let’s talk about the creator economy, work from home, and unions
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Do I want to give more air to the extremely tone-deaf threat to employees made by the CEO of Washingtonian Media last week? Chances are if you would be paying attention to that kind of story, you may have already seen this.
There’s better takes on this than I’ll have. Laura Hazard Owen pointed out that a lot of the “culture” that Merrill described was just sexist, as well as nonsensical and arbitrary. Charlie Warzel suggested that perhaps threatening your own employees isn’t the best way to get them to work. Some flexibility goes a lot further.
Another take: Unions are not sounding so crazy to most people after the past year. Sure, working from home as an option is nice, but what about setting up a system where employees are valued as a collective, and not discarded as individuals? Sure, the Amazon union effort in one of their Alabama warehouses didn’t pass this time around, but the amount of fighting shows that the corporation sees it as a real threat.
It’s pretty easy to go online and find pictures of stores closed with signs from the staff as to the reasons why.
I’ve been spending a lot of time looking over the creator economy, which has become a real, sprawling industry. Sure, YouTube didn’t want to hear anything about a YouTube Union a few years ago, but that’s still being pushed. Instagram memers as well.
With the change of media, both on the creator and consumer side, individual creators are both getting more control over their distribution and pay, while still depending on some centralized services for their audience access. Soon everyone will be paywalled, and social media platforms will not be the free content havens that they once were.
When everything is for sale, there will be massive winners and a long tail of losers. It’s not just strengthening relationships with your audience community, but also with the community of other creators through labor laws and general protections. It’s really hard to figure out how to keep up when there is a crisis in creator funding.
Speaking of capitalism and Amazon (we were at some point up there, right?), I felt extremely seen and maybe called out by the latest newsletter from Anne Helen Petersen on using shopping to solve small problems as a coping mechanism. Give it a read if you are the kind of person who can make any inconvenience a problem with a purchasable solution.
But that’s not the way most of us been trained to approach leisure, lifestyle, ownership or even our own bodies. Nothing is just fine as it is. Everything demands maintenance and, preferably, amelioration — and then more maintenance in its ameliorated form.Anne Helen Petersen, The Shopping Cure
I got on the Sidechannel Discord to share my thanks for encapsulating some complicated feelings that I’ve had around consumer culture, only to be convinced that the solution to my workouts are a set of quality kettle bells. Habits are hard to shake when they are shared by everyone around you.
Everything You’ve Heard About Section 230 Is Wrong – Gilad Edelman, Wired
I admit, I sometimes fall a bit too firmly on one side of this idea of what Section 230 is and how it is used and abused. A middle way forward will be hard, but it’s not like getting to where we are now was easy.
I kinda thought that we knew this back in 2017, but I guess it’s confirmed? Seems kind of sus that almost all comments were fake, but almost every single real comment fell on the side of the issue that lost.
I honestly have no idea how much in-store traffic can be driven by a FB page, but something tells me that Starbucks would be fine if they stopped advertising on the platform that is somehow more toxic and destructive than Twitter.
I can feel how much of these skits are Brennan’s writing and ideals shining through. Oh hey look, capitalism!
Another piece of content that I consumed this week that I feel extremely seen by. Excuse me while I change over the laundry mid-sentence.
Watching this video got me to buy some manga to load up on my tablet this week. I might even read it!
Like Tom Scott, I came for the whimsical clickbait idea of a title, and was shocked at the reminder that plastic waste will be here long after we are gone, surrounding and suffocating us.
I’m sure that the story is much deeper than this, but I like the idea of a community banding together as well as convincing white architects to make a fake Chinese identity that can make a space more palatable to whites and in turn more secure and safe for the residents who are already in precarious situations.
I haven’t watched SNL last week. Maybe I will just to see if it’s really so bad. Either way, it doesn’t take much to convince me that one of the richest men in the world does not have my best interests at heart.
This week Underrepresented in Tech from Michelle Frechette and Allie Nimmons (who has a good newsletter that you should check out!) is about how they choose to call people out versus call people in when it comes to negative social interactions.
Oh look, more union talk, this time around the video games industry
Sure, we can talk about the logistics and legalities of asteroid mining. But what about unionizing the workers who are going to be responsible for this job in the future?
New St. Vincent album today!
Remember to share the stuff that you liked this week. See yall in a week and stay safe! 💝