For those of you that haven’t looked at the Internet in the past week or so, there’s a 13-year-old named Rebecca Black who made a music video called “Friday.” It hockey-sticked to over 40 million views on YouTube and has earned her an awful lot of criticism, as well as an awful lot of money.
If a piece has high production values — whether its a video shot with proper lighting or a website designed with an effective grid and color scheme — people will pay attention. They may mock you for a mismatch between the quality of your content and the quality of your production — would anyone care about “Friday” if it had been shot and edited with an iPhone 4? — but they will pay attention. In our information-overloaded, failed-filter future, attention is the most valuable commodity, and hacking the attention economy with a polished piece of content is a useful and lucrative thing to be able to do.