I'm visiting family in New York and I had another Six Pixels of Separation moment. There is some new (and original) artwork hanging up on the wall in the living room. Upon discussion I was informed that the artwork was purchased on eBay.
Stay with me here: original work of art purchased on eBay.
In fact, they lost the original bid (for another piece) by twenty-five dollars, so they contacted the seller (and artist). The artist was willing to make them an original work of art for the same amount as their lost bid. The artist even sent digital images throughout the creative process to see if the piece that was being created was what my family had in mind. I was told that a request was made for more red paint on one part. The work was adjusted to satisfy the buyer.
Here's why this is a Six Pixels of Separation moment: the artist is from a small town in the U.S. If this were any other time in history, said artist "might" be able to post their work in the local coffee house (or maybe even get a mini-opening at some local art gallery) at best. The end result might have been selling a piece or two. In a Six Pixels world - one where we're all intrinsically connected - the artist creates, snaps a couple of digital images, writes up a snappy description, posts it to eBay and lets millions of people (who, incidentally, do go to eBay to find pieces like this) discover them. They can (and are) selling their work to the world (they don't even have to worry about the middlemen - namely the local coffee shop or art dealer).
I love this.
Next time you're trying to push online marketing initiatives, think of this local artist who's pulling in a couple of grand (maybe per week, maybe per month) creating original artwork and posting it to eBay. This artist found their market - namely art collectors who do troll the web looking for brilliant creativity. Through the power of Six Pixels of Separation, an artist is not only born, but has created an entrepreneurial business that enables them to do what they love and get paid for it.
If a struggling artist can figure this out, why are marketers and advertisers still lagging behind?