Dear Content Creators,
I’m afraid content creator is a boring title, but it’s the best one I could find for all of you. (I considered creative people on the Internet, but that’s kind of a mouthful.) The title of content creator is the one given to all of you artists, bloggers, actors, video makers, musicians, animators, commentators, cartoonists, gamers, photographers, creative writers, and other creative people who make stuff and throw it at the Internet.
For example, consider the artist who reimagined the Fellowship of the Ring as a bunch of cats:
She’s a content creator. So are these video makers who try to explain Doctor Who in sixty seconds:
There’s this guy rocking out on a guitar to the best song from Mario Kart.
He’s a content creator, alongside this hipster Calvinist and all the other people who say funny things on social media:
Then there’s, um, whatever this guy is doing:
You people are awesome.
If you’re anything like me, your content-creating experience is a roller coaster. Sometimes it’s fun and exhilarating. Sometimes it’s dull and exhausting. There are days when you feel an incredible sense of accomplishment, and days when you think you’ve accomplished nothing at all. All of it—the highs and lows and twists and loops—takes determination, effort, vision, and (occasionally) a touch of obsessive lunacy.
Most of you don’t make much money, if any, from your work. You create because you enjoy it. You create because you are an artist. Whether you have an audience of one or one million, I admire your creative spirit. If you do make a living as a content creator, I congratulate you all the more. That takes a lot of dedication.
And here’s the thing. I don’t just respect you—I really, really enjoy the work of content creators. A staggering amount of my music library consists of songs not from professionals, but from amateurs on the Internet. I read several blogs and webcomics, follow a few artists, and spend quite a lot of time on YouTube.
So much of the entertainment, laughter, insight, inspiration, excitement, and happiness in my life comes from the work of content creators—people like you.
I’m not the only one whose life is better because of content creators and their work. In fact, millions of people across teh internetz enjoy the humor and creativity of content creators—but they don’t always take time to say “I really enjoyed this,” or “This was brilliant,” or simply “Thank you.”
It is so easy for content creators to become discouraged. When their work doesn’t receive a positive response, they tend to assume the worst. They think their work wasn’t worth the effort.
I’m here to say: Your work matters, and thank you.
Thank you, content creators, for brightening my everyday life with moments of amusement and understanding. Thank you for being hilarious, honest, insightful, vulnerable, creative, clever, witty, weird, and wonderful. Thank you for being you, and for sharing your creativity with the rest of us.
Oh, and keep up the good work.
I think that until you’ve gained the perspective of a content creator (by becoming one in any capacity), you don’t even realize how much it means to have someone comment on your creation, rather than simply clicking a like button. Even if the comment is just, “I liked this,” (or something to that effect…hopefully more enthusiastic than that), it feels more like you’ve connected. Especially since so many people go around liking and following other blogs and such, simply in the hopes of getting a bigger audience themselves.
In my limited experience of creating something and throwing it at the internet, both recently and many years ago, I find I’d rather have a small audience of a handful of people who respond regularly and more in-depth than to have hundreds of surface views and “likes.”
I think you’re quite right in valuing a smaller community that cares over a larger fan base that doesn’t. Relationships matter far more than numbers!
For my part, I appreciate every comment, and even simple “Likes.” A “Like” may not be as meaningful as a comment, yet it represents a positive response, and I’m grateful for every such response — however small!
I’m grateful for likes too, don’t get me wrong…or at least I am now. I’m a little late to the blogging world, and I realized some things early on that led me to be a little cynical of likes. However, once I started posting things that I felt people *should* be interested in, I did come to appreciate “likes” and even views more. I certainly can’t say “likes” are simply to be dismissed, since I click that button on others’ posts myself when I have no response but what to show that I read and appreciated the post.
My approach to “Likes” is pretty much the same. I don’t always have a meaningful reply to a blog post or Facebook status, so that “Like” button is a way to let people know I read and appreciated whatever they posted.
Or like when a conversation in the comments section has gone on for a bit, and it’s dwindled down to the last few things to say, but it has to end somewhere, so in order to not reply back once more with, “Yes. I agree with that,” you just click like on their comment to put a cap on the conversation?
Another useful application for the “Like” button. 🙂