January 4, 2020

The "collab house" is not a hippie commune and not a sweat shop.

I'm reading "Hype House and the Los Angeles TikTok Mansion Gold Rush/The city is home to a land rush of 'collab houses,' where the content creators are getting younger and younger/Collab houses are beneficial to influencers in lots of ways" in the NYT, which seems to believe this is just really cool... or that the NYT is cool or you'll think it's cool that they're showing you these people, who look so pretty and vibrant in the photograph of them photographing themselves.
So-called collab houses, also known as content houses, are an established tradition in the influencer world....

“It’s a brilliant move for power players on these platforms to lift each other up,” said Sam Sheffer, a YouTuber and technologist. “‘Elevate others to elevate yourself’ is a saying, and it really rings true with this new generation of TikTokers. From a management perspective, it’s great... It just means all the kids will focus on content.”...

[I]f you want to be a part of the group, you need to churn out content daily. “If someone slips up constantly, they’ll not be a part of this team anymore,” [said Thomas Petrou, 21, a YouTube star]. “You can’t come and stay with us for a week and not make any videos, it’s not going to work. This whole house is designed for productivity. If you want to party, there’s hundreds of houses that throw parties in L.A. every weekend. We don’t want to be that. It’s not in line with anyone in this house’s brand. This house is about creating something big, and you can’t do that if you’re going out on the weekends.”...

MaiLinh Nguyen, a former videographer for Jake Paul, said... “I don’t think it’s sustainable to just be a collective forever... At some point if they want to do a pop-up shop, or release Hype House merch, they need to figure out how to divvy things up financially and they’re going to have to legitimize it as a business.”...

If you want to immerse yourself in influencer and internet culture, there’s no better place to be.... “It’s 24/7 here. Last night we posted at 2 a.m.,” Thomas said. “There’s probably 100 TikToks made here per day. At minimum.”
This is the kind of fact pattern I used to make Civil Procedure exams out of. This combines "The Real World" and "America's Funniest Home Videos." Back in the 90s I made into jurisdiction-and-joinder problems out of both of those shows. Not at the same time. In separate exams.

I remember reading — year ago — about media writers in a house in Brooklyn. Ah, yes, here it is: "From Mars/A young man’s adventures in women’s publishing" (in The New Yorker, in 2013):

On her first day of work, instead of going to an office, [Jenny Hollander, a twenty-three-year-old Columbia Journalism School student] arrived at a newly renovated four-story town house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It had two kitchens, two living rooms, and a roof deck—all decorated in a funky flea-market style. The house was the headquarters of Bustle, a new online publication for women. There were four editors in their mid-twenties, and a gaggle of interns—college students or recent graduates, all women—sat around, typing on MacBooks. Many students have summer jobs that involve little more than fetching coffee and maintaining Twitter feeds, so Hollander was surprised when she was told to take out her laptop and start writing blog posts. “I called my housemate and was, like, ‘So I’m doing this job, and all I’m doing is sitting on sofas in this gorgeous house with a bunch of other girls, and we’re all writing together!’ ”...

Around noon, twenty-six writers and editors assembled in the second-floor living room. The scene resembled a dorm meeting at an exclusive college: the women, dressed in sandals and jeans, crowded onto couches and the floor. Someone had ordered Thai food for lunch, and take-out boxes were piled on the kitchen counter. Goldberg slumped at the end of the couch, with his hands behind his head. He was the only man in the room....

The writers and editors talked about their visions for the site. Turits said, “I often sit on my couch, and I watch MSNBC while painting my toenails. It didn’t feel like there was a Web site that felt like the Internet equivalent of watching MSNBC while painting my toenails.”...

Goldberg... likes to characterize himself as the leader of a youth revolt, rather than as a capitalist overlord.... 
Bustle is still around. Here's my screen shot of a portion of the current front page (click to enlarge and clarify):



If I wanted to create more content, I'd explain the feeling that made me select that visual snippet. But it's time to move on — to go balls out and do something with all my power. About giant dogs. And loneliness.

13 comments:

tim maguire said...

Communes have always pretended to something greater, and youth have always claimed they were doing something new while they tread the same old worn out paths.

They’ll get sick of each other soon enough. A few will have brilliant careers once they’ve put this behind them and the rest will be suburban housewives.

madAsHell said...

Someone is collecting rent.

Fernandistein said...

"Influencer" = marketeer; "content" = click bait.

US Army bans soldiers from using TikTok
"The app is considered a “cyber threat”"

Josephbleau said...

This is immoral. In California these folks would be considered full time employees under new law, or they would not be able to work.

Temujin said...

Meh.
Influencers? Or...inseriousneedofhelpers?

Rob said...

I went to considerable effort to read that Bustle article, and there was precious little about giant dogs. Never again.

Temujin said...

Once again the WaPo editors are stumped by a question they could have asked any random 10 year old on the street. It must be so hard to live in their world.

These are the people who insisted Benghazi was started by a fairy tale. Started by an old obscure video made by a single obscure Californian years ago that suddenly got a lot of people in Libya pissed over. A multi-year spontaneous combustion. Obama told them what to think. They believed it and wrote about it. Again, any random 10 year old could have told them what had just happened.

They look like adults. They have real diplomas from expensive schools. But they sound like children with wishes.

Paco Wové said...

"Hype House" seems well-named.

And now, I will never think of this story or its subjects again.

Scott Patton said...

Reality (or the simulation) serves up another Cory Doctorow YA story.

wildswan said...

At a certain age you get a lot out of living for short while with others who have a similar outsider outlook - be it art or politics or digital dreaming. You pick up the tricks; you live the dream. Then, in an unfortunate turn, you notice they are people. Soon you might as well be in real life. Soon you are.

Marc said...

I went to Bustle (because Lizzy Caplan is a fine actress) only to discover that the 'Star Wars roundtable' had been cropped from the screen capture. Choices, choices, about which I can only speculate.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“Creative” communes invariably start emitting a douchestank very quickly. In these days of instant feedback, they come under immediate attack from the truly hip.

Bunkypotatohead said...

I've always wanted to be able to work from home.
But not if all the other employees are gonna be there with me.