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I was reintroduced to the Apollonian and Dionysian comparative framework. Apollonian perception is based in comparing to a perfect ideal. For example, viewing a painting or photograph through the comparative lens of technique and skill. Dionysian perception is based in understanding through an experiential lens. For example, viewing a work of art through the emotional reaction it invokes. Having heard the framework reexamined, I realized how widely applicable it is to the world. I completely missed this point while reading Nietzsche in college.
Thinking about this concept further, I realize the new societal importance placed on the Dionysian way of life. The sheer amount of access to creating new information lends itself to wanting to create the Perfect end product. Although this is possible, most people are exploring the overall process of integration a new experiential form into their daily life. In other words, adding a new toy to their toolbox.
In the world of services and products, the initial Apollonian impression determines interest. Does the website look good? Is the logo appealing? Does the description perfectly captivate me? In the world of search engines and social networks, the Apollonian benchmark is SEO and viral coefficients. These measurable by-products determine the success or failure of market acquisition.
The reason why people continue to use a product is based in Dionysian reasoning. Product fit is based an end-user understanding the ideal use case for themselves, without needing to be shown. The perfect product’s core functionality lends itself to immediate experiential heaven.
Recent product development blogs emphasize the importance of building Atom services. The goal is to create something that has a dependable functionality and results in a foundation for further use cases. In other words, it becomes a Platform.
The ideal Platform is always changing, based on its market penetration. Facebook’s example as a strong social tie into weak social tie based service is a perfect example. Initially, Facebook attracted a college age demographic who shared photos and kept up-to-date on current events. The demographic has obviously shifted to an older audience. Younger users have flocked to messaging services like Snapchat, WeChat, and the plethora of alternatives.
Although I haven’t consciously noticed this, the trend of strong to weak social tie based communities can be synonymous with the demographic of a