“Why don’t we just call them stories?” said an editor of mine, back in the day when journalists could still make a living and when pushing back against the word “content,” as another example of mangled corporatese to be discarded along with “synergies” and the phrase “out of the box” made sense.
I think he’s in the content biz now, and I’ve spent some time there myself.
The answer, of course, is that “content” and “stories” are very different things. A story has structure, Jungian significance and quality. Content can be any old thing from the self-justifying ramblings of a hedge fund manager to the self-justifying ramblings of their flacks to the self-justifying ramblings of bankers to cat videos.
That’s right, not just our minds, but the physical world.
What we need, though, are more stories.