The Middle Path to Buzz

14Jan09

middlycyclone

I just read on Brooklyn Vegan that Neko Case will make a donation to an animal-related nonprofit in exchange for every blog that reposts her new single “People Got a Lotta Nerve” before February 3. I did a very similar campaign a few years ago for The Halo Effect and The Venus Fix with M.J. Rose, who, in the latter instance, allowed users to select the winning charity and, both times, pledged donations for links. I will say that this type of marketing is useful because it establishes currency in the news cycle and gives users a sense of agency in terms of effecting positive change in a world which sort of removes us by circumstance from opportunities to connect with each other in larger and larger ways (while simultaneously creating other semi-parallel kinds of networks that have their costs and benefits). However, I will also tell you from my personal experience that people who hate these kinds of campaigns really hate them! They work best in the case that compelled me to act, when I read it on Brooklyn Vegan — a blog I already like, admire and read daily — where the editor notes that, “I would have posted it anyway, so this makes it even sweeter.” I feel the same way. I’ve always had an affection for Neko Case and her music (in fact, she’s perpetually at the top of my wishlist for “Upstairs at the Square,” but I’m told that she suffers from stage fright and would never do it), and I’m glad to support a cause she believes in enough to donate her own resources. And of course, it’s the viability of her career as a recording artist that gives her that privilege. What do you think? Do you find campaigns that require a specific action from users on their own social networks innovative and affecting or hopelessly naff?

And, of course, here’s the song: www.anti.com/media/download/708

P.S. Y’all know by now: all you have to do for YOU is ask me for it (details here).

— LAUREN CERAND

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