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The content monarchy usurped

by Giles Turnbull -- 2000/11/15

"Content is king", the web producer's mantra used to say. But writers are the first against the wall when the dotcom crunch comes, according to The Industry Standard, so does that mean content has lost its crown?

With profit margins getting tighter, and investors getting more worried about what's happened to their hard cash since it disappeared into the start-up black hole, writers are the ones feeling the pinch.

A large number of web sites took it upon themselves to employ professional writers - at considerable expense - because the web start-up memes said they ought to.

"Content is king" they blathered, repeating the meme they had seen a dozen other times and in hundreds of presentations to investors.

Over time, it seems, content has taken its rightful place as a piece of the mixture - perhaps more important than many other pieces, but not the ruler of all, as the meme suggested.

As the Industry Standard ironically quotes one web writer saying:

Web sites are mostly run by people with no editorial background. They don't get the fact that what they are producing is a publication by its very nature. It's no surprise that most of the content on the web sucks.

King Content has been thrown off the throne. Perhaps we should be glad no-one ever declared: "Content is president!".