I can relate to Tim Kreider’s New York Times column on writing for free (Slaves of the Internet, Unite!) I’ve been paid for my writing on occasion but more often, I write for free by necessity. In full disclosure, as an eight year former Microsoftie, I don’t need to rely on income from writing for a bed, as Kreider describes, but I still appreciate compensation for my efforts.
Recently, I watched a YouTube video of musician Jack Conte’s presentation at XoXo Fest in Portland. Conte and his partner Nataly Dawn, have 372,742 subscribers to their band channel on YouTube, success triggered in part by Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s at the 2009 Video Music Awards. Conte and Dawn had previously posted a super cool video of that Beyonce song Kanye West ranted about, All the Single Ladies. Traffic ensued. Their version of Beyonce’s song has now been viewed 10 million times.
However, Conte hadn’t seen much revenue from YouTube. So, he and a colleague created Patreon.com, a startup to help earn a living from their work. Unlike KickStarter which fundraises for individual projects, Patreon allows fans of artists to be ongoing patron’s of their work for a $1 or more, for any unit of work they choose. Conte’s fans pay per video, currently $6,512 combined for each release.
I’m experimenting with Medium as a writing platform and for creating exposure.