Day 76: Amanda Palmer on the Art of Asking

In an age where record companies are fighting to crack down on the illegal downloading trade, Amanda Palmer decided to release her songs for free. Instead of making her fans pay, she asked them to, with heartening results.
Before she was a full time musician, Palmer made her money working as a living statue. She tells the audience how the profound encounters she had with people at this time shaped her actions when touring with her band. ‘The Dresden Dolls’ would hug fans, sign autographs, couch surf, crowd surf and generally form relationships. These links formed were so good that many people later donated money to Palmer when they’d illegally obtained her music. After a fall out with her record label, Palmer decided to crowd fund her next album. Her goal was to raise a hundred thousand dollars; the campaign ended with pledges of over $1.2 million.
Palmer describes how she built the ultimate level of mutual trust between her band and their fans. At one particular party she stripped naked and allowed fans to draw on her.
Celebrity is about admiration from a distance. By contrast, the internet allows a certain level of voyeurism and knowledge about our idols. Palmer used her blog to open up to her fans in the same way that she used the time after gigs to form links with them. And when she needed something, she knew she just had to ask.

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