The web is teeming with content. There are articles, videos, and podcasts to serve every niche. And we can’t forget about the many newsletters out there. That certainly applies to web design and all its subgenres.
Perhaps we should be celebrating this golden age of content creation. Publishing is easier than ever. We can learn just about anything we want on demand. How cool is that?
It’s worth wondering if we’re pushing the limits of the human mind, though. There’s so much content that we can become overwhelmed. It may also lead us to devalue those who create it.
For example, consider your social media habits. How many times have you “liked” content – even if you didn’t bother to read it? I find myself doing this quite often.
The act represents a tiny show of support – which is fine. But it also speaks to how scattered this technology is making us. We’re always in search of that next hit of dopamine. Meanwhile, we pay little attention to what’s right in front of us. Maybe we’re missing out?
All of this makes me think that there must be a better way. So, how can we learn to appreciate great content? How do we support those who create it? Here are a few ideas.
Optimize Your Social Media Feeds
Social media feeds can get out of hand. You might be following too many accounts. Or accounts that bombard you with low-quality content. Maybe it’s time to take a step back.
Take some time to optimize your feed. You could unfollow the accounts you aren’t interested in. But you don’t have to go that far. It’s also possible to mute these users. That way, you regain some sanity without hurting anyone’s feelings.
These platforms also provide ways to focus on what’s relevant to you. For example, Twitter/X’s Lists feature lets you follow accounts related to a specific subject. It might save your head from exploding.
The idea is to choose quality over quantity. You’ll save time and spare yourself from visual clutter. Both are positive for your mental health.
Why sift through all that garbage for a golden nugget? Customize your social media experience so that you only get the good stuff.
Tell Others Why You Love a Piece of Content
Clicking a share button helps content creators. You’re spreading the word about something you found valuable. More views and likes could mean more revenue for the author.
Shared content is easy to miss, though. Sometimes, we mindlessly share something of interest. Again, maybe we didn’t take the time to read it. However, without context, it can easily get lost in the shuffle.
Thus, adding a testimonial to the mix is even more powerful. Explain why you love a piece of content. Tell others what you learned.
Maybe it helped you navigate a coding challenge. Or it changed your perspective on a subject. Testimonials can be powerful. And they may convince someone to check it out.
Reach Out to Your Favorite Creators
Is anyone out there? That’s the question I ask myself when publishing an article. Analytics can tell me how many people are visiting. However, those statistics don’t reflect personal impact.
I suspect other content creators are wondering the same thing. It’s hard to know if you’re reaching people. For some, it may lead them to question whether to keep publishing.
Here’s where a little feedback can go a long way. Reaching out to the author lets them know you care about their content.
The web communities of old did this with blog comments. These days, it’s just as easy to connect via social media.
What should you say? Anything that’s on your mind is fair game. You can write a short “thank you” note or ask a follow-up question. A little constructive criticism or a counterpoint is also welcome.
Granted, not every creator will react with gratitude. But these interactions mean something. They could be the motivation to stay in the game.
Subscribe to Free and Paid Content
Publishers are experimenting with various business models. Some are ad-supported, while others are offering subscriptions. That may include subscription fees.
The idea of paying for content on the web has always been controversial. I was firmly against it in my younger days. Why should I pay when so much is available for free?
But it’s becoming harder for creators to get by on ads alone. A few well-known people may receive cushy sponsorships. However, that’s a rarity in this economic climate. It seems that companies aren’t as willing to part with their cash. We’re seeing this frequently in the web design space.
That puts the onus on consumers to show support. If you value a content creator – subscribe to them. That may mean sharing your email address. Or it could be a paid subscription. Both scenarios are helpful.
Providing direct monetary support helps creators cover costs (and maybe eke out a profit). A free subscription boosts the number shared with advertisers.
The more subscribers, the better the chance for them to publish more outstanding content. Thus, it’s worth helping however you are able.
Support the Content You Love
Most content creators aren’t part of a corporate conglomerate. Many are independent people who are passionate about a subject.
The web design community is chock-full of examples. We’re often willing to share what we know. And we care about subjects like creativity, security, and accessibility.
The reality is that it’s harder for creators to break through the noise. Social media is chaotic. And the old-school promotional techniques don’t work as well.
The good news is that it’s possible to support your favorite content. And doing so has some mental health benefits!
So, clean out the clutter in your feeds. Share content that’s important to you. Reach out to authors and let them know you’re paying attention. And subscribe to them when you can.
Each of these steps makes an impact. And you’ll help great content rise above the rest.