It was discussed today on whether my co workers had the personality & ability to make money in YouTube or podcasts. I felt like Kip in Napoleon Dynamite, of “I’ve looked into it.” And looking to the internet for a quick answer would probably end up just as disappointing as the time machine in the film. If there was an easy way, it would have already been taken & filled.
The prime real estate has been claimed in the garden of new media, & the low hanging fruit market has been subsidized by the investment of advertisers. But how to get the attention of advertisers? I would guess by doing something that appeals to the interests of an untapped market’s attention. But with many good areas claimed, you have to prove there is a market by gaining that attention first. It requires hard work. You plow the dense soil, breaking new ground & staking your claim. You plant seeds in reddit & other discussion boards, establishing the potential fruit of your research & opinions. You encourage cross pollination of your plants with adjourning fields for mutual benefit. And with patience & hard work, establish a name for yourself in the community.
But that is hard & thankless work. Requiring a measure of passion & interest in the importance of what you are making. It is much easier to walk into someone else’s field & just claim it as your own by offering prettier or tastier fruit. Alternatively, cough over all the fruit in a field & try to create a viral outbreak on the content. Or catch someone in the act of taking this unhygienic shortcut & call them out. Audiences love a good scandal, & being a muckraker can be satisfying in the short term. Of course, there are hazards to this. When you stir up muck, you can instigate a mudslinging war. And even if you don’t suffer this, the odor of that occupation can keep others at a respectful distance, lest they fall victim to being associated on either side of the matter & be caught in the crossfire.
So, while I believe it is unlikely that my co workers will discover fame & fortune in new media, I also concede that the unexpected is always possible. But even if they get lucky & manage it, to maintain that attention involves a lot of hard work. A life of ease only seems to happen when it was a preexisting condition to achieving that fame. As lottery winners tend to squander their money, subjects of viral memes tend to squander their attention by getting stage fright in the spotlight.
However, I certainly haven’t achieved such success. Most of this is derived from listening to Grace Helbig’s “Not Too Deep” & Rhett & Link’s “Ear Biscuits.” Their interview guests usually have some good general advice, but admit that the path by which they got to where they are is mostly closed due the the medium evolving & advertisers becoming more skeptical, demanding more work for less reward.