What is the Future of the Internet? The Focus Will Shift from Content to Creator.

The phase of the internet we are in right now is all about algorithms and rankings. This is a great time to be a platform, but it is not a great time if you are a creator. The 90s were about the read-only web. You browsed, downloaded… consumed. The 2000s were about “Web 2.0” – everyone on the planet turned content creator. You blogged, reported on the news, commented, created shows, developed personalities… participated. Now, we spend significant time figuring out the algorithm so our subscribers can see our content. We make catchy titles, odd thumbnails, provocative statements, manufacture beef, and target divisive topics… gamed. This has fundamentally changed our content for the worse.

“We are no longer creating things for our fans; we are creating content that resonates with a fickle algorithm.”

Hans Scharler

My blogger compatriot, @starchamber, sent me a link to a YouTube video with the text, “So good.” When they send me a link, I watch it. They were right; it was… so good.

Death of the Follower & the Future of Creativity on the Web with Jack Conte

I love Jack Conte’s story, passion, and life work. Most of us will never be in Jack’s position, but we can create our art and cultivate a true fan base. Just don’t expect to win the lottery like Jack.

Content Creator

My biggest takeaway from Jack Conte’s SXSW talk is that we need to step back as content creators, drop the content gaming, and focus on a small set of fans. The algorithmic nature of platforms like TikTok means consumers do not need to follow. We open the app, strap in, and hope the algorithm hits. Their goal is to keep us strapped in as long as possible, not to engage with creators.

What’s next? Creator Sustainablity.

Patreon, Discord, and Kajabi focus on building the tools creators need to build sustainable businesses. The future of creativity on the internet lies in creators focusing on building deep connections with their fans rather than chasing virality and algorithmic reach. In other words… creators need to stay true to their vision and make things that matter to them rather than what they think will get the most views. Part of sustainability is having an income. We must focus on meeting our needs, creating, putting ourselves out there, and creating opportunities for others to engage with us. It is counter-intuitive in this current culture. Going viral is where it’s at… right? The place to be is where creators can make things for a truly invested audience.

“I want to say something that matters to somebody. I want to say something that only I can say because of whatever experience I’ve had and my lived experience, something that is uniquely pointed to me.”

Jack Conte

What are you creating? What are you putting out there?

And… subscribe to the mailing list if you would like to support my creative work.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.