On any given day, you might watch a YouTube video, laugh at a Facebook meme, upvote a Reddit submission, hear a SoundCloud banger, heart an Instagram post, read a webcomic, and consider backing some far-fetched but kind of brilliant Kickstarter project. This week, we’re publishing new stories every day about the creators, their tools, and the platforms where they publish their work.
The Creators Issue
The people who make our favorite things and the platforms that enable (and exploit) them
More than ever, the web is centered on platforms that thrive off of content submitted by individual creators. Whether they’re making short films, absurdist memes, thoughtful podcasts, brilliant photos, quirky games, sharp blog posts, or just another daily vlog, it’s their creations that shape our experience on the web. They’re what keep us coming back, and they’re what lead the platforms to change — sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
The exciting, complex world of creators as they invent new ways of using their platforms and tools
For our Creators Issue, we’re talking to some of the artists whose work we spend all day flipping through: the designers, filmmakers, influencers, illustrators, musicians, and more. These are stories about what they’re making, how they’re finding an audience, and the many ups and downs of reaching fans through a platform that’s out of their control. You can also explore the archives of our ongoing creator series What’s in Your Bag? and Art Club.
Of course, the same factors that let our favorites succeed also let troubling content grow in scale. As that happens, platforms have to change, and their choices can have enormous consequences, from amplifying extremist ideologies to disrupting the community of creators and viewers who originally made a platform thrive. This issue also takes a look at how those changes ripple through a community, and some of the problematic content that’s still able to get by.
- The most innovative phone cases are made in a Los Angeles shed
- Nathan Pyle’s Strange Planet holds up a mirror to weird human behavior
- Running with the pack: a journey to the center of Coyote Peterson
- Electronic music has a performance problem, and this artist is trying to solve it
- Noclip makes long-form gaming documentaries that break nearly every YouTube rule
- Birding gets new life in this YouTube nature series
- The game development boy band selling experimental games through Patreon
- Behind the scenes with Perfume, Japan’s most futuristic pop group
- The Oscar Wilde of YouTube fights the alt-right with decadence and seduction
- What’s in your bag, Marques Brownlee?
- What’s In Your Bag, Allie X?
- What’s in your bag, Simon Stålenhag?
- The best microphones to start podcasting with
- DJI Osmo Pocket review: a tiny camera that doesn’t skimp on the stabilization
- Apogee HypeMic review: small, simple, and superb
- Rodecaster Pro review: a podcast studio you can carry on your back
- Can Canon’s EOS R hang with Sony for video?
- How to self-publish your novel
- Kiel Mutschelknaus’ Space Type Generators let you make hypnotic animations right from your browser
- The golden age of YouTube is over
- How to make it as an Instagram influencer
- Webcomics: an oral history
- Instagram needs stars, and it’s built a team to find them
- The armchair psychologist who ticked off YouTube
- Creators find their second act with YouTube — as employees
- Your guide to using TikTok
- Porn companies are embracing crowdfunding
- How one product can spawn hundreds of knock-offs
- How a family YouTube channel unraveled a medical nightmare
- YouTube is failing its creators