Monday, March 3, 2008

The Power Behind "Faces”

…Imagine sharing your song, book or artwork with one hundred thousand people at the click of a button. The Internet has transformed the landscape of contemporary communication. Musicians, artists, authors and brands are creating awareness and knowledge for their companies through social networks and Web 2.0 mediums. A company’s ability to successfully harness the power of the Internet will determine the most successful and innovative brands of the twenty-first century.

Generation-Y, the 80 million people born between 1979 and 1999, are self-involved in issues and products that relate directly to their lives (McLean 2008). The ability to connect with Generation-Y on a one-on-one level is a dramatic strength for businesses. According to Anna Ivey, an independent consultant and author of The Ivy Files, a popular blog about Generation –Y, 'businesses that crack Gen-Y are going to have a real advantage' (McLean). Generation-Y is constantly demanding to be electronically stimulated and engaged in material relating to their lives. The ability to connect to a diverse range of 'friends' at a moment’s notice appeals to their desires, as long as the material is reflective of their lives.

The total reach of my recent 'Faces'* portrait series illustrates an innovative way to connect with Generation-Y. Traditionally, people assume that they are communicating with only their 'friends' when they communicate online, especially when they post pictures. However, Facebook and other social networks give individuals and businesses the opportunity to connect to two-degrees of separation (see figure 1).

(figure 1)

Assume that you post 50 images and 'tag,' a way of linking an individual’s profile to a picture, a different person in each one. If each of these people has an average of 300 “friends,” you are directly communication with 15,000 'friends' (50 pictures of 'friends' x 300 friends) (see figure 2).

(figure 2)

Figure 2 illustrates a hybrid of the potential reach a company or individual has when communicating with 'friends' in an online community. The ability to personally connect with Generation-Y is a key contributor to a brand's success and moving beyond the current interactions of Web 2.0.

*Links to Faces:
please click here.
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