Archive for attention span

tourist or local?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 20, 2011 by brynforbes

Following up on the previous post, who should I as an artist be spending my hours working for? The person that walks by with little context or background, that I have to grab in 30 seconds? The art critic that has seen it all before and dismisses the simple, desiring the meaty layered message with depth and requiring knowledge of references and context? the sophisticated connoisseur that is somewhere in between?

In the front of my gallery I have a big wall of monitors that I have been exploring how best to use.

Three paths

  • BEST OF THE BEST — Do I have it rotate my top 20, so people walking by the first time are guaranteed to see the best of the best, in order to increase my chances of getting them to stop and come in?
  • WIDE VARIETY — Do I have it rotate my top 200 or 500 so the people that live locally always have something new to see, and incentivize them to come by more often at the risk of not having the best work for the tourists?
  • FLASHING NEON — Or do I go stroboscopic, moving stuff around, flashing HEY YOU, and other such eye searing vegas like tactics? No no I won’t. I just add it here for discussion.

In the social media world, do we blast our message repeatedly trying to get the people that only check facebook/twitter occasionally at the risk of repeating ourselves over and over alienating our most loyal readers?

The tourist or local quandary is an analogue to the attention span quandary, I wrote about in the museum. Do we play to get the simple message to many or the complex message to a few?

I think the answer is a personal one for each of us. Are we looking for fame/notoriety? respect? some sort of validation from the critics/experts/nobel committee? is it purely a financial data model waiting to have its tables pivoted and the maximal revenue path spit out? If so, I suspect the answer depends on the price of our goods/service. The lower the cost the more slanted towards the flashing neon lights, because you require volume, and impulse purchases don’t have a high threshold to get over. Though its true that if you throw enough monkeys at a typewriter farm, or darts at a dartboard, or social media posts at a vacuum, you increase your chances of finding that person that’s interested in a deep purchase, you also alienate many deep purchasers in the available pool.

Perhaps the solution is a layered approach. Have some part of your message by shouting from the rooftops, and another part of your message be a million volume library of careful consideration.

But seriously, should my video wall be TOP40 or DEEP TRACKS?

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