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Are You My Audience?

September 14, 2009
Join the Conversation!

Hello there! I’d like to pose a few questions today, if you’d be so kind as to oblige…

To start off, would you agree that you are my audience? You do? Okay. Good. On to the fleshier questions:

  • First, where are you? What else are you doing right now, if anything?
  • Second, why are you here? Are you interested in me, in what I have to say, in both?
  • Third, do you intend to participate in some way in response to this blog? Might you post a comment to me, or maybe share the information with a friend or colleague?

I ask these questions because, like many things we took for granted in the past, the nature of the audience is changing. And I wanted to know if you, my audience, were indeed aware of this fact.  So, how exactly is this happening?

The answer lies within the realm of the World Wide Web and the effect that it is having on audiences around the globe.  The change has been gradually creeping up on us: audiences have been transforming from passive viewers to active participants with high levels of control. This is the very core of interactivity.

There is no one specific definition for interactivity. It falls most often under the category of  “I know it when I see it.” But the questions that I posed above were my attempt to get at whether you fall into this new category of audience, or the old. And if you’re here reading this blog, then you are already a part of the new, interactive audience, even if you didn’t realize it.  You chose when to look at this blog, and whether or not to read it all at once, or to divide your attention to it with something else. That choice is something that is inherently interactive.

But interactivity is not limited to choice. Choice has always existed, exempting the element of time. If you choose to leave a comment, that sparks another whole level of interactivity. Your response could kick-off a feedback cycle, which could influence what I write about next. Now, you’re not only choosing when to read, but you’re also stimulating conversation and influencing content. That’s what I call power…

And power is exactly what interactive audiences have. They have the power to choose when and where and for how long. They have to power to respond and the power to influence. I affect you, but you also affect me. It’s that two-way line of communication, the one that spurs conversation. It’s what the Web is about and it’s what the new audience is about, too.

So now that you know you have the power, just what will you do with it? The possibilities are endless…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    September 17, 2009 6:56 pm

    i am your audience.

    i sit here, in a room made from cinder blocks, in springfield, massachusetts, waiting for a phone call so i can play taxi for friends.

    i am here because i should have been asleep over 4 hours ago, when i was so tired i could have sat in the middle of the lawn and cried, but instead i’m awake, attempting a rebuttal for my law class, shuffling through my ipod, and missing you like whoa, if i may. your words make me want to dance, and that says alot. about me, and your words.

    i’ll post a comment here and there, but never myself blog… i like my words in store bought journals, napkins, and out loud. i’m not crazy about what they look like here. text messages are another thing…

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