The Creator Credibility Edition
On credibility, mediums, and podcast mics.
Colin here. There’s a sleight-of-hand trick prevalent in social media that is easy to miss. With so many people being content creators, you need a shortcut to authority and gravitas in your niche subject.
Gary V mastered this early by essentially dispatching a permanent camera crew around him to soak up every bon mot about hustling, business advice, etc. He created a content creation machine, which was basically lifecasting with a dedicated crew, cutting these insights and highlight reels of the day down, and feeding them into whatever social platform was giving him extra juice on the day. It was thought leadership meets algo-hacking: a far cry from the AdAge op-ed of old. And it worked like a charm.
But the clever underhanded trick was, just as we look twice when there are paparazzi outside a building (subtext: the person inside must be important!), our brains tell us the same whenever there’s a camera hanging on everyone’s word. Despite what is being said (or if the camera crew has been hired by you), the framing of it and the camera’s imparted importance add disproportionate gravitas. This guy is important and credible, especially when we see it over and over.
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Why is this interesting?
The first wave of this trick had roots in vlogging culture. The second one is mapped to the surge in podcasts as a platform. As I look through Reels or Tik Tok, seeming everyone is holding court with a podcast mic in front of their face. It’s a thing! The omnipresent I'm dropping truth bombs on a podcast video edit from creators, shared to Tik Tok.
Sure, there is a tactical need (cut up and slice longer form content as grist for the attention mill), but also, it is the same trick in a new form: feigning authority by simply having a pricey Shure microphone in the shot. It’s an interesting narrative device. You’re not speaking to the screen, earnestly delivering information like you would on an infomercial, but rather, we are privy to an interesting conversation in which the creator or influencer is driving the convo. It doesn’t matter if the podcast is good, or relevant. The visual is what counts.
It is nefarious as it is brilliant: half the battle around the creator economy is proving to people you are credible in a sea of hucksters. And the podcast mic in the shot as you are dropping witty insights is the new way to demonstrate underlying credibility. (CJN)
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