My previous blog post (hyperlink essay) focused on the increasingly well known organization TED , yet I did not actually link to any specific TEDtalk. Therefore, this week I have decided to discuss one talk that assists in furthering the arguments set forth in my previous post related to the incredible opportunities the internet provides us with.
The talk I have selected to bring to your attention is entitled The Art of Asking , and it was presented by a female artist in the music industry named Amanda Palmer . Palmer discusses a creative idea that, prior to the age of the Internet, would have NEVER come to fruition. Concisely, Palmer discusses the unbelievable experiences and support she has managed to receive from her fans all purely thanks to social media and the affordances of the Internet itself. The web is essentially responsible for her continued career. Palmer’s record label dropped her band before it produced a record, therefore, she wouldn’t have been able to share her music with others without the Internet. The Internet enabled her with the ability to share her music technically for free. The reason I say technically for free is because despite the fact that anyone could download her stuff for free, Palmer requested that her fans make donations for the music. So instead of insisting her fans pay a set amount, this system allowed them to pay what they wanted for her songs- a concept which reminds me a lot of the idea of our new gift economy.
Regardless, in doing this Palmer was able to earn $1.2 million via Kickstarter from approximately 25 000 fans that preordered her album. This is the power of fan culture. Artists produce art for them, therefore, especially in today’s global village they should be entitled to a say in this relationship between what they give and receive – Palmer provided them with this voice.
The fact that Palmer could be so successful in making money this way opens doors to a whole other way for struggling artists in the deteriorating music industry to make money. This notion of asking for donations to help proliferate the music and support the artist is fantastic. It embraces change rather than trying to fight it. Most importantly though, fans really feel like they are consciously, actively supporting the art of an artist they love.