How to Save the Internet

Consumption vs. Curation vs. Creation

For someone who creates content online every day, I can’t help but despise this word above all others.

It’s one of those unnecessarily complicated buzzwords used by people who want to appear smarter than they really are.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a better word. Believe me, I’ve looked.

There’s writing, imagery, video, audio, you name it, but there isn’t another catch-all term. So, for now, we’re stuck with content.

When it comes to sharing content online, I prefer good ‘ol fashioned written word over anything else.

If you knew me, this wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I have a tendency to talk fast and mumble, especially when I’m talking about something I love, like sharing ideas…or finding an alcohol that doesn’t pair well with Fresca.¹

For me, writing was the quickest way to share my story.

I didn’t have worry about recording the perfect podcast episode, buying expensive video equipment, or booking speaking gigs.

All I had to do was create a free profile on Medium and start writing.²

Once I finished my first post, I hit the “Publish” button and that was that.

Three years later, I have a daily writing routine and try to publish at least 3–5 each week.

When I think back to the beginning, there was one thing that stood out the most. I wish I could say it was some earth-shattering realization that changed my life forever, but it wasn’t.³

Before I put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard in this case, I made a conscious decision. One that would fundamentally change my life.

This shift in mindset was huge.

Once I decided that I was ready to share my story, I saw a fundamental change in the way I use social media.

Before, I would waste time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter⁵ looking for the missing piece to a puzzle that didn’t exist. Now, this time is redirected towards writing and using these same platforms⁶ to share my thoughts.

I’m not exactly sure what compelled me to start sharing my writing in the first place.

I’d like to think it was more than textbook narcissism — as stubborn as I am, I’m also aware of how little I actually know.

If I had to guess, it was my need to help others.⁷

All you have to do is spend a few minutes looking around and you quickly realize there are too many people online who wait to create their own content once they’re successful or rich enough to build a team.

Me being as impatient and stubborn as I am, I figured, “If people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss can do it, why the hell can’t I?”⁸

The thing is, we don’t have to be this famous or successful to share what we know with others.

I would argue that, instead, there is someone who could benefit from your experience in this very moment. They could be younger, or they might be looking for advice from someone who is in an industry that interests them.

It’s not easy to put yourself out there and share your work with others, especially with the anonymity that can come with the internet.

If you’re not the type who is ready to dive right in, consider this:

Not quite sure what you want to say?

Start putting some of your consumption to use by sharing helpful content with others — this could easily look like a blog, newsletter, or Instagram feed.

At the very least, you’ll be making someone else’s life a little easier by saving them time.

Who knows? There are plenty of successful companies out there that started with curation.

Just look at Product Hunt. This popular site started out as a simple newsletter that curated and shared new products. Today, they have been acquired by AngelList and are a one-stop shop for tech products and hiring.

Whichever way you choose to start, all that matters is that you do.

It’s going to feel a little awkward in the beginning.

You won’t like the sound of your own voice. You won’t find the perfects combination of words to share your thoughts. You won’t be “ready.”

I promise, this inner voice will become softer.⁹

Pretty soon, you’ll be writing a post like this to give others the little nudge they need to get started.

¹FYI, there isn’t one. This delicious, citrusy nectar of the gods is a universal mixer and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

²I have zero affiliation with Medium. I just use it every day and freaking love it.

³Let’s be honest. Despite what we’re told, life never works this way.

Say that ten times fast. Seriously, do it. And if you’re feeling froggy, you can send me a video on Twitter.

Whilst on the toilet, of course.

Another buzzword I can’t stand. But hey, what’re you gonna do?

No one is actually this altruistic. Thinking back, I was also impatient and wanted to grow an audience. And the truth comes out…

I haven’t built a multimillion-dollar business and I don’t have several best-selling books…yet.

Unfortunately, this little bugger never fully goes away.

¹⁰I know, I know. This is super cheesy. What can I say? I’m a romantic and I needed a badass call-to-action.

William Frazier is a designer, writer, and founder who blogs about making ideas happen at The Imperfectionist. You can find him on Twitter.

I’m a designer and writer who enjoys making people smile.

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