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robertogreco : finishing   3

The subscription paradox - Six Colors
"When Todd Vaziri recently updated his chart of the length of John Gruber’s The Talk Show—which prompted me to update my chart of The Incomparable’s length—I’ve been reminded of something I learned from my days in the magazine industry. As P.T. Barnum (presumably) said, “Leave them wanting more.”

This isn’t showbiz claptrap—it’s a real effect. What makes someone a happy magazine subscriber, newsletter reader, or television viewer is the feeling that you’re consuming all of something you enjoy. You get to the end and still wish there were more, making you anticipate the next installment.

There are two danger zones. The first is if people just don’t like what you’re making. That’s an obvious one. If they’re not buying what you’re selling, you’ll lose them as a customer, and rightly so.

But then there’s another, less obvious danger zone: People who like your stuff but just can’t finish it all. You’d think that this shouldn’t matter, that if you only ever consume half of everything but enjoy it all, that should be good enough. But it’s not. Most people hate feeling that they’re not using everything they’re paying for. (I know the feeling, at least when it comes to Dropbox storage.)

I’ve had this described to me as “The New Yorker Problem.” People who enjoy reading The New Yorker still cancel their subscriptions, because they’ve got a few issues piled up. When we were designing the digital edition of PCWorld magazine after the print edition shut down, we spent a lot of time debating what the ideal magazine length should be. We could’ve put all the stuff we were generating on the web in there, making it seem like a great value… but it would’ve resulted in enormous issues that few, if any, readers could get through.

I’ve had the same experience with newsletters I’ve subscribed to on the Internet. I get a few daily newsletters, and I like them, but the fact that I just can’t find the time to read every one of them makes me frustrated. Yes, it would literally make me a happier subscriber if they gave me less of what I’m paying for. Any more and it might be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

This may not be entirely logical, but I believe it’s true. And that’s one of the reasons I’ve tried to bend the average run time of The Incomparable, which was at one point threatening to break 90 minutes, back toward an hour. Of course, some people would love it if we’d do two hours every week—but I feel like we’d be risking overstaying our welcome if we did that. I don’t want episodes to pile up. If you get many episodes behind on a podcast, unsubscribing starts to seem like a logical next step.

It’s something for all of us who create things on the Internet to keep in mind: People have a near-infinite supply of content at their disposal now. We should be respectful of their time and always leave them wanting more. There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.”"
subscriptions  2017  brevity  attention  newsletters  jasonsnell  thenewyorker  longform  podcasts  time  completion  finishing  guilt 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Finishing School
"Finishing School (FS) is a socially-engaged artist collective that explores an expansive range of subject and media territories. FS produces interdisciplinary actions, installations, workshops, design, studio art, performance, and new media. They have presented work throughout the United States and internationally. FS was established in 2001 and is based in Los Angeles.

Recently, FS has produced projects for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Hammer Museum’s Venice Beach Biennial, the 2010 California Biennial, Engagement Party: a three-month residency program at MOCA, Living as Form: a 20-year survey of social practice for Creative Time in New York, The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and a site-specific commission for DFLUX in Detroit, MI. FS has also presented projects internationally in The Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, England, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Italy.

Current Members:
Nadia Afghani
Brian Boyer
Matt Fisher
Ed Giardina
Joel Heflin
Jason Plapp
Jean Robison

Former Members:
xtine Burrough
Janice Ledgerwood
James Rojsirivat

Individual Project Collaborators / Participants:
Jason Brown
Caramia Cherie
Joseph Cruz
Critical Art Ensemble
Beatriz Da Costa
Matt Fisher
Chloe Flores
Danny Gross
Casey Hanraham
Chris Hoff
Hans Jungerius
Jill Knochenmus
Kim Lokers
Yucef Merhi
Claire Pentecost
Derek Rees
Warren Smith
Dan Stephens
Rob Sweere
Megan Steinman
Khan Tran
Christy Thomas
Devon Tsuno
Gina Kelly
Isabelle Cordemans
Allison Metchikoff
Athena Le Grand"
finishing  school  art  artists  collectives  losangeles  glvo  nadiaafghani  brianboyer  mattfisher  edgiardina  joelheflin  jasonplapp  jeanrobinson  xtineburrough  janiceledgerwood  jamesrojsirivat 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Start Things You Can’t Finish
"So, if there is something you truly are passionate about, something that you really want to try – I think just because it may seem difficult and out of reach, that shouldn’t stop you from starting. Just because it’s not possible right now, doesn’t mean it’ll never be. And even if it is, failure and quitting is an option. It’s ok to start things you can’t finish."
failure  advice  cv  quitting  learning  sidsavara  finishing  practice  limits 
july 2010 by robertogreco

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