Content Worth Paying For

One of my favorite podcasts, a primary source for my Apple related news and what has become an integral part of my work week daily commute (Mac OS Ken) just started up a Patreon effort. You see, this podcasting gig for Ken is his day job. This got me thinking about content in the digital age and what we as consumers of information perceive as valuable. I have this tech blog that I am writing this post on right now. I generally write 1-2 posts here every week and spend a not so insignificant amount of my time creating these posts. I even have a donation page setup on my site. But the difference between Mac OS Ken and my small tech blog here at 1WaySwim is that Mac OS Ken (along with Ken Ray's other endeavors like Mission Log and EYE Chart Radio) is that my blog is just a hobby for me. I have a day job, and while it is incredibly time consuming and requires quite a bit of travel, it pays my bills. I don't have to earn anything here at 1WaySwim (my donation page is just there because it can be, not because it needs to be). Not all original content on the Internet is a hobby.

My wife asked me the other day why Circus Ponies Notebook (a digital notebook app for Mac and iOS) blinked out of existence (see my post "Saying Goodbye to Circus Ponies Notebook"). While the makers of Notebook don't explicitly say why they shutdown, I think it is safe to say that the business model was just no longer sustainable. I told my wife that in the current digital age when it seems like the entire world is at your fingertips via the Internet it is getting harder and harder to convince people that some things are simply worth paying for. Circus Ponies is an example of a product or a service that was worth paying for, but obviously not enough people agreed with my sentiment.

A sad farewell to Circus Ponies Notebook (artwork by Nora Owens)

A sad farewell to Circus Ponies Notebook (artwork by Nora Owens)

My point in writing this is quite simple. Take a few minutes and take stock in all of the digital content in your life that you would miss if it simply disappeared tomorrow. Think about what that content or service is worth to you and then do what you can to help support the creator of that content or service. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend money (but I'm sure the content creators would really appreciate that). Even just a positive review of your favorite application or podcast or sending the creator an encouraging email or a public tweet of thanks can make a huge impact. That one positive piece of encouragement may have been all that was needed to inspire that individual or company to keep doing what they are doing, or even better, inspiration to pursue the next big thing that takes their product or service to the next level. We all need to start recognizing quality original content for what it is before all we are left with is content from organizations that are big enough to pay upfront for the privilege of getting their message in front of you (in return for the ad revenue you are helping to generate for them so they can afford to distribute their message/content). Some content is simply worth paying for upfront...

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