It’s no surprise that the world’s largest conglomerates, colossal media companies and gigantic brands want to drive sales, increase stock prices and satisfy their share holders 365 days a year. That is the ecosystem these folks live in.
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that online content creators like bloggers, YouTubers, Podcasters, Infopreneurs, ebook authors, among others want to be compensated for the audiences they build and content they provide.
Everyone wants a slice of the pie. And that is the reality of a capitalistic society. It’s the current business model we live in.
And yes, many corporations and brands exploit and take content creators for granted. They dictate what should and shouldn’t be written in a sponsored blog post or a tweet or an Instagram image because they want to paint a perfect portrait of who they are and what they represent. It’s total B.S. and the reality we live in. It’s the dance we all take part in over and over and over again.
So why do we stay in the game if we feel as if we are being bulldozed all the time by these companies? Two words. Social Media. I blame social media and its effect on how we see ourselves and view the world.
We love the rush.
We love what social media can do for our endorphins. We love the love. We love the love we get from strangers who pass through our social media channels every single day. Hell, I’m even getting a rush thinking about who will ‘like’ or not ‘like’ this very here post. And how I’m going to tweet out this post when it’s complete. The distinct correlation between what’s happening in our brains and how many ‘likes’, ‘views’ , ‘comments’ and ‘followers’ we receive is so powerful it hurts.
It’s literally mind blowing. And exciting.
I’d argue that corporations are fully aware of this and exploit creators with false promises of ‘more traffic’ , ‘better engagement’ and ‘amazing exposure’.
I’d also argue that as content creators, we have choices. And these choices have consequences. The choices we make and the company we keep and the projects we work on really do define who we are in this world.
Content creators need to honor themselves by working with companies that pay respect to you and your work. All the ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ and ‘subscribers’ you get ultimately don’t mean a thing if you are taking on work that makes you feel like crap.
Is there a silver lining here? Yes! (I think.)
Despite the fact that analysts say the Internet has ‘matured’, we are clearly still in the ‘Wild Wild West’ days of the Internet. Much like California’s Gold rush in 1848 when folks fled to California to strike it rich, we are again living in an exciting time. Existing business models on the web will be a thing of the past. (I’m looking at you Buzzfeed and HuffPo!) New models will flourish. Innovations will be created. New ideas will be born.
As creators, our content will be produced and consumed in different ways. This means new business models will follow and the collective consciousness in our society will surely shift. I have no idea if the shift will be good for us or a complete disaster but time will surely tell. I am incredibly optimistic about the future.
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