COMMENT 💬COMMENT 💬

You Only Live Once (YOLO) - Drake 🌻

I apologize for this first and longer than normal commentary. Future commentaries will be brief (I hope).

I've been in hibernation for the past 6 months working on a project. That project comes to life today. I spent much of this period reflecting on what changed in the past two years. The world changed but I believe people changed way more and in a good way.

Conversation after conversation showed that people were asking more introspective questions. Why am I here and what if this is not the right path for me? Their questions challenged their assumptions and beliefs about their communities, social networks, friendships, institutions, and even their government. After George Floyd was killed, they watched and some participated in the largest anti-racism global protests in history. They questioned if this was the great reckoning that would lead to lasting change. They questioned and some even canceled their Canada Day celebrations after hundreds of unmarked graves were found at former Indigenous residential schools in various provinces.

The Rise of the Creator Economy: During this period, tens of millions of people joined the online economy as content creators, consumers, or both. The great resignation of 2021 happened as millions of people felt disconnected and dissatisfied with how their workplaces and bosses treated them. Inspired by Gen Zers, the YOLO economy of 'You Only Live Once' took off across the spectrum.

Innovation in the online economy accelerated by 5 to 10 years. Content creators began shifting to new 'creator friendly' technology platforms that promised better financial opportunities. They also promised better representation and visibility for minority creators. As often happens, it turns out, the online creator economy mirrored the real world and wasn't as even as everyone hoped. In an unregulated space, access to opportunity whether financial or other was limited or restricted to those with the right connections and network. Racial discrimination, online hate, and a willingness to intentionally be non-inclusive toward visible minorities takes on a whole new meaning in the online world.

Stories of BIPOC creators filled with guilt abound as they chase their dreams without role models, support networks, or adequate runways to properly fail and try again. Structural racism is embedded in something called algorithm basis with the big social media platforms. Brand sponsors happily pay creators of color who don't know any better about one-third less than their white counterparts. The influencer marketing industry has been going strong for well over a decade, yet the online pay gap for people of color and women doesn't get enough attention.

I started Spinning Foward to show people of color how to get in touch with the best version of themselves in the online world. Basically, how to get stronger and succeed faster, despite the obstacles they face. The best way to do that is to change the conversation and have role models locally, that look like you. Most people today will have two careers side by side, at the same time. One will be the 9 to 5 job, which may feel like unfulfilling drudgery day in and day out. Burning out slowly is inevitable unless you pursue your dream career at least part-time. It will make you come alive, feel awake, and fully expressed because it's all you. You might never take the plunge to make a full-time switch to your dream career. But that's ok because you've still taking your shot despite the fear. Not taking a shot at all towards a dream career is not ok when you realize it's who you are.

Spinning Forward wants to help creator communities of color get stronger from the purview of the online creator economy. We want to cover the big picture but also what's happening in communities across the Greater Toronto Area where most creators launch their dream careers from their bedrooms without support or fanfare. We want to shift the conversation where if you look different in a certain industry, you won't be labeled the 'other', the outsider, or the imposter waiting to be found out and sent home.

I hope you'll stick around as we cover the creator economy, how creators of color fit and how they are spinning forward despite the hurdles and obstacles.

If you enjoyed this issue, I'd appreciate it if you shared it with a few friends and asked them to subscribe.

Flavian

Publisher and Founder, Spinning Forward

Tw: @flaviandelima

IG: @flaviande

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK 📜

The rise of influencer culture online has brought significant new opportunities for those working in the creative industries and a boost to the UK economy.

However, as is so often the case where social media is involved, if you dig below the shiny surface of what you see on screen you will discover an altogether murkier world where both the influencers and their followers are at risk of exploitation and harm online.

-- Julian Knight, UK Conservative chair of the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee

 

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