Like everything else in our modern day society, things are changing and evolving to adapt in the world. The article When Writing Becomes Content by Lisa Dush is a wonderful example of how even writing is changing. Dush ultimately describes what exactly content writing is in this new context and how to varies to that of traditional writing. She makes a lot of great points about where writing in this new digital age is going and how we as writers fit in. Dush also states in the article that we cannot disregard what content has become but rather to embrace the change and change with it.
The article focuses on how writing is no longer seen as just art but rather something called content. Content, in this new context, is described as “conditional, computable, networked, and commodified” (pg 174) and contains important skills needed for this generation. Dush’s rhetoric of defining content writing could easily be its own essay as it is chalk full of important information that is explained so clearly. She even goes into detail about why she has defined content in this way.
The term conditional is used to describe content in its latest context because so many different things can have an impact on the content being produced. It’s also conditional because it can be easily accessed by so many people all over the globe and can provide a variety of uses to readers. She uses computable because content writing is digital and can be easily accessed and found in a computer’s database. The term network is similar to that of computability; content writing is linked to different networks in order to gain visibility. Lastly, commodified because content writing is in constant circulation.
Simply having these terms to define content helps us as readers have a better understanding of what writing is evolving to. Her arguments of why they describe content writing is just as sound. While her descriptions of the definition plays an important part, Dush also describes the main argument of her article.
The differences between writing and content is where her main argument of the article lies. Dush included a Figure on page 182 of the differences between writing and content, which includes some important differences like the audience and the availability of that work. Her argument is plainly written on page 183 when Dush says ” However, my argument is not that the writing metaphor should be erased or superseded, but rather that we should acknowledge writing’s unavoidable status as content, keeping the two metaphors simultaneously in mind both in individual rhetorical acts and in our understandings of the field concerns of writing studies.” She encourages readers to adapt to the change in writing without forgetting our roots. She argues that blatantly rejecting this new content can result in many people losing moments to grow as creators and as people. I personally find this train of thought very wise, as the author has a greater understanding of what content can do than most people would.
Dush also touches upon what types of professions have adopted content in their daily routines, such as journalism and literary publishing. She also puts the reader at ease by explaining how to approach content through skills the reader may already have. Content can be applied using skills learned from marketing and requires something called a “core strategy” (pg 186). A core strategy is divided into four quadrants and can be used by most companies to adapt to content creation. By covering all of the bases for content writing in our era, it allows the reader to fully understand what exactly content is and how to adapt to it in one’s own life from here on out.
In conclusion, Dush provides a lot of insight to something that may be intimidating to some people. She coherently describes what it is, how it is used, and how we can adapt as writers to creating content for employers and/or companies. When I initially read the title, I had thought that content was taking over all forms of writing. However, Dush dismissed that initial thought by describing how we can exist coincide with content while sticking true to what we know. This article would be a great source for anyone looking into creating content and wanting to learn more about content.
Dush, Lisa. “When Writing Becomes Content.” Dec. 2015, http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/CCC/0672-dec2015/CCC0672When.pdf.