I bet you wouldn’t believe me if I told you giving away money is SUPER hard!

The internet has managed to make skeptics of just about every person with a connection. Think about the amount of times per day you see an ad in a sidebar that reads “Free iPad 2” or “Free Cruise”. It’s overwhelming! This actually is so damaging to the credibility of the internet that I have spent loads of money to GIVE money away. I’ll explain in a few lines.

The internet is at a point now where it seems like a wasteland of unoriginality. I’m quite certain that if all the tech companies got rid of their advertising budgets, the obscene amount of tech bloggers would more that adequately fill the void for free. The same could be said about “Social media” experts, and SEO optimizers. I find it odd that every person who wants to create content takes the lead of so many before them, and here is why.

I developed a game show for the internet in April of this year (2011) that pays out every Friday night on the spot. My show is called SYMK (Something You May Know). It’s a trivia game show that lasts ten minutes, and at the end, my co-host and I ask a general knowledge question. The first person with the right answer (signed in via Facebook or Twitter) wins $100 on the spot, and if they were told to play by a friend who’s watching the show, that friend wins $100 as well. The more friends you have in the room the more likely you are to win, and we pay immediately. Now, I’m an independent operation, funded independently. All we use are webcams, Ustream, and a chat box. The shows are funny and the fans love it. The downside? Until you play it, it sounds like a scam. Think about it. An ad pops up and says “Live game show, win $100”. I would think it’s a ripoff too. I used to pay a very large some of money on Facebook ads to get people to the game, but even the ad system is designed to sell people rather than to inform or validate what you do. So instead, I just took our ad budget and increased our player payout.

The internet’s only real live, no strings attached game show should be on everybody’s radar, but it’s rather hard to get there when you’re fighting not to be seen as a scammer. Worse yet, there is no guide or template on how to start your own game show, or any other thing that hasn’t been done to death. So I understand the ease of being yet another tech blogger or what have you, but definitely don’t see the fun in it. I love the internet because it gives everyone an opportunity that has until now been reserved for the big networks, and the top 10%. I wish more would be taking advantage of the freedom and low entry cost it allows, but it seems most just take advantage of other fellow browsers. There’s a whole science dedicated to convincing people to “Like” your Facebook page or to sign up for your newsletter, but hardly a peep on creating something worth “liking” or worth hearing from.

I hope to be one of the people changing the perceptions of the net at large, and delivering something new to the table at the same time. If you know of any people doing something wholly unique send them my way, I’ll greatly appreciate it, and if you find yourself needing some entertainment on a Friday night at 9PM EST stop by and play. Maybe I’ll be sending you a hundred bucks to start your own game show with. Until then, stay classy internet.

Emil

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