Friday, March 18, 2011

Bees, Nectar, UX and Viral Marketing

As a follow-up to the thoughts considered in this post (the final version of this will be in The Immanence of Myth), here are some follow-up thoughts including a video provided by a commenter:

An Environmental Machinima film based on Willi Paul's modern myth, The Bee Cave Spirits

...To an extent we all serve both as “bees” (memebearers) and “flowers” (nexus points, which can be codified within books, movies, or really in whatever container seems most appropriate to the nature of the narrative.) So we may be lured in by the narrative, or some other element, but what we take in and carry on are the memes embedded within it, which may very well have been placed there completely unconsciously by the author. As I previously stated, this can be seen as the genetic code of a myth, and I imagine few of us are consciously aware of our genes. Consider this rather bizarre fragment from my even more bizarre first novel, Join My Cult!, (free PDF!)
Black Osiris: Time to start spreading us a little pollen, ain’ that right boys ’n girls?
Anne: Pollen?
Leri: That’s how we look at spreading memes.
Crazy Fingers: Viral marketing.
Anne: Memes?
Black Osiris: Bees help big flowers make little flowers, Anne. A
meme’s a… thought-language pattern, a contagious one.
Leri: (READING FROM DICTIONARY) “A unit of cultural
information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted
verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.”
Anne: Like… “mother hive brain,” or “I am America’s favorite soft
drink,” or “I am the monkey flower, pollinate me,” or “I am a
neurosurgeon,” or…
Black Osiris: So like I was saying about d’ bees…
Leri: (CUTTING HIM OFF) They have no vested interest in the
spreading of pollen. It’s just an accident that flowers capitalize on. It
allows them to reproduce.
Black Osiris: Yeah, yeah! Gettin’ wu wei with that shit. If I’m really doing things right, I’m doin’ them effortless.
Crazy Fingers: I was watching Muhammed Ali box today. He looked
almost careless to an untrained eye. But he tore Holyfield apart, or more
accurately, pecked at him until he made himself fall apart.
Leri: That’s why Bruce Lee was so impressed with him.
Black Osiris: So ya see, If I’m operatin’ effortless, dialed up the
morphone see, then I’m really spreadin’ pollen.
Rachelle: There’s a saying in the Hopi tradition… when you’re acting effortlessly like that, you’re “on the pollen path.”
     What sweet nectar and bright colors will lure in the unwitting insects? That's the question advertisers are bound to ask. The market is strictly concerned with selling the container. We imagine bees are blissfully unaware of the pollen, they are drawn by the flower. The same is true in advertising. Countless dollars have been spent researching customer reaction to different colors, configurations of symbols and patterns. Certainly, much of this plays into the cutting edge of UX design. But, in contradiction of the common wisdom that says our biological similarities make us all susceptible to the same patterns, at least if we are looking for big-picture trends, it has been my experience that results vary depending on the “species of insect.”

Pre-order a copy of The Immanence of Myth, published by Weaponized in July 2011.

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