What do we call the people we make content for?

By Deane Barker

What is the name for people who consume content? We have names for people who create the content – usually “creator” or “editor” – but what do we call the people on the other side? The people who view/read the content we create and edit?

  • "Visitor”: This is common, but this presumes someone is going to “visit” a website. What if you send them an email? What if they read your content on social media?

  • "User”: Do people “use” content? They “use” an app or functionality, but can we use that term to define people who view/read content?

  • "Public”: What if they’re not the public? What if it’s an intranet, or an email list?

  • "Consumer”: I love this, because people “consume” content. But there’s potential for confusion with the economic term “consumer.”

  • "Audience”: This is good, but what’s the singular? Audience is an aggregate term.

What do we call these people? Can we collectively define a term for this group?

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