Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery



The following quote by David Sparks is a recent example of a very minor, but no less annoying pet peeve of mine (emphasis mine).

For now at least, I think one of the big dividing lines between the iPad mini and the larger size iPad is content consumption versus creation.

First off, no offense to Mr Sparks, who I think is the heat, but his quote is the most recent. Gruber, among others, makes this point—the “content consumption versus creation” discussion as it relates to iPads—often. Regardless, it has bothered me for a few reasons.

To begin with, who cares? Either the iPad (in general, or one model specifically) is something that you will use and find value in, or you won’t. Why does it matter if you can write, illustrate, publish an entire book with one and your neighbor can sit on his fat ass and do nothing but read lolCatz and play Angry Birds with his? 1

What I actually find the most disagreeable about this point, and admittedly this is dumb, is the words themselves: “content consumption versus creation.” Three words that most normal people don’t use by themselves, and certainly don’t use together.

“Hey, honey…have you seen my iPad? I want to consume some content.”

“I store all my photo content in Adobe Lightroom.”

“Hang on a sec, Bob. Gotta get my bluetooth keyboard so I can create that TPS report.”

“Dude, did you consume that article about ——?”

“No, I put it in Instapaper so I can consume it later.”

“That movie was some sucky content.”

“Whatch doin’ with that fancy iPad, Jim?”

“Oh, you know, just creating some content.”

“Ummm, I just consume content with mine. Until I get the Retina version…then I’ll be a creatin’ mofo.”

I’ll grant that this phrase concisely combines a large span of activities (read, write, watch, illustrate, code, etc) with an equally large expanse of related things (articles, books, music, art, games, movies), but I find it lazy and it reminds me of empty marketing-speak such as the pitchman regaling the quality of some random online “content provider” (ha!):

”…and when you sign up, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to all of your favorite content!”

Or the corporate press release:

“blah, blah, provide streamlined vertical integration of digital content to our user base blah blah”

Nobody really talks like this. Why should otherwise smart people write like it?

  1. I don’t like typing on the iPad keyboard, so I’m mostly a “content consumer”. Does that make my iPad less valuable?