What does... "Creator" actually mean?

In his column "What does... actually mean?", Benno Maggi looks at terms from the marketing and communications sector. This time he deals with the term "creator".

A word as old as mankind. So let's start with Adam and Eve. The literal translation of the term creator means maker or creator. Creatures that have created, brought forth or shaped something significant. Wasn't that God? Yes. At least that's what is believed in certain circles. These circles used to gather en masse in churches. These are the large houses with a tower, clock and bells that can be found in every village. Storytelling was practiced there on a grand scale. Stories like that of Adam and Eve, the first human couple and therefore, according to tradition, the progenitors of all humans. God, the Creator, first created Adam and then his counterpart, Eve, from his rib. So the tradition goes.

Most people who believe this Adam and Eve story can reconcile it with natural science and the theory of evolution. Despite certain uncertainties. Not so the so-called creationists: they interpret the Bible literally and therefore consider the theory of evolution to be blasphemy. Creationists therefore also doubt the age of dinosaur fossils, among other things. And still others believe that Charles Darwin compiled everything essential on the subject of evolution in 1859 that is relevant today. And then there are those who believe nothing at all, because for them it's all "fake".

Not everything that is created is relevant

Back to the "creator", or also called "influencer". Fortunately, they are not creationists. Even if they sometimes behave like one. "My followers" or "my community" sounds quite religious. Creators are people who create content on social media that is then viewed by as many other people as possible. Most of them belong to GenZ. It's no wonder that being a creator is such a popular career choice among the under-30s. Everyone wants to be a creator. Preferably on the side. Alongside their job, studies, school and so on. Because: content is king. And if that's the case, then female content creators are therefore queens. In fact, many of the successful creators are female and easily manage three million likes on Insta and like to trumpet this to the world in their podcasts, on their YouTube channels or in the comments. Much to the annoyance of the old kings in the dusty editorial offices.

The fact that content is king was already echoing like a canon through the corridors and canteens of media companies in the noughties, and yet at the same time more and more jobs were being cut in a rhythmic quarterly cycle. First of all, the seasoned, noble feathers - mostly old and male - were replaced by child soldiers. Yes, that was the arrogant and disrespectful term used by print editors - rarely female editors - when talking about their younger, digital counterparts. In other words, those online journalists who tackled research and texts in such a way that they were cool, casual or cringeworthy and not well-founded, proofread and bulletproofed. They generated clicks and likes - and that was a stronger currency than readership figures. This activity was also known as clickbaiting. Today it's more like SEO optimization. Or content creation, done by content creators.

So it's no wonder that the last dinosaurs in the editorial offices are amazed at the success of these young, mostly female creators and comment caustically on their actions in their remaining columns. Perhaps editorial dinosaurs and creators would do well to take themselves a little less seriously and admit that they have both simply created, produced or designed something. Whether this is significant or not can then be judged later by the Gamma and Delta generations.

Benno Maggi is co-founder and CEO of Partner & Partner. He has been eavesdropping on the industry for over 30 years, discovering words and terms for us that can either be used for small talk, pomposity, excitement, playing Scrabble, or just because.

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