Much deserved Guardian coverage of the weird phenomenon that is the internet cat video festival. What grips me about things like this is not the fact that people are trying to make money from their cats, but rather that many others people are trying and failing to make money from their cats. Not unlike the aspiring professional pick up artists, though you’ll have to read this brilliant paper to see what I’m getting at.
I’m increasingly convinced that a tendency to ‘publicize successful outliers to propagate the illusion‘ can be seen across the web, as a few people who make a living within a novel field wilfully co-operate with platform providers to promulgate the notion that other people could do this too. The result is inevitably a rather off-putting stampede of aspirants which must be read against the background of contracting structures of opportunity which can be seen across more established sectors within an increasingly low-wage and precarious economy.
There’s an interesting BBC programme about the rise of Vloggers which has left me thinking about this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06zw04s/rise-of-the-superstar-vloggers It’s very descriptive but it’s interesting to see these people asked about what they’re doing now and how it relates to what they were doing previously.