There are a handful of artists out there making great progress and learning how to meaningfully connect with their fans, build communities around themselves in new ways – one of these news ways is by bringing the fans deeper into the creative process. But there are still many agencies and traditional artists running fly-by-night ‘campaigns’ or superficial ‘create a logo for us / do an ad and win $500’ dis-respectful call-to-actions. Things have changed and the ‘wanna be an extra in our indy film’ does not cut the mustard anymore in a world where the users have already tasted self-publishing – nowadays we are talking about solidifying loyalty by integrating existing fans into the creative process at from the birth of the project through to the final distribution.
This post, which is a follow-on from my Co-Creating Transmedia Communities post in Sept, looks at the levels (specifically six kinds) of crowd sourcing engagement and takes it one step beyond.
THE NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARTIST AND ‘CREATIVE’ FAN
We all have our favourite artists – musicians, directors, sculptures, painters, TV personalities and we all have varying degrees of relationships with them. There is a big difference from appreciation at one end to super (obsessed?) fan at the other. But with the new breed of wonderful, stable online collaboration content networks available, the super fan can now become meaningful collaborator. The nature of ‘fanatic’ has evolved:
- DISTANT – Worship from afar and happy to just enjoy pushed, finished, packaged content
- COLLECTOR – Collects extra insight content from and about the artists
- PHYSICAL – Regularly goes to experiential events and concerts and may possibly have low level interaction with the artists
- ACKNOWLEDGED – The artist nurtures the fans into a community, a tribe that builds its own identity. They may change their personal look and brand themselves as being part of the artist’s ‘tribe’
- CONVERSATIONAL – A dialogue, direct and often in real time between artist and super fans
- CREATIONIST – The artist and tribe make ‘stuff’ together
It is of course the last three of the new types of relationships above that have come to the fore in recent years.
COLLABORATIVE ENCOUNTERS OF SIX DIFFERENT KINDS
As I was formulating the previous 6 levels (yes I like doing levels!) I suddenly thought of one of my favourite films, from my youth. I have always been fascinated by Speilberg’s Close Encounters…and particularly the meaning behind the ‘Third Kind’. As we know it is actually a reference to J. Allen Hynek‘s 1972 scale of interaction with extra-terrestrial life forces. (There are actually seven levels listed on Wikipedia but the sixth one is redundant being a duplicate of number 2)…
- A sighting of an extraterrestrial craft
- Physical evidence of the extraterrestrial
- Seeing live extraterrestrial beings
- A human is ‘taken-in’ or acknowledged by the extraterrestrials
- On-going, real time, communication between extraterrestrial and humans
- Procreation between extraterrestrial and human
So as you do, I decided to merge 2) the escalation of our extraterrestrials with 1) the evolution of the fan and I came up with, drum roll – Gary’s Online Crowd Sourcing Levels of Six Kinds: (lets assume a level 0 which is basically passive consumption of everything that follows)