Long Live The Creator – The Business of the Passion Economy
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The internet has been around for over 25 years now. The internet itself has been a catalyst for new forms of business that could never have been thought of before. Google organised & democratized the world’s information. Facebook connected the world on an unbelievable scale. Youtube changed the way people consume videos. Instagram & Snapchat an accessory tool on the smartphone & made everyone into a photographer (mostly everyone). Now TikTok is taking that same tool & democratizing video & distribution. All of these you can argue has been the bedrock for connecting people around the world & most importantly connecting creators of content with their audience.
This aggregation of content has unduly benefited the platform over the creator. The world’s biggest ‘media’ platforms require User-Generated Content (UGC) to scale & they monetize that content by either slapping an ad on it (Google) or demographic ad-targeting (Facebook). You see, the funny thing is — creators who build an audience on these platforms are often in direct competition for ad revenue with the platform itself. With the creator building an audience to monetize with brand partnerships on ad campaigns & the platform helping the creator build an audience to monetize via clicks on … ads campaigns.
Sometime during this bundling and aggregation of content, the market tipped. Creators realized they can monetize their audience better than any platform better than any brand, the creator became the business. Often freelancer & creator get intertwined & the turn became interchangeable. What happened was people started unbundling work from employment. The travel blogger became the travel vlogger who became the travelling influencer with a paid community. The would-be radio host started a podcast. The professional writer now writes on substack. & the school teacher has a side hustles earning passive income selling online courses on Udemy. This has given rise to creator specific platforms that exist to help the creator monetize their audience.
At Compass.Africa we believe in 3 things: Content, Community & Commerce. Everything we do & plan to do is & will be centred around those 3 things.
Currently, there are 3 verticals of content delivery:
Each vertical creates a community & for the creator to be self-sustaining they need to find a way to monetize that community. But the first question you should ask yourself is — who’s a creator? The simple answer is anyone who creates content for a community. The second question is how? How do I become one? The answer to that is on you, follow your Passion, your content will build a community & the creator tools above will help you commercialize it.
We do we fit in as Compass? Well, we started something called prostartr.co.za as a sort of Frankenstein tool that could help would be creators start. A tool that could be used for podcasting & vlogging. We still believe the smartphone is the best tool for creating content. Thats what we advocate with, start with what you got. But this tool will help you be more intentional about your content. It will help you create that separation of something being a hobby to being a journey of self-actualization. We believe to be a pro you need to practice &n practice requires you to start. Start somewhere, start with Prostartr.