It should really come as no surprise to anyone that Pew/Internet [PDF of results] found in a recent study (read more here and here and here) that more people blog to “express themselves creatively” than for money or any other reason. It only takes a quick wander around the blogs tagged books, writing, poems, novel, and reading or indeed any other even slightly creative tag.
From the PDF Summary
Digital Self Expression
As was noted some time ago by a fine post on Gigaom by Robert Young on digital personal expression, the internet is enabling a radical change in personal expression making it easier for people to publish their work online. I am the publisher of my own work on this blog and anyone else who has a blog is too. The engines that facilitate this revolution are akin to presses, printers and broadcasting towers more than they are to actual publishers.
To think that frustrated writers and poet would not take advantage of this new forum is, to be frank, stupid. And it is not just authors and poets, musicians and artists have seen the light as it were. MySpace Music is merely the giant recognising the trend and going with it.
If you think on it this post is directly related to yesterday’s post on submissions. One element of artistic self expression has moved online, the marketing and networking side. Almost as important as getting exposure on the web is building a supportive group of likeminded friends and co-bloggers, taking part in the community might be a kinder way to put it.
Soon, and I think sooner than we realise, much more of the process that goes into the finding and weaning of talent will be done online. Authors, artists, musicians and every creative will be exposed much more easily to a global (fractured but global) market in talent. It will be, I suggest, a brutal exposure for many. There are legions of creatives that will survive just fine in their home market but will be slaughtered by more talented, more imaginative or simply more ruthless competition on the global scene. You just have to think of the numerous successful British acts that failed to “crack the states” or the Irish bands that live off gigging in Ireland and have sold maybe 2,000 records globally.
So what do we have?
Opportunities for sure exist and even more go untapped as I mentioned yesterday. But we are faced with a period of shake out too. Some people will benefit from the blogging and internet platform, they will gain links, attention, maybe even book deals and publisher(record company/gallery) interest, others will remain obscure get no links, no attention. The blogosphere already has a very defined power list. It will take a new blogger considerable time to generate the 30,000 or so links that will bump it to the top of the technorati.com rankings.
Even if that is not the goal, gaining exposure in a chosen niche is hard too and requires know-how and networking skill that many do not possess. This is especially true because the web moves so quickly and the early movers now have a massive advantage of links and attention. In short while offering enormous potential the web offers it only to those who know how to exploit it.
Considering the implications,