Decentralization as a concept which goes beyond Web3 and cryptocurrencies. In my previous post, I shared a perspective on how centralisation is a powerplay and often not in the favor of individual choices and upliftement. 

Though both models have pros and cons, as a creator, you are more likely to benefit from a decentralised approach than a centralised one. Here’s why:

#1 Ditching the traditional exclusivity

So far, the approach to grow as a creator has been to follow what the previous generation did. If you can paint, you approach a gallery. If you can write books, you approach the publishers. 

The internet has changed the way creators can reach wider audiences and shifted some power back to where it truly needs to be - with creators.

Traditional mediums also brought with them - exclusivity which is a way of giving exclusive rights of marketing/promotions of your work to a particular body.

The internet has changed that by bringing in more players and more flexibility. In the context of a writer, getting published with a reputed publisher may be the dream of many, however it shouldn’t stop writers from exploring options to publish with more than one publisher,  self-publishing options, print on demand, ebooks etc and opt for what suits them the best.

Similarly, for visual artists, galleries are not the go-to option anymore. You can leverage social media, print on demand for artworks, commissions, workshops, brand collaborations and so much more!

#2 Operating outside the dependency on one platform

This is in extension to the previous point. 

Minutes before I started writing this post, I saw a query if Buy Me a Coffee would shut-down PayPal and operate on Stripe payments. This sets the perfect example of my point where I ask not to depend on one platform.

While the internet gives creators the options to work with many platforms, creators are still bound by the terms and conditions of the platform creators.

Many countries including India don’t have full support of Stripe. To put this into perspective, lack of Stripe integration keeps many writers away from creator-support programs like Medium’s Partner Program or from leveraging by building newsletters powered by platforms like Substack.

Similarly, TikTok which is wildly popular worldwide is banned in India. Aside from the obvious problems in the platform, creators do use it to promote art, books and what not.

One lesson I have learnt from my limiting Indian credentials is to test all the water types that are available and stick with the ones that work for me. 

#3 Be in control of your creations

What you create is rightfully yours, so be in charge of what happens with it.

Platforms will continue to change, and sometimes not in our favor. For example, YouTube is changing its terms and conditions to incline with what’s legitimate as per the Indian law. It sounds great on paper but how does this translate for artists who are critical of the government and use YouTube as a creative output?

If Buy Me a Coffee discontinues PayPal, I lose a potential global audience. My Gumroad account would look shaky too, and it would limit me to my current demographic reach.

The internet is not built to be used that way, and when you completely own what you create, shifting to newer platforms or making new adjustments get easier. 

I hope that was useful to you. This year is ending and I hope the information I bring to you have been useful so far. On that note, I will see you next time. Till then, take care, and stay safe.