If you are a creative type, there are better neighborhoods than Facebook popping up

If you’re someone who’s on social media partly to advance your creative endeavors, you don’t need me to explain to you that Facebook sucks.  It sucks bad, it’s doing far less for you than it used to…if it’s doing anything at all.

You started on there and have remained because it allows you exposure to a massive audience    OR so you have been made to believe.  The fact of the matter is FB has no audience, it never did. It has all of our audiences.  It was a laughable also ran full of cat pictures until creative types showed up and our fans came with/we made it entertaining for others. and the grand total of all of OUR fans is what made Zuckerburg rich. That platform is now run by a nefarious algorithm that I’m sure by now you have noticed is working against you. It shadows bans, it censors, it gives less priority to posted links. It admittedly only shows your stuff to AT BEST 10% of your friends. And if it is a link to your site, a kickstarter, some store, anything that leads users off of FB…that algorithm knocks that percentage WAY down. Consider that. YOU built up a following, from scratch, your followers are on there to see posts from YOU, and FB kneecaps you if you want to earn a living, or keep your followers informed of your projects that may exist off of the site…while it makes damn sure all those people you brought to the table see ads paid for by companies with more money than the Pope.

Hardly seems right.

If you are a blogger, musician, comedian, artist, writer, video maker, ect… than you are a content provider to social media sites.  If you are posting things that people are interested in, you are providing content for the social media site.  You are providing that site with a service. Zuckerburg/Facebook writes no music, makes no art, writes no stories, gives no social commentary.  It would not have grown so big without us. Nor would twitter or nor would have Myspace. Pictures of dinner and cats, may get you a few users but not make you a billionaire.  All of these sites live or die based on the quality of their content (given to them by you).  Zuckerburg, in pursuit of “usable interactions”, to cull and sell off, has forgotten this and modified the algorithm to thwart and abuse you.

AND, you may have noticed that FB is taking a dive. Millennials have left and Gen Z never showed up. Those are the two age groups most valuable in helping a creative enterprise grow, because they are enthusiastic, and know how to spread the word online. I won’t go so far as to call posting on FB a complete waste of your time…but it’s getting there fast.

You’ve probably already started taking advantage of Parteon, indigogo, kickstarter…platforms where people can support your work with actual cash.  However, You might not have noticed new social media sites that include the ability for people to directly give you cash.  Minds, Bitechute, a few others have options and ways for people to throw a few cents or dollars your way if they like your particular post.  I think this is the way things are likely to go because it makes sense in regards to the evolutionary nature of the internet, and because that is where a lot of forward thinking content providers are going.  They have looked the playing field over and thought – I can put up content for FB, Twitter ect, for free…or Youtube for a few pennies per ten thousand views (which youtube would not have gotten without me), OR I can post it on these sites and make far more, getting it directly from the fans who came there for me in the first place.

I have found one in particular that I like. It is called Steemit.  It’s  a social media platform made for content providers and caters to them and what they need out of a social media site. It is inhabited by creative types who have left FB, or who never used it in the first place and full of enthusiastic users looking to help each other grow. It has a blog type format for posting.  Which is a lot easier to use to tell a story and/or be entertaining and/or explain how you do things than twitters stifling 140 character limit, or FB’s half assed hybrid where you COULD post an entire blog but it’s condensed and you end up with an uninteresting wall of text and there is no way to have the text and picture interact as continuous post.

Aside from that, here’s what I like about it…

No censorship, some moron doesn’t like what I had to say? To bad…no one cares and no one is going to put me in “time out” or whatever the hell FB’s call it when they ground you for a week.  Don’t want to see nudity? too f*cking bad…there’s no option to tattle on the person who posted a picture of a cartoon boob.

No confusing algorithm.  You follow the people you want to follow and they show up in your newsfeed in the order in which they posted…the…end.  There is a “popular” section which is based ONLY on if your posts got more comments and like than some other posts.   That’s as level a playing field as we can hope for. Some giant record company posts something and people don’t gaf…it doesn’t keep showing up. You post something and you’ve been contributing to the site…your stuff DOES show up. Wow..imagine that. A merit based algorithm. adn there are no ads.

Users who are enthusiastic and understand how to be “supportive”. FB may have far more users than Steemit (for now) but not all users are of equal value to people like us. 1066 likes from people who will never do more for your work than click like is not nearly as valuable as even 20 likes from internet savvy users who are ambitious and specifically on the site to find new things and spread the word about new things. They are there to build something, and help others build something. The whole place has a COMPLETELY different attitude and a COMPLETELY different breed of user. The people there are pioneers and on the fore front of knowing how the internet works, how best to promote things, how the culture of the internet works. They are the people who find stuff first, and figure stuff out first.

Let me give you an anecdote. The first week, I posted some comics. People there not only clicked like, not only shared it without being asked, not only left positive comments that were not moronic…but found my website (without me posting a link), found the store, and bought stuff. Compare that to FB where even if you manage to navigate the algorithm so people see it, even if you beat people over the head about ordering, even if you post a direct link to the direct product, even if you post a giant coupon code…you’ll get more stupid questions than orders. Having been on FB so long, I about fell over when I got orders off of Steemit.

To paraphrase the Grinch…they came without links, without coupon codes, or explanations off how to use the store, they came without dumb comments, missing the point, or making comments that had nothing to do with the post”

It’s good there, I like it a lot.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, TO DO WELL THERE.

