How Google makes artists less creative

Posted on October 25, 2011 by

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The inspiration for this posting came this past weekend, after visiting alumni at my Alma mater.

Through conversations with experienced, creative artists, and time to think on my own, I began to wonder if Google is making artists stupid and/or smart.

Less creative:

I was speaking to a professor, Dr. Felecia Ruff from Wagner College. Her advocacy for the arts would be inspirational for anyone, yet each time I sit down to write about her and attempt to share her insight with voice artists, I end up thinking “What’s her twitter handle?” or “How do I write this and help add call to action links so that people share it?”, and
“Is she involved enough online, so that the article will be shared enough?”. The next thing I do is find myself writing blatantly link-filled sentences such as, “If you are a voice over artist, or thinking about pursuing voice overs, you may want to read this post about the voice industry?”. Well, it is a good thing some of the most famous writers in the world never had to worry about Google keywords. Would they maintain the same creative writing skill, if forced to pander to a set of rules for some Panda theory, that is impossible to understand in detail without revelation of how it really works?

Less creative and constricted:

Please keep reading…long blogs do not get read all the way through, and that is bad for search engine results because no one clicks on links that I was forced to add because…if I did not, no one would find it on Google anyway. I really find it constricting to conform creativity to a set of rules that no one fully understands, except for the people who created it. All others follow “the theory” of it, and hope for the best. Behind all of it, there are numbers out there to obsess over, and these numbers stall creative risk taking. Are you not sick of 70’s/80’s Hollywood remakes yet? When is the last time numbers showed it was ok to take creative risks. Creative thinking and numbers do not always work well together.

Less creative and scary:

Having a search engine with all the answers makes one see no urgency in remembering…anything. As a voice talent, the idea of “never knowing” scares me because it reminds me of what it was like to work with certain bad agents, who threatened, “If you don’t do this, I will make sure you never work again in this business.” I loathe such behavior with a passion, and it is why I like the concept of “DIY”. However, be careful that you do not have a bad day ranting online. It will stay there, forever. That angel on your shoulder exclaiming, “Go on! Talk about yourself!”, can easily be a devil’s advocate. I have seen for myself when people forget what they write, until they meet the people they offended.

Least creative:

Google leads artists to believe that everything should be free. If you can do a search and find info on Google for free, why pay for it…anywhere? Artists have always been on the lower end of the economic scale, enduring personal sacrifices, and waking up unemployed everyday for an art form they love. However, voice talent, coaches, websites, classes, and schools do not pay bills with free happy thoughts. In fact, these professions are all art forms (yes, web developers are artists, too). Hurting an industry is the generational belief-system being formed for tomorrow’s artist that everything should be free because it can be found for free, while the control system of money is still in place. If it was not, there would be no Google. I do find that almost every incredibly smart business and individual has to compete with one company’s free business model. Maybe I just grew up with the belief system that monopolizing is wrong.

How Google makes artists smart:

They have plenty of tools to start their own business and be self-reliant at low cost. They pay attention to numbers, now, and they should simply for finance reasons and longevity of career. They will never get lost. People will always be able to find them. The majority of tools offered inspire creativity. They offer a chance for voice talent to promote themselves on a global scale for free, and….They give a global stage to every average Joe with something say. I forgot to mention that while visiting my college this weekend, some students knew who I was already. That shocked me…but hey…did you know that I am a descendant of a famous writer, James Russell Lowell. Do a Google search and you will find him. (sarcasm)

Do you think Google has helped your voice over career?

About the smiley face below

Steven Lowell Steven is the Community Manager of Voice123

Photo by Aray Chen