Day 7 — Creators, Attention, & Organizations

@ibnabeeomar tweeted a thread today about the "Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) of Social Media." He began with the oft-repeated premise that the currency of social media is attention. As a creator, you're dependent on the attention — measured in likes, views, etc. — of your audience.

Once you build an individual platform, you are beholden to that audience and lose the freedom to grow intellectually or even change positions. If you change direction (even though it may Islamically be better), you will lose followers and get criticism. That makes it harder to do.

He argues that the solution to this problem is supporting organizations rather than building an independent "brand":

A better approach is to be directly involved and aligned with a larger organization. This puts you under the mission and vision of a larger group. It provides you a peer group that holds you accountable.

While the whole thread is written with Islamic internet personalities in mind, I think this is a relevant conversation for the "Creator Economy" at large.

The promise of the Creator Economy is the freedom and opportunity to make a living off of your passions and knowledge. All you need is "1000 True Fans" and you're off to the races.

While working on AMA (our creator growth and analytics agency), I've seen first hand how creators are often forced into making content that appeases their audience. They may not even enjoy making it anymore, but they have to in order to survive. They're not given the opportunity to grow.

By tying yourself to an institution, the individual pressure to satisfy an audience is relaxed. That said, so are the individual benefits. There's probably a happy medium. I'm still trying to land on it.