The social media feed back loop
It's the last day of the 2010's and thought I would end the decade with this blog post.
The following is comprised from a few discord chats, I've had in the background over the last 48 hours, and thought I would share it here and credit people that contributed to it in different ways.
Well, here are my thoughts in more detail.
Social media malaise
This workflow is exactly what social media encourages. But the telling and the finishing are on polar opposites. In my honest opinion, this is the biggest 'indie' myth, that one person can do both well and wear huge multiple hats like this.
Don't get me wrong, it's not impossible to finish and publish (then market) the product, whatever it is really, it just comes with a lot of experience, like 20+ years of doing it repetitively and even then, I can bet there's still some outsourcing of different skills, ie like cliffski, but it's not typical of what's out there to be frank.
But, the real question is why do we tell and show a lot, in our social media enriched life? (that's sarcasm!) Is it narcissism? modern validation? marketing? It's obviously easier to write and record a video or podcast, then it is to actually do the actual thing we want to do. And thus, we have this workflow, a feed back loop of nothing productive!
Your Social Marketing is BS
I'm sure some are thinking, everyone on Social Media is wasting their time but I'm just going to use it for marketing, but I hear this a lot, it's the glitter that's not gold!
Here are two recent analogies I've experienced:
I recently ate a humongous hot dog at the German Arms Hotel in Hahndorf, South Australia, I really enjoyed it! However at no point in the transaction, did I really care to know how they minced the meat, cased it and cooked it for me to eat, I was very hungry and was with good company :)
I don't doubt the butcher and the chef would have been classically trained with artistry like skills, but I still wouldn't be interested, well unless of coarse, I'm a butcher or chef too!
Now replace sausage with German beer or whatever, and the people that will follow you aren't generally consumers, but other producers, so you're just "marketing" your development to your peers!!!! and really, as your peer, I don't want to see constant marketing.
My last analogy is the hugely extended "behind the scenes" on a DVD, we recently watched the many hours of the Alien movies, something NetFlix doesn't have! Only the very few true fanatics (my wife) or movie production enthusiasts (myself) are interested enough to actually consume this, but it doesn't sell the DVD, the movie does.
If you want me to follow you, put out something of value and interest, so dare to be different, share some insight, don't just put out updates on your project. If you've done something long enough and had a somewhat interesting and diverse (in experience), you'll know what that is, and it can only come from you, you the individual.
philosophy: Art or Product?
Of topic, but if you're astute, you would have picked up on the fact that I called a commercial product, shock horror... an actual product! This is strangely unpopular within the 'indie' vocal minorities and another big 'indie' myth, to make an honest product in exchange for money.
Instead they would rather self proclaim to be an artist and project some kind of mystical creative value on their (most commonly low quality) product.
This ideology is of the worst kind. It's a slippery slope where at the bottom everything is art! and we should automatically just handover dollars to the egocentric, post modern artist and of course, genuine criticism is violence now, so only praise can be expressed (yes, that's sarcasm again!) 😂️
Be humble, there's no higher praise then a stranger to call your daily labor "art", don't take that away from the audience with your own insecurity psycho babble. Besides wouldn't you want to actually focus on making a living (business focused) and not perpetuating nonsense and unproductive ideologies (art focused)?
I could rant about this topic a lot longer, but I'll stop here.
The sharing of goals
I've had this blog since the early 2000's on and off, so sharing online is natural to me. The difference between a blog and social media, is that a blog post isn't just 256 characters with a few clicks to publish, it's substantially more and therefore slower, yet more powerful, like a diary with thoughts laid out on pages, rather a pile of post it notes. I don't ask for validation, follows, likes or re-post, so I don't expect it, it's just my thoughts and my story. So you could argue this blog is Social Marketing as described above, because it looks like marketing, but it's not, the intent of my blog is solely to express myself, like an open diary and yes I share little parts of my projects.
I share really not for motivation, not for advice (unless I've asked for it), but just in the spirit of sharing, there's only one me on the internet after all, and only one you of cause! :)
The lowest common denominator internet wisdom is to share your project openly and this will be motivating for you. I agree to a point, I think little effort stuff is fine, you can look back on it and see your progression. But I would only talk and show my projects in detail to like minded peers, people that I trust and value their opinions, not random people on the internet. This is for several reasons, but to be honest I expect very low quality, general and vague, group think information from social media, it's of no value to me, and nor am I motivated by any popularity contest.
- SumoFat writes
- lol exactly its funny in psychology they say if you want to actually encourage yourself to finish something never tell anyone about your goals just do them.
- I wrote
- hmm.. that's interesting.. where did you hear that? I keep hearing the opposite.. to tell others, it's just that most confuse it for marketing and dollars $$$
- Harold Serrano
- I've heard that if you tell others about your goals, then it creates "accountability". I have a bit of problem with that. If you have a goal, then go and do it. period. If you share your goals so that others can hold you accountable, then there is a huge problem. If you like to share your goals, sure, go ahead but don't depend on the "accountability" to complete your goals.
- I wrote
- I'm for sharing of goals, I just don't think "others" means "everyone"
- I like to keep my goals hidden for as long as I can. Mostly because the process of achieving the goal requires the daily grit, consistency, and adjustment to failure that others don’t expect. I suppose a really great friend might see you through that and encourage you but most people in my experience either see your temporary failures & hard work and assume you’re not going to succeed or don’t want you to feel pain so they make it easy for you to quit. I think the inner voice is the best guide since it will keep pestering you to achieve your goals.
- If you tell others about your goals, it tricks your brain and gives you the effect that you already have achieved it.
- I wrote
- @SumoFat damn.. that's some really interesting psychology right there! wow
If you're not working on the goal and too busy talking about it.. then yeah I would have to agree 100%
oh and the guilt.. but the Social Media intellectuals would dismiss it as 'impostor syndrome' and you'd be encouraged to continue the cycle :D
- I’ve also found that, when it’s an important goal, I actually practice rewriting it almost everyday. It helps a lot to keep remembering them and the purpose for them.
My wife points out that I write my goals like a crazy person sometimes. I’ve written entire notebooks of my goals over and over again.
I’ve just had quite a few failures that I’ve learned from. Hard lessons you’d not want to repeat.
Reviewing them works for lot of people. But there are some who need it itched a bit harder.
It has paid off though.
That's some great and insightful feedback! Especially SumoFat's: If you tell others about your goals, it tricks your brain and gives you the effect that you already have achieved it.
I can personally relate to this, a few times I've had some very old thoughts of doing something, but I wasn't 100% sure if I actually did them or not. I've tried and catch myself at the moment when I have a good thought to preserve it somehow, like Johny says writing goals/ideas down or just acknowledging it and leaving it at that, in the hopes it might stay in my mind and bubble up when needed.
I mentioned over use of 'impostor syndrome', this is used to validate the insecure. And yes we all start at the beginning and it's hard not knowing what to do the first time around something, but you wouldn't be impostor if you didn't have to pretend publicly.
The flow chart is both nihilist and narcissistic, in fact when I first saw it I thought of "It's fun to lose and to pretend" from a famous nihilist philosopher.
And now, to the real point of this blog, regarding the social media feed back loop, here is a very recent case in point, from a very serious video game platform forum (names removed to protect, well myself!):
- Opening Person writes
(Inactivity) All I wanted is to be more social so I could have a bigger reason to develop games here. I really want to make games but no one is supporting me so I could focus better.
- I wrote
Maybe I'm old.. but I'm seriously trying to understand this :? This is a forum for technical support not a social platform, or is it? I guess it's off topic so there's no harm. Traditionally, social relationships come from purposeful interactions, ie I have a technical issue and someone helps and visa versa. I don't follow unity3D, so maybe it's there for you? Where do you expect to get emotional support from online? And how does it relate to being productive? Wouldn't focusing on being productive, result in what you want? Rather then being 'social'? which results in? I don't know, I had such a bad experience on twitter. Are you looking for external validation? or thumbs up or something social platform related? I'm sure I told you many months ago, to get off social media and read 12 rules for life, maybe it was someone else though. Don't think it's just you, I've come across this a bit and your message, made me think.
I should have also recommended Jaron Liener's work to help him navigate off social media, well maybe next time.
To be honest, I was questioning the role discord has in my online life, I liked the candidness and randomness of it, but finding a group of peers that isn't too big or too small AND one which others genuinely participate in, is well very rare.
That's it, thanks for reading, happy 2020!