My Content, My Self defines content as:

“Every aspect of the message we deliver to our audience […] This include the words, images and other media we present, the visual packaging of those elements, and the behaviour and timing of that delivery.”

Therefore, before identifying my content, I must define an audience. With the majority of my week being spent at work, I can consider my employer, colleagues, and clients collectively an audience. In this context, my content is both digital and physical.

The particular brand of architecture I work in (retail) is comprised of long-term projects, ranging from six months to several years. The pace of the project (and company policy) dictates how long our content lingers. Physical drawing prints are discarded regularly as updates are made, but digital copies are archived and available forever. It is an industry that cannot afford any question of liability, which makes us (employees) content hoarders by necessity. While there is no strict code of organization, projects are divided into two folders, separating communication from drawings. Transmittals, letters, and construction schedules live on one drive, drawings in another. To keep track of a project’s evolution, file names are extended to include dates and descriptions.

Outside of work, I consider my family and friends the audience to my recreational pursuits. In this case, my content is largely digital, though some activities (knitting or cooking) yield physical content. After years of being an active participant in social media, I’ve taken a step back to reconsider my content, though the term wasn’t yet in my mind. It had started to feel like my digital footprint was too large for me to continue filling. I reviewed my profiles, discarding large amounts of photos and text. In some cases, I’ve discarded profiles and affiliations in their entirety.

By reducing my venues for output, I’ve become a personal content hoarder. My method for keeping or discarding content is simple; does this (image/object) carry a memory? If there is no feeling (positive or negative) attached, there is no reason to keep it. The task of sorting my content is my device’s responsibility. When I take a photo, I trust that I will be able to find it later.

While social sharing continues to cement its place in our daily routines, I made a personal decision to guard my content more closely. I still photograph frequently, but I am working toward sharing with my audience in direct interactions. Though I still maintain a few active social profiles, my personal content strategy relies on strengthening my relationship with my audience through more intimate experiences.