Automatic "Free" Internet Money - "Social" Apps And Websites


Since I like to sketch ideas for some reason this came to mind... I'm fairly sure this is overly simplified. I guess the internet allows smart people to create platforms which are ran by the community.


Not all "community" stuff is bad. Hosting videos on my own server would cost me quite a bit. With Youtube I can do it for free. As a guy with the smallest of budgets I cannot afford crazy expenses and will use a free platform when possible. Also with these platforms people can contribute and find very useful information.

Creating a good amount of content requires research, time, effort, and technical how to. I value the content that is made by individuals. Platforms allow you to publish content to the entire world. A big problem that I see is that content creators can be taken advantage of without them even knowing.

Most "social" sites/apps/forums/Q&A use the free labor of average people. Your Facebook posts, your Twitter tweets, your funny images of cats are then turned by the companies to generate wealth through a variety of methods. You as the content creator got nothing more than the satisfaction of "sharing" with other people you care about. Because it can be considered free labor it can also be called slavery... Most people may not realize that they are already plugged into "The Matrix" and working for the system. ;) hahaha

One of the reasons I decided to do blogging was to "own my own content". Posting on forums and sites owned by someone else does not compensate for the amount of time and effort spent creating content. I think it is fare to be paid for your own work if it has enough value. I guess some of the content produced in the last two years has some value based on what the community has given me in return. I deeply appreciate it.

Using a "get paid for your content" method can get out of hand. Content creators may begin to produce mass amounts of not so valuable content. There are companies known as "content farms" which produce pages, videos, apps to try to capture traffic. The idea is that more is better, and that ends up being in more is just more crap. Quality goes down incredibly when the incentive is to produce in mass.

Doing a "Wikipedia style" free content doesn't really pay for the individual content creator, it does pay for those that run Wikipedia. The scam is seen in so many "social" sites. However, Wikipedia does have a good amount of quality. Replacing the crappy quality with good quality is a way to stand out for a short period of time. With more sophisticated tools the quantity and quality of content will increase. So once the market is cluttered with high quality content how does the individual stand out?  Being a bit clever.

Some ways of standing out:
  • Be first or gain a monopoly to a market method that has not yet fully developed.
    • Text is cluttered, let's do images and video. Video is cluttered, let's do apps.
  • Anticipating the right topic of possible demand growth.
    • If I had known about the iPad early enough, made a blog/forum called ipad.com, and spent time making content for it I would probably have a comfy income.
  • Create and build community that likes you for what you produce.
    • I have never, ever, asked for a Youtube subscription, yet somehow I have 776 subscribers, and no I am not playing the subscription youtube game.  For "educational type stuff" it is not bad, emotional type content is far more attractive and would gain more subscribers (and it does).
  • Being friends with people with existing large amounts of followers.
    • If you know who Kevin Rose is then you probably know who Leo Laporte, Tim Ferriss, Jason Calacanis, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mark Cuban, etc, are.  These guys are geniuses at community building and sharing those followers among themselves.  Each one has build their own "thing", but their followers/clients may be referred from one to another.
    • As I know very few prominent people this is the area I should try to concentrate in... but my mind is not into it.  I'm a bit more focused in creating hopefully useful stuff, and not getting in the club/church/guild/cult/team/membership/group and "social" world.

I have diverted a bit from the original topic... well if eventually your idea is to get into online content creation as an individual and without support of companies/prominent people I wish you the best of luck. It is hard to get the engine started.

Most people that participate in social sites/apps don't know that they are part of the system of free labor. "Ssshhh" be quiet you wouldn't want them to know too much and wake up. Billionare Zuckerberg needs his free slav... Facebook Users.



It is like this:
1. Company makes "free" publishing platform.
2. Users/free workers make the content.
4. "Social media expert guru" promote the site... (most likely these "gurus" are paid).
4. Your friend joins, so you must join too to create content.
5. Company reaches enough users, begin putting advertisements on site.
6. Company gets all the money and the free slaves feel they are "cool" because they gain imaginary "social status".

