4-25-2022 – Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye this week:

  • From User Generated to User Owned Content: As if answering my question in last week’s newsletter, Rex Woodbury’s latest piece wonders “what if YouTube were Web3 centric?” His example is Mad Realities, an interactive dating show that aspires to be the YouTube of tomorrow. It’s a fascinating look at how two crypto-native creators raised a ton of ETH and built a show casted, staffed and owned by its viewers.

 

  • Instagram Explores What Happens when Power Shifts from Platforms to Creators: How can creators own their audience, and maximize their presence on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and elsewhere? Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri and Stratechery’s Ben Thompson share thoughts on how a tokenized creator community could feed popular social channels (scroll past the twitter and meta stuff) with a “subscribe once” and connect everywhere service. So many interesting ideas here – including how it might work, why web3 makes sense and the difficult task of getting competing platforms to support it. It’s refreshing to hear that Mosseri believes that power will shift from platforms to creators, and has a rough plan for how it might work industry-wide.

 

  • To Dox or not to Dox, that is the question: Taylor Lorenz outed the creators of an anti-LGBTQ Twitter account. The ensuing uproar over her reporting methods was wrong – according to Poynter and many others, and I agree. But Lorenz’ reporting also revealed the real identity of the anonymous creator – which caused an even bigger kerfuffle. NBC news argued that it was legitimate: holding “the people shaping public policy up to public scrutiny”. Fox News disagreed. While I’m generally against revealing information about creators that they wish to keep secret – including their real names and addresses – in this case I’m swayed by NBC’s accountability argument. But I’m not sure where you draw the line.

 

  • 32 Million Full Time Creators Earn Poverty-Level Wages: Some eye-popping stats in new research from Linktree, showing that 5% of global social media – or 200M – are creators who “monetize their audience” in some way. The research then dives into those creators to show that 34% (or 72M) call themselves “full time creators”, yet nearly half make less than $1,000 a year. Crisis-inducing numbers but take them with a large shaker full of salt. Turns out that the “Total Addressable Market (TAM)” sizing is culled from both Linktree info and data from Statista, healthcare agency Omnicore, web dev shop Global Media Insights and the platforms themselves. Some odd sources, but likely directionally legit. But the research on how much these creators earn comes from a very different source – 9,576 Linktree users themselves. That’s hardly a statistically significant sample projectable across the 200M TAM. But you’d never know that unless you downloaded the full research. Forgive my incendiary lead-in to this story. It’s wrong. Yes, Math is hard. But it’s incumbent on everyone posting surveys to warn when they are comingling two very different data sets in one report. The report itself has good insight and tips from Linktree creators – but it’s directional not definitive.

 

  • New Site Reveals What’s Wrong with Influencer Marketing: I’m sure the creators of the new “Influencer Job Board” had the best intentions. Build a place where creators and brands could hook up to mutual benefit. But a quick perusal of the opportunities shows how little brands really value creators. Many of the posts – like these from Kung Fu Tea and Junobie simply offer free products in exchange for Instagram story posts and community outreach. Those offering real money aren’t offering much – $5-$10 from Sand Cloud, or $25-$50 from DevaCurl. Others are dangling “full time jobs” that only pay commission when you sell their product. At least Canon is trying. Hmm. Maybe there really are 32M full-time creators living in poverty.

 

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