Imagine earning a living as a writer, artist, freelance reporter, photographer or any other content creator trying to scratch out a living in today’s overcrowded, hyperactive digital landscape.
You may have something to say; you may have something to share. Now what? What can you do to ensure your work is discovered?
Before answering, consider these stats: Wikipedia users publish 600 new pages every minute. Meanwhile, almost 50,000 new photos are uploaded to Instagram every minute. Bundled together, this deluge of videos, posts, texts and tweets make up about 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data posted online each day.
Faced with this tsunami of information, one has to ask: What inspires content creators to share their hard work in the slim chance it will gain traction?
Obviously, sheer determination is a driver. Scrappy fortitude and confidence are necessary for those creators confident their work will be discovered.
But stick-to-itiveness is not enough.
If creators are hoping to have their work unearthed, many share their wares on popular outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, SubscribeStar, Twitter and other popular online platforms.
But this is a proverbial double-edge sword. These outlets promise creators the potential to build big followings, but – because these sites depend on advertisers, payment processors, and other third parties to pay the bills – they also demand final control over a creator’s work.
Such arrangements can get messy when it comes to revenue. Mainstream content platforms are notorious for demanding steep fees to showcase a creator’s work. (The most extreme example may be YouTube: Google – YouTube’s owner – can keep up to 45 percent of any advertising revenue a creator’s work generates.)
The arrangements can get even messier if an artist’s work leans towards controversy. The internet is littered with examples of creators who have been deplatformed – or demonetized as the practice is called. When a controversial creator is demonetized, it means the big sites that once welcomed them and their work has had a change of heart. They can be 86’d from the platform, loosing ownership rights of their own content – and their income stream.
Before signing on the dotted line with a popular content platform, creators should know there is an alternative. Blockchain technology – the decentralized tech that was famously introduced to supports bitcoin – is now be leveraged to remedy the many disparities that exist in today’s online content landscape.
Popular content platforms– Twitter, Facebook, etc. – operate using for-profit, centralized business models that are wholly dependent on third parties. They are loaded with inefficiencies; excessive fees and the threat of censorship come with the territory.
Blockchain-powered content platforms offers creators an alternative method of showcasing their work while operating under a far more equitable arrangement.
Artists, citizen journalists and other creators can use blockchain platforms as digital galleries to showcase their work directly to appreciative fans. No advertisers or payment processors are required. Conversely, blockchain permits fans to directly support the creators they prefer. They can subscribe to preferred creators, promote their work and even offer financial support directly to the creators. (Mainstream currencies aren’t even needed; fans can offer support through cryptocurrencies.)
This subscription approach enables creators to thrive, keeping the full amount of what fan compensation. However, should they post offensive content, blockchain empowers fans to immediately withhold their support. Needless middlemen – advertisers, payment processors, content watchdogs – who shudder at the thought of controversy, are all removed from the mix.
This is the beauty of blockchain technology. It fosters collaboration and cultivates trust. It’s efficient and transparent. Those who associate it strictly with bitcoin are missing the boat. Don’t take my word for it. IBM, Walmart, FedEx, Microsoft, Mastercard, Overstock, and Bank of America are just a few the corporations now using blockchain. By 2024, the global blockchain market is projected to exceed $60 billion.
The reason these name-brand companies are migrating to blockchain is because they recognize it offers a more efficient way to manage projects and tasks. It levels the playing field.
That is exactly why content creators should think twice before striking a deal with the digital devil and surrendering creative control and a significant slice of their earnings to big, centralized content heavyweights.
Blockchain technology offers an alternative path. Instead of depending on big-name content outlets, creators owe it to themselves to explore the possibilities that decentralized, ad-free platforms offer.
About the Author
Brad Robertson is the founder and CEO of Polyient Labs, a Phoenix-based blockchain incubator with offices in Denver and San Diego. Prior to launching Polyient, Robertson was the CEO and founder of CX, an early innovator in cloud computing. Before that, Robertson served in several executive roles on behalf of numerous internet startups.
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