Guardians of the City Pop up shop

On July 16, 2012 by maisonrose

We first chose to promote this is a particular neighborhood, Bergen Brooklyn, but then decided to expand to the rest of the city, with our main focus for the weekend Union Square Park and the surrounding neighborhood.

Basically we asked users to fill out these 3 categories:

Location: (we begin with location to focus everyone’s imaginations on a real place)

Superpowers: (Any powers you want!  As long as it protects the city)

Guardian Name: (name your superhero!)

We asked people to submit their answers through Twitter because we thought this would be more accessible than Joiner and also allowed people to submit images.  However, we came to learn from most everyone we interacted with that “NO ONE USES TWITTER”.  Perhaps we did not find the right demographic but still it is significant to recognize that 90% of the people we talked to agreed with Michael (17 years old), “no one uses Twitter, everyone uses Facebook”.  We were able to get a couple of teenagers to join Joiner, but we had to help them set it up and they never used it after that.

We found that people preferred drawing with traditional materials, over using the ipad to draw, Twitter or Joiner.  In fact, the meat of our experience came out of the crowd that gathered together and the ideas we shared about superheroes, technology and human behavior.  There was a particular shared feeling in the scratching of our markers, a purposeful calm and harmony of feeling part of a group.  This is when we realized that the performative aspect of our project is a major draw and part of the actual experience.

People of all different ages wanted to participate!  Kids, teenagers and we even got a superhero and a villain drawing from a professional comic book artist!

And we even got some drawings on the train ride home!  One mother suggested that our project would be perfect for public libraries – an existing network of interaction that we could tap into.

In conclusion, we realized we totally messed things up trying to promote a technology to a group that doesn’t use it; kids don’t use Twitter.  We realized that we could market the superheroes idea with different wording and aesthetic to an older demographic.  Then we could have focused on heavily promoting on existing networks online, directly to the users through their digital network.  We would have liked to use Joiner more extensively, but the pure fact of the two-step sign up process deterred everyone.  In the future, if we could edit the Joiner code to accept and send imagery, this could potentially attract more people.

In the end however, we did get a GRAND TOTAL OF 4 TWEETS!

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