Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Thoughts on creating content

When anyone relies on ads (google adsense), subscriptions (patreon, twitch subscribers, gumroad), or donations (brave browser bat, cryptocurrency, pay-pal, youtube superchats, etc) or selling a product like t-shirts, stickers, or even books, there is a necessary temptation to err on the side of rabble rousing or attention grabbing behavior in order to get, maintain, and grow an audience.

Even in making this post, there's a temptation to add in specific examples of people and behaviors that may lead to making the point more accessible or concrete, but that leads to create a golem (monster) over time where critiquing people/specific behaviors attracts the sort of person who engages in gossip or rabble rousing to a fault.

The trick to making useful, actionable, content seems to lie in finding a balance between being informative and yet enjoyable, concise enough to read all the way through but not too concise that the amount of energy required to search out the content is more of a cost than the return on the time/energy/hassle involved.

As such, there seem to be a few things important to creating meaningful content:

A lack of a need to produce something in order to survive. If a person is selling something in order to not starve or afford their rent, the content created goes from being a hobby to being a job, and the audience goes from being participants to customers or even marks.

It is not wrong to make money off of something, but that as a goal rather than a symptom tends to lead to a dishonesty or a pushiness that runs counter to respecting your audience.

The content produced must be intended to help others in some way, not to take advantage of them or use them in a negatively selfish manner.

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