Profiting At The Bottom Line™

This month’s focus: What’s yours is yours until it’s valuable – then it’s ours.

Today the web as we now know it is teeming with content put out by millions of people across what might seem the same number of differing platforms. Nearly all of it is free to both produce as well as consume. Yet, there is a clear, though unstated, delineation within this realm of free that most presume exists. On one side: you have people sharing and expressing simply for the self-fulfilling act of it. On the other: is the free for now in hopes of a pay off later in one form or another.

However, the fundamental commonality shared between the two regardless of intent or amount is this (in concept): If you make a penny directly attributable to their content  – that penny should be theirs first. Then the idea of formal revenue sharing (i.e.,% et al) may take place. The underlying construct going in is that the creator owns and decides. Many are beginning to find not only is this thinking incorrect, it’s they themselves who gave away all their rights to even be paid a penny with no recourse.

The mad dash strategy to be everywhere on every “free” platform to reach as many eyeballs as possible through out the social media world and more backed by the argument “You should because what does it cost you?” are finding out all their “free” looks pretty profitable. Only they’ll not be the one’s seeing a dime.

Case Study: Liz West is a name you probably never heard of unless you’re in the business of creating content and was looking for the “perfect picture” to use on your blog post, or Facebook™ page. etc.

Ms. West currently has some 12,000 photos uploaded on the photo-sharing site Flickr™. She’s been building this archive for over a decade. She routinely is asked permission weekly if one or more of her photos may be used and just as routinely allows it. However, she was just alerted to something she never bargained for, as well as thought possible.

Without asking, the current owner of Flickr, Yahoo™ has informed they will begin selling canvas prints charging $49.00 per print and – keeping all the proceeds. Yes – all.

It would seem as of this writing they have the legal right, for as many never take into account when they sign up for these varying “free” platforms is the very fact that it’s “free” is because: both user as well as content creator – is their product to be sold in one form or another. Whether it’s data info, user info, content, advertising, et al.

Many having little understanding of what they are signing away when they join. And there’s many more “that could care less.” Although everyone takes keen interest and begins reading the “fine print” only when it’s too late. And all that “free” ends up costing them dearly in the end.

Today, more than ever, all these once “free” platforms are going to have to prove their own self-worth to investors going forward. And many will do it in ways never dreamed of just a few years ago. But when money is on the line, and the survival of whether the platform wins or loses. You can be sure the platforms priorities as to “who gets paid” will be them first, if not – only.

Knowing what’s yours and what you have ultimate control of going in first – is the only thing that might allow you to profit from your own work in the end. For if there’s money to be made, the ability to not share any with you – is clearly a chance for profit all these platforms are going to take going forward.

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr

Profiting At The Bottom Line™ is a monthly memo, which is pithy, powerful, and to the point. It focuses on innovative techniques and or ideas that you can put to work immediately in your daily or business life.