Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Post Everything World

Over on Youtube creators are enraged about something called the ad-pocalypse. Look it up for yourself, but basically it hurts people just starting out and those producing edgy content. It feels like another round of "we control the Internet" insanity by a big company, and we have been down this road before as writers with the three or four porn-pocolpyses writers have been through (and some of the yearly ones like when book stores clean up their shelves before the holidays).

You saw this before with banks giving adult performers hassle when opening up accounts - just because of the work they do. With advertisers on mainstream nude magazines and all the politics about where they were carried and what stores they could be in. With online payment processors shying away from mature content, and refusing to be a part of the payment methods of some sites. And now with advertisers complaining about what videos their products are seen on.

And here I just thought a view was a view.

I grew up in the world of late-night ads on cable TV hawking  all sorts of junk, and they didn't care if their videos were on some schlock 1950's B-grade monster movie, the late-late show, or some music-video show where the videos were basically ads for songs, and then they put ads around the videos to sell you more stuff.

Eyes were eyes back then. I guess our eyes are somehow different today.

Big companies want to control the content, because either the big companies are failing to product what the average person wants or there just is that much money to be made speaking your mind. I really get this feeling people are moving to Youtube and creator-driven content because they are so absolutely sick and tired of the garbage Hollywood and other big media companies produce. Look at TV news, if you can stand it, and then look at all the independent news sites people are really getting their information from today.

It is the old media sites that complain the loudest about "fake news" - from both sides right and left - because this isn't a legitimate argument, it is because people are walking away. People are getting their information directly from independent sources and using their brains to determine if the facts presented are right or wrong.

Same thing with entertainment. People would rather sit down and randomly watch Youtube videos where they can find things more relevant to their world than sit in front of the late show every night watching what entertainment companies think would appeal to the largest demographic.'

Jimmy Fallon can't drop an f-bomb. But Pewdiepie can.

And people flock towards the things which are not fake.

And those in the old guard and traditional media industries do what? Declare the new stuff is upsetting, controversial, and fake. Tear down the new stuff by using advertiser money, store policy, and hiding things from search. They implement policies to push "approved, family friendly" content while pushing the edgy, intelligent stuff to the back of the store.

It is a dam you cannot stop from breaking, honestly. It just feels like the more they try to keep people away from the things they want, the less effective it is at stopping the inevitable.

This is really all about money.

It is about money.

It is about the big studio who's movie flops and they blame bad Internet reviews. It is about the company that puts out a tone-deaf ad, gets raked over the coals for doing something stupid, and then blames the videos their ad plays on instead of admitting they "lost touch" there and are sorry. It is about the big book that comes out and doesn't meet expectations because indie authors are taking all the attention away. The game with millions of dollars in budget that gets bad reviews in comment videos. The TV show with the famous actors that pulls in less views than someone's Minecraft videos.

This is about the small people turning the old world on its head. About the billions of small people reaching out and finding things they enjoy with billions of other small people.

I am proudly a small person.

So the old guard uses money, payment processors, store policy, payment rates, and other games - using old fashioned currency - to control things.

What do you think is going to happen?

People are going to walk away from the old guard sites and platforms.

And people are going to walk away from the old-guard currency and payment processors used to control them.

If I could sell books directly using Bitcoin - and be my own payment processor - I would in a heartbeat. Here are my books, give me a tip, and I will keep on writing and doing what I do. Of course, I would still report it all as income, I am not stupid, but this is my business and I am not going to have some credit card company, store, or payment processor tell me what content should or should not be in my book - or video. Or anything I create.

I found an audience, and do not think you can use your money or policies to control either me or my followers. Seriously.

I become that guitar-player on the corner playing for tips. People throw their coins and dollar bills into my open guitar case, without having some payment company tell me "you can't play there" or "we don't like your music" and that next week the policy has changes and they aren't going to pay you.

Even though you play and people find what you do to be valuable to their lives and existence.

To be a part of their world, and to have them say "thank you" with a tip or two.

So I can keep on doing this, you know, the theory if enough people tip me I can buy that box of mac-and-cheese and eat another day? That I won't need a traditional job, and I can devote 100% of my life to what you love me doing - so you can have more? That sort of thing, where the big company is gone from the equation and it is just me and you, and you showing your appreciation every now and then with a coin or two.

An honest world is all I seek.

One where we reward each other based on our merits, directly, and there is little between us.

The benefit of a platform, be it a tablet, phone, e-reader, Youtube, Facebook, or any other content-delivery system - is size and exposure. When the policies of the platform begin to fight the audience's will and desire for content, the platform usually does not win.

And I feel the purpose of a platform is to not control the content, but to deliver it, invisibly and accurately, to those seeking that content. To enable people to find the things they wish to watch, instead of telling us what we should watch.

Welcome to the post-everything world.

Survive by supporting open standards and platforms, because you want to be able to take everything with you - your books, your movies, your music, and all your digital goods. A digital good has a lot more value if it is transferable to another device, and there have been music and media stores which have folded up and said "sorry, you don't own that anymore."

And find ways of rewarding creators directly, because the ad-supported world of dinosaurs wants to drag you down in the tar pits with it. Take the money that would go into cable TV bills and other old-guard services, cut those out of your life, and use that money to contribute directly to the people that bring value to your life.

It is a smarter play, and it supports the little people like you and me.

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