Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

The power of understanding content half-life

Half-life is a term that represents the time it takes for something to reduce to half of its value. It’s basically a proxy for exponential decay.

I’m not a doctor, but any time I hear someone refer to “half-life” in medicine, I assume it’s a relative measure for how quickly a drug will be out of your system.

In content, I think of half-life as the length of time a piece of content will be shared/discovered before it’s forever buried in the internet abyss.

Here’s a relative sense of content half-lives for various mediums:

  • Most tweets = a few hours

  • Short-form videos = a few days

  • Newsletters = several days

  • Podcasts = a few weeks

  • YouTube videos/blog posts = a few months

The point is, if all you do is make things with short half-lives, you have to be constantly making new things for people to notice you.

Conversely, if you make one amazing YouTube video or write an incredible blog post, it can be referenced or shared for decades after it was created (e.g., Paul Graham blogs, JRE/Naval pod).

As I’ve started down this content path, most of the things I’ve created have had shorter half-lives (short-form video/newsletters).

I was trading longevity for algo tailwinds and explosive reach.

But I think having exclusively short half-life content is a huge mistake.

There are four reasons why:

  1. Trust - The name of the game is to survive long enough to build trust with an audience large enough that can support you financially. The way to build trust is by increasing the amount of “engaged minutes” you have with a consumer of your content. This is why a single two-hour podcast builds more trust than 100 one-minute shorts. The more long half-life stuff you make, the more content minutes they’ll have to consume, and the faster you’ll build trust.

  2. Binge Bank - My friend Dylan has this concept called a Binge Bank. When you get someone to stumble into your world and they’re curious about the way you think, you want to have a collection of content they can binge…an intentionally built rabbit hole. The more long half-life content you have in your binge bank, the easier it will be to convert someone into a trusting fan.

  3. Content Army - Pieces of content are like little agents constantly recruiting people to dive into your stuff. When content stops circulating and gets bogged down in the internet swamp, it’s as if that agent retires and stops working for you. The more long half-life stuff you have, the more agents that will be working, and the wider the surface area for people to take the actions you want them to take

  4. Brain Chemistry - People’s brains are wired to consume long and slow conversations. Neanderthals had conversations around the fire…they didn’t scroll Tiktok. When I started with short-form video, I was intentionally tapping into the new consumer behavior of crack content consumption. It appears to be working, but over long enough time horizons people tend to drift back to what is more comfortable (long and slow consumption)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The power of understanding content half-life

Half-life is a term that represents the time it takes for something to reduce to half of its value. It’s basically a proxy for exponential decay.

I’m not a doctor, but any time I hear someone refer to “half-life” in medicine, I assume it’s a relative measure for how quickly a drug will be out of your system.

In content, I think of half-life as the length of time a piece of content will be shared/discovered before it’s forever buried in the internet abyss.

Here’s a relative sense of content half-lives for various mediums:

  • Most tweets = a few hours

  • Short-form videos = a few days

  • Newsletters = several days

  • Podcasts = a few weeks

  • YouTube videos/blog posts = a few months

The point is, if all you do is make things with short half-lives, you have to be constantly making new things for people to notice you.

Conversely, if you make one amazing YouTube video or write an incredible blog post, it can be referenced or shared for decades after it was created (e.g., Paul Graham blogs, JRE/Naval pod).

As I’ve started down this content path, most of the things I’ve created have had shorter half-lives (short-form video/newsletters).

I was trading longevity for algo tailwinds and explosive reach.

But I think having exclusively short half-life content is a huge mistake.

There are four reasons why:

  1. Trust - The name of the game is to survive long enough to build trust with an audience large enough that can support you financially. The way to build trust is by increasing the amount of “engaged minutes” you have with a consumer of your content. This is why a single two-hour podcast builds more trust than 100 one-minute shorts. The more long half-life stuff you make, the more content minutes they’ll have to consume, and the faster you’ll build trust.

  2. Binge Bank - My friend Dylan has this concept called a Binge Bank. When you get someone to stumble into your world and they’re curious about the way you think, you want to have a collection of content they can binge…an intentionally built rabbit hole. The more long half-life content you have in your binge bank, the easier it will be to convert someone into a trusting fan.

  3. Content Army - Pieces of content are like little agents constantly recruiting people to dive into your stuff. When content stops circulating and gets bogged down in the internet swamp, it’s as if that agent retires and stops working for you. The more long half-life stuff you have, the more agents that will be working, and the wider the surface area for people to take the actions you want them to take

  4. Brain Chemistry - People’s brains are wired to consume long and slow conversations. Neanderthals had conversations around the fire…they didn’t scroll Tiktok. When I started with short-form video, I was intentionally tapping into the new consumer behavior of crack content consumption. It appears to be working, but over long enough time horizons people tend to drift back to what is more comfortable (long and slow consumption)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The power of understanding content half-life

Half-life is a term that represents the time it takes for something to reduce to half of its value. It’s basically a proxy for exponential decay.

