Monday, January 23, 2012

The Level Playing Field
Yeah, this is about the latest pet peeve in the political scam arena. The idea that there is a "playing field" in the first place fails, unless you are talking about sports. But politics and business are not sports. So, comparing them to sports is inherently a failure. But the "level" part annoys me even more.

In a truly equal and level system everyone plays by the same rules. Rules are laws, regulations, etc. and to be truly equal, or "level", they must all apply to everyone exactly the same regardless of ... well ... anything. Gay, straight, black, green, purple, butt for head ... the laws (or rules) should be exactly the same, and that would be equality. But let's look at specifically the economic portion of this, business. Too many people think that businesses are what determine the rules, they do not. We do, though less directly because we have to push the government to enact the rules and enforce them.

But this is not what people are claiming, at least many many people. They are claiming business makes the rules, because "they have more money". Well, who is "they" ... singular, because for some reason these same people think that "they" is one huge entity that somehow lives on it's own. Here's a wake up though, businesses are "they" plural, as in you, me, and ... everyone who buys or deals with them. The truly ignorant part of this whole "level playing field" idea is the concept that we cannot control businesses.

Actually, we can make businesses do what we want far easier than we can make the government. The government can enact laws and such to silence us, businesses do not have that power. Businesses can suggest such actions to the government, but ultimately it is the government making them into laws. But how do we control businesses? By choosing where to buy products from. It's that easy. Well, it's that easy as long as the government doesn't enact laws preventing us from making a choice. 

Yep, outlawing certain products, "encouraging" others with subsidies, all of that is taking away our ability to choose and control businesses. But will people crying about a "level playing field" ever see that? Not likely. Instead of choosing to let companies they don't like fall (bankruptcy and such) they instead want to give subsidies to others. Remember corn? Yeah, now they want the products made from the corn, that they pushed to be given a "helping hand", banned for reasons that it's unhealthy for us. 

Come to think of it, the corn fiasco is the perfect example of how these "level playing field" cries are so bad for our world. Back in the past corn farms were exactly even with everything else. It was great, there was a variety of products people could choose from. But then people stopped buying so much corn. Why? The consumers didn't want it as much. So many of the farms were failing. Suddenly the outcry from people gave strength to lobbyists to run to the government and cry "help the corn farms!"

They did, they gave a bunch of money to corn farmers and incentives to new corn farmers. So the corn industry exploded, but no one was buying more corn yet. So, what to do with all that corn? Candy, soda pop, all the tasty treats you can imagine became so cheap and easy to produce. Well, the corn farmers weren't worried about losing money, so they kept making corn and the government kept giving the more money, and the people just bought junk food.

Then, someone says "we might be able to use this excess corn for fuel!" ... and instead of leaving the system alone, which was already broken, they added more subsidies and more money to the corn farmers. Increasing corn products even more. But, turns out that it was not as useful for fuel, so the corn was still being used for junk foods, since that was the only thing they had to do with all this corn. 

Ahh, the system was broken so badly now, but .... it gets worse. Recently a group of doctors decided to rally against jun foods, "it's so bad for us we need to ban it!" But, no, we can't ban it for two reasons, the biggest reason being: The government's idiotic spending on corn farms would be found out.

So, instead let's tax it. The government hoping to get some of that money back. However they only succeeded in breaking the system, and making it far less equal and far less "level". Corn farmers make a fortune, all other farms have to struggle, so those other farms are moving to Mexico, does that really sound level?

I may continue this more, because this topic is pissing me off. But here's the thing, we all have the same opportunities until the government steps in and changes that. If you can't make a product anyone else wants, that's your lack of ability, not an unfair system, but if someone comes in and hands you money anyway, then you still lack skill and ability but have an advantage.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to Make Money Online

You thought I was above this .... fooled you! Well, not really. I have watched a ton of videos online, read a bunch of blogs, and come to a few conclusions. None of the people making money posting their work online ever ask that question.

Yep, the easiest way to make money with your content is not to try for that. Put what you want on there, enjoy making it. Because if you start making things with the intent of making money, you will fail. Even then, the only reason to want to make money on content is so you can make more content.

Which brings me to my gripe about some of those who do make it big online. They change their content or stop making more. That's just not cool. When you make a video or song for the internet and post somewhere, do it because you love making art. Do it for the fans. But most of all, do it because you want to. There is no excuse for changing what you do after the fact.

Which brings me to my new website, which will be officially launched soon. Digital Noise Graffiti which is 100% free, free as in freedom of speech and free in cost. But, and there's always a catch, you cannot make an impression on me if you are looking to make money so to get artist status you have to do what you enjoy with no other goal than to entertain the masses, or just yourself. You don't have to be popular.

I know a bunch of "get rich quick" seekers will find this, and I hope they do and read the whole thing. There is no magic bullet to financial gain, anywhere. People who make money adding content online didn't just wake up one day and find an email in their box saying "let us pay you for that!" They did what they enjoy. So, what makes their content popular?

Now there's a good question. Popularity is something everyone wants, even if you don't care about getting paid, and not all popularity is the same. So here's a list of things that make people popular on Youtube specifically:

  1. Fun - they enjoy what they are doing and have fun making it. It's not about getting ahead in anyway. The most successful content makers for Youtube don't complain about being unpopular and they don't worry if they get some dislikes. It's just for fun.
  2. Originality - the biggest and most important element. Imitating your favorite ... whatever ... can be fun, yes, but not always original. Parodies are pretty much out dated now. Not that you should never do them, just, there's a lot of them already. Animations, been done to death, but animations using certain methods can be very unique. Just don't expect that parody of Lady Gaga to attract many viewers.
  3. Engaging - something I have come to learn is that engaging the audience will get you more subscribers. In the video actually ask for their comments. Don't beg, just ask. Give them a question, that seems to work well. Don't discourage constructive criticism either, if anything engage those commenters more. Viewers can't resist coming up with humorous or insane answers to even the most inane question. Not only will this get people watching more it will also give you a lot of laughs. Win-win.
  4. Moderation - too much of anything can be a bad thing, and special effects are one of those. Don't use them unless it's part of your art, even then, don't use them too much. CGI is great as an art form, but using it to replace reality will only detriment your work. Yep, one of the great things about computers is fading like a fad. People want real or art, not the replacement of reality. This is also a good thing for CG artists who can't make realistic work, people want to watch your disfigured images more than those who can make things like Dances with Smurfs .... oh wait, that was called Avatar.
That's pretty much it. 4 elements, keep to those and eventually you will attract a regular audience. But be patient, with all the new content online it takes a while for things to circulate. But when you start getting your own work sent to you by other people with "check out this awesome ..." then you know you've hit on something.

In closing, don't worry about making money online, just don't. You will most likely be hurt by a scam if you are searching for it, and scams hurt. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, one day you can be famous at least.