December 28, 2008

The "Wow !" factor

What is the "Wow !" factor ?
What kind of things make us say “Wow !”?
What makes people interested in a piece of art ?

The first time I heard this strange american expression, unknown in France, was during the writing of the article about the French photographers with Beau eRomantica, for Carrie Leigh's NUDE (many thanks to him for his so precious help ! Without Beau, nothing could have been published).

Christophe Vermare -
"Kyla Montalivet-11"

The true definitions of "Wow !" :
Used to express wonder, amazement, or great pleasure, an outstanding success.
A surprising, original, coolness factor.
When we see something spectacular or exquisite.
An exclamation, variously expressing aversion, surprise or admiration, sorrow or commiseration.
The reaction or response of wonderment.
The degree of the first impression of someone seeing an artwork.
A strong, usually pleasurable effect on an audience.

Terrell Neasley

We all experience the "Wow !" factor.

You're walking through a gallery or a museum, watching a site or a blog featuring photographs, and suddenly you're completely captivated by a picture, this one that makes you pause and think to yourself : "Wow !..."

It could be anything from a stunning sunset to seeing a gorgeous model in an outstanding setting, or better still, a combination of the two.

You don't really know why you're so amazed. Everything appeals you. You try to analyse yourself... but the "Wow !" factor is not a question of reason. It's a pure emotional (and physical !) response to a piece of art, unexpected, shaking your mind and your heart like the barman his cocktail. You're suddenly overwhelmed ! And your world is lit up with fireworks. Eden is not so far that you believed...

Jean François Damois

"Sophie a quai"

The two craziest things about the "Wow !" factor are that it's almost palpable and totally out of control. You absolutely want to buy the work, even if you don't belong the first dollar for or the place to exhibit it. It's a so strong reaction that many decision makers are trained to avoid the "Wow !" factor.

On that subject, for marketers, advertisers and sales representatives, the goal of the "Wow !" factor is to exceed the expectations of the consumer, to give him something he weren’t expecting, at all, to bring the element of surprise that makes the difference.

For my part, far from all business considerations (I don't care !), the "Wow !" factor is everywhere. And the best way to feel and feel again this great and so healthy sensation is to hear Nikola Borissov :

" Keep your eyes and your senses open, try to look at everything with the eyes of a newborn, contemplate the world, it's immenselo beautiful when you start perceiving it with all your senses !"

A.J. Kahn -
"Atlas Remake"
Art Model Mandjohio

When, why and how are individuals moved by a piece of art ?

Today, the "Wow !" factor makes part of a serious programme of research which could help us to understand how art exercise its power over us, what constitutes the "Wow !" factor in our appreciation of art.

Dr Sandra Dudley, social Anthropologist, in collaboration with Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, professor of Bioengineering, explains the project :

Jason Tag -
"Ella on the Rocks"
Art Model Ella Rose

“What we’re studying is a basic level of human experience of the material and visual world.

It doesn’t always happen that an individual will feel the wow factor when they look at a piece of art in a museum, but it does happen sometimes. What causes that ? Why does certain art appeal to certain people ? What lasting impact does it have on their lives ?

The project will have great practical relevance to understanding better how we experience art in a gallery. It will inform how galleries are laid out, how art is contextualised. Potentially, there are big implications in how this research may change practice.” Source

Ben Heys -
"Beach dance"
Art Model Jenny F

Interesting tips by Laura Spencer to make your "Wow !" factor blog !

Irakly Shanidze -

Design - A design should capture your attention and pull you in to the blog. I’m amazed at how many bloggers use bland, basic blog designs when there are so many attractive blog templates available (some for free).

Images - A compelling photo or graphic can make the difference between a blog that’s humdrum and one that makes you say “hmmm…”

Audience - A blog should keep its primary audience in mind. A blog should be about what it is about. If a blog is supposed to be about cooking, the readers shouldn’t find posts on the blog about the blogger’s car, the local weather, or the state of the economy.

Content - Well-written, relevant content is the cornerstone of any good blog. Too many blogs are riddled with poorly written contant that has no relevance to the blog’s topic or the blog’s readers.

Gerhardt Thompson -
"Sun and spray"

Art Model Dollybeck -

Name - Ideally, a blog should have a memorable name that is related to its purpose and content.

URL - A blog’s URL should be easy for readers and potential readers to find and remember. If possible, the URL of the blog should be related to the blog’s name.

Responsiveness - I find a lot of “blogs” that have the comments turned off. Whenever I see this, I wonder why the blogger has even bothered to present the material in a blog.

Contact Information - It’s always good to know how to reach the blogger with questions. For a business blog, however, contact information is essential.

Honesty and Accuracy - Without these, a blog is just a waste of time. It always annoys me when I am researching and I come across a blog with bad, or wrong, information.

Traffic - While traffic is the natural outcome of having a “Wow” factor blog, a wise blogger will take measures to make sure that their material finds its way the appropriate readers."

Marc Hoppe -
"Jen solo"

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