One thing I hope sticks through 2021 is that the greater good of social media has been exposed to be a business/service not in the best interest of its users. Even more nefarious is how the potential for real grass roots community building is lost to the over reaching goal of advertising dollars.
Our little shop, who’s goal from before we were even a shop, was to see how cool we could help build the longboard and skateboard community in and around Kansas City. Facebook seemed like a fantastic avenue for connecting as large a group of similarly stoked individuals from the area and beyond. Kansas City Longboard Community, our inaugural community building group now boasts 1.5K members. Not too shabby if we don’t say so ourselves. This is an amazing feat that would not have been possible without Facebook. Heck we even were able to link our Facebook business page to the group. However, if you don’t pay the advertising fees or what ever they want to call it, each post is nerfed or completely taken out of circulation. So even if we make some content that is extra fire, because we don’t pay Facebook their extortion, that content will be blocked and digitally murdered before it has a chance to stoke up the community or inspire the exploration of our own abilities.
Instagram, which we have been working on doing the #stokeclips part of our Stoke Chow show with has even come up short. Don’t pay that money? Aren’t trying to be full of crap and just looking for a “real” expression of what is going on in the KC scene? Forget it. There are so many adds for competing products from fly by night companies that can pay the advertising for substandard products and ideals that the little guy gets washed out and nerfed. Not to mention the seriously unnerving part of social manipulation on the part of the corporate overlords occurring on this platform.
Endomondo, oh Endomondo. Purchase by Under Armor, this app used for tracking an individuals exercise was five steps above the other applications that Under Armor owned. It had community driven challenges. It covered skateboarding as a form of trackable exercise, as opposed to having to trick the app by selecting cycling or jogging. I had been using it for six years. Six years of data and pushing. A career of pushing a skateboard distance, and Under Armor says, “Naw, sure you paid for it and such, but we are deleting this. So now all that information is gone. Like it didn’t exist, like it didn’t matter, like it never was.
Here is the thing. I understand that companies need to make money to pay for these services and products. This makes sense. I am all about paying my fair cut of services used. These assholes however, these assholes can take a flying leap right off the edge of You are making billions of dollars off of our information and content and then have the nerve to tell us we aren’t enough to keep sharing. We need to pay more. No, no, and no. I will not be extorted. I will not continue delivering content to companies who do not care, nor need my dollars, or attention any longer.
Thank you for showing me how much I do not matter to your platforms. Thank you for making it very clear you do not have my community, or business in mind when it come to how your product “Services” me, the customer. Oh? I am not a customer, I am a product? Well, thank you for reminding me of that as well. Thank you for the practice, and thank you for showing me how not to do stuff. Am I going to have to work even harder to build as good a community as I can? Well, yes, yes I am, but at least I won’t have my efforts thwarted by disconnected ass hat billionaires who can’t even pay their employees a livable wage.
That being said, we have found a service that is as straight up as we can get. A way to communicate with our community. This new for us service is on Discord. While we are still learning exactly how to use it, and have begun building it all over again, this service allows us to talk directly to our community. We have a while to go before it’s as big as our more established online communities, but with your help we can make it as awesome as we can. Hit me up to join the Burning Spider Stoke Community.
My time contributing to platforms that hinder my mission is at an end. Much love, stay tuned, 2021 is going to be nuts, but you are going to have to hit us up on our website or Discord if you want to talk.
Happy New Year!!