Ten years ago, I used to describe the burgeoning blog industry as a Wild West. It’s incredible to me that it can still feel that way, despite the industry’s maturation, the money, the, well, influence. From The Atlantic, a great piece about why the industry has struggled to organize. Also: did you know influencers can join SAG?!
From the column:
“…Emily Hund, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the online creator economy since its beginning, explicitly advocates for unionization in her new book, The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media.
Creators must “recognize themselves as the cultural laborers they are and organize accordingly,” Hund writes. She contextualizes the rise of influencers and the beginning of the social-media age in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the cratering of traditional media, and the beginnings of the platform-based gig economy. As certain kinds of stable and reliable work disappeared for many, making money on social media became a viable alternative. “The influencer industry is both a symptom of and a response to the economic precarity and upheaval in social institutions that have characterized the early twenty-first century,” she writes.
(VM: Where’s the “It Me” sticker when you need it?)
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