Gangnam Style in the Attention Economy

Many media theorists argue that we exist in an abundant world of information which creates a competition for our attention, according to Entertainment and Society by Sayre and King. It is estimated that a new website is created and  72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. With the overwhelming amount of content put on the web every second of every day, it’s no wonder the trends that become popular online are so over-the-top.

Take the recent Korean spoof turned American hit ‘Gangnam Style’. There’s obviously no real talent behind anything found in this video, and yet it’s become one of the most viewed videos on YouTube ever. Entertainment has become the most important value in American culture, and as long as you can keep our attention you can do anything. Even land a record deal with Justin Bieber through a song performed entirely in Korean.

It’s become much harder to compete with the constant creation of new content across the Internet. Social media has made it possible for anyone to become a writer, director or artist. And this freedom to create has made it much harder to stand out in a drowning pool of van Gogh’s.

Gangnam Style is obscene, memorable and eye-catching. In a nut shell, exactly what you need to be in the world of web 2.0.


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