Death of the Follower & the Future of Creativity on the Web (Jack Conte of Patreon)

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  • 2
    #5110
    chubes
    HMFIC
    Rank: Frozen Foods Isle
    Points: 10570.25

    @steveaycockphoto sent me this video earlier and it really resonated with me. It’s Jack Conte from Patreon (and the band Pomplamoose that blew up on YouTube in 2007) speaking about the evolution of his life, his business, and the internet all together. He lays out a timeline that starts with Web 1.0, in the 90s, and then continues through today.

    Jack touches upon a lot of the challenges that I’m personally facing as the owner of a digital community/business, and how social media has essentially jumped the shark and made it extremely difficult for creatives to reach their audience, specifically in the music industry.

    It’s a keynote session from SXSW 2024, which I did not attend, but should have. Long video, but an engaging story, and one that I truly care about. “Building a better version of how art and community can exist on the internet,” he says. Not a straight up Patreon ad, but moreso explaining how his vision aligns with trying to craft a better internet. Jack seems like a kindred spirit.

    What do you think? How can we as creators face these challenges? (other than posting on this forum)

    1
    #5261
    SteveAycockPhoto
    Your Chas' local photog.
    Rank: Puddle
    Points: 42

    Navigating modern internet driven communications platforms and social media has been a pretty wild ride. Not only do we not have any control over the algorithms, we don’t even have the data to navigate or make the most use of them.

    What is the answer, the solution for me to grow my photography if I can’t reach the people who need to see the images… and who are those people? The artists themselves, or their fans? and where do I draw a line between promoting an artist I’ve photographed, or promoting my own work as the photographer without stepping on that same artist’s toes?

    Maybe branching out to more or different platforms… like not unironically ‘patreon’?

    What do I do to make money at this, if even just to keep up with the gear required to keep doing it? I know other people do it but I don’t think I’d be too comfortable with selling images of someone else’s likeness.

    Would the artists I photograph be ok with it if I sold a coffee table book with THEM in it? Would they be flattered, or upset?

    0
    #5274
    chubes
    HMFIC
    Rank: Frozen Foods Isle
    Points: 10570.25

    @steveaycockphoto

    I think the long term solution is building up a community. Once more people start to get on board with this “independent creators rise up” movement, they will see the value in a space like this, and others like it. Here, we are not subject to algorithms and we can connect in the way that Jack discusses. Tight-knit communities create “superfans” who support us because of our core mission and vison.

    I don’t know the answer to how to make money off concert photography. I think it’s hard in the current music industry landscape because all creators struggle with the same question.

    I do think they would be okay with you selling a coffee table book with their photos in it. You would just have to get the proper permission. But, in line with my latest “community building” obsession, I think most artists would be stoked to hear that they were featured in a coffee table book, especially when it was made by someone who has been out there in the trenches giving them free promotional photos for years.

    The biggest factor would be finding a way to market it as more than just a book of photos. Building a story around that book as a selling point would be key. But then there is the upfront investment cost of having such a book printed, and the difficulty in selling enough of them to break even.

    We’re at the mercy of the algorithms until we have enough people realize they can go around the algorithms or game the algorithms…

    something to try:

    Next time you have a post on Instagram that you want to see more action on, try this: Text me, text your other trustworthy friends, and ask them to go like and leave a comment on your post. Watch what happens after they do. Your post will be shown to WAY more people.

    I did this when I shared the schedule for Extra Chill fest on my story last year, and it was shown to over 1000 people. All i did was text people off the platform and tell them to go fire react to my story. And it worked.

    It’s almost like we need to have specific groups that are ready to provide engagement on each other’s posts to reach our audience. And having a team of people who all work together on this, to artificially blow up our content to reach the proper audience. People who care enough to partake in this.

    3
    #5278
    SteveAycockPhoto
    Your Chas' local photog.
    Rank: Puddle
    Points: 42

    “Text me, text your other trustworthy friends, and ask them to go like and leave a comment on your post.”

    Right on… good advice, and thanks!

    Feel free to hit me up too if you need help boosting something.

    For the other artists here… I try to like everyone’s posts when I see them on Insta. Doesn’t have to be something I’m attending or have a deep interest in. If I know you I’m gonna click the ‘like’ button just to try to help out.

    If we all do that for each other in the spirit of community it’s good for everyone.

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