18.04.2015 - The Nobody Bias |
Let's say you have an idea, or something you made, or something you can write or talk about.
Maybe you make videos of skyscrapers being built in time-lapse, maybe you draw a webcomic, maybe you traveled across Australia on foot taking pictures, maybe you write a story, maybe you make computer games. Anything will do.
The end point is that you want to share it. You set up a site on the internet, you post about it here and there on related forums, you tell people about it.
Well, not interesting to anyone. Let's move on to the other things.
You try something else and get good results. The same itch to share comes back again. You set up a site, or extend the existing one, or start a Youtube channel. Post about it here and there, discuss, etc.
Well, not interesting enough.
Another hobby, another set of good results, another try at sharing.
So on and so forth. After a decade of this you can't help but wonder what is going on.
Now, the strange part.
What you do is good content. How you know this? By targeting individual persons.
The few comments you get, they are all of the "WOW!" variety. You show your work to the right professor - you get a PhD a few years down the line. One of the 10 or so visitors of your sites is impressed enough to offer you a damn good and high paying job. When that job gets boring, you get another offer of a better one the same way. People who get into your hobby electronics lab get their mind blown. Photos you made are hanging on the walls at your employer company's lobby. Time lapse photography you made feature in documentaries on international TV. DIY presents you give out make people envious.
And so on, all at once.
Simply speaking - you target individuals, you win hard. You target an audience, you get cricket sounds.
So, what is the problem, one might ask?
The problem is - you don't notice the "winning" part. All you notice are the cricket sounds. That you fail to engage any audience larger than the number of fingers on your hands. That no one seems to care.
In other words, you feel like you are nobody, no matter how hard you try.
It affects the way you think. It stifles your creativity, since there is no point to bother - no one cares anyway. It makes you wonder about otherwisely rational ideas - "sure, these people will get carefully cryopreserved/given immortality treatment in time, but what about the billions of nobodies like me?".
You might quite naturally want to discuss it somewhere, and try to figure out if that's a thing. But there the problem remains essentially the same. Either it's a big enough place that you get no chance of being heard, or it's a small enough place to get traction, but with little to no point in posting.
A catch-22. You need an audience to get an audience. And the circle goes on.
This appear to be a cognitive bias to me.
For some archaic reason, the desire for recognition tend to outweigh the utility obtained, in the calculations of one's feeling of well being.
I'm not too sure how to correct for it. For one thing, you might try to blog to an empty room, explicitly. What writers call "writing for the table drawer". Or you might play make believe, and pretend there is an audience. To scratch that itch one way or another, and get used to the idea that audience does not matter.
To keep the projects going, regardless.
|Amazing content, you reached an individual which will take this forever, and maybe hang on a wall or something...|
30.06.2016 14:10 - INspired
|Remember me? We've talked before on Orbiter Forums. Today I'm but a ghost. I feel what you speak about. I remember when I first visited your (this) website and it was a split English/Russian thing at the index page. I thought it was funny that you said it was always under construction. Even when I though you were "nobody" at first, I thought it was pretty cool an different the hardware projects you described. That's one of the reasons I moved on from attempting to make Orbiter mods (that never really went anywhere, anyway). Maybe I'd miss it if this website disappeared...|
05.11.2015 21:06 - DigGil
|You're right. Like your project's
18.08.2015 15:45 - Alain
|Came across your blog today for the first time. I am surprised I wasn't aware of it earlier. Your projects are really inspiring.
It was interesting to see this post on the blog. I think you are correct in the issue you're identifying. I don't know how many people read your blog, but the content is outstanding.
08.06.2015 09:18 - matthew mcdonald
|I admire your heart and mind, Artem.|
20.04.2015 04:49 - kent
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