Ok, ok. I am not an artist. My husband is. I have not a artistic bone in my body. However, I do like to write, love it really. And so, when An Xiao started @Platea, I got it. She's a multi-media artist, working with photography and Haiku's (and a little morse code from time to time) but I identify most with her word-play. Not so long ago she started a performance collective primarily based in, and on, social networking platforms. @Platea is "a collective of individuals interested in the power of public art carried out in the digital megacity of social media," as per it's bio. Naturally, when she started @Platea, I thought it would be fun and certainly wanted to be a part of it, that is, when I have the time. Simply put, the @Platea collective are people using twitter and facebook doing interesting things with words.
I like Twitter, but only if I have something interesting to say, or if someone else has something interesting for me to read. It's not that often that I have something interesting to say (evident in that I only post here every other week) queue - Co-Modify, @Platea's second "twerformance".
Essentially, participants were enticed to choose a rather large corporation to be fictionally sponsored by. I chose Microsoft. Don't ask me why, I can't tell you. But it may have something to do with growing up in the Seattle area and having nearly everything in my existence somehow touched on by Microsoft. I also could have chosen Boeing, or Starbucks, or WAMU (it's downfall not withstanding). Microsoft was the first to come to mind and I went with it.
As I started to think about how to structure my "twerformance", I could only think to go to their site and look at their product list. I found, that, astonishingly, it's fairly short. It's not a grocery store for products, but what they do do creates a base line for nearly everything we do online. I thought, well, maybe I should kind of deconstruct the brand, as in, let my posts be almost everything that Microsoft isn't. I think my first post was "If Microsoft were a packaged food for the home office, I would eat it," followed with "Microsoft laundry detergent leaves my clothes feeling soft and cuddly!" Not all have been absurd, some have been relevant to the companies product list, or failures of. Clearly Microsoft is not food, nor laundry detergent. BUT! If I were actually sponsored by Microsoft, I would want it to be an encompassing life brand. I love computers. In fact, I spend way too much time on computers at work and at home. If I were to be sponsored by a company, I would want it to be so much more than computer software. I am a mother, with two kids and so aside from the computer exhaustion, I cook and do laundry and try to take a yoga class once a week.
Brand building, marketing spend - companies trying to gain a larger part of the market share come up with more cockamamie ideas than packaging computer software as a packaged grocery item, or a yoga mat, that is for certain.
Co-Modify's last day is tomorrow and I look forward to the other 40-some participant posts, and the confusion that it brings to my Facebook friends. In the mean time, I must retire to my Microsoft pillow and sleep.