[Creators Spotlight]: Find something you enjoy, ask yourself a question about it, then work to find an answer - Chris Brownlie
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Chris Brownlie, Senior data scientist at the Department for Education in the UK. Chris talks about his idea of picking up the appropriate topic and his the process of creating them.
Creators are the heart and soul of Tealfeed. As they continuously work towards feeding us more information every day, it's only fitting to bring out their journey for the world to know.
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us.
Today we have with us Chris Brownlie. Chris, a Senior data scientist at the Department for Education in the UK, talks about his idea of picking up the appropriate topic and shares his content creation process.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life? What lessons did that person or those people teach you?
As is the case for many people, my parents have definitely had the biggest influence on my life. My mum has taught me the value of selflessness and hard work, doing what needs to be done and handling difficult situations.
My dad has taught me to view the world as a series of problems that need to be solved (in a good way!), how to communicate effectively and to always try and see something from another person’s point of view.
How important a role does content play in your life? Are you a full-time content creator? Why did you start creating content?
I think it plays an important role in everyone’s life, given the digital nature of our society and the prevalence of social media. Everyone consumes content every day and choices about the kind of content we consume shape our personalities.
I decided to start writing in order to encourage people to ask more questions and view things from a different perspective.
I’m not a full time content creator, in fact I don’t even keep to a schedule with it and sometimes go a long time without posting anything because my goal is not necessarily to grow my followers or become a full-time creator, it is simply to produce high quality articles.
What’s the most satisfying part of being a content creator?
The most satisfying part has to be when a large number of people connect with something you’ve written. One of my most popular articles was quite a personal one where I visualised my relationship with my girlfriend through analysing Whatsapp chats and seeing other people relating to it and asking how they could do the same thing was very satisfying.
Also, I always make sure that the topic of my articles is interesting to me personally and so the process of creating them and being proud of the quality of the finished product is also very satisfying.
What are you up to currently and what are your long-term career goals?
I currently work as a senior data scientist at the Department for Education in the UK. My main long-term career goal is to run my own business, helping people and companies make the most of their data.
Obviously we know that big business and many startups are at the cutting edge of data science but I think there are numerous smaller businesses that have a lot of wasted potential in terms of their data, so I would like to help them change that someday!
What’s the most challenging part of being a content creator?
This is a bit niche and specific to the type of content I create but it is the most challenging aspect for me. As a data scientist, my articles all involve analysing and/or visualising a dataset in some way. A common issue among writers is deciding on a topic but I also have the added difficulty of finding a dataset on top of that.
The difficulty doesn’t necessarily lie in obtaining a dataset because there are plenty of great websites and resources out there. The problem is finding data that is interesting, relatively novel (no titanic) and easy/free to use.
How do you make sure that you aren’t affected by nasty comments and negative things said about you?
When I see negative comments online I just remind myself that the problem is theirs not mine. The sad fact is that some people deal with issues in their life by being negative online – I feel sorry for them but I’ve found the best thing to do is not engage.
If they are leaving a negative comment that isn’t kind or constructive then you aren’t going to change their mind so it is best to just pretend they don’t exist.
What's success for you and when you would consider yourself to be successful?
Firstly I think the cliches are right, in that money isn’t everything and having good relationships are more important in life. But my personal view on my own success is very closely linked to my career. Success to me is making a difference, being recognised for your talents and being respected as an expert.
I’m not sure I can say when I would consider myself to be successful, because at the moment I’ve got the mindset of ‘I can always do better’.
I also think that my view of success will probably change as I get older so a situation that I would consider successful now, might not seem as successful when I reach it.
To every individual who’s planning to start out as a content creator, what would you like to advise them?
Be original. It is as simple as that. I can only speak for the data science industry but with the rise of writing/content sharing platforms and the increasing role of social media in every day life, there are now swathes of writers out there all trying to be heard.
If you write a ‘top 10 tips on pandas’ or ‘analysing titanic dataset’ article, you will not attract any real interest. There are already thousands of articles like that out there that are written by more experienced people. Find something you enjoy, ask yourself a question about it, work to find an answer.
Few maintain consistency, few remain unique, and fewer are the ones who do both of these right, and earn a spot in Tealfeed Spotlight.