Social media sucks. I sit here today trying to wrap my head around the myriad of ways Instagram and Facebook have devised for me to give them my money in order to show you a new product post. It's quite an impressive racket, and they are making bank off of it. Some thoughts I am thinking:
Today's online marketplace it really is a joke. There's almost no way to get your name out and your product seen without paying extortionist fees to social media. One of the things I was most proud about RB back when we started in 2007 is that we didn't co-brand, or run any banner or flash ads on our website to raise revenue. We kept it clean, we kept it classy. People bought because they believed and wanted to support our little independent venture. We were not grossly commercial or bombastic in presence. I think that's what made us. What I made was good, and it endured.
Here we are in 2018 and it is a different world. Social media sucks and I would be off it altogether if I didn't own a business and do art. How else do you get your work shown? Artists don't make things to hide under their beds, (well... maybe some stuff, the not so good) they want to share it because they're excited and love creating. They want to show someone, at least I do. But social media has become so rotten. It has turned some of us rotten, and every click is monetized, tracked, or manipulated by bad actors.
And then there are the Black Friday and holiday "sales." I have always loathed the hypocrisy behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These are not honest deals. What they are is 24 hours of a fair price on items that have been grossly over-inflated. The agents offering these savings are still making a profit. These “sales” put tremendous pressure on small business and those who don't hyperinflate the cost of their goods. They can't compete, and it looks as though they aren't giving you a "deal." It's really sad.
Today I sit here wondering if I am really cut out for this in 2018. I was and still am in it for the love of design. For the joy of making something really cool, something that is meaningful or inspiring to even one person, but I don't know if that matters anymore. Personally, I don't want to live in an Amazon Prime world. Where there is one grocery market, one hardware store, and everything I purchase comes from that big fulfillment center in the sky. I like walking to the store. I like knowing who I am buying from and supporting. Maybe that's weird.
I don't want to talk to Siri or Alexa, I want to talk to Debbi, face to face, at the family-owned hardware store on the corner, who knows what a sheet metal screw is and what aisle it is found in. That. That's what I'm in for.
So, I don't know what's going to happen in 2019. RB might go away forever, for good. Or it may get even smaller with no social media presence, a small devoted following of 12 people, and become a boutique experience for any who stumble upon it or know the way to our website. Not sure... I am sure that I hate the game that is advertising, marketing, and social media in general. Bleh. But, I still like talking on the phone, so what do I know, maybe Amazon is better.