Richard Mulholland
    • Richard kicked off his career as a rock n roll roadie, operating lights for bands such as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. From there he started SA's largest presentation firm, Missing Link and co-founded 21Tanks, SA's first perspective lab.

      Richard is a highly regarded speaker. When not addressing many of South Africa's top corporations, he guest lectures on courses for The Cape Graduate School of Business (GSB), and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

      As well as blogging on, Richard is a columnist for Longevity and Destiny Man magazines.

      He has a tattoo of your Mum on his left bum cheek...!

    • Rich started and grew Missing Link to be the largest Presentation firm in South Africa. Never one to be satisfied with stagnation, Rich has made use of his advanced years to accomplish a fair amount. He bred again, tattooed his back, owns two houses, and now rides a Vespa (after failing his learner’s…). They grow up so fast… He also co-founded our sister company – 21Tanks!
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Still learning...!

Reclaim yourself, question everything...

No, actually, content isn’t everything.

If you’ve been to any tech/web/online/marketing conferences in the last few years, you would have no doubt been exposed to a speaker cry, “Content is king!” while fist-pumping the air.

They may even have been right too.

They’re just not anymore.

Up until very recently, the price of diamonds had been controlled by De Beers, it wasn’t difficult, it was simply a case of understanding the law of supply and demand then managing your stock accordingly – De Beers of course quite infamously stockpiling a crazy amount of diamonds, keeping the demand (and price) just the way they like it. High.

Similarly, for christmas I got a great board game called Planet Steam, in it you have to mine resources in a steam punk universe and sell it. The trick is though, every time you sell something, the price of that commodity goes down. It’s a fun game, and easy to explain – people understand this principle.


Except, that is, when it comes to content.

No, when it comes to content more, your digital and content agencies would have you believe, actually does mean more. They’re wrong.

In the laws of supply and demand, the content market is so unbelievably saturated that the value of the commodity called content is close to zero. We’re hardly even willing to spend our attention on it. Most of us just scan the bold stuff and leave it at that.


(…you can’t give your audience more time)

So why am I telling you this? Because yesterday I was having lunch with a mate who was discussing the content strategy for a chocolate bar. A chocolate bar?! Seriously, I like a Twix as much as the next guy, but for goodness sake, the value of a Twix comes in the eating, not the reading. And if the truth be told, no one cares.

The irony, of course, is that I’m writing this post and adding to the clutter. The difference is that I only write the stuff that I really really feel strongly about, and I keep those moments few and far between.

Don’t go after more. Go after less (to the power of more).

Anyway, I’m rambling, I’ll shut the fuck up.

I suggest you do too…!

March 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm | 9 comments

9 responses to “No, actually, content isn’t everything.”

  1. Good point well made.

  2. Jenfur says:

    Hmmm – I totally disagree with you. I think you’re misunderstanding the sentiment ‘content is king’. It doesn’t mean that more content is king, it means that the right content for the purpose is king. So not more, just better. Short copy, infographics etc are perfect examples of winning, snackable content, just like the cartoon strip you added to your post.

  3. Rich...! says:

    Jenfur, the problem is exactly that – we’re living off a diet of snacks. That’s not good.

  4. David Brand says:

    Yes totally Richard! i think we are living in one of the strangest times on earth ever! We put something in the microwave and it needs to come out as the perfect package like it was a roast sitting in the oven for a few hours! Social media sites such as twitter hasnt helped the cause and people are more ”satisfied” with tit bits of information than the full picture… the full picture is the massive canvas which everyone can choose to look at, and this is why the media HAS to become more sensationalist in terms of the headlines they are writing..shock horror gasp headlines are the order of the day to try and shake people from their zombie states!

    Content is so important these days that you have to go out and basically snipe people with your information.. i was down the wild coast recently and i was fishing with professionals using the same bait etc…and dropping our lines in the same spot! who caught more fish? well its easy..the guy who was presenting his bait the best!

    The following quote comes from Jon Foreman of Swithcfoot and it relates to your article:“There are different flavors of ice-cream and certain folks like certain flavors! A lot of times I’m really surprised by the critics. I don’t read them anymore because essentially it tells me what flavor of ice-cream they like more than it tells me anything about the product that we’ve made.”

  5. Winston says:

    Спасибо за пост, подтолкнул капнуть дальше и посмотреть куда народ делся и услышал новое слово Subarbanisierung, теперь понятно почему на окраинах и в деревнях так много домов 70-80 года Также вседа задавля вопросом где же эти 1.700.000 работают и вот такая статистика:2010 waren in Hamburg 1.136.100 Menschen erwerbste4tig, dneautrr 125.300 geringffcgig Besche4ftigte. 115.300 der Erwerbste4tigen waren selbstste4ndig und 1.020.800 Arbeitnehmer/innen. 5.400 Menschen sind in der Land- und Forstwirtschaft besche4ftigt, 122.800 im produzierenden Gewerbe, 34.900 im Baugewerbe, 331.500 im Handel, Gastgewerbe und Verkehr, 309.300 in der Finanzierung, Vermietung und Unternehmensdienstleistung und 332.200 bei f6ffentlichen und privaten Dienstleistern.то есть сектор производительности всего примерно 16%, предпринимателей не знаю куда засунуть, но там тоже всего 12%, а остальное шарлатаны и обслуга

  6. I bow down humbly in the presence of such greatness.

  7. Sam says:

    The K.I.S.S theory in practice. But with the added twist of making it more powerful. Thank you!

  8. Content is so important these days that you have to go out and basically snipe people with your information.. i was down the wild coast recently and i was fishing with professionals using the same bait etc…and dropping our lines in the same spot! who caught more fish? well its easy..the guy who was presenting his bait the best!

  9. Tristina says:

    Agreed that less is more! The trick today I find is to give the content viewer an emotion grabbing peak of interest in the first few words or pictures of what is being offered, then follow that up with 2 potential types of supporting info depending on the group being targeted – cheeky fun info (as you did in this article including the cartoon and casual-speak) or just the facts. I generally try to present my content with a combination of the 2 types of info and throw in some bullet points in an attempt to satisfy the majority of my viewers. And, last but not least, adding fab pictures is a MUST! 😉 (oh, and did I say emoticons for the youngest gen?) Thanks for your obviously HONEST share.

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