I think it is about time to take a long hard look at some of the myths around Web 2.0, podcasting, and the content revolution in general. I am a part of the community, and I feel that too many things are left untold. So, let’s start with the basics:
Digg is the emblem of content democratization. Rejoice at Web 2.0! – the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. Democracy has rules. Basic ones. You can’t vote twice is one of them. Protection of minorities from majority decisions is another one. Digg is far from practicing these basic rules. Maybe in Zimbabwe it is considered a democracy, but in the rest of the world, digg system has a different name – mob. yep, plain old, witch burning, libido driven, and in most cases geeky mob. Just look at the last 24 hours page and between false rumors about spaceship cancellation, to a clip with a kid who sneaks to a party disguised to a DJ, and a Rick Astely piece (for crying out loud, we are happy that the 80’s ended for a reason), you get the notion that the movie Idiocracy was right.
Everyone can be a content creator, hence a star. Web 2.0 Rulezzzzzzz!!! – Ok, let’s do the lawyer talk. Everyone can open a blog. Not everyone can be a blogger. If you want to be a blogger you need to be persistent, write good content, and promote your blog. Yes. It requires time and effort. There is a huge difference between opening a wordpress account, and actually writing a good blog with many readers. Most successful bloggers are around for at least a year, posting at least once or twice a week, and combine online and offline activities. Being a blogger, especially professional one is a hard task.
And we didn’t talk about audio and video productions. Yes, you can sit in-front of your webcam and talk. But unless you are extremely attractive, or funny, or interesting, no one will watch your stuff besides your mom and friends. Not necessarily a bad thing, but let’s set the expectations. And hey, being interesting, attractive, funny, interesting – doesn’t it sounds just like creating content in every other medium? Yes it is! The fact that your content is online doesn’t mean it can be crappy. People will notice if it is crappy. Really. Most people don’t care if they get their content from their laptop or TV – they just want good content. So all this Web 2.0 myth that everyone can just put his or hers content online and immediatly people would watch it is far from being true.
Some of you would ask now – but hey, you are a blogger, a social media advocate, content creator that is using the same media to bash it. Aren’t you biting the hands that feeds you? Well, actually, I think that is better to set expectations than create false promises. There are enough people in the community praising the power of Web 2.0, and sometimes I feel we need more people to ruin the party once in a while. When people realize the limitations of the medium they appreciate it even more. I love the fact that I can publish media products and reach new people through that. I don’t like the fact that many are thinking that it is just a walk in the park, starting to blog/podcast and get disappointed when they are not zillioners after a year. I’d rather have new bloggers and podcasters understand that creating and distributing content requires effort and talent.
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