I’m not a doctor, but any time I hear someone refer to “half-life” in medicine, I assume it’s a relative measure for how quickly a drug will be out of your system.

In content, I think of half-life as the length of time a piece of content will be shared/discovered before it’s forever buried in the internet abyss.

Here’s a relative sense of content half-lives for various mediums:

  • Most tweets = a few hours

  • Short-form videos = a few days

  • Newsletters = several days

  • Podcasts = a few weeks

  • YouTube videos/blog posts = a few months

The point is, if all you do is make things with short half-lives, you have to be constantly making new things for people to notice you.

Conversely, if you make one amazing YouTube video or write an incredible blog post, it can be referenced or shared for decades after it was created (e.g., Paul Graham blogs, JRE/Naval pod).

As I’ve started down this content path, most of the things I’ve created have had shorter half-lives (short-form video/newsletters).

I was trading longevity for algo tailwinds and explosive reach.

But I think having exclusively short half-life content is a huge mistake.

There are four reasons why:

  1. Trust - The name of the game is to survive long enough to build trust with an audience large enough that can support you financially. The way to build trust is by increasing the amount of “engaged minutes” you have with a consumer of your content. This is why a single two-hour podcast builds more trust than 100 one-minute shorts. The more long half-life stuff you make, the more content minutes they’ll have to consume, and the faster you’ll build trust.

  2. Binge Bank - My friend Dylan has this concept called a Binge Bank. When you get someone to stumble into your world and they’re curious about the way you think, you want to have a collection of content they can binge…an intentionally built rabbit hole. The more long half-life content you have in your binge bank, the easier it will be to convert someone into a trusting fan.

  3. Content Army - Pieces of content are like little agents constantly recruiting people to dive into your stuff. When content stops circulating and gets bogged down in the internet swamp, it’s as if that agent retires and stops working for you. The more long half-life stuff you have, the more agents that will be working, and the wider the surface area for people to take the actions you want them to take

  4. Brain Chemistry - People’s brains are wired to consume long and slow conversations. Neanderthals had conversations around the fire…they didn’t scroll Tiktok. When I started with short-form video, I was intentionally tapping into the new consumer behavior of crack content consumption. It appears to be working, but over long enough time horizons people tend to drift back to what is more comfortable (long and slow consumption)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The power of understanding content half-life

Half-life is a term that represents the time it takes for something to reduce to half of its value. It’s basically a proxy for exponential decay.

I’m not a doctor, but any time I hear someone refer to “half-life” in medicine, I assume it’s a relative measure for how quickly a drug will be out of your system.

In content, I think of half-life as the length of time a piece of content will be shared/discovered before it’s forever buried in the internet abyss.

Here’s a relative sense of content half-lives for various mediums:

  • Most tweets = a few hours

  • Short-form videos = a few days

  • Newsletters = several days

  • Podcasts = a few weeks

  • YouTube videos/blog posts = a few months

The point is, if all you do is make things with short half-lives, you have to be constantly making new things for people to notice you.

Conversely, if you make one amazing YouTube video or write an incredible blog post, it can be referenced or shared for decades after it was created (e.g., Paul Graham blogs, JRE/Naval pod).

As I’ve started down this content path, most of the things I’ve created have had shorter half-lives (short-form video/newsletters).

I was trading longevity for algo tailwinds and explosive reach.

But I think having exclusively short half-life content is a huge mistake.

There are four reasons why:

  1. Trust - The name of the game is to survive long enough to build trust with an audience large enough that can support you financially. The way to build trust is by increasing the amount of “engaged minutes” you have with a consumer of your content. This is why a single two-hour podcast builds more trust than 100 one-minute shorts. The more long half-life stuff you make, the more content minutes they’ll have to consume, and the faster you’ll build trust.

  2. Binge Bank - My friend Dylan has this concept called a Binge Bank. When you get someone to stumble into your world and they’re curious about the way you think, you want to have a collection of content they can binge…an intentionally built rabbit hole. The more long half-life content you have in your binge bank, the easier it will be to convert someone into a trusting fan.

  3. Content Army - Pieces of content are like little agents constantly recruiting people to dive into your stuff. When content stops circulating and gets bogged down in the internet swamp, it’s as if that agent retires and stops working for you. The more long half-life stuff you have, the more agents that will be working, and the wider the surface area for people to take the actions you want them to take

  4. Brain Chemistry - People’s brains are wired to consume long and slow conversations. Neanderthals had conversations around the fire…they didn’t scroll Tiktok. When I started with short-form video, I was intentionally tapping into the new consumer behavior of crack content consumption. It appears to be working, but over long enough time horizons people tend to drift back to what is more comfortable (long and slow consumption)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

Content Half-Life

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