Tough competition in the attention economy

There is just so much to this article Making It – pick up a spot welder and join the revolution in the New Yorker recently.  Evegny Morozov deconstructs the Maker Movement and its social politics.  It’s fascinating to reflect on how making things has become a ‘movement’, why, and whether it’s really as radical and democratising as it’s made out to be.

And it’s especially interesting to me, of course, because I’m a maker. I’ve always been a maker of things, but now I’m an aspiring Maker with a capital M as well – playing around with 3D tools, manufacturing on demand, setting up my Etsy shop…

The article makes the point that some of the movements proponents “argue that the success of the maker movement shows that the means of production can be made affordable to workers even under capitalism. Now that money can be raised on sites such as Kickstarter, even large-scale investors have become unnecessary. But both overlook one key development: in a world where everyone is an entrepreneur, it’s hard work getting others excited about funding your project. Money goes to those who know how to attract attention. … Inequality here is not just a matter of who owns and runs the means of physical production but also of who owns and runs the means of intellectual production—the so-called “attention economy”.”

So far, I’ve had 8 visits to lichenandsponge.  All of those are from me. Granted, it has only been open a few days, but still, it’s made me hyper-aware of the need for online marketing – how the * am I supposed to compete with the millions of other Etsy shops, with their billions of items, all more or less unique and cool?

I should get into growth hacking, but its just so …scary!   “A growth hacker wraps messaging into the fabric of the lives and thoughts of users.” Alternatively, it could be the occupation for the villain in my book 🙂

“Growth hacking appeared as the modern way in the age of Web 2.0 to reach a market and distribute an idea. Instead of classic marketing which typically interrupts your day, a growth hacker uses “pull”; he or she understands user behavior provides value immediately to persuade. A growth hacker wraps messaging into the fabric of the lives and thoughts of users. A growth hacker will leverage across disciplines, pulling in insights from behavioral economics and gamification, to find the right message to pull in users.

A growth hacker finds a strategy within the parameters of a scalable and repeatable method for growth, driven by product and inspired by data. Growth hacking’s goal are based in marketing but driven by product instincts. A growth hacker lives at the intersection of data, product, and marketing. A growth hacker lives within the product team and has a technical vocabulary to implement what he or she wants.”

And look at what can happen When Growth Hacking Goes Bad!  “Due to the App Store’s nearly impossible to break into Top Charts, app makers have to manufacture and force growth to attract their initial users, and kick off those “viral” effects”.

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