Nothing is ever free there is always a cost, you just might not see it.
When I first started building Unalike, there were a few principles I wanted to build on that would make us different from the rest. Built on openness, transparency, and simplicity. No secret tracking, no advertising, and no likes. Just straight up creativity and content communities based on subscriptions, and telling you straight up how we make our money.
These are principles that I've felt passionately about since starting in technology, doing what's right. Building products that work for everyone, for our creators, and audiences.
We've all experienced it, we find an article that we want to read and suddenly we're bombarded with junk that coincidently matches our social media feed. Some useful, some not!
Wherever we go, whatever we browse, we're tracked and targeted by brands to sell us more. At its heart, it might actually be useful for some, but for others, it's an invasion we didn't ask for. An invasion that we should have expected, or maybe these companies could have been more open from the start.
We're not interested in selling you more if you don't want it. Sure, we'd love you to subscribe and consume creators content, but we don't need to track you to do that. We don't need to pop up and say hi or cross-sell publications. Instead, we'll let the content do the selling, and spend our marketing money on stuff that matters, helping independent creators publish their content.
Advertising was bad enough 15 years, and more recently its turned into a false economy, with advertising companies and big tech reaping the rewards. But at what cost?
Publishers have been left catching up on the whim of those who control the attention, with tittle choice but to use advertising that reality doesn't give them very much in return.
Subscription holds a different approach for creators. A way to build a loyal audience and give value back. Not free, but it's certainly more transparent and gives everyone value.
That said, we understand the need for advertising for many sites and publishers. It serves a purpose, we just feel that subscription gives readers and creators better value. Hopefully, with more platforms and creators shunning traditional digital advertising, we can get some true innovation too and a way for brands to reach audiences without the need to be annoying.
How do you know what we people like? Dislike? Is this what creativity has come to? The opinions of others.
Likes are a superficial metric for what people like and dislike. Creators end up chasing abstract engagement targets based on the tap of a heart. It negates creativity whilst allowing for fake followers and feeds of superficial content that repeats itself. Echo chambers of creativity you might say.
Likes served a purpose, but that purpose turned in on itself. We want to promote content that's unique and creative, untainted by the metric of a thumb or heart.