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 Are creative people the new peasants?

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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Are creative people the new peasants?   Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:33 pm

“Creative people — the new peasants — come to resemble animals
converging on shrinking oases of old media in a depleted desert,” in The Madness of Crowds and an Internet Delusion.

Interesting article.

Malcolm
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:54 pm

From the article: "So I have selfish reasons for appreciating Mr. Lanier’s complaints about masses of “digital peasants” being forced to provide free material to a few “lords of the clouds” like Google and YouTube."

Who's forcing them? And isn't it evident by now that uploading free content pays the uploader nothing but "eyeballs?"

I agree with the comment in there that piracy has gone on so long is because it has been so poorly enforced. When Google is forced to pay fines for each Viacom property they allow to stay on YouTube, things will change.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:38 pm

Very interesting Malcolm. Thanks for sharing.

Sometime I wonder about the sanity of the writer.

They spend hours, days, weeks, months, writing.
They spend hours, days, weeks, months, seeking publication.
They spend hours, days, weeks, months, promoting.
They are compelled to give samples of their work away.
They wait to be rewarded for their efforts, waiting, waiting, hoping for that big break. In the meanwhile, they go into another loop of:

Spending hours, days, weeks, months, writing...
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:49 am

I would question the sanity -well, maybe not sanity, but judgment- of a writer who did all that. Especially the large quantities of promotion and giving away of work. That's just bad judgment.

Personally, if it took me years to get anywhere in writing -or anything else- I would give it up and do something else. Someone noted on WNet that it should take years of training and effort to be a brain surgeon, not a writer.

Either you have it or you don't.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:23 am

All those writers who stuck at it and succeeded should have given up?

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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:26 am

I don't know who "all those" are, and they can do what they want. I'm saying that if I were to spend years promoting, giving away work, and not going anywhere, I'd like to think I could take a hint.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:41 am

For some, the old cliche "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" still holds true. I'm not suggesting that you should do the same, but this writer would not give up:

http://www.writing-world.com/freelance/job.shtml

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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:47 am

That article was a lot of babbling that was probably not relevant to many people. It wasn't to me. He clearly hated his Wall Street job, so anything else he did instead was a bonus, even living hand-to-mouth. I especially disagree with this comment:

<< it is extremely difficult to write while gainfully employed. >>

No it isn't, and the many people who do it show that. Plus, many of us are not looking to become full-time writers.
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:52 am

I found the article interesting, though not interesting enough for me to spend any time searching for data that supports it or refutes it.

My perception, though, is that there many people approach the Internet--and perhaps life--these days with feelings of entitlement. They don't want to work for, much less pay for, the fruits of other people's labors. The same kid who thinks it's perfectly normal and natural for him or her to live free and unrestricted in his parents' house into his middle age is going to approach such concepts as copyright as out of sync and out of style with the needs of the moment.

Unfortunately, many "marketing gurus" advise young writers to cater to this mindset by suggesting we will never sell a book or an article until after we've already given away the farm, so to speak. We must, they say, provide free information either through links or our own writing to keep people coming back to our sites until they get to know us well enough to buy anything.

I can see a certain sense in this approach, for it's rather an online substitute for the friendships that develop in small towns and neighborhood enclaves that eventually lead people to trade at one hardware store rather than another, to trust one electrician or another, or to find support in one school or another.

That said, the hardware store never feels inclined to give me a free wrench on Monday and a free pair of vice grips on Tuesday in hopes that maybe I'll buy something next week. Why would I? Under that scheme, some other hardware store somewhere would always be giving away whatever I need, and--I might add--have a right to have.

So, we're told to create value that brings people back to our sites or our blogs. Of course, the writers whose names became household words via old-media techniques didn't follow that practice, though--of course--they paid their dues in other ways through lesser paying jobs and less interesting assignments.

Are perceptions such as these true or false? I don't know. While there may be no fire and no substance supporting them, there's one hell of a lot of smoke.

Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:00 am

Malcolm, you are spot-on. The article you posted was basically about entitlement. Entitlement to free content, specifically.

I don't know why so many would-be writers fall for this. Instead of writing and trying to sell their stuff, they spend hundreds of hours on blogs, videos and other uselessness. I don't see successful writers doing this.

And I maintain that if I did spend years writing and submitting to no avail, I'd take a hint that I wasn't writing what people wanted to read, or just didn't write very well.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:23 pm

On writers, ‘digital rights management’, and the internet:

http://stevenpoole.net/blog/free-your-mind/

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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:20 pm

1/16/2010
Hi....

I don't believe in giving any writings away for free, maybe
I'll do a page or two to intice them , that's it...My next book
after I complete this murder mystery will be a best seller, that
I know by the subject.....

Cheers....
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:13 pm

Nice link, Shelagh.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:39 pm

lol!


Last edited by alice on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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dmondeo
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:40 am

Patience is all I can suggest in my case, not giving away my work. But then again I have written a kids story so I cant expect it to be a block busting success over night or even over year.
Kids books are often said to be slow sellers to begin with.
To sell in this market requires a slightly different strategy.

I'm not doing this thinking I'll make loads of money.
Yes I want to sell my work and it is selling albeit slowly so I'll just do what I can and be patient. My livelyhood is not dependant on it and I still have my day job.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are creative people the new peasants?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:28 am

David,
I think your strategy is a good one. Lots of patience and not quitting the day job.

I think most writers on this forum have gone through a learning phase. The initial belief of having books in stores may have been the first lesson. I admire the resilience of those who haven't given up and continue to seek ways to promote the work they believe in.
There is also the realism that hitting the head against a wall repeatedly can cause a severe headache.

The Gambler, sung by Kenny Rogers, may have some relevance to some. To others, perpetual optimism will prevail.

I think if you believe in yourself and your work, you will persist.
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