You don’t owe me anything
To think my readers owe me anything, or my viewers or listeners, is something I just don’t get. Why should you have to do anything for me?
There are reasons why I feel it is important for me to say that you owe me nothing. A few days ago, an aspiring YouTube personality in Spain gave up doing video reviews. I am not going to mention their name or the name of the channel. I don’t see the point and I am not writing this article to bring them any grief, but to vent and try to address something that could become a trend.
The reasons given were that, essentially, there is not enough public recognition of the work they do. There aren’t enough comments in the videos, enough likes or thumbs up or even enough visualisations. Creating the videos takes time and it makes him feel inadequate when there are no reactions to his videos. He also complained that publishers don’t promote the reviews of their own products and used the only book I have published in Spain so far as an example. Never mind that he has made more reviews of more products by other publishers. He decided to focus on the only book published by a publisher that hasn’t really taken off yet. It strikes me of attacking the weak, but hey… whatever.
According to this person, this happened after a talk with their therapist. That leads me to believe that the anxiety behind the lack of recognition is partly a mental health issue. Thus, I totally support their decision to stop. If what you do is bringing you health problems, stopping is the right thing to do and I can only hope they get better and can come back.
The point is, though, that this person expects reactions from the audience. They expect the audience to express that they like, or dislike their work. And if the audience doesn’t react, well, that is bad for him. It is the audience’s fault he feels like he feels.
Well… no. But I will go into that later.
Later on, about one week later, another, more prominent reviewer, producer, youtuber, whatever person, this time better known at an international level (in this instance I will not mention his name because I will not bring attention to anyone who thinks political correctness is bad and rather keep being a misogynistic asshole) said “There is literally nothing more irritating than creating content to help people and them not sharing it”.
Really? Nothing at all? Wow… what a truly wondrous life you must lead.
He goes on to say “Hours of work for a like. No re-tweets, no sharing on their page, nothing.” And “Spending hours creating content for no pay isn’t worth it if people don’t appreciate the effort.”
And you know what? Bullshit.
Dear readers, viewers, listeners: You owe me NOTHING. You owe any media person, regardless of how big or small, NOTHING.
You don’t owe me a retweet. You don’t owe me a mention. You don’t owe me a thanks. You don’t owe a like. You don’t owe me a comment.
You owe me NOTHING.
Don’t get me wrong, it feels amazing when someone interacts with you and they say they like what you do. I genuinely love and appreciate it when people like my videos, make comments and say hello.
Recognition tastes very, very sweet and I love it.
But I do not expect it. Ever.
Since I started my blog in 2010 and to create videos and podcasts in 2011 I have spent more than 20000$ in equipment alone. Cameras, lights, computers, software, microphones, cables and wires… I have spent, literally, thousands of hours recording and editing videos and podcasts and writing and publishing reviews.
That is all beside the time I have spent organising panels for conventions and the money I have spent going to some of those conventions and recording videos at Spiel. Also, to that we should add the cost of maintaining a website.
And for that you owe me nothing.
I do all of that because I want to. I absolutely love ever second of it (well… not every second, sometimes is very hard, but never mind that) and I do because I want to EARN your recognition, not because I deserve it just for the mere fact that I put content out there.
If my videos don’t inspire you to press like, make a comment or subscribe to my channel, that is MY fault, not yours. It is my duty – and responsibility – to create content you will want to interact with.
If I don’t get interaction or recognition, it is time for me to think what I am doing right, what I am doing wrong and improve.
If people spend hours doing production, reviews or anything because they want recognition, cool. I have no issues with that. I do this because I love it and I love the gaming crowd, warts and all. And I don’t expect everyone to be like me.
But I do not expect anything in return. And I will keep doing this because I like it. Because I want to and because I can.
And if you join me, I will welcome you with open arms.
And if you don’t join me, that’s OK. I am still here for you if you want me.