I was chatting away to a friend this morning, we were lazily browsing and he showed me Flattr. I then tweeted out what do people think of Flattr. a twitter friend came back, it’s better than the ‘buy me a coffee on Paypal’. Both of these were new to me, I haven’t worked in social media for some months now, (and it shows!), but the predictions I have for its future are coming true. I feel a bit validated. While Bandcamp and Kickstarter are already doing this and crowd sourced funding is nothing new. Is paying for content you like, content you simply respect, going to happen?
I have always thought paid for social is not too far off. Of course some things will always be free, but we will pay for quality. Because the internet is largely uncensored, quality will stand out.
Take a look at sites like Reddit, Imgur, Stumple Upon, and dare I say Digg, social voice counts for a lot. While it’s naive to think this area isn’t manipulated, what is definite is that opinions count. Putting your money where your mouth is, was never going to be far behind.
I have a constant argument with my teenage son about Microsoft points, “you’re not getting anything for your money, do you realise that?”, and everytime he looks at me like i’m mad. Of course he is. Simply put, my generation isn’t trained to pay for things we can’t hold in our hands, yet. His is.
Depending on where we are with the internet in a few years time, definitely much more mobile, I think we’ll all be trained and accepting to pay like this.
I’ve always thought social media will become more individual. Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. You’ll be validated by the social voice – You Tube likes, downloads, retweets, favourites, (+1, yep I don’t think that’s done with yet). Groundswell was at the forefront of it all, and it has never changed. Like everything in life, it has a price.
Sharing will always be king in social media but think about another world. Can you imagine it? This world where we pay an individual direct, not via a big corporation? The Oatmeal has a really cool bit about the music industry and cutting out the middle man.
I’ve always thought our generation has missed a trick. People have said to me we are a lost generation, we didn’t have a ‘war’. (I don’t think war is the answer and I always thought that’s a strange comment, but so many people have said that, i’m just repeating)
Instead of a war, how about we have a revolution? With the internet we are standing on the edge on an amazing thing, literally creating the road ahead of us. We can buy a drink for people we respect, just as we would in the pub. We can give respect, kudos and a ‘wage’ to content creators we admire. Would you pay for The Oatmeal? I would.
Doesn’t this open up a revolution of sorts ahead of us?
Are you part of creating it? You could be.
It’s a big thought to entertain, I need more coffee….