by Richard Rowell, Article Writer for Hire
As a writer, research is an integral part of the creative process. There's always something more to know about any given topic. As a freelancer you can find yourself writing on topics that you may not be an expert in. But even if you are an expert in given fields, research is still important. It's not just for credibility or finding a way to reach a certain word count. Research should always be for your own edification.
Sometimes being an expert on a topic means that you should fall back on research in a different way. Is there a question that you may have asked yourself that you haven't seen answered? If you have the freedom of deciding on the exact topic for an assignment, researching those sorts of questions becomes a great focus point. It's likely that others are asking those questions and if they weren't will be glad you asked it and answered it as best as you could.
Whenever you go about writing something outside of your comfort zone, research can sometimes be difficult. Sometimes the research becomes the most painstaking and stressful part of the writing process. But it need not be. The research should not simply be treated as a necessary evil. You never know what your research could teach you that will become useful information later on in life.
by Richard Rowell, Article Writer for Hire
Today, I was thinking about how likes, comments and shares on social media could be used as a form of currency. As it turns out, this has already been done before. I found this article today, Will Social Media Posts Become the New Currency? It was written in December 2014 in relation to an app called Chitter, which uses “Chits” as a form of currency. These “chits” are special offers, money saving opportunities, incentives, or coupons available exclusively using said currency. It’s never really taken off, and the app can’t find anything in my area at all. So as far as that goes, it’s a disappointment. But this article begs the question, can social media posts actually become a viable currency of some kind?
I know that many companies offer incentives for re-shares and comments, mostly as giveaways. But social media has become such an important part of so many lives that I feel like we may be undervaluing it. Facebook and Twitter and other social media networks certainly know its worth. So how can we all better utilize it?
Awhile back, I wrote about how we can think of content as stock shares in our website. Contributor Amelia Lockhart wrote about thinking of content as investment, and that even if we only earn pennies a day from it, it adds up. But how about social media investment? Posts that “go viral” on Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media can do a lot of good. Of course, it’s not exactly easy for a post to “go viral.” People come up with all sorts of formulas for what makes a viral post. But that’s not what I want to get into today. I’m talking about making every post you make worth something.
I really liked Amelia’s idea of a piece of content as a “penny stock.” Of course, a social media post is content, as well. So each like, comment, or share is considered an investment. When that social media update links to something else, it’s an even more valuable investment. Your updates and web-based content should be considered assets, but it’s not always easy to quantify just how much your website or social media page is actually “worth.”
I’m also not talking about “like for like” or “share for share” because honestly that just cheapens the whole concept of social media actions as currency. People always need to ask themselves, what will this do for someone? People really, really like free stuff, no matter what it is. That always does well, right? Well, there’s more to it than that. Photos and videos are some of the most valuable web content because most people are visual.
Every time someone likes, shares, or comments on something, it’s a sort of investment. A share is worth a lot more than a like. Comments are worth something in between a like and a share. Depending on the quality of the comment, some are near worthless and others are very valuable, especially ones that get upvoted. The more engaged people are with a given post, naturally, the better it does.
So how can we make social media updates work better for us? The Chit idea is one that I really like. There are plenty of sites that have tried to reward users for using social media, but it’s really more for market research purposes. As it is, social media sites use our updates for market research and that’s how they make the big bucks. So how do we get a piece of that? Is there a way to barter something like “chits” that can be used for everyone’s benefit? How would a social media currency economy work?
Many writers are paid on a per-page-view basis, usually by the thousands. Naturally, the more social media shares something has means it should garner more views. Obviously, your own shares count for something, too. So how do we quantify this to know what our posts are worth? I’ve written before about figuring out what a website is worth using tools that claim to give you what it’s worth on the website buying-and-selling market. That’s a huge market, by the way. But I like to think on the micro-level.
It’s food for thought. At the moment, though, I don’t have any solid answers on how it would work. But it’s something to think about. I love the idea of a currency like BitCoin driven by social media.
What do you think of social media actions as currency? Are there better ways we can utilize likes, comments, and shares for everyone’s benefit?
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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