Tuesday, 1 November 2005

Mind the Gap: the viral story

“An interesting story, an experience; a situation and time where that story and experience can fill a gap in your life”. Taking those last few words from a very wise man I began to ponder over how to create my own virus, only creating that interesting story which fills a gap, wasn’t as simple. For days I wrecked my brain thinking what is that I have to say as a person that could be viral, a meme, and an idea that is interesting enough to become contagious.

In an attempt to find that story, I randomly purchased books like
“How to Get Ideas” by Jack Foster,
“Hey You pitch to win in an ideas economy” by Will Murray,
“A technique for producing Ideas” by James Web Young
“Viral Marketing in a Week” By Richard Perry and Andrew Whitaker, and
“Guerrilla Creativity, Make your messages irresistible with the power of meme” by Jay Conrad Levinson from amazon.com. And yes, even the people who call themselves creative don’t just pull out ideas from their sleeves. Ideas need to be researched pondered analysed and then left to simmer.

Although I have to admit that while I was reading about getting ideas, the idea never came. It came much later, it came when I realized that my sense of humour was rather dry and ironic, which might as well be because after all, I was in Britain. So instead of trying to make something look funny or hilarious I searched for an idea through my self, my passion, which is undoubtedly my interest in people. I am a curious human being and I love reading people’s minds and searching for hidden truths. An investigation that involved people around me about a gut feeling that I had but wanted to explore it further and demonstrate it through my work, seemed like just what the doctor had ordered at that time.

I decided that I wanted to work on the interactions and feelings after the 7/7 in London and being a Pakistani, I wanted to investigate the rumours and images that people might associate with an identity: A study into the metaphorical London Underground; stories, ideas and thoughts which might never surface unless we push and probe. It would be a journey into the minds of the people who face thousands of messages everyday from a wide variety of sources. I wanted to find out how immune are we to the messages that are sent out to us with hidden agendas. Whether we possess the ability to filter out what is relevant to us and make our own assumptions at the end of the day? Do we see people as persons first and then their background? In short do we know when to mind the gap?

My idea to distribute and publish my work was simple, I would get rid of all the gate keepers and publish it on the world wide web in the simplest of its forms and free. In this era of “Free Information” this would be another experiment that would come under the label of “Free Video Blogs”, and my ticket to spreading the idea, “Get it” “Share it” and Talk about it. Making it free to “download” these days doesn’t dilute the importance or the relevance of the message, in fact it endorses the message, as more and more people find out about it the stronger the idea will become eventually.

Posted by Nadia Aamer