Thoughts on Fast-Food Fun

Does the internet allow for us to have more simple/fun/cheesy entertainment.  Think of it as "fast food" entertainment.

I reflected on this lately for several reasons – simple but fun online games, LOLcats, available content online I'd never otherwise read or watch, etc.  I can spent a lot of time doing enjoyably shallow things, indulging my love of hilariously bad translations, or just surfing.

I've wondered if that's made easier by the internet – and yes, this is relevant to geeky careers since many of us are interested in technology or content.

The internet brings a lot of things to me easily, and there are tools out there further enabling quick delivery – development tools, video editing, word processors, graphics programs, etc.  If I want a quick puzzle game, a hilarious set of photoshops, or read a truly bad manga to satisfy my MST3K fan, I can do it, fast.  The "fast food" is easy to get.

I can also do these things with very little investment by myself – I do not have to install a game, buy a book, rent a DVD, etc.  I can do these things very quickly online.

In short, the barrier to entry for simple fast-access fun has been lowered dramatically by the internet.  In some cases, it's been deliberately lowered by various websites and services.

I of course see nothing wrong with this – theres nothing wrong with cheesy fun and silliness – but those of us in the areas of content production need to keep it in mind.

There is something in the human mind that likes simple, even silly pleasures – guilty pleasures – as it were.  Lowering the barrier of access to them means we can indulge in them easier.  For content producers you need to consider:
A) How much the cheesy market is your market.  Success story – icanhascheezburger, which is just silly fun with it and all its sites.
B) How much it competes with your non-cheesy market and how you can get an audience.  When people can enjoy casual and silly entertainment, it may take time away from other works.
C) How well you know your audience.  For instance I may be a manager and all, and I'm the guy with the interest in Chinese philosophy – I'm also a person who VISITS icanhascheezburger daily for a laugh.  How do you target people?

Easy access has made delivery easier – and those who produce content have to gauge many aspects of the market.  They also need to gauge how much people want their "fast food" entertainment and how that affects their market.

Sometimes you want War and Peace. Sometimes you want to laugh at an Epic Fail.  You need to remember this when dealing with modern content delivery.

– Steven Savage