I read this wonderful article by Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 about the myth of user-generated content. He argues that the media and corporations aren’t always looking for the next great piece of user-generated content (like digital video, blogging, podcasting, news, gossip, research, mobile phone photography and wikis, etc.) that will make that “average user” famous. It’s poppy-cock! Sure once in a while something a user creates, a great video found on YouTube or a podcast or an excellent whitepaper may be so good that some media company or a corporate head finds it compelling enough to give the user his chance in the spotlight, or hell, a job making mucho dinero. But Karp is right, more likely than not the user is talented, not average, and that is the reason he or she is recognized. Great content isn’t published by your average wannabe who stumbled upon something amazing and publishes it. I doubt Apple or Microsoft or whomever discovers the user is going to give the person a job or accolades if he or she were a no talent hack that just got lucky. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And even if you should, doesn’t mean you’re good at it, whatever “it” is.
A good videographer, a good blog writer, a good podcaster, a good hacker, hell, even a good bloody gardener is good because he or she has inherent talent or actual training. So, let’s stop this nonsense and desperation for your 15 minutes of fame. How about we concentrate on content for content’s sake. Or for the sake of sharing. Or hell, how about using your talent to build something that lasts, that’s yours; that’s not fleeted and is given to you. If you want to be “discovered”, don’t blame the media if it doesn’t happen. It’s probably ’cause you’re not talented or, if you are, you’re too desperate to deserve it. How about just honing the skills and talents that you have and publishing something you’re proud of. No one says you can’t boast. If you’re looking for a job, go straight to the source. If you’re looking for fame, why not just make a video of yourself naked on the street dancing with a cat in diapers, do some viral video marketing and, poof!, instant (fleeting) fame.
Just had to get that off my chest and into the blogosphere!