Thursday, March 07, 2013

inferring the general from the particular

This Amanda Palmer TED talk has been going gangbusters on t'internet.

Obviously, Palmer is a 'performer' and making use those chops in her talk has been a factor in its spread.

If you can't bear to watch; the gist is Palmer arguing that the best way to get people pay for music is to give it to them first then ask them to pay (in cash or in kind) later.

No big revelation here, it's standard 'reciprocation' from the psychology of persuasion.

Just like when you buy someone a coffee there's an unspoken obligation for the recipient to return the favour at some point in the future.

The other key points are about the nature of trust (between artist and fan) and skin in the game - the former flowing directly from the latter.

Palmer's band often couch-surfed on tours etc and used the vulnerability as an up-close tactic with fans.

Then crowd-funded their latest album using Kickstarter.

It's a good talk, as they go.

But I get a shudder at the prospect of this being wheeled out as some sort of kickstarter/social media case study.

Which is a already happening.

Because it's still not about the tools or platforms.

Social media experts love to infer the general from the particular.

This story is just about as particular and un-general as they get.

And what happened for AP is extremely unlikely to happen for your brand/not-for-profit or whatever.

Can you be inspired by Palmers story? Yes.

Because this is a case study in finding a unique voice, connecting with the few who give a shit and perseverance.

Qualities available to all.

Through that lens it's more useful - inferring particular from the general.

Apart from that it doesn't help you much.

And kids, if you are going to be inspired please can you come up with something better than 3rd rate Hazel O'Connor-lite angsty goth dreck.

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