Manifesto

Original storytelling wins.

People don't want "content"; they want compelling stories.

We all know now: Anyone can be a publisher, and talented journalists and creative people can live and work from anywhere. But good publishing is not simply words on a page or photos in a stream, no matter who's behind it.

Quality in content is in the story, in the human connection, the difference made. In the connected world, we are no longer confined to a few sources of information and entertainment, and we are no longer beholden to gimmicky publishers and their tactics. We will find and share the good stories, and good stories alone.

Great stories make ideas stick. When told right, they inspire people to make ideas happen. Unoriginal stories, thoughtless publishing, and aggregation of others' content under the guise of so-called "curation" will never come close to the power of fresh insights and true stories never before told.

Those who tell and promote the best stories—in the best ways—will increase in reputation and trust, fans and influence. Journalists will build their personal brands. Businesses will make a difference. Media companies will thrive.

In 2011, we said that content farms would soon be dead. Today, they basically are, thanks to changes in search and social media. Half-hearted publishers and automators who think quality content is easy will be the next to expire, but great storytellers who pour their hearts into creating content people want to share will never go extinct.

We can change the world through storytelling. So let's change it.

Contently, 2013

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