Living in Rented Space
What do digital publishers actual control?
Digital publishing, and the creator economy, in particular, is built almost entirely on rental property. We all publish across platforms that we have no say over. Their house, their rules.
There are lots of good reasons for going along with this, not least that it makes life easier. Substack gives me all the tools I need to simply publish a newsletter, collect email addresses and take payments. YouTube is a straightforward platform on which to post and monetise videos. But in one fell swoop they could change anything to my benefit or detriment.
As it happens, Substack and YouTube are two of the most stable platforms around, but look at the row over TikTok. Plenty of creators have built their whole business on the short video platform and at almost any moment politicians could shut it down. Indeed, in Montana, the governor is trying to do just that.
We all know all this, but what can we do about it? How can we mitigate the risks?
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