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Do We All Have the CC Syndrome: Consume vs Create Content?


Have you ever been in that spot when you wanted to create a type of content? But then you had the idea that you have to spend too much time on it and there is too much content outside that you must consume?

Or have you ever thought about the idea that you want to consume a video, or read a blog? But then once again, you think that you spend too much time consuming and you must create?

If so, it means you are in the same spot as me and other content creators. Or you just have the CC Syndrome.

I’m not a doctor or a medical specialist and I don’t know if this is a syndrome or not. I thought about it after I had a few talks with some close friends of mine about this idea – consuming content vs creating content.

CC Syndrome definition: When someone who creates content (audio, photo, video, text) is struggling between the balance of creating content and consuming content. How much content should they consume? How much content should they create?

There is this struggle when we don’t know the balance between consuming and creating.

Most of the people I talked about this are marketers. People who are working in the marketing industry and they are creating content for themselves and also for their clients. But sometimes they feel trapped in a hamster wheel where you just run and run and run and you can’t stop. Create. Consume. Create. Consume. Create. Consume.

Creating content for marketing – everybody does it

We all know that content marketing is the biggest and most discussed topic lately in marketing. Everything is around creating content, optimizing content, content distribution and use marketing to build a brand around your content.

Easy to say, hard to do.

So there are questions around content:

  • Quality vs Quantity?
  • What platforms should I use to publish my content?
  • Text, photo, video, audio?
  • How much should I write for SEO and how much should I write for the real people?
  • How much should I invest in content distribution?

So what’s the best kind of content someone should create? The one that gets consumed by a community.

How can we create the kind of content that is consumed by the right audience? By creating more content so we can understand our audience behavior.

That means that we must create, publish, analyze, optimize and repeat.

And we can create high-quality content only if we consume high-quality content or we experiment and talk from our own perspective.

Sometimes I feel ashamed of having the CC Syndrome

Every time I open my laptop I have a question in my mind: Now should I create or should I consume?

If I go on YouTube and I want to watch a video I feel that 5 or 10 minutes are too much just to stay and look at one screen, so I feel bad after 15-20 minutes of watching a Dan Mace, Casey Neistat, Gary Vaynerchuk videos.

So I go on Sparktoro and look around the top articles in the marketing industry (maybe I will feel better if I will read something professional to develop myself) but after I open 10 tabs, and scroll through the content I feel like is the same content, same topic just different words and domains. So after I superficially read the articles I feel bad that I spend another 20 minutes consuming another content.

Now let’s see what’s on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Scroll, scroll, like, scroll, scroll, haha, like, scroll, scroll, RT, scroll, scroll. And there go another 20 minutes of consuming content.

Now I have 60 minutes where I consumed content and I felt ashamed that I didn’t spend that time creating something new. But then I tell myself that I consumed content, I spend that time understanding the culture around me and I encourage myself to open the Google Docs and write down my idea.

Guess what? Nothing happens. Well, that’s it. Today I won’t create any other content.

Oh, I didn’t even get into the podcasting situation. Because lately is the kind of content I looove to consume. Maybe because I’m not feeling any ashamed after I consume an Akimbo episode from Seth Godin, an interview from James Altucher or an entire series from Business Wars. It’s the only kind of content I can consume passively while I’m doing something else: cleaning the house, driving the car, shopping or walking.

But after I listen to a podcast it makes me grab my laptop and start creating something. It’s the sense of urgency I feel deep in my heart. And then I get back to reality and play the next episode, maybe this will make me forget about my feeling.

Every creator has this syndrome

Let’s be honest. All creators have this syndrome: should we create or should we consume?

But then I thought about it this morning and I remember something I read in the Bible (well yes, I read the Bible) and it said that:

Everything has its own time.

So maybe there is a season to consume and there is a season to create. Maybe even there is a season just to not do anything and meditate. We can’t get trap in that situation on how much should we create and how much content should we absorb.

But let’s not feel ashamed that we consumed too much instead of creating something, or we spend too much time creating something instead of consuming something so we can learn more, have more experience and know more just so we can create another piece of content.

Having the CC syndrome is not something good or bad. Is just something we have and it’s good to think about it because it will make us go to the next point: understanding that there is a season for creating and there is a season for consuming.

Next time I will do my best to write on how we could manage it.

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Robert Katai

Brand and Communication Manager

"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."

Ram Castillo

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