If you liked this, you'll love...

Those of you who have had the fortune of hearing content guru Gerry McGovern speak will know that he illustrates his arguments with a mix of practical, applied knowledge and sharp imagery and metaphor (if you haven't read his stuff, I wholeheartedly recommend it). At a conference on 'creating killer content' I attended last year he gave the example of a supermarket that tried to encourage sales of Jam with free taster samples. The experiment worked and sales of Jam increased tenfold. When they gave their customers a bigger choice of Jams to try free, the sales still increased but no more than when they had a limited choice; illustrating nicely that many options is not necessarily the way to increase your sales/user take-up.

Technology writer Mark Lupton's piece in today's Guardian applies the same theory to music in his argument that: "technological innovations over the past 25 years have democratised music … but the net result has been a proliferation in the sheer amount of music now available. Unsurprisingly, it isn't all good.

All of which has made the task of finding something you love that bit harder. The old answers - riffling through your elder sibling's LP collection or tuning into pirate radio - won't suffice. Record shops, after all, list alphabetically or by broad genre, not "X sounds like Y".

His piece on how we find out about new music (artists/genre) got me thinking about what else the web/technology has opened up for us and how we filter. Technorati tags, trackbacks, links are ways into new streams of content that we wouldn't necessarily have accessed before and even 'blog rolls' are a form of recommendation of the 'if you liked my blog, you might like other stuff that I like' type. How long before we see 'people who read/subscribed to this blog also read/subscribed to…' on blogs?


Anonymous Serge said...

I agree that we often find stuff we like by recommendation. The key problem, however, is that there simply is too much out there nowadays to keep to track of. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get to know all the great music (or other stuff) you might like. At least not in one single lifetime. And browsing the web, looking for references or using Pandora (which, after trying it once, offers a too diffuse and not always logical selection) may help, but once you start digging, you can keep on doing so for days, weeks, months, years,... and still keep discovering new things. The problem is probably that we WANT to know and/or have everything we like, but do not realise we CANNOT achieve it. Personally, I have tried for some time and I have simply given up. I am now relying on a limited amount of 'sources' (yes, Sam, including yourself :-) ) to discover new 'content' (in the broad sense of the word). And I have come to terms with the fact there will be an endless amount of new trends, gadgets, music, literature, ... I will never get to know. There's a buddhist saying we should stop wanting and start having. I am not a buddhist, but they have a point. I am kind of relying on my own version of the chaos theory that says that everything that has to come my way, will some day. And if doesn't, too bad. But constantly thinking of all the things you might be missing, is enough to make you go totally mad. "Wat niet weet, niet deert." And that is some more Dutch for you - just as a reminder of your Holland days...

10:48 am  
Blogger Pub said...

I couldn't agree more Serge. We have a saying over here that something is a 'like painting the Forth Bridge' (it's said that it's so big that as soon as they have finished painting it, it's time to re-start again at the other end).

Andrea Weckerle (who I first read via your site) sent me a quote that was intended to paraphrase one of my new year resolutions but could also be applied to the futility of attempting to keeping up with the web:

""Control the things you can control, maggot. Let everything else take a flying fuck at you, and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing." - Cort, son of Fardo

And yet she looks so sweet in her headshot ...

11:38 am  
Blogger OORANOS said...

Have a good time

5:03 am  

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