by Mike Masnick
Fri, Mar 14th 2008 10:31am
Last week, when I wrote about Kevin Kelly's concept of content creators building up 1,000 True Fans, I was pretty careful to focus mainly on the concept of "True Fans" rather than the 1,000 number. Author John Scalzi (who we were also just talking about for his results in giving away ebooks) has taken Kelly to task, suggesting that when you do the math, the numbers don't add up. It's a good read, though I don't think it actually takes anything away from the entire concept of focusing on your "True Fans." Also, perhaps I misread Kelly's piece, but I don't think he meant to say that building up 1,000 True Fans is easy (the main point that Scalzi rebuts). Kelly also puts in plenty of caveats at the end of his piece, noting that you have to adjust the concept depending on the situation, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone. In the end, I think both pieces make sense - and perhaps Kelly was a bit over eager in setting the number at 1,000. However, the key point that Kelly makes stands: if you connect with fans in a real and meaningful way, it may take time, but you can start to put together business models that will allow you to support yourself, without having to go the traditional route where only the top of the top can actually make a living. That's still quite different than how the world was just a short while ago.
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