Back in the mid 90's I had some friends who got online and introduced me to the idea of "free content". Of course unwitting free content can be defined as "piracy" but this isn't the time or place to go into that.
Fast forward to 2018. The individual can create and distribute content relatively cheaply (depending on the specific content) and I am now a legitimate consumer of free content. Particularly, I consume lots of youtube videos and podcasts. So, I face the economic conundrum of how to place a value on and then pay for content that's otherwise free.
It's a tough problem for a pure capitalist. Normally the market sets the value of things but the market is the result of many people competing to buy things. What happens when there's no real store, no visible customers, no price tags and no cashiers? Well, you do what I did.
#1 you decide what you can afford to pay in a given time period
#2 you deiced what you want in the time period
#3 you divide #1 by #2 and weight the result by how much you value each item you want.
It's not necessarily fair for the creators but they aren't here to defend themselves. I represent the consumers who want to be responsible and ethical and give something to the people who throw their creations into the air for me to catch.
So what do I do?
Well, for many of the creators there's patreon!
I recently reached a point where I sat down at my computer and looked up all the creators I frequent and assigned $2 - $5 per month to each of them.
I honestly wish I could contribute more but for now I can offer each of them a small monthly sum because each of them contributes to my monthly intake of interesting conversation and information.
The amount I donate doesn't reflect who has the best production value, who creates the things I like the most or who is the most aligned with my world view. I am spreading out my disposable income to the people to whom I give my time. This makes sense to me because everyone has as opinion but only as long as they have time to have an opinion.
So, this is a quick thank you to the youtube and podcast content creators who make my life better and offer me things I wouldn't get to see or hear otherwise. I hope my few dollars help you keep creating.