1-This is a community, more than a platform. People help each other. People interact. People are trying to build things and trying to build the platform. Meaning…if you just throw up a post and wait…you’re not going to get much traction. You have to pitch in, you have to make friends and connections. You have to find your tribe. Say you are a comedian…there’s several groups there, several weekly contests to enter, and there are such things for every sort of content provider. The help is out there, but you have to go find it and introduce yourself. …look, if my anti social ass can do it, it’s not that hard.

I’ve been publishing comics for a long time, and you’d think by now I would have mined all there is to mine on the internet, and part of me thought that as well. That, as it turns out, is incorrect. I’ve met other illustrators, comedians, publishers, stores that I had not previously known about or interacted with…and those people are now friends, allies, co-conspirators.

Hashtags are useful, but the most important thing is to interact, to give back, to reciprocate, to be active on your page and others. This is not a selfish place like FB, so you also cannot be selfish and expect to get far.

It’s more of a team effort there. It’s a “a rising tide lifts all boats” type attitude.

2-The sign up/verification takes about a week (for now). They bring people in at a pace that the platform can manage. They don’t want a VERO situation where the whole world tries to jump on at once, the platform crashes and people never come back. So you sign up…and in about a week you get an email with your password and you’re off to the races.

3-The search engine is half assed.  This site is still considered to be in “beta mode” and their search engine searches not just steemit but also the rest of the internet.  So if you search “Arsenic Lullaby” you’ll first get links to the subject that are on steemit and lower down the list will be links to that subject outside of steemit.  You can search certain hashags and sections called “new” “trending” “hot” (which all sound like the same thing to me) or “promoted” (just in case you miss seeing ads).  Personally, I got my footing as far as finding people to follow, by clicking on the hashtags I used for my own post. ( for instance #comicbooks #horror #comics).

And there’s hashtags there that are specific “flags to wave” for lack of a better term to get the attention of people who like the same sort of thing.  Most of them are fairly self explanatory once you see them “steemcomics” for example.  It all just takes a little “when in Rome, do as the Romans” type strategy.  Look around, pay attention, watch what is working and what’s customary, and you’ll get the hang of it…AND…get this, people will HELP YOU!  I know if you are a veteran of FB or Twitter this sounds like a fairy tale, but I sh*t you not!  If you ask a question…someone will try to help, instead of being douche bag.  I didn’t believe it myself at first, but how do you think I learned all this stuff I’m telling you?

In fact…using the hashtag “introduceyourself” along with the hashtag of whatever creative field you practice (#comedy #music #art ect) on one of your early posts will get you a good welcome and lot’s of advice.

4-You can get paid for each post through crypto currency. This parts a bit confusing…but for all intents and purposes…it doesn’t really matter if you understand it or not. SO…if my explanation starts making your eyes glaze over…you can just skip it.

STEEM is a crypocurrency like BITCOIN, it is publicly traded on the same exchanges  BITCOIN is and it’s been around awhile and fairly well established ( in as much as any crypto currency is). For reasons I don’t understand they have broken the simple concept of STEEM into three different things on the steemit platform. I explained what STEEM is. then there is SBD (Steem Bit Dollars) which is one dollars worth of Steem. …let me try to explain that…a unit of steem is worth about 1.20, but that fluctuates like any publicly traded currency. A SBD is always worth 1.00…it is always 1.00 worth of Steem, whether that is a half a unit of steem or 2 units of steem depending on the current market value. Then there is steempower…which is also steem but it is allotted to your voting power. The more steempower you have the more money someone gets when you vote on thier post. I think my vote is worth about .01 cents right now. Someone who’s been on there longer…their vote could be worth 3.00. In case you are not confused enough…it does not cost you anything to vote. I don’t loss .01 everytime I vote. that .01 comes out of the daily cryptocurrency Steemit generates.

“…i don’t understand one sentence you just typed”

…that’s okay…I don’t really either. All I know is this- somehow I get paid based on people liking my posts, and somehow other people get paid when I like theirs…and probably someone out there is making a lot more than all of us for figuring out how to connect a crypo currency to a social media site. Think of Steem as a commodity. The more steem you have the more influence you have on the social media platform. Influence on a social media platform is really f*cking valuable in 2018, so investors buy Steem, and that goes into the pool…and the pool gets divided up by content makers. Or something like that…the bottom line is that being on Steem paid for my 8ft by 12ft Banner for Comic-Con International this year.

It all adds up whether you understand it or not. Let’s say you post something and interact a couple times a week, and make say…let’s really lowball it…3.00 a week. How many weeks have you been on FB? how much would you have in the warchest if FB gave you a percentage of what they brought in? You’d have a lot in the warchest…instead Zuckerburg ha s a lot in the warchest and you have a frustrating algorithm that vexes your efforts, less and less people seeing your work (as less and less people log on), every post you make turning into a political argument, and a bunch of pictures of cats staring back at you on the newsfeed…from cat pictures it started and to cat pictures it has returned.

HOWEVER…you can ignore all that, really. Because the benefit of being on steemit has more to do with the connections you make and the quality of exposure you get.

3-there’s a SHITTON on bots on there…you can just ignore them, unless you’re a complete idiot, they are harmless.

So, there you go. I’m on steemit a couple times a week. I’ve posted a few exclusives and posted daily from Comic-Con International…y’know..because I like to give back.

See you there.  Stop by my page once you’re signed up and mention in the comments that you’re new…so I can give you a good push!

https://steemit.com/@arseniclullaby

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.