content’ without owner, without creator, without target group, without message and without anything whatsoever to help us judge its qualities or goal accomplishment. Yet, a visually exquisite and intriguing content that engages, inspires and even overwhelm its consumers and makes them change—some for life…

There is such content.

The Voynich manuscript was—probably—created in the 15th century. We don’t know by whom. We don’t know for whom. We even don’t know what it is, because no one has ever decrypted the beautiful unknown lettering in an unknown language. We can watch and enjoy the beautiful illustrations of strange plants, people and creatures, but still, no one knows what it’s all about. Not a clue. The only thing I know for sure, is that the Voynich manuscript is really, really great content.

Voynich Manuscript

Rumour has it that it soon will be scanned in full and available digitally, so maybe the mystery will be solved one day. Once its purpose, target group and objectives are revealed, I hope it will not turn out to be bad content after all… 

Good or great is measurable

For all other content that has a message, a targeted audience and an objective, there are ways to measure and find out if it’s bad, good or great. Also, there are ways to make it better—even great! Do you want to know how? Just get in touch! 

Talk to an expert

Peter Ishii
Specialist in generalism. Content generalist with decades of experience in all kinds of content, notably online content.
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