Content v. Writing

By February 27, 2016 BlogPost No Comments

Many people in my blogging community complain about the way they are commodified by larger platforms, such as the HuffingtonPost. HP frequently reaches out to bloggers asking for them to contribute their blogs to the HP page for free.

content is conditional, computable, networked, and commodified.

I think that Professor Dush’s article is particularly relevant for our community, in which an individual’s effort has now become commodified.

Because the writers’ in my community often have personal pages that are extremely popular, with Facebook engagement numbers in the 30,000’s, many decline to allow HP to reproduce their blogs. HP often offers “exposure” as compensation but that’s it. It makes sense, as I had a piece featured by HP, and their exposure didn’t do me much good in terms of heightened traffic or more engagements.

When it comes to online content, it’s often more important to increase clicks than to meet with real engagement, and when that happens the question becomes: what’s better for whom?

…individual songs sold in isolation from the albums on which they originally appeared.

I like heavy metal, hard rock, the music of the devil, whatever you want to call it, and the other day I was on iTunes looking to download some of Tool’s music. I was surprised to see that it wasn’t there, not even whole albums. According to Maynard James Keenan, the band’s lead singer, he doesn’t want the band’s music to be commodified in a way that divorces it from the band’s intention when it was made. This also makes sense in the context of Professor Dush’s article. Once output is commodified, it often becomes divorced from the intention of its creator. Which makes her article even more relevant, is that labeling one’s creation as a commodity can make it easier to allow the piece to go where it will and be shaped by what its consumers choose.

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