[Apologies in advance. Feeling the doom and gloom angle today for some reason. It'll pass.]
Are you actively marketing and advertising to get more jazz buyers to know your name/brand to generate sales of your CDs, products, services and to get bookings? Or are you waiting around hoping that consumers will come to you just because you think you've got a great product?
Are you seizing the golden opportunity to get the leadership advantage in this economy or like competitors are you busy justifying fears and cutting back on marketing? It is easier now for you to get higher visibility than ever.
Are you getting the lowest “cost per contact” to reach each jazz buyer?
Are you implementing ideas, strategies and solutions from marketing professionals to succeed?
(Excerpted from an ad mailer for a prominent jazz magazine that I happen to admire.)
For most of the history of communication, human beings have recorded for perusal or study but a mere fragment (usually a highly contrived fragment) of what they have done, said, thought. Perhaps memory was a different (sturdier) phenomenon at first, and (for instance) words spoken but not written could be recalled, challenged, quoted verbatim when the need arose. But for a long time the recording and representation of human activity (deeds, words, ideas) was a relatively exceptional phenomenon, as compared with the entirety of discourse.
Today, for most people, the recorded and represented self rivals the physical self. Some of these recordings and representations are voluntarily submitted to the world. (Surf through your Facebook friends’ pages sometime. Step into the Twitter stream. Hell, read this blog.) Some of them are captured, the object of surveillance. (Go out to any public space in any American city and let me know how far you get before you run into a security camera.) Some of them are stumbled upon by accident. (Do you know how many other people’s candid iPhone photos the back of your head has ended up in?)
Eventually, our recordings and representations will overtake us.
I suspect that as everyone’s pile of life “tapes” grows bigger, the chance that anyone else is going to review them in any meaningful way grows smaller (making the privacy argument moot from two directions at once: inevitability and apathy). In the dystopian scenario, we will eventually meet the magic, tragic ratio of one-to-one, in which each person only has time to peruse or study the recordings and representations of him or herself. And after that: production only. Like the items that take up vast sections of the Library of Congress, it’ll be stuff that is primarily just there.
So I'm going to take the dog for a good long walk in the woods now.