Feedback

Saw another article on Freakonomics called the Downside of Feedback that brings up an important question: feedback is important to engage an audience but at what point does the author need to stop listening and do his job as the one creating the story? All this talk about crowd-sourcing and being social and transparent to create buzz for your product needs to end at some point and you, the creator, need to do your job and create it right? From the article:

Has our quibbling worked? Yes, if you believe in the collective force of fans and the “wiki” social ideal — that group input only improves the result, guiding by peer pressure if nothing else. No, if you think filmmakers are too beholden to fans. Quibbling does not produce a Heath Ledger-style Joker; that is the result of an actor and a writer and a director coming unhinged from the original material. Quibbling produces a Watchmen movie, which tenderly reproduced the 1988 graphic novel panel-for-panel and still failed — pleasing fans, perhaps, but excluding newcomers.

There’s a quote I like that I read in the Long Tail that goes something like, “the more compromises taken to make you product good for everyone, the less its perfect for anyone.” Could it mean that more feedback dilutes your message and makes it vanilla to everyone instead of great for a few people? 

Initially, I think creating is the creator’s job. Its disturbing when a band changes their sound to better fit what the marketing department says will sell more albums. Allowing others the ability to socialize and spread your idea online works for marketing but you as the creator should be slow to take too much advice from the masses. This obviously depends on what your idea is. A product like baby strollers would take feedback in a different way than a movie. Listening to your customers should be your number one priority but how can you tell when you’re listening to too much feedback and therefore diluting your main message? I’m a little torn…

Leave a Comment