The Crazy Way Product Design Impacts Creators – from TikTok to YouTube and Beyond, plus Justifying Web3 and the Metaverse in 2040 (sort of)

07-05-22: It’s Fourth of July week here in the US, so a few longer pieces for your perusal (hopefully on the beach or lakeside), along with the usual mix.

Understanding the difference between TikTok and YouTube: I wrote a longish piece about why product design decisions – and how TikTok, Shorts and Reels are actually used – explains the stark divide between YouTube and short-form creators we observed at VidCon. You can clearly build communities on each service, but there are reasons why it’s easier on YouTube.

Web3, Huh, Yeah. What Is It Good For? (absolutely nothing): When even the brilliant Packy McCormack can’t come up with any crypto use cases on a podcast, you know things are tough. But on the plus side it inspired Packy to lean into actual use cases for Web3 today and tomorrow in a thoughtful series of posts. You can safely skip through the hand-wringing in part 1 to get to the “Today” cases, and you’ll likely enjoy Part II’s focus on the future in its entirety. Much of the future cases revolve around “hyperstructures” – I encourage you to read more about them here. Brad Berens (who writes the amazing Weekly Dispatch newsletter) and I were chatting about this, and his criticism of the jargon-filled hyperbole in all these pieces was spot on. I still think programmable immutable blocks are the future, but we need clearer writing, and more concrete examples before mass adoption occurs.

New Calculator Aims to Help Creators Get Fairly Paid: Wondering what your posts are worth? This new calculator from Hashtag Pay Me gives you data on what to charge. The calculator focuses on Instagram and TikTok only, and asks you to input data on followers, type of content, engagement rate, how you produce your sponsored content and more. But according to my testing, only the platform and number of followers affects the results. According to CEO Cynthia Ruff, the data comes from 2,000 actual deals today, with more coming in all the time.  But right now there isn’t enough statistical significance for the other variables to matter. I’m impressed by Ruff’s commitment to unbiased data and growing value over time. Worth a look today, it could be a super useful tool down the road. Got any data to help her train the system? Ping me and I’ll introduce you.

Pew Explores the Future of the XR, AR, VR and the Metaverse: You likely know “Pew Research Center” as a brand that does broad, unbiased and statistically significant research about the intersection of technology and life. But their just released metaverse research is oddly different. Instead, they asked 624 “technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists” about where virtual world tech will be in 18 years. It’s worth a read but take it with a HUGE grain of salt – recency bias is real. Even top experts have trouble making successful predictions 20 years into the future given the pace of technology change. Who predicted the effects mobile phones would have on society back in 2002? What about the internet’s place in our lives in 2015 back when it first emerged in 1995? ‘Nuff said.



Tip of the Week: This week’s tip comes from Josh Zimmerman  (Great to see you at VidCon Josh!)

What creators need to realize is that they are not just making videos, they are actually running a business, they are a CEO, and a lot of the time, if not most, creators did not make their content with the goal of running a company, and that is where creators or if they have a team need to take a step back and think big picture about what they want this company to be. And ask themselves: “Is it going in the direction I want to go in?”. It is Important that they come from a place of authority and authenticity, to be proactive and not reactive.

Once a creator is able to see the bigger picture and look at what they have built, they are able to actually grow and scale (if they want to) their company. It is crucial for creators to remember that THEY are in charge and that they need to steer the ship and that yes, this is hard, but there are resources out there to help them. They are giving so many people around the world so much joy watching their content, that they need to step back and take that in – like really take it in and understand the impact that they are having. It is an awesome responsibility and that they do not have to do this alone.”

What We’re Watching:

  • I actually went to the movie theater over the weekend and saw “Minions: The Rise of Gru”. First theater experience since 2019. It was hilarious.

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