Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Popularity economy

Has anyone else read Extras by Scott Westerfeld? (no problem if you haven't. actually if you haven't check it out!) It’s another futuristic novel. The interesting thing is that the city has a popularity economy.

That is to earn things above the essentials (basic food, shelter, clothes) you just have to entertain the populous.

A very interesting way to distribute limited resources, I think. To make it fair everyone gets his or her own blog. People make gadgets, vids, posts… much like today.

There are people who do cool things to get popular, others who break their stories … like I said, much like today. I feel like popularity is more accessible today. Mainly because of the Internet, which allows people to promote themselves. Hard work (and a great personality) is the only thing needed to gain an audience.

The Internet also lets people find their niche of followers. It doesn’t matter what your passion is, because there is a group of people on the Internet somewhere that want to hear what you have to say. It may take a while to find them if your passion is very specific, but be patient.

The main difference between the book and today is the award system. In the book your popularity is listed as a number on a list with everyone else’s rank. A hole in the wall will judge your popularity and determine what you can afford. Today you have to seek out advertisers to get money from your content.

Bridging both worlds is the fact that an audience is a valuable commodity.

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