Ironic isn’t it. We’re at the highest peak of worldwide creative potential in history...yet the ability of creators to benefit from their work is at its lowest.
At The Floor [TF], our revolution (or perhaps ‘uprising’, ‘backlash’, ‘fightback’ and ‘impassioned mission’) is to restore the balance.
There are 100s of books and articles explaining what went wrong but here’s the concise version. Mega corps rose up from the saplings of the internet. For them, creativity was not art but billions of grains of creative sand, uploaded free that they turned into cement to build edifices of profit. Hands up; we all saw it as a wonderful freedom to start with. But then, the advertising started.
The saying ‘if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product’ is a tale that modern technologists are calling ‘Surveillance Capitalism’. Our every location, click and keystroke is known. The feeds and searches are what the algorithms want us to see - it's all about ads. Creators get paid almost nothing apart from a lucky 0.0012%.
You get the picture.
In ‘the old days’, patrons supported The Fringe. You remember the fringe? Places where where new, challenging creativity rises up to be championed by a few early-adopters at first. But then, through their patronage, the fringe entered and changed the mainstream. Think John Peel and Punk. Think Andy Warhol and pop art.
Crucially, fringe artists could find ways of making money from their art because it didn’t rely on social media likes, shares, thumbs, hearts. It relied on word of mouth, live performance and the occasional media storm.
"We’re now in a world where ANYONE can be a creator. Just open your smartphone, download an app, twiddle two parameters, hit the play button. Hey, you’re a creator. And you can broadcast your work to the WHOLE WORLD in three or four clicks. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent years learning an instrument or agonised for weeks over lyrics or script. You go into the EVERYONE & EVERYTHING bucket the same as the app twiddler."
And when work does emerge from the creative swamp, it sometimes hits the front page. Then everyone sees it, hears it, watches it. And it stays there. Because everyone is seeing it, hearing it, watching it.
However, the wheel is going round but the hamster is missing.
So before we get too preachy, let’s set out what The Floor is going to do.
1) We guard the gates. This is not a free for all. We introduce genuine creators when we know they’re hearts in it and when we have the confidence in them.
2) We give them a community and a stake in the revolution. Most crucially, we don’t advertise but we help them seek subscription - like the old days of the fan club. And we give them back 70% of their subscriptions, ploughing the rest into platform to help others.
3) We actively shun algorithms and anything that will skew. If you love an artist, you can find them. We might showcase some… but we don’t have ads so we don’t need to manipulate anyone to get more views.
Who owns [TF]?
It’s a co-operative start-up of creative experts in media, digital and business. Others can invest and be a part of the journey. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Can anyone start a floor?
No, it would just become a big bucket platform like the rest. Getting onboard is by invite and application only. Go to the homepage ‘Create’ section and apply, tell us about you.
What are the requirements to get on [TF]?
Authentic and passionate creativity, followed by a review panel full of H.I. (Human Intelligence). We don’t allow anything political or offensive, unless it’s for the rights of creators.
Who is Ade Webb?
He's a guitar playing, jazz gigging legend (not his words...) who co-founded The Floor to set the cat among the mega-corporate pigeons and made something special that champions authentic creators lost amid the noise of the content cacophony.
Ade Webb Marketing and PR Specialist, Non-Exec of the consumer money saving service GoCompare.com, Chairman of award winning LAB Digital Neuro-Marketing agency, advisor to major brands including MacMillan Cancer Support, Executive Producer BlackHouse Pictures and supporter of SwipeLeftForAddiction documentary, uncovering the truth of tech addiction in the young.