Serial Content

A few weeks ago i went down to Comicon down in San Diego.  While a fantastic place to people-watch (pics here) i did manage to catch an actual comic book panel.

In the panel you had 7 actual authors of popular comic books and in the seats were about 1000 fans of the books. Questions stemmed from upcoming plot lines to questions about why certain characters behaved the way they did

On thing that occured to me during the Q & A session is that i’ve never experienced the written word in this way.  When i read something, either a book or an article, it’s always complete.  Never is it time-based.  Here’s a form where a user reads something and then has to wait a week or a month to continue reading.

Now I’m used to the anticipation and serial nature with TV shows but i realized that i have never experienced it with anything else.  That’s why i was so surprised to hear Radiohead’s announcement yesterday that they will no longer release albums but rather EP’s and singles.  This is cool. The album does seem like an antiquated concept now.

Imagine how cool it would be if a band released an album serially.  A new song each week for 10 weeks.  If this happened, I would look forward to hearing the 2009 Radiohead collection every week.  The anticipation would be half of the enjoyment.  This just shows that there is lots of innovation left in the industry.  Just because there are Walmart stores set up to sell albums doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to happen.

Imagine a world where Thom York says, “The single next week will blow your mind, while the single the week after that is one of the best love songs i’ve ever written.”  I’d mark those dates and download.  It’d be an event and it’d be a lot better than having to find out from friends when new albums drop

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One thought on “Serial Content
  1. Very interesting observation. In a way, web/mag publishers have been serializing content under their brand’s umbrella through Newsletters, RSS, etc. but the notion has always been that the brand is the common thread between all the content. What if the content (serial in nature) was the common thread? I suppose followers of blogs consider the content they receive from a blogger serial in nature, but could the concept work with a more traditional media entity?

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