Evolving with Nita Jain
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Creator Monetization, Parasocial Relationships, Blockchain Social Media, & AI-Generated Content with James Creech of Brandwatch
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Creator Monetization, Parasocial Relationships, Blockchain Social Media, & AI-Generated Content with James Creech of Brandwatch

Navigating negative feedback, NFTs, & the new normal for podcasting
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In this week’s episode, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Brandwatch James Creech talks about parasocial relationships, video podcasts, content moderation, blockchain social media, AI applications, and more!

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube.

From Ad Tech to Content Creation

James started his career in ad tech, helping brands and media agencies run paid video campaigns. He later went on to work at an early YouTube creator network called Bent Pixels. Today, as a result of changing online consumption patterns, online content creators are becoming as influential as traditional thought leaders.

Why Every Leader Should Be a Creator

According to James, every leader should be a creator because creating content has the potential to make us more strategic thinkers, thoughtful listeners, and capable communicators. We live in a populist era where people trust individuals more than they trust institutions. Creator platforms have democratized access to creation tools.

There's certainly times when competitive advantage dictates keeping things secret, but building in public and being transparent about your progress has the potential to attract funding and get your community involved in your endeavors.

The Parasocial Bonds of Social Media

The primary purpose of social media has shifted from connection to broadcasting, leading to the development of one-sided relationships with public figures. The downsides of these relationships stem from potentially distorted views of reality that may have mental health implications. YouTubers like PewDiePie embody online personalities that are very different from their real-life personas.

Globalization of the Creator Economy

The fastest growing creator platform, TikTok, is Chinese, the most subscribed YouTube channel, T-Series, is from India, and the most popular TikTok creator is from Senegal. Social media has fragmented the entertainment landscape, expanding opportunity to every corner of the globe.

The Future of Creator Monetization

The initial business model of the internet was built on advertising. In the modern era, our consumption habits have led to greater adoption of e-commerce and subscription-based models, which have carried over to the creator economy in the form of patronage and membership platforms like Patreon and Memberful.

Social media provide platforms to build a following but aren’t the best way to own your relationship with your audience. Direct communication and audience ownership will become paramount in the web 3.0 era.

A Live Social Media Experiment: Will Twitter Survive?

According to James, Twitter is a fascinating use case into what the future could hold for social media and big tech. Short-form video is the dominant battleground across social media platforms. The task of building safe online spaces will require concerted efforts by platforms, communities, parents, and individual users.

How NFTs Can Help Creators Monetize

The next big social platform may potentially be built on blockchain. NFTs may become a viable monetization strategy via digital collectible offerings for superfans, which may provide a potential proxy for fan engagement.

Video: The New Normal for Podcasts

The medium of video provides a way to read facial expressions, body language, cues and tone. Audiences value authenticity more than production value. Livestreaming may provide a good stepping stone for creators looking to diversify into video.

The Need for Social Approval in a Digital World

Creating content online for public consumption requires vulnerability, and navigating non-constructive criticism can sometimes be difficult. In a popular TED talk, academic researcher Brené Brown advises us to not concern ourselves with the opinions of people who are not willing to open themselves up to criticism.

Jonathan Haidt’s moral foundations theory provides a useful framework for navigating political differences. The relative value that we assign certain moral pillars may differ, but as long as the discourse is healthy, productive, and respectful, open dialogue will lead to better understanding.

Artificial Intelligence-Generated Content

Creative artificial intelligence applications augment rather than replace human abilities. Art generators such as DALL-E, Midjourney, & Stable Diffusion seem to struggle with concepts like basic arithmetic and spatial awareness. AI tools may enable creators to increase their creative output.

Connect with James on LinkedIn and Twitter!

If you’d like to support the show, you can share this post or become a patron! This episode was recording using Riverside and edited using Descript. Some links are affiliate and help support my mission to share actionable insights with the general public at no additional cost to you.

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Evolving with Nita Jain
Evolving with Nita Jain: Health | Science | Self-Development
Whether it's a workout protocol, productivity routine, or mindfulness practice, Nita Jain shares actionable insights designed to help listeners optimize their lives and become their best selves. Topics covered include science, psychology, philosophy, health, fitness, longevity, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. The show aims to be interdisciplinary, encourage forward thinking, and approach subject matter in a balanced way.