Buildings, Like Blogs, Can Be Interactive

A month ago, a building began to sing.  “Playing the Building” is a project that, this summer, is turning a New York City landmark building into an interactive keyboard.  Rock singer and artist David Byrne wired an antique organ to a few dozen spots throughout the building, so that visitors can stop in (free of charge) and touch keys that trigger hammers which clang against pipes and columns, activate motors that make ceiling beams vibrate, and shoot blasts of air through pipes at different pitches.
While this building is not the first to be “played”, this latest Byrne exhibit is quite different from former offerings by him and by other artists.  “People going into an art institution are treated as passive consumers, as vessels to be filled with …music emanating from the stage”, Byrne explained in a Newsweek interview.

The artist goes on to explain the one aspect of his project that’s so very important for today’s business owners to comprehend.  “‘Playing the Building’ only exists and comes to life when the public participates in it,” Byrne said.

In today’s world of marketing, it’s not enough to “hand out” material about a business.  Yes, brochures, postcards, advertising, billboards – all of those things can still be valid business marketing tools.  But, as with David Byrne’s building, the best blogs don’t “sing to people”, but instead invite them in to make music together with the business behind the blog.  Blogs, by their very nature of being on the Worldwide Web, are available not only for reading, but for acting and interacting.  A good blog invites readers to post comments, and makes it easy for them to subscribe to the blog (through an RSS feed or an email service).  Individual readers whould be able to get back to earlier posts to read more in depth on a topic that particularly interests them.

In short, it should be all about “Playing the Blog”!

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