For decades gatekeepers have kept creators from being able to create. You had to be chosen to publish your book, create a radio show, or make a movie. But the rapid development of technology is causing a dramatic shift in the power dynamic.
- We saw it happen in the music industry first with the creation of napster
- Amazon disrupted the publishing industry with giving us the ability to self publish. It doesn’t hurt to have millions of bloggers interested in getting their work out to the world.
- We can’t be too far away from the movie industry being dramatically changed by technology at our fingertips.
Gatekeepers are becoming more and more obsolete, and creators (artists, musicians, writers, etc) have all entered what James Altucher refers to as the “Choose Yourself Era.” Just be sure you don’t choose yourself so the gaketekeepers choose you. The shift in power dynamic is the best thing that’s ever happened to society and it’s a very special time to be alive. The adult world has turned into a kindergarten classroom and the technology at our fingertips our box of crayons. It’s a renaissance era of sorts.
The Mass Infusion of Content Creators
Everybody has a microphone. As the technology improves, what I think we’ll see on the web is a mass infusion of content creators. For a long time it’s only been the rebels, the misfits and the geeks who are quick to embrace something like blogging. But the easier it becomes to create, the more that people will embrace the opportunity. We’ll reach a turning point where what’s different or remarkable will eventually become normal or mainstream. When people see a crowd starting to gather they wonder why and eventually they join.
The Inevitable and Uneven Distribution of Traffic
The result of this mass infusion is an inevitable and uneven distribution of traffic on the web. The social web is much like a developing country. There are those who receive the lions share of the traffic and accolades, while a significant percentage linger in obscurity. As we add more content creators to the web, this gap is only going to grow and the web, all forms of media, and audiences are going to become extremely fragmented. It’s likely that Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True fans might become a stretch and we have to settle on 150 fanatics since that’s the magic number where tipping points occur.
A Focus on Service Instead of Growth
We’re obsessed with metrics and measurements. While they’re important, if they become the driving force behind every single decision, you’ll likely be fighting an uphill battle. If we focus on serving the people who are already there, they become our biggest fans. The invite people to the party. They become fanatics. Last weekend I attended an event called The World Domination Summit. The energy around it wasn’t like a typical conference. The people were fanatical and created this distinct sense that if you weren’t there, you were missing out on something very special. That’s because Chris Guillebeau, the creator of the event is extremely service oriented. The result is a group of fanatics that made the event seem almost cultish (in a good way).
The future belongs to the fanatics. Are you cultivating fanatics? Start by asking how you can serve.