Rube Goldberg Is Zeksi

by Kate Rados

Guy asked the Roundtable to weigh in on what’s exciting us these days and since I’m stuck at jury duty for an indefinite amount of time, I’m weighing in here, in case Her Honor doesn’t break us for lunch Thursday at 1pm-1:30pm EST (sign up why don’t ya).

While on the train back from Atlantic City this weekend, I listened to my new favorite podcast ‘The Nerdist’ (walking the walk, fellow geeks). Host Chris Hardwick, on which I have an insane crush b/c I like em nerdy, sat down with two members of the band OK Go to talk about their creative process…and it wasn’t about their music, per se. It was about their latest video for ‘This Too Shall Pass’, featuring a massive Rube Goldberg machine. And most importantly, they talked about their PASSION for every aspect of what they do.

Hardwick asked about their special sauce when it comes to viral videos – and their response was that there isn’t one. They do what they think will be fun, creative, and they’re passionate about their projects. And as for the video, they couldn’t fake it. They had to be genuine. Yeah, they could’ve used special effects and edited the crap out of it, so they could succeed quickly and push out the video as fast as possible. But they didn’t and that’s what make the video and their connection to their fans so frigid amazing. And the noise didn’t stop with the video, there’s an interactive floor plan where I will be living for the next few days, while of course listening intently to evidence. They also created a fan contest where you can create your own Rube Goldberg project and win two tickets to any of their concerts. To them, it doesn’t cost anything, but to their audience it’s the chance to connect with the band and creating fun stuff for the sake of creativity and brainstretching.

This got me thinking about authors and their relationships with their publishers. EMI supported their first video for the same song, but wouldn’t allow it to be embedded or pulled from youtube. So, OK GO pretty much said ‘see ya’ and eventually ended up breaking their contract with EMI, working as independent band and ended up selling a crap load of CDs anyway and got over 12 million hits on YouTube for their new video. It’s easy to apply that same equation to publishers. Go ahead and block that video, lock in that content, close your Facebook wall, lock your Twitter feed. Then we’ll see what happens when frustrated, yet savvy authors move out and create something amazing for their fans and because they are in love with the process, not the business.