November 15, 2014
The Real Reason Boobs & Kim Kardashian Invade Your Computer
Many times the celebrity articles you notice will be associated with my name. And that's not because I don't have other interests, it's because I work for BodyRock, BUT - that does not mean I was told what I can and cannot (or should/should not) post. When I first started working for BodyRock, I was not handed a manual or a guide book on how to orchestrate this blog, I was given a task - make it successful. What defines success? This is the internet. Virility & trends are our measures of success. Do they deserve it? Not necessarily. But they are direct measures of what people are engaging with. Since I started with BodyRock, I really wanted to lessen the celebrity content and to increase the health and fitness content. I also wanted more people talking about the mental aspect of health and fitness and the HUGE issue of body image. And in that time there has been a huge transition - HUGE - for the amount of pop culture content that appears on this blog. Largely, I have our amazing bloggers to thank. They have brought their talent and abilities to the forefront and proven that quality advice and content can survive online. But unfortunately, it cannot stand on it's own. We need to grab from these trends and viral posts. Why? Because you've deemed this content the stuff you want to see. The user has decided that news about celebrities and incredibly sexy pictures will always win. Even if it's out of dismay and disgust, you will click. And that click does not get a description, it gets a "yes" to seeing more. And so as a content provider, we see what you click on and what you want to see more of - and so we provide it. Is it, personally, what I want to see more of and that's why I put it on here? Absolutely not. Am I instructed by Freddy or Lisa or Sean to put it up here against my will? Absolutely not. But the fact of the matter is, BodyRock has full-time employees. Not a ton, but a few incredibly dedicated and emotionally invested individuals. And the idea of keeping our videos and content largely free has not gone anywhere. All the free content we produce is FOR YOU. The return on it is absolutely minimal asides from more eyeballs on our videos. And even that has changed because YouTube has changed so much! But we want to continue producing and providing free content, that is still and always will be the hope - but we all still have to eat. "You used to do it just fine, why all of a sudden are things changing?" Because the internet is changing. The way YouTube functions and pays has changed. The way Facebook displays content has changed. Drastically. And we have to change with it or be left behind. These are machines larger than ourselves and like it or not, we need these platforms. And one of the main changes is that a lot of our content will simply not be seen. If you're not directly searching for it, you probably won't come across it. Unless enough other people have - unless it's part of an incredibly large conversation. Whenever I talk to the bloggers about the celebrity posts, I always talk about them being sacrificial lambs - we have to throw one out there to get torn apart by the community in order to bring them in and have them eat up the good stuff. Do I think all celebrity and pop culture posts belong in the trash? Absolutely not. I think there is a lot to be said because there's a lot of it out there. It's in our faces every day, it's in our children's faces. And talking about the mental and physical impacts of that is HUGE. We can all say we're going to turn away or that we don't care about it, but clicks don't lie. Enough people care about it or hate it enough to check it out that it continues to grow! And that means it continues to bombard your news feeds - because people continue to click on it. Clicking is no longer a passive act, it is your footprint online whether you want it to be or not. Regardless if you delete your history. If you want to see this change, you have to make a change. Just as with your workout and eating habits - it comes from you as the consumer. And no, we're not pointing the finger at one individual that is doing this and ruining it for all of us. It's a collective, societal effort that needs to take place. "You're the media creator, why don't you start the trend?" Because that's just it, we're the media creator. Our job is to produce and provide what you've told us you want to see. And it's not about what you tell us in the comments, it's about what you tell us with the clicks.