Similar: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Youtube, Pinterest.

After "milking" the system the company creates new revolutionary platform and repeats cycle. It is easy to see the scheme once the ownership is revealed. http://a16z.com/portfolio/portfolio-consumer-companies/

Yes... party pooper I know... but an informed one.

Published: Jan 2, 2012

4 comments:

  1. Jesse,

    Nice post. I recently discovered your videos and posts from earlier this year about the x220t and the Fujitsu tablets. They are the most useful hardware reviews out there. It's a nice mix of practical information with the freshness of real opinion. You seem to have a good perspective on things. Just wanted you to know that I know you do all that just for fun and that there are those of use who do appreciate the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well the first blog was the lenovos103t.com one which was a lot of fun to do. Since I had owned an Acer Aspire One netbook I knew that the Lenovo S10-3T would be similar software wise. Since I knew a few optimizations I translated previous knowledge into posts and videos. It was a lot of fun. Plenty of S10-3T owners have improved their systems with small tips they may not have known about.

    To say that I'm doing blogging stuff for fun is kind of true. Economically I have tossed away plenty of money. Buying systems, extracting the info out of them, then reselling them is losing money. Hopefully at least one video or post resolves the one question that someone might have.

    Lenovo did loan me a X201T and X220T. So that helped a lot. I can't say the same with other companies. The X201T blog never caught as much traffic as the S10-3T blog. In a way it was due to price, most people can afford $500 systems but not $1000+.

    Since Google banned me from Adsense when I was a good 16/17 years old... I did not make any Adsense money from the S10-3T blog days. Eventually at about 800 thousand views on Youtube, Google decided to remove the banned status.

    No I don't make gazillions of dollars on that... because of the nature of the videos being "instructional/educational"... so the traffic is tiny in comparison of more "emotional exploiting" videos. No one likes school, but everyone likes to party. ;)

    Nathan I appreciate the comment. I won't do videos/posts about any expensive systems until after tax season. Hopefully the Government doesn't take much away and I can afford a new system. CES 2012 (January) will show some new devices, maybe I'll be able to get something cool for further scrutiny.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was smart for Lenovo to lend you the x220t. As their target audience for that machine I found your reviews to be the most helpful. I'm really excited to see if they'll come up with a Windows 8 machine that looks a lot like their Android Thinkpad that also has a detachable thinkpad keyboard. Hope your success as a product reviewer grows this year so that you can get more toys to inspect for the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nathan,
    I bet the right target market would be big companies and government. I think the content I produce might benefit the individual consumer more.

    I think Apple is doing it right with the whole "iPad for pilots", "iPad for education". With digital they can replace existing piles of paper with their tablets. I bet a convertible with keyboard would be more useful than a touch only tablet.
    FAA OKs iPad for Pilots’ Charts - http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/02/faa-ipad/
    iPad for Education - http://www.apple.com/education/ipad/

    They are really doing it right. It's the combination of software with hardware, and marketing to "old" uninteresting sectors that "need" "new technologies" in order to "improve". It's some great Kool-Aid. ;)

    Well with Microsoft pushing Windows 8 and touch stuff there will be new tablets from the big PC companies. 2012 is going to be an interesting year. Slimmer, faster, stronger, better!

    I'll try to get review units from companies, but frankly most companies aren't very open to the idea of loaning systems to small bloggers. My numbers aren't as impressive as the big fish blogs. :( That's why the donation/adsense/amazon money provided by the viewer is crucial for the blog to survive. I have drained my savings and now can only work with what comes in. But usually after December the earnings go down by a lot. Tax season in April won't help either... hahaha.

    Even if the production of content on this blog slows down, at least there is plenty of content to help those seeking information regarding some systems. Google and Youtube search should guide people to the right content and hopefully the blog comes up as useful info.

    ReplyDelete

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Hi. My name is Jesse, and I'm a technology enthusiast. I play with technology and share what I find on this blog. If you have any questions then please use the contact form below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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