Tracking Buzz Through Stock Photography Geography

Via David Brown of Spacetaker, I saw this article in the New York Times called The Geography of Buzz, a Study on the Urban Influence of Culture. The methodology of the study itself is quite fascinating – reviewing stock photography taken at parties and plotting them on a map.

The overall report is a reinforcement that there is good news for PR people, for property owners and for main stream America! And it has great visuals on tracking buzz!

0407-buzz-nyc-mapsBut mostly the data helped show the continued dominance of the mainstream news media as a cultural gatekeeper, and the never-ending cycle of buzz in the creative world.

and concludes

Ms. Currid added: “People talk about the end of place and how everything is really digital. In fact, buzz is created in places, and this data tells us how this happens.”

But even after their explicit study of where to find buzz, Ms. Currid and Ms. Williams did not come away with a better understanding of how to define it. Rather, like pornography, you know it when you see it.

“As vague a term as ‘buzz’ is, it’s so socially and economically important for cultural goods,” Ms. Currid said. “Artists become hot because so many people show up for their gallery opening, people want to wear designers because X celebrity is wearing them, people want to go to movies because lots of people are going to them and talking about them. Even though it’s like, ‘What the heck does that mean?,’ it means something.”

Worth a read. Definitely buzzworthy!