Artists vs The Algorithm


The algorithm as many people on social media like to call it is sort of a generic term to describe the methods that a platform uses to determine what posts show up for which people. It has it’s benefits but it also has some pretty huge downfalls as we all know. In this blog I am going to dive into one of the purposes of the algorithm, how it affects artists, and how Bard offers an alternative solution.

One of the reasons the algorithm exists is to drive popular posts from consistent accounts to the feeds of users. The purpose of this is because popular posts, often measured by how much of an emotional response they can cause, are designed to sell things and to keep people active on the platform. Our emotions influence our buying behaviors and these platforms know that. Algorithmic platforms like twitter, instagram, and facebook make revenue off advertisements. Companies pay them money to showcase ads that hopefully sell their products and this only works if in fact the ads do sell products so the social media platforms have to be pretty good at it. One of the methods these platforms use is rewarding consistently posting accounts.

One of the biggest gripes people have with social media is how often you have to post in order to be seen. Posts that are made from consistently posting accounts are more likely to connect with their audience which in tern is more likely to keep people emotionally invested. If a stranger, or even better a bot, posted a controversial post or something that resonates with you, you’re far less likely to react to it. But if someone you follow who posts multiple times a day and who you feel like you connect with posts something similar then you’re way more likely to be emotionally invested, and then maybe buy something after.

Many discussions between artists talking about the algorithm talk about “fighting the algorithm". When artists talk about fighting the algorithm they’re talking about how tough that struggle is to post frequently day in and day out and the disheartening feeling of posting something they love only to receive a handful of likes because the algorithm dubs their account unfavorable to showcase. On the other hand, this might be a tough pill to swallow, but you also shouldn’t expect to receive tonnes of attention on these platforms if you’re still just starting out as an artist. Not every beginner artist can or will receive a lot of attention for their work.

This doesn’t mean that artists just starting out don’t deserve attention though. It’s important to cultivate communities and connection with other artists so you can learn from and inspire each other. It’s just these algorithm based platforms suck at enabling that. Have you ever started to get to know someone on one of these platforms only for the platform to what feels like suddenly decide you don’t want to see your posts? Perhaps once day you think, hey what happened to them and when you check their account you find out they’ve been posting regularly but you haven’t seen any of their posts. Once again, these platforms aren’t designed to enable connection. One might argue that they are designed to find new people but after that it’s left in your hands to find other means to further build that connection.

In an increasingly remote world, online platforms should ideally be designed to foster connection rather than to feed people “popular” posts that sell ads and that often drive people further apart.

Where are artists supposed to go to share their work, meet fellow creators, and to build connections and community with other creators? Because right now it just feels like social media is the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th job that artists need to work that helps them build their audience in a noisy world.

Inevitable platform plug coming in hot.

Bard has chronological feeds. If you post once a week, your post will show up in all your followers feeds. Period. Really popular work still gets some benefit; Every time a visual artist, music producer, writer, or voice actor collaborates with a post then it shows up at the top of the latest feed, as it has some changes that make it new again. It’s sort of like a retweet or a bump but it’s enabled through collaboration.

One of the problems algorithmic platforms do fix is busy feeds and in tern one of the challenges with chronological feeds is that your feed can get very busy very quickly if you follow a lot of people. Bard offers community forum like features so that you can join many smaller communities and split your feeds into multiple smaller groups. This is designed to make it easier to stay up to date with various groups of people on your own terms.

Bard is a community based storytelling platform for creatives that facilitates seamless collaboration between visual artists, music producers, writers, and voice actors. Feeds are chronological and we believe that posting daily on social media shouldn’t be the focus of an artist, it should be on creating art. Leaving the selling and marketing of your work to us. We’re working on making it easier for customers and your audiences to find your work and support you.