Jul 25, 2022
The risks of online creative success We live in a wonderful time where you're able to turn your creative passion into a job that can support you just by using freely available online services like YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Patreon, Ebay, Paypal, Etsy, Webtoons etc. You can start with nothing more than your computer or phone and end up with a thriving business based on your passion project. It's not easy, achieving enough success where you can quit your day job still tends to take a lot of work, but once you get there it can be amazing. However, that's not the end of the story unfortunately.
Topics and Show Notes
The services that you use do not have too much compassion or care for their creators. They are not subjected to the same regulations or legal responsibilities as traditional businesses. They are not neutral services that you can use to build a business around and always have the same expectation of stability.
To use an analogy- it's like a business park office complex offers tenants free space and basic services if they set up their businesses there. So of course you leave your previous rented office spaces because it's pointless managing two locations. In return for the use of the space and services you help bring in multiple new customers who want to see you, but they're able to also redirect them to their other tenants and show their advertising to them as well. That system seems to work great for both of you, till they decide they want to redirect all of your regular customers to their other tenants because they don't like what you do for their image anymore; or they decide to shut down your offices which erases all the money, time and effort you've put in to making your business a success…
If that happened in the real world, you could very easily have a legal case against them. But there is zero recourse like that in the digital world. Instead they pretend that they're just providing free tools and nothing more, and so they have zero responsibility for the real world investment of money, time, and energy that people put into their work to build their audiences- Audiences which are the real capital and what Google, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Spotify and all the rest REALLY need the hard work of the creatives for. These “free” services use the effort of the creatives as a free resource to build and maintain a larger user base that they exploit in various ways; data-mining them, trading personal-information, up-selling subscription services, and selling their time to advertisers.
So they DO have a lot of ethical responsibility to their creative user-base, but not a legal one because the law hasn't caught up yet unfortunately.
There have been many thousands of instances of creators being shafted because the service they used suddenly screwed them over. Patreon, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, Tumblr, Paypal, Facebook to name a few have all carelessly harmed creators/users in various ways.
So, you can become a huge success, but you can also have that success robbed from you by the very system that you used to start yourself off. How do you combat this? You could try lobbying politicians to bring accountability to these large companies that control the internet, but more realistically there are sensible precautions you should take: Don't quit your day job- always have a real source of real world income; Don't put all your eggs in one basket- use multiple services and sites and accounts for your work if you can; Try and own your own domain name so you can point users to a new service if your old one betrays you. I'm sure there are other ways too.
Lastly, we can sort of put The Duck Webcomics in this category too since we offer a free service to creators and we benefit form the audiences those creators bring in. However, we haven't changed our rules for over a decade, the service were provide is fully stable, our entire motivation is about maintaining a good neutral place for creators to host their comics, we don't make any profit on the site, and we don't mine our site audiences in any way at all: no data-mining, no selling of information to marketers, no up-selling of subscriptions or other services. But even so you shouldn't just put all your eggs in our basket either because no site is 100% reliable in perpetuity.
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Cribal Series - Raw, wiry electric guitar weaves in and out in an exotic tangle, threading around this tune to create a barbaric themed melange from a distant time and place.
Topics and shownotes
Black Parade - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/19/featured-comic-the-black-parade/
Cribal Series - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Cribal_Series/ - by Trebuxet, rated M.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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Mar 28, 2021
Image credit: There's Something About Mary, 20th Century Fox. Empathy is like sympathy but you don't think about it. It's what happens when you see someone get hurt and you wince in pain watching them, it's when you see a really uncomfortable moment in a sitcom like The Office and you cringe, It's when you feel sad when the characters are sad about something. Empathy is an important tool for audience immersion- if they're feeling that strongly for the characters then you've got them invested in your story! Funny story… the topic of this Quackcast was inspired by us talking about the risks of “going commando” and the fact that it can happen to women as well as men. This led us to go looking for photographic and video proof, as you do… and what we saw gave us instant empathy for the poor unfortunate. Hence the Quackcast topic ;) This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to PleaseRewind: Quiet threat, creepy, seeping, strumming, thrumbing, coming CLOSER, inside, peering around, waiting to begin. This is a quiet track filled with an undertone of urgency suggested by the constant quick rhythm and lonely guitar.
Dec 30, 2019
It's been a great year! DD has continued to grow bit by bit, we've been stable and a great host for many many webcomics. DD is one of the only truly independent community focused webcomic hosting sites left. Most of the rest are commercial hubs that are not community centered. Part of our commitment to the community on DD is showcasing our best webcomics every week, which we've been doing for 17 years now, and I've personally been doing that for about 13.
Oct 28, 2019
Tantz is dressed fabulously as a queen and I'm a skull faced monstrosity… I'm also wearing a costume, hahaha! Which you can see in our Patreon video ;) Queen Tantz Bathory and prince of horror Banes join me to talk about Horror movie franchises, what makes them work and what doesn't- as franchises rather than just a stand alone movie. The problems facing a movie series about horror are different from other genres and focus more on formula than just characters the way they do in most other types of film so it's an interesting discussion.
Aug 19, 2019
Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.
Feb 11, 2019
It's just Ozoneocean and bouncy Banes today. This time we're chatting about breaking and subverting structures, formulas and conventions in webcomics. Commercial creative projects need to use formulas and familiar structures because that's what audiences expect, it's also what studio executives, creative editors, publishers, producers and all the people that greenlight those projects need and expect as well. The Hero's Journey and other conventions and formulas aren't just used because they make good stories but because of the commercial realities and risk averse nature of the industry (there's a lot of money and jobs on the line). Webcomics don't have those pressures so we're talking about why webcomics shouldn't necessarily adhere to popular formulas and structures and why many don't.
Jul 18, 2016
For THIS particular DD Quackcast we were inspired by clever and incisive newsposts made by Pitface and Kawaii. Kawaii made a great post about the idea of going for your dreams before it's too late, using the Paradise Falls trip from the movie UP as an analogy: the poor old guy and his wife never got to go there together because real life kept on getting in the way, eating into their savings… Sometimes you just have to let things slide a little and take a risk or you never will reach that dream. Pit's post was about always moving forward, and again; not just getting stuck in the rut of routine and the mundane. You don't just want to march forward onto the grey twilight of your life having been stuck doing and knowing the same things. Don't waste your free time solely on entertainments, arguments, and diversions, rather you should take time to work on something- to work TOWARDS something every day… and maybe that will help you achieve your dream? It could be as simple as working on a webcomic, each page brings you closer to the end of the story and producing something you can be proud of and maybe even marketable! little bits of exercise every day will help you work towards that figure you want… Studying or reading on your favourite subject will eventually make you a master of it, and then maybe you can even write your own book on it? Don't just consume for diversion, consume with the intent to create and advance yourself! Use your time wisely. Gunwallace's theme for Mailbox Rocketship is quirky, techno, funny and futuristic! It also features some familiar voices!