Content trails or leftovers usually only enter people’s minds when they might jeopardize their personal or professional lives. But I’d like to discuss another side of our collective interwebnets usage; digital pollution and more specifically, signal to noise ration in which the excess noise remains.

We live in a time when new content, new products, and new services are being created at breakneck speeds. And we all know the primary rule of information GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out. But that’s where I’m going, there is no out. Garbage keeps coming in, but it doesn’t go away, it piles up.

Prior to the web, this wasn’t really a problem, but we now have a volume issue. When applied to various aspects of design and content creation, we have repetition at such frequency that even if someone of quality comes along, it’s rapidly shared and subsequently overwritten rather than being allowed to stand. I’m about to use an analogy on the internet, and while it’s a faux pas because “that’s a terrible analogy for all these reasons!” I still want to proceed despite the inherent riskiness. Think of a great writer, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, etc just pick one. But place them in today’s world where their work would be asked to stand against mountains of content streaming at a constant rate. It would be revised, rebuilt, replicated, deconstructed, shared, and forgotten in a matter of minutes, hours or days.

That freedom for everyone to participate is also what is diminishing the value of quality content. Perhaps this gives birth to additional quality content due to sheer volume being pushed through, but we forget the burden it places on those who create the best content. The burden of maintaining that quality or suffocate in the smog of digital exhaust.

So, I ask everyone (including myself) to be considerate with our shared space, to preserve your best content and think about what you’re leaving behind.

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