Thursday, May 16, 2013

Help Rich People to save and Make More Money

... without receiving a cent! Yay!

That's right you guys, this is the cool thing a bunch of corps and "designers" are doing, and they call it Crowdsourcing.

If you aren't that familiar with the term, there are two main uses for  Crowdsourcing.

The first, joining efforts to create and develop a project, sharing the tasks and responsibilities, for the benefit of a community/group/cause; this generally involves non profit goals.

The second, a greedy motherfucker (or company) announces "a contest", where the compensation to the winner is just... well... "winning". 

Of course they embellish the deal stating: "this will give exposure to the winner", as if when people saw a product they went "jeez, I wonder who made this majestic design". More so, if other companies know they can get these persons working for free, why would they try to seek for them and hire them?

The common argument people use to defend this practice goes along the lines of: "This doesn't affect other people and no one is forcing anyone to participate!" 

It does affect the business for all designers, since every time this happens one or few designer's positions get filled by one thousand naive shitty amateurs. And the more people agree to  be part of this, the more it'll become a prevalent practice (it's already quite common, I've been seeing one of these at least once or twice a month), causing an economical void and putting professionals in a position of disadvantage.

This is not how businesses work, this is not survival of the fittest, this is like a multitude of blind dim-witted antelopes stomped over a lion, until the latter died crushed, while a greedy hyena feasts on all of them.

 Crowdsourcing in a nutshell

And of course the participants aren't forced, this is why I reserve the right to call them naive shitty amateurs and blind dim-witted antelopes, because they deserve it by letting themselves get exploited by companies that could well afford quality service, but don't value the time or effort of professionals in the graphic arts field.

Another argument: "but I do this because I like it, it's just fun!"

Maybe I'm close-minded, but I can't see the possible amusement in doing a product for a brand. I find joy in the realization of my personal projects, not in making a logo for someone else. I find gratification in delivering a good work and service, and getting paid for it - money, mind you - and that's the big difference. 

And this is perhaps the biggest misunderstanding people have respecting artists and designers by profession. That we do this out of pure passion and love for arts. 

Heheheh, no.

We choose this field because we like it, but we don't take works because it's fulfilling to some higher degree, we do it, because otherwise we would become homeless and die of starvation, just like professionals in all other areas. There's nothing special or mystical about successful "creative people" (a silly name people give us, and I don't use unless I'm making fun of them), there's only discipline and work. 

Another point is this means money for the contest hosts - or should I call them parasites? tehee. Every logo, cover, poster, etc, for a brand is bound to generate profit via sales, the hosts aren't promoting the contests for "fun!", they're doing so because that way they can have plenty of designs to choose from and not pay a dime, and all translates in profit for them. Not to mention the fact that more often than not, they keep the loser designs and can do what they want with those.

Of course, I'm not saying all contests are terrible, some contests got actual prizes in cash, and legal rules that ensure the participants rights over their pieces; but this is not common, it's the exception.

Yet another interesting part of the debate, without clear rules both parties risk winding up in legal vacuums, where lawsuits could be in order. Such is the case of this thing I stumbled upon today. 

Who will own your design ? The minute you post it, the Mavs will.  If you think its horrible that the Mavs own your design. Do not post. If you think its cool that the Mavs could possibly use your design and you will have eternal bragging rights , then post away.

That totally sounds like serious rules redacted by a lawyer!

But nope, that was Marc Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV.  Whose fortune is around US$2.3 billion. I'm not making this shit up.

All in all, this being the internet, I found some potential fun in the Mavericks "contest". Behold my favorite entries, I even made one myself. If you can guess which one is it, you will win exposure and my attention! and have eternal bragging rights!

You can also make your own, all you need is Paint, a mouse and have fun!

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