Monday, December 21, 2009

ups and downs, nows and thens...

There are times when I get excited about things and they make me happy and get me motivated, and then they let me down.

I have a feeling this happens more often, to more people, now that so many people are participating in so many things online. What happens is the new site or new online community that seems appealing and fun, and then various aspects of it let you down and you realize that it is just a front for some advertising scheme. It starts to run slower, the features are lacking, then it gets dull.

The digital age is an exciting thing in general, and it would be great if it could actually work. I mean, to be able to sit at home creating one's digital artifacts, upload them to market and be paid handsomely, this is what so many people want to be able to do.

But the only thing that really seems to be making money on the internet is advertising. The actual price for it goes up and down, of course, but it always seems to be able to make some money.

In other words, there are various sites here and there that act as online shops for digital wares which have varying degrees of success or failure. But *everywhere* there are sites providing advertising, and no matter what kind of site. If you can advertise on it you can make some money, but most people cannot make enough. It doesn't really matter *what* site you provide, as long as it draws some traffic you can advertise on it, and if it draws a lot of traffic you can make good money advertising on it.

The original internet was intended for the exchange of information by introverted geeks who didn't want to actually go places to meet people. Yes, I know that there is more detailed and accurate history, but that is the bottom line. There are still pockets of resentment for the whole commercialization of the internet, and to be sure I do not inhabit any of those, but the whole spirit of clever people putting things out for the whole world to share has its roots in that original idea.

Then, huge media interests tied their giant wagons to these clever people, sensing the next big thing and a way to make a killing.

Making a Killing was the name of the game. Just like in the music industry, or in professional sports, the people who want to Make a Killing have come up with means to analyze offerings and get an idea of how much they are worth bothering with-- how many hits they can produce, how well they will play for how long-- and then provided money to gain some control and secure some return. Or, in some cases, purchase them altogether, hoping to bind and harness the creative output to their own financial advantage.

So that begat a formula, a whole life cycle: a group focuses on a clever and innovative idea, they get it to the point of being able to demonstrate it on the internet, and then they hope to be bought out by some corporate interest that will, in turn, "brand" the whole thing and support it for mass consumption.

That is, to take the clever innovative idea and turn it into just another product.

The people who came up with the Formula for Making a Killing on the internet were hailed as geniuses, or at least promoted themselves as such to the point where it was accepted that they were. They were able to make it happen, you see. These clever, innovative ideas were commonplace, but to Generate Buzz and Monetize these things Effectively, that is what had to happen in order to make a killing.

So a lot of effort became focused on being able to Generate Buzz in order to Make a Killing.

As a result, to get back to the original theme, once something is Buzzed Up to the point where it can Make a Killing, it doesn't necessarily need to work well, or completely live up to its hype. People get excited because of the Buzz, they come and see and sign up or whatever. Then, they get discouraged, for any number of reasons.

But, at that point, someone has already Made a Killing, so it is not so important that people are discouraged. The people with the original clever and innovative idea will struggle with it to make it work, to live up to the hype, and they become discouraged but they have been committed to Those who have Generated Buzz.

An additional irony is that, because new clever and innovative ideas often depend on other creative and innovative ideas for their inner workings, there is a series of things that don't work quite as well as they have been Buzzed Up to be.

Maybe it will help if I became more cynical, so as to not become excited by something that seems clever and innovative. But that is no fun, either. Mainly what becomes instantly exciting is when someone does something on the internet that makes you think "hey, that is the sort of thing I would do in that realm, which isn't my main realm so I would never do it, but it is cool and I'd like to use it".

But it tends to fall short at first, and maybe at always. So, pursuing fun and excitement in the digital realm is something of an emotional roller coaster.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home