// DRAFT //
The day we switched from producing our own content — kind of what Masterclass does — to become a completely user-generated site we realized that our success was fully dependent on the creators, not the end users.
Creators move audiences, drive growth to your site, and can ultimately make or break your platform. It follows, that to retain creators your product must treat them well, as a first-class citizen.
It hasn't always been like this, though.
On the early days, Internet was an atomized place when it came to publishing. There were tools like Blogger or Wordpress let you set up your thing, but capturing the audience was entirely up to you. The Internet looked like a continental landscape with series of villages, loosely connected through links pointing to each other.
However, this changed during the early 2000s with the raise of aggregators such as Facebooks, YouTubes, Tumblrs, and the likes. These networks democratized the publishing side of things and turned the Internet into a fully user generated place — remember the idea of the Internet 2.0?
Not only everybody was able to contribute with their content, but most importantly, these gated networks provided connection within and brought audiences together. Your content was not living in the dark anymore, it was easily discoverable by your network of friends and family.
In theory, this looks like a desirable outcome for society. However, it brought along a perverse twist of fate, with a plethora of unintended side effects, that reshaped the underlying fabric of the Internet.
However, it is not always the case.