Common ground

A couple of weeks back, Mike Masnick of Techdirt posted "Bringing Artists & Entrepreneurs Together To Help Each Other", an account of a day of collaboration, discussion and brainstorming that took place on October 10. I've touched upon Masnick's work before, as he often writes about developments related to copyright and piracy, both topics of interest here.

In his post, Masnick recaps a day spent exploring challenges, commonalities and differences between artists and the entrepreneurs working with them (or hoping to do so). He observes:

"We're all running our own businesses in many ways. And we're all creating something new and wonderful. It seems like there's tremendous common ground in our shared situations."

Participants faced a number of issues or challenges, and (perhaps surprisingly) there was a good deal of common ground among artists and their business counterparts. According to Masnick, the short list of challenges included:

  • Inadequate or limited resources
  • "A missing roadmap" for a new order of business
  • Education, both about what is offered and how to take advantage of it
  • Discovery (of both content and alternatives)
  • Policy, especially where new goverment rules might limit creative freedoms

Some of the first-attempt solutions might sound familiar to those of us trying to figure out new publishing models:

The artist part of the discussion seems to have consisted primarily of musicians, not magazine or book publishers. Still, you could substitute "author" for "artist" throughout Masnick's piece and find that the issues are remarkably consistent.

The discussion also points to a growing dissatisfaction with the incumbents. As Margaret Atwood pointed out at the 2011 Tools of Change conference in New York, "The anchovies are restless."

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.