“Indie is trippy bro!”, “I think it is fancy,” is how the youth speak today. While some form Indie bands, roll a joint and write about shams by government, others talk about popular arts and graffiti. But the word, meaning independent, found a new high recently when two Indians, Agrajit Roy and Soumyajit Dasgupta (one from Pune, the other from Kolkata), plucked the desirable portions from various social media platforms to form 'CreativeCred' – a creative content space in the internet dedicated to independent artists – writers, painters, musicians et al.
In India, most indie contents fail to reach publishers and die a natural death. Hence, people start blogging. So is CreativeCred a blogging sphere? Well, it is more than that. Here, one can share music (both audio and video), designs as well as illustrations (good news for cartoonists and graphic designers.) Overall, it is no less than a newspaper, one can easily refer to it as open journalism where everything is under the same roof. Be it a PhotoStory or an article on politics.
The 26-year-old Soumyajit, who is also the design head of the site, comes from an advertising background. He ensured the space was user-friendly and easy to navigate. “One just needs to sign up when posting content, otherwise, it is an open site,” he says. The site is complemented by Roy, who is an instructional designer. “It was easy for me to ideate on content design and marketing on social networking sites,” says Roy.
The site was launched on November 26, 2013 and the invitations to prospective users started flowing from December 1 via Facebook and Twitter. So what has usually been the content in the website? “There are people writing about superheroes, we have some young poets who enrich us with their literary skills. This is why I call the site diverse. We also have someone, Kunal Chakraborty (28) from Kolkata, who is a professional photographer, posting hisPhotoStories,” adds Roy.
Soumyajit adds: “The idea was to let everyone write what they want to write. Hence, the diversity.”
Dark Project – an alternative rock band from Bangalore – regularly post their Youtube links to this website. The video is live-streamed from CreativeCred. Sreejita Biswas, a columnist with several dailies and owner of Striptease – The Magazine (a comic strip) also promotes her stories through the site despite her articles being published.
“CreativeCred makes people realise that competition in some matters is futile when everyone is essentially working towards achieving a similar goal. When everyone can work together to strengthen an idea, it is always great to find similar-minded people who encourage you instead of plagiarising or backstabbing,” says Biswas.
Pritha Mitra, a content writer, says: “CreativeCred is a great forum to understand the response to your work, and encourages you to do better, unlike your own website, where only a few get access to your works.”
Talking about the economics involved, one will be surprised to learn that both the owners (who are in their twenties) have no monetary gain from the portal yet. Rather, they invested from their own pockets to start the initiative.
“It was born out of sheer passion and love for content, not for revenue. We even decided against advertisements as that could distract the readers' attention. Our mandate is to keep the content for everyone and by everyone. It allows every artist to create an individual identity and win credits for the body of work they publish. Best part, our visitors do not necessarily have to be creative themselves, but should possess a strong appreciation for all things creative,” says the 27-year-old Roy.
Soumyajit says, “On CreativeCred, ‘credits’ are synonymous to the ‘Like’ mechanics in any social network. On the press of a button, you will be awarded a ‘Credit’. The more credits you gather, the better are your chances to get featured on the home page, which would allow maximum exposure and increase your chances to attract publisher’s attention.”
But the duo agree they need funds to survive and propagate after sustaining their initial period. “We are looking for investors and benefactors who share the same passion and enthusiasm for content and believe in finding due credits for all creative individuals,” adds Soumyajit.
But there is also a woman behind these two successful men. Puja Roy Choudhury, who completes the team, is the sole lady handling the editorial content and editing them. She feels addicted to her work. “I feel CreativeCred offers a refreshing, newfangled outlook on the blogosphere. This site is teeming with oodles of creative energy and it is highly infectious,” she says.
The platform can be used by publishing houses, production houses and music labels to promote their work. The publishers can also go through the respective profiles and portfolio of individuals who contribute to the site if they find any of their stories interesting.
You never know, you might be hired by some big house if your work catches their eye. The spunk lies in the fact that it is not limited to one genre. So, aspiring writers, musicians and creative minds, you're just some clicks and uploads away from being recognised. It’s time the world heard you.