Online Exposure

So, clearly in this week’s comic I am making fun of Buzzfeed, but I must admit, I don’t ever go to that site and they’ve never stolen my content. Some other big sites have though, and I think it’s all the same schtick. It’s not “stealing” if they give you attribution. That’s the theory. And, you know, of course exposure to a wider audience is great. The problem is that a very tiny percentage of these people will ever click through the links that make up these lists. Come on, you’re busy looking at “The 29 most interesting squirrels of the first half of 2013,” there’s no way you’re going to have the patience to learn more about one specific post on the list.

I will say though, it’s kind of a different topic, but it’s frustrating to see people call the Buzzfeed guy a genius. I mean, sure, he is a genius at making money but I think the Internet is full of sites that just aggregate pop culture references and memes and little tidbits that pander to the lowest common denominator… sites that gather rather than create. These sites know how to make money and make things go viral but it’s not art. It’s nothing new. No one gains anything from it. It’s just quick blurts of stuff, the equivalent of old school email FW: FW: FW: FW: chain letter often times. Meh, enough ranting. I think you know what I mean.

PS Most of these sites are super ugly as well. Just sayin.

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3 responses to “Online Exposure

  1. Buttfeet. Heh. 🙂 Another good example of the “plagiarize” instead of create approach is the cheezburger network. They just troll reddit and repost the same pictures, captions and headlines verbatim.

    But, acquiring money and building wealth is extremely difficult. There are tons of regulations (read about some and their effects here: http://on.wsj.com/14trGjb) and the value of our money is constantly eroding (read about it here: http://onforb.es/wWW3Pv). Life is hard, it is a dog eat dog world. Sink or swim. These cliches ring true. Sure people steal content, but at least we don’t have literal highway robbers anymore.

    And, at least Dustinland and Birdy aren’t sell outs just in it for the money. But if all companies and endeavors sought to just break even, not turn a profit, the ability to innovate (with less reliance on bank loans) would be diminished. Look at Google if they were just breaking even, perhaps their engineers couldn’t spend 20% of their time sitting around thinking up cool new ideas and making them happen.

    /rant over.

    • All great points. And you know, as much as I would love to earn a living through comics, one really nice thing about just doing it for fun is that I am free to do as I please. I don’t have to worry about what people will like, what will get hits, what will offend or attract advertisers. I can simply express myself. Of course I do think about my audience to a degree, I’m not just posting my diary here, but still, it’s not a job. In fact, it’s the opposite of a job. I draw comics at night to feel better about what I do during the daytime.

  2. Bitter Scribe

    As a trade journalist who has done lots of online “attributed content,” let me justify it by saying…

    Uh…

    [flopsweat]

    Well, other people steal from me, too!

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