This is an excerpt from Chris Anderson’s book “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution”:
“The greatest change of the past decade has been the shift in time people spend consuming amateur content instead of professional content. The rise of Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and all the others like them is nothing less than a massive attention shift from the commercial content companies of the twentieth century to the amateur content companies of the twenty-first.”
While Anderson should certainly have added Twitter and Amazon reviews to his list, what he says is quite true. But he thinks it’s a good thing, and we disagree. One could also say that the shift from professional content like books and albums to non-curated content like Facebook and Twitter posts represents a shift from serious content to the trivial. While there are many high quality blogs produced by skilled non-professionals, most blog posts on Facebook and Twitter are silly or trivial and of interest to the poster, not anyone else.
Professional content companies are focused both on what content creators want to say and what type of content people want to consume. Companies like Facebook and Twitter are successful because of the human desire for self-expression.