I’ve been thinking about this subject all week and it’s starting to bother me.
In the “old days” anyone who was famous in the media had the big bucks that naturally accompanied that fame. But these days, there seems to be a whole lot of folks that are “Internet famous” because of blogging, podcasting, Twitter, flickr, etc. and yet need to ask their audience for donations in order to buy a better microphone. It’s a bizarre and ironic result of the ability for anyone and everyone to start producing content and gather an audience.
Sure, there’s a great deal of talk about how one can leverage fame into fortune with speaking gigs, book deals, TV appearances and jobs with Fortune 500 companies. But how many people have actually turned their fame into real dollars? Not many, simply because great content creators often aren’t always great marketers. You can say that great content will open doors all by itself, but in reality it just doesn’t work that way.
Twitter, blogs, podcasts and new media in general have created a wave of “famous” people – people with a “wealth” of attention and inbound links, but can’t pay their bills at the end of the month. Worse yet, some seem to think that if you do find a way to make your living successfuly, you’ve “sold out” and are no longer true to your audience. That’s a shame and it needs to change.
The “link” and “attention” may be the currency of the Internet, but until someone can show me how to pay my mortgage by linking to my bank once a month, that just doesn’t fly with me.
I hope it’s one of the many conversations we can all have at the New Media Expo this August. Feel free to comment here to get the conversation started.