Is the Crowdfunding Bubble About to Burst?
New York Times best-selling author Seth Godin is a fan. So is novelist Bret Easton Ellis. Ben Folds embraced it to bankroll his new album. Amanda Palmer has used it to raise over a million dollars and game studio Ouya just cashed in to the tune of $5.4M and counting. No longer the domain of the struggling indie artist relying on populist largesse, crowdfunding has gone high-profile. In the last year alone, Kickstarter has had seven projects that topped $1M. But when celebrity or corporate content creators move in, do they squeeze the little guy out? Are we seeing the gentrification of grassroots creative funding?
Focus Further Down the Digital Funnel
No doubt you’ve heard of a marketing funnel, a model whereby prospects enter the funnel’s top (awareness) and through smart marketing are sent further down the funnel, closer and closer to becoming customers.
Typically, it takes multiple touch points along the funnel for a prospect to become a customer. Smart marketers know they need touch points all along the funnel in order to turn prospects into customers. But with limited budgets, marketers must prioritize where along the funnel to focus budgets and efforts.
Doing More About Diversity in America's Orchestras
I have been reflecting on diversity and orchestras lately, prompted by some work we are doing at the League of American Orchestras and my recent participation in SphinxCon 2013 in Detroit, which examined diversity, inclusion and equity in the arts. Many of you are likely familiar with Aaron Dworkin, the gifted violinist, founder and executive director of the sponsoring non-profit Sphinx Organization. Aaron is one of the important voices in our field today and a colleague who serves as a board member of the League. In a concentrated and cut-to-the-chase fashion, the conference focused on a broad range of current issues, lessons learned, and best practices aimed at transforming the arts in a truly meaningful and measurable way.
Arts Versus Sciences
I have something to say on this subject because I am both a coder and drawer. I have been dealing with this battle between left- and right-brained people, as the kids say, like, forever. As a youngster I wanted to draw comic books, play lead guitar in a rock band, solve famous topological math problems like the Bridges of Konigsberg, invent codes and cyphers, and be an astronaut. It is easy to see that I accomplished none of those things. But I still don't draw a big fat line between what we moderns classify as an art and what we call a science.
This separation between arts and sciences is one of those areas where contemporary thinking has fallen behind our medieval, Roman, and Greek cultural ancestors. It's an illusion with huge unfortunate consequences. It is a battle where I firmly wish to be seen in the middle, not advocating one side or the other, because I would not be where I am today, helping to lead one of the most technologically advanced groups of liberal arts majors on the Internet, if I wasn't a coder who draws.
Naked Angels, the theater company that has developed plays including Broadway vet “Next Fall,” has partnered with Gotham’s New School for Drama to become the academic institution’s producing partner for its M.F.A. and soon-to-launch B.F.A. programs in theater.
The two sides anticipate a mutually beneficial arrangement that will help the New School professionalize its legit training programs, while at the same time aid in stabilizing Naked Angels and its producing initiatives in a tough time for fundraising.
The New Rules for Marketing
If you think of marketing as the same thing it was twenty (or even ten) years ago, you're basically screwed. The reason is simple. What works today is the opposite of what worked in the past.
The Old Rules Here's are the rules for marketing that are taught in most business courses, and are common inside most companies (many of whom are struggling):
A Museum’s Games Are Not on Pedestals
Video games, as their name suggests, combine the ancient human practice of formal play with moving pictures, a younger form. But the unsatisfying name we are saddled with for this medium — itself approaching middle age, if you date its history to the first home console in 1972 and apply the rule that middle age begins when you are older than every current Major League Baseball player — doesn’t capture the essence of video games.
The defining feature of video games is interaction, the three-way conversation among designer, machine and player. “Applied Design,” a new installation at the Museum of Modern Art — and an important one because it is the first time the museum has displayed the 14 video games it acquired in November — attempts to isolate this relationship.
Invest in Your Customers More Than Your Brand
To appreciate how broken most contemporary models of advertising and promotion have become, listen to Jeff Bezos complain about how Amazon's core values are misunderstood. "One of the early examples...was customer reviews," he recalls. "One [critic] wrote to me and said, 'You don't understand your business. You make money when you sell things. Why do you allow these negative customer reviews?' And when I read that letter, I thought, we don't make money when we sell things. We make money when we help customers make purchase decisions."
The Incredible Shrinking Ad
As our attention shifts to mobile phones—and their smaller screens—ads are becoming vastly less effective. And companies built on ad revenues, like Google and Facebook, should start to sweat.
Brooklyn Museum Tests a Democratic Model
For years, Gabrielle Watson kept her art to herself. She painted large, expressionistic oil portraits of friends and relatives in her Crown Heights apartment when she wasn't at her day job as a lawyer. Some of her friends didn't even know about her art habit. That changed in September when Ms. Watson, who is 31, "came out" as an artist by participating in "GO," an open-studio weekend organized by the Brooklyn Museum, during which artists of every level across the borough welcomed the public into their work spaces.
How to Take Your Pinterest Engagement and Results to the Next Level
Reading article after article, you have finally convinced yourself to join the new social media site on the rise, Pinterest. That was pretty much my story with my encounter of Pinterest. I joined the site, setup my Pinterest profile, setup some new boards, and went on to repin some of the content on there.
Lady Gaga, BBQ Ribs, and the Invisible Hand that Moves Your Brand’s Fans to Respond
Quick: Name the product that you can sell and customize for Lady Gaga, the Irish Times, the Toronto Star, ESPN, the WWE, AmazingRibs.com, and Suicide Girls. Give up? Kelly Abbott knows the answer.
10 Weird and Wonderful Uses for Helvetica
Helvetica, the typeface so iconic that they even made a movie about it, is often accused of being a boring and obvious choice. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here we present 10 examples of creatives who have taken the iconic sans-serif typeface and done something very different with it.
The Marketer’s Unlimited Guide to Measuring the ROI of Twitter & Vine
According to a 2012 report by Adobe, a whopping 52 percent of marketers cite difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration in social media marketing. I would like to try and alleviate some of that pain, at least when it comes to marketing on Twitter.
Make Your Writing Pop: Eight Tips
If you didn't have to write much before, you sure do now. Writing is pervasive in everything we do. Today's communication is dependent on tweets, posts, e-mails, blogs, presentations, profiles, resumes, websites, white papers, case studies, and proposals. Whew! And that's just for people who don't write for a living. I swear, my 10th grade English teacher Mrs. Mitchell never said it would be like this!