Going back to Twitter I now see the concept of "going viral" as what it actually is, a weird and unhealthy obsession actively encouraged by platforms through the frustratingly mysterious black box of their algorithims. And it's not like this is accidental either, this is gradual and deliberate social engineering on behalf of large corporations that transforms normal reasonable people into obsessive, dysfunctional content farms. We were never the consumer. We were the product.
This is specifically damaging to creative types I think. They're told that they can make a living off of doing art online, and some can, but that is a fraction of a fraction. The online art market is hilariously oversaturated, and basically forces you to make as much stuff for free as possible, with little to no return, for years on end without noticeable progress. I'm not really sure what the alternative is to this, given that traditional methods of promotion are either inaccessible or extinct.
Because it's more or less common knowledge that algorithms favor images, and don't like long posts much, as a writer I've essentially been told to get fucked. I'm probably better off pursuing traditional methods of publishing, realistically I'll be doing a mix of both on and off line but I realize that online should not be my main area of focus.
Oh and for tradition's sake here's a plug to my soundcloud https://stationviii.com
@DayGloChainsaw The proper alternative, imo, would be to ensure everyone has their needs met without having to worry about a job.
Then, when people make art for free, it doesn't matter because there's no need for profits in the first place.
@DayGloChainsaw inb4 this blows up
twitter, being seen Show more
@DayGloChainsaw For the past month or so on twitter, I swear I've only gotten likes on retweets of other people's stuff, or on my replies to more popular accounts. Nothing on my own stuff. It's maddening. I don't care about going viral, I just want to know my posts aren't immediately getting thrown in the trash.
@DayGloChainsaw wow that is concise but so well said
@DayGloChainsaw I work in indie app marketing. That word adopted for that context has always disgusted me. It’s like they were hiding the sliminess in plain sight. “Viral.” 🤢
@DayGloChainsaw Oh, no shit.
Why else would all the big "trends" be movie hype and celebrity bullshit?
Why else would the viral videos on YouTube always be footage of dumbasses drinking liquid nitrogen and trying to launch bottle rockets from their butt cracks?
@DayGloChainsaw Removing the corporate profit aspect doesn't seem to me to remove the temptation to achieve virality.
It happens that currently the Mastodon culture discourages it, but if you're hooked on the feedback of social media attention, Mastodon will still provide that hit. I can look at my "kitten picture" post from a few hours ago and see 15 faves, 5 boosts, and saw them in my notification feed.
I see that the profit-motive algorithm-encouragement lessens the incentives, but on personal levels, they're still there.
But maybe like alcoholics and addicts, the culture can respond differently. It has a good start, I think.
the economy of the marketplace of ideas Show more
"users aren't the consumer, but the product"-- as i see it, that's backwards.
I suspect people *want* to move from consumer to producer. they're all trying to hit the viral lottery so that they can be above their consumers in status, hoping that someday consumers will pay for their mere presence.
if people were content to be consumers they wouldn't care about being viral; they'd just talk to their friends and read amusing feeds. but they're trying to use the system to become producers of themselves, into a brand, into something strangers want.
even using a platform for unselfish purposes like spreading awareness/organizing for a cause, it still goes in this direction. people want others to latch on to the thing (idea, event, cause) they are promoting. (even if what they are producing is good and it would be better if more people consumed it. i'm not saying it's bad.)
an anarchist manifesto is still a production and the people who listen are still consuming, even if they're forced to listen. a benevolent charity provides things to give to the people who need to be able to consume that thing. just bc products are noble does not mean they aren't being consumed.
people don't like the mental image of being consumers. they want to be "above" it. as if having needs-- for products, services, self-care, positive feelings, things that make them smile and laugh, growth, enjoyment, goals, and reasons-- were selfish. that's not true when there's so much product to go around that people are competing for the chance to give it to you for free.
what's really being sold by twitter etc. is big producers' seats, which is far more limited than the product available to consume. what people want, much more than getting free product (they have plenty), is a chance to take a turn in the producer's seat so they can feel good about themselves. they selfishly want to think they are giving to others. they don't see that the scarcity has flipped-- the best thing you can do for someone isn't to give them your product, but consume and spread theirs, to allow them the chance to feel like a producer, which IS limited and competitive.
thank you for consuming my words; please come again. :P
the economy of the marketplace of ideas Show more
(this is why i feel like "dropping out" of the system isn't just about rejecting corporate interests like twitter, but also about being okay with having your posts read by only a handful of people, even if they're all friends you know personally. i do want to be entertaining, but even if i open it for strangers to be able to read it, my real target audience is the people i know and like. it took a mental shift to get here, though. before ~2005 i was trying to be a producer, and i had to open my eyes to see that what was becoming most useful/desirable was not what i had been taught was productive. the only one benefitting from my productivity is future me.)
@DayGloChainsaw For a second I thought you said you were going back to Twitter. Pang of horror
@DayGloChainsaw Also, they've changed the term "algorithm" to mean "secret sauce".
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