Here at HITRECORD we envision a world where everyone has a meaningful creative outlet. Our mission is to inspire creativity through collaboration.
As we continue to grow together as a community, we felt it was important to collaboratively create a document that codifies our core values — the principles we all stand for and collectively strive to embody. Please watch THIS VIDEO for more information and background on these core values.
While HITRECORD is always changing, these values can serve as a sort of compass, so that as we change, we can all agree on the things we hope to remain constant. And so, without further ado, we present to you the HITRECORD Community’s Nine Core Values.
#1. Express Yourself
HITRECORD is all about creative self-expression. We believe that creativity is a fundamental part of what makes us human.
Of course, everybody does their own creative thing in their own way. Our self-expression may take shape by contributing to someone else’s project, by leading a project of our own, or even just by offering someone else a thoughtful word of encouragement. Sometimes we make big ambitious things together, and sometimes we do little things just for fun.
We are all here to find, to hone, and to express our creative selves: the playful, the weird, the sincere, the tragic, the comedic, and everything in between. We surprise ourselves. We find our flow. We push that round red button, and we do so with all our hearts.
#2. It’s Not a Contest, It’s a Collaboration
A lot of art and creativity online today is seen through the lens of a popularity contest. Creative people are driven to compete for attention in the form of Likes, Followers, Views, etc. Today’s most lucrative and powerful media tech platforms make money off of that attention by mining data and serving ads. That’s not us. And it never will be.
Here, on HITRECORD, there are no winners or losers. We’re collaborators. We support each other. We inspire each other. And we accomplish things together that we might not have been able to pull off on our own.
Every single thing we contribute to HITRECORD is up for grabs to be remixed, refined, revised, sampled, and built upon by anyone and everyone else in the community.
This isn't theft or plagiarism, because we’ve all agreed to it upfront, and we always Give Credit Where Credit Is Due (Core Value #4). Remix is a big part of how we collaborate. We find it fascinating and fulfilling to see what somebody else does with our stuff. Even if we think we’ve completed a project, we are open to other people coming up with new and unexpected versions. We take it as a great compliment that our creativity has inspired somebody else's.
If there's a piece of art you've made, and you don't want anybody to remix it, that's all good and completely understandable. Just don't contribute it to HITRECORD.
#4. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
When we remix each other, we always give each other credit. Other people’s contributions that we’ve incorporated into our own, we call these Resources. Our tech helps us keep track of our Resources, but we also put in the effort, because without proper attribution, remix becomes plagiarism.
Not only is it fair to shout out our collaborators in this way, it also feels good. When you let somebody know that their creativity resonated with you so strongly that it inspired you to be creative too, you’re giving them a genuine gift. This positive feedback loop is a big part of how our community lifts each other up and propels each other forward.
#5. Fair Compensation
Whenever a piece of media makes money, we believe the creators deserve to share that money. So HITRECORD has always, and will always compensate people when their creative contribution is monetized.
We’re transparent about who, how much, when, and why our community receives payments. Having those conversations out in the open allows us to figure out what’s fair together. See more about our payment process here.
Getting paid for your art can feel really good. And we toast to that feeling with hugs and congratulations. However, the point of HITRECORD has never been the money.
This is not a marketplace for freelance gigs. It’s not Uber-for-Creatives. Nobody dangles any carrots about quitting your job or getting rich. Our open collaborative process is not a good way for freelancers to earn money. Projects that would traditionally be done by one person or a few people often include contributions from dozens or even hundreds of people, each of whom deserve their fair share of the compensation. Making the creative process more inclusive is great for furthering our mission, but not so great for competitively skilled professionals maximizing their income.
Again, contributors here get paid because it’s fair, but the payments are not the main motivation for our community to be creative.
As Walt Disney once said, “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” The reason that HITRECORD, the company, is a for-profit business is because we believe that’s the most effective way to serve our community and further our mission.
#6. Damn It, You’ve Got To Be Kind
Kurt Vonnegut wrote that, and we whole-heartedly agree. If you spend any time in our community, one of the first things you’ll notice is a pervasive kindness and positivity that’s rare to find online. Being creative together with other people is naturally intimate, layered, and deeply personal. We’re all making ourselves vulnerable, and so we all look out for each other.
When we see somebody do something we like, we go out of our way to let them know we appreciate it. That said, being kind doesn’t mean we have to like everything that everyone does. Criticism can be extremely valuable, as long as it’s constructive.
What makes for good constructive criticism? Be specific. If you just say, “oh I don’t like this”, that’s not specific. But if you say, “For me, the voice-acting from the Giraffe character at 1:42 felt off,” that can be really helpful.
In the end, it’s the golden rule. Do unto others, etc. Treat people the way you’d want to be treated. Empathy is the foundation for creative collaboration.
#7. Everyone Is Welcome
HITRECORD is for anyone and everyone, no matter where you’re from, no matter what you look like, no matter how much money you have, whether you’re young or old, whether you’re an expert artist or learning a new skill, whether you’ve been a part of our community for years or you’re just getting started.
We take a lot of pride in our long history and unique culture, but we’re always eager to welcome new members into our community. A lot of people come to HITRECORD because it’s a safe place to try something new and step out of their comfort zone. Others jump right in with confidence. Helping newbies get comfortable here makes our community stronger, more diverse, and ultimately a more inspiring hub of creative collaboration.
#8. Enjoy the Process
The creative process is about making things. But what’s more important, the making, or the things? They’re both important, of course.
Today’s dominant culture puts a lot of value in finished and consumable “content.” And actually, so do we. It’s hugely satisfying to finish a project. That end goal is a lot of what drives us to keep going. We love celebrating our community’s complete works of art, whether we contributed to it or not.
But we also love the process itself, the journey in addition to the destination, the fulfillment, the flow state, and just the fun of it. We love the feeling you get when you’re so absorbed in making something that you lose track of time and suddenly the sun's coming up. We love overcoming the obstacles, solving the puzzles, looking for the missing peace and finally finding it. We love plumbing the depths of our minds and our souls to conjure just the right feeling. And we love the profound relationships we forge as we do it all together.
#9. The Future Is Bright
The world is getting smaller as technology renders us all more and more connected. Moving into the future, what is the Internet going to be for? Is it going to be a place where the vast majority just log in and bliss out? Or can it be a place where all kinds of people come together and collaborate on new, unprecedented, and much needed feats of human achievement?
We’re not saying that our community alone is going to save the world. But we do think we’re one amongst a growing movement of communities striving to make our digital lives more meaningful, more productive, and more sincerely connected.
HITRECORD is, in its very nature, optimistic. We believe that the human universals of creativity, collaboration, and community will be at the heart of a positive future. We believe in humanity’s fundamental goodness. We believe the best is yet to come. And we are dedicated to doing our part, however big or small.
Big thanks to the members whose contributions were a part of the final Core Values. You can find a list of everyone included HERE.