How my little brother pissed off @deadmau5 & how changes to YouTube and Socialcam affect you

My little brother recently got into a fight with the world-famous electronic musician deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”) in the comment section on a YouTube video. That’s just like little brothers right? Here’s the story. deadmau5 is pretty opinionated when it comes to music, and even has a whole section of his Wikipedia article devoted to disparaging comments he’s made about DJ’s. Basically, his argument is that DJ’s often do little more than get up on stage and hit “play.”

My little brother is a DJ, so needless to say he took offense, and posted a 3-minute rant video directed at Deadmau5 on YouTube. You can watch it yourself, or simply check out their back and forth in the comment section:

That deadmau5 came out to leave a comment is a pretty big deal, but obviously my little brother is still upset. So what’s this fight really about?

Content Creation vs. Curation

Let me define some terms: content creation is when you make an original work. Whether that’s a song, a video, a painting, a blog post, anything that is an original work that you or a team make. Even if you’re not a world famous artist, and even if you don’t have a YouTube channel, you probably still create your own work from time to time. Your tweets, for instance, are your own creations.

But not your retweets. When you share content online, you’re curating it. Finding other great sources of original content online and sharing it. Whether you’re doing it on Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter, today there are tons of great avenues to curate content online and become known for sharing it.

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Vimeo Offers Content Creators a New Way to Get Paid for Their Videos

Sam Collins Media' Ball of Light from Vimeo
Ball of Light by Sam Collins Media (now eligible for tipping)

Earlier this week, Vimeo announced that they would be launching a virtual “tip jar.” The idea is that if you’re watching a video, you may want to thank the creator for his or her time and hard work with some real, non-virtual cash, payable via PayPal. Vimeo will take a 15% cut for the privilege.

It’s an interesting move by Vimeo, the video site that has built a reputation for “creative” filmmaking and video creation, stressing quality over quantity, and making a commitment to content creators and artists. It sits in a very different video site niche than the YouTube, the dominant player in the field, which is primarily geared quantity, and has actually been playing catch-up in courting more sophisticated video creation.

Their approaches are reflected in the ways creators make money, too. On YouTube creators can sign up to become partners, meaning their videos will have advertising on top. This advertising is secured by YouTube, and they take a cut. There are nuances to this model of course, but primarily it’s driven by the number of views a creator and his or her videos receive, and it relies on a third-party advertiser. That means that if you’re a creator, you need to be getting tons of eyeballs to a video that matches up easily with the kinds of folks an advertiser wants to reach. It’s very much the same model as television.

Vimeo’s virtual tip jar cuts out that 3rd party advertiser, and lets creators appeal directly to fans. That means it’s not just about the number of eyeballs on your videos: it’s about whether those viewers are willing to support you and your work. Think of the Kickstarter model: 2 donors at $100 each are worth the same as 10 donors at $20.  And in that environment, success means making yourself accessible to your audience, creating a community, and cultivating the kinds of folks who can and will support you.