Shelley Powers: “If you do it right, you get Techcrunch. If you do it wrong, there’s the ditch”

What Shelley Powers describes in the below linked piece is the current economy that encourages folks like Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears to do whatever it takes to get publicity.

David Shenk’s “Data Smog” put it like this “All high-stim roads lead to Times Square”.

That’s the Web. It is nothing if not high-stim.

Folks like Michael Arrington not only have embraced where that leads, but know how to make a profit from it.

Kevin Kelly, in a piece that cuts away at the hype, describes one possible business model for artists in in “1,000 True Fans”. But he never describes how you are going to find those fans. In an attention based economy, will it force artists to involve the kind of marketing that, in the words of Dave Rogers tries to “exploit love”?

Bb’s RealTech: Shelley Powers: Stop Creating and Get a Real Job:

According to people like Michael Arrington all recorded music should be given away for free, and artists make their only income from concerts. If they can’t make their living from concerts, or busking for tossed dimes in the subway, than they should consider music to be their hobby, and get a job digging ditches.

Of course, if we apply the Arrington model to the music industry, we should be able to download all the songs we want-as long as we’re willing to sit through an ad at the beginning and in the middle of every song. Isn’t that how Techcrunch makes money? Ads in the sidebar, taking time to download, hanging up the page. Ads at the bottom of the posts we have to scroll past to get to comments? And in between, loud, cacophonous noise?

It angers me how little value people in this online environment hold the act of creativity. Oh we point to Nine Inch Nails and Cory Doctorow as examples of people who give their work away for free but still make a living. Yet NIN levies an existing fame, selling platinum packages at several hundred a pop to make up for all the freebies, and Doctorow has BoingBoing as a nice cushion for the lean years. They bring “fame” to the mix, and according to the new online business models, you have to play the game, leverage the system if you really want to make a living from your work. We don’t value the work, we value the fame, yet fame doesn’t necessarily come from any act of true creativity.

All you have to do to generate fame nowadays is be controversial enough, say enough that’s outrageous, connect up with the right people in the beginning and then kick them aside when you’re on top to be successful. You don’t have to have artistic talent, create for the ages, or even create at all-just play the game. If you do it right, you get Techcrunch. If you do it wrong, there’s the ditch.