How Much Money Can You Make For Others, Rather Than Yourself?
from the it's-not-all-about-me dept
This is a really good way of thinking about things -- and highlights an issue that goes way beyond just music. It's why so many corporate blogs suck. Because they just talk about their own company, and appear to be propaganda. But it also highlights another important point: the value of passed links. We've noted in the past that when people pass around links (or music or books or whatever) it's the person who's doing the passing whose reputation is at stake. And, because of that, we tend to trust people passing links to others much more than people just promoting their own stuff. And this doesn't need to be reciprocal. Steve notes that he just blogs about music he likes -- and sometimes he hears from the musicians saying it resulted in a spike in earnings somehow, and that's great.
To some extent, this also explains some of our position on things like ad blockers. Sites telling visitors who use ad blockers that they're not welcome are shoving aside visitors who very well may pass on a link that has tremendous value. The viewpoint held by sites like that seems to undervalue passed links, believing the only true value is in the immediate and direct ad impression. But when you focus on just letting people experience whatever cool stuff you're creating, some of them will pass it on to others, and that "vote" in your favor may be incredibly valuable.
So, while Steve focuses on the point of helping others make more money, if you're doing cool stuff, it's worth remembering that a lot of that stuff comes back around (in even more valuable ways). One of the problems we see with so many anti-consumer businesses is that they feel the need to directly monetize every user/visitor/listener, rather than recognizing that the mislabeled "freeloaders" can pay it back in ways that greatly outweigh any sort of direct payment opportunity.