It's Street Music by Evonity

Evonity posted this to his blog, and asked me if I'd be interested in cross-posting. Check it out!

When Caro uploaded Back It Up, after I brought The Sixtyone to her attention, I wrote on her Comment Wall:

The Sixtyone is like going to a pop festival every single day of the week and decide together with the other festival goers who'll be on the main stage.

But after giving this quote an extra thought, I come to the conclusion, that T61 is more like a shopping center with street artists on every corner. The first time you enter it, you receive a pouch full of coins (which are called 'bumps' for no particular reason), which you may spend any way you like.

When you walk across the mall, you'll find that you spend your playing money according to your mood. When you get bored you start walking faster and faster and spend money less and less. When you are cool with everything, you flip over coins at almost every busker you pass. And when you want to do some real business, you keep a good eye on every artist, just to make sure they gain you some profit.

In other words, when you're at T61, you'll be either a miser, a philanthropist or an investor. Being a miser or a philanthropist is easy. You either keep your hand close to your wallet, or scatter your bumps in any direction. Being an investor is a little more challenging.

Some people might consider the business approach of Listeners to Artists as somewhat odd. When both the jukebox and the tokens to put into it are free, how can one be an investor? How can it even be appropriate to behave like one? But take it from me: the moment you start thinking about your Listener status - your level or your ranking - you changed from a generous art lover into a sharp businessman or -woman. While still trying to enjoy the music you love, you'll find yourself checking all kinds of different data: your stats, the number of previous bumps on a song, the scale of success of previous songs by the same Artist, comments on songs, status of Listeners who bumped a song before you etc. etc. Every time you want to bump a song, you try to estimate the return on your investment.

I actually don't think that it's the business role itself that is challenging. It's the fact that you're most likely both the philanthropic music lover and the sharp businessperson at the same time. You definitely want to show your love for Artists and their songs by donating bumps to them, but you also know that only the very wealthy Listeners - those who are on the Leader board Top 50 (who happen to have twice the savings that I have ;-) ) can afford to be that generous. The rest of us always feel that strange (secretly attractive, even addictive) dilemma of having to choose between throwing a coin to show love, or funding a coin to make profit.

But then what about the Artists? As real buskers they know that appreciation is not only measured by the amount of coins in the hat, but also by the number of people who stop to listen and the time they spend listening. So at the end of the day, they probably not only calculate their earnings, but also look at the size of the audience and the magnitude of the feedback they received. If this is true, than maybe it's a good idea to add songs to your playlist and give some written positive response*, especially when you're in business mode and only want to spend bumps to receive points.

*An exception can be made for blogscrapes, you know, those songs which come from other blogs, instead of directly from Artists. They might be a good investment, but they won't feel your love. When at the shopping center, it's like throwing your coins towards a record player with a picture of the band behind it.

No comments: