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9/21/2004

Clicking around on various mp3 blogs reminds me that there are sooooooo many bands in the world. It's a bit overwhelming. I caught myself unintentionally skimming for mp3s by bands I've already heard of -- which defeats the purpose of visiting these blogs to find out about new music.


This makes me think of a passage in The Tipping Point, an excellent book I read a few years ago by Malcolm Gladwell. In it, he talks about the number of "impressions" a person needs before deciding to investigate something new. If we use a new band as an example, "impressions" would include hearing a song somewhere, reading a record review, seeing an ad in a magazine, etc. As I recall it, Gladwell said the average person needs at least 7 impressions to get through to them before something hits their radar and they feel compelled to check it out. "Early adopters" might only need 1-3. Seven impressions seems like a lot to me, but I think it's true. Although we might like to claim otherwise, few of us make the effort to check something out the first time we hear of it.

Disclaimer: I'm probably misquoting the book since I don't own a copy of it to reference, but that just means you'll have to read it if you want to correct me. I highly recommend buying it if you're at all interested in how trends get adopted, why word-of-mouth works, and how change happens.

OK while we're on the subject of books, I'll make a potentially damning confession: last night I finished reading Ethan Hawke's second novel, "Ash Wednesday". Probably all of you are rolling your eyes right now, and I don't blame you. In my defense, I read plenty of highbrow literature, the book only cost me $3.99, and a writer friend of mine had told me that even reading bad writing can help you become a better writer yourself. But Ethan's not a bad writer at all, this novel is actually really good, and it should appeal to anyone who's struggling with identity, relationships, spirituality, etc. in a late-20's kind of way. (Surely this doesn't apply to me or any of my friends.) Anyhow, I respect Hawke for having the guts to venture off into other disciplines, knowing many people would write him off as a pretty-boy dilletante. At least he didn't start a band (I'm looking at you, Keanu).

Other books I'm reading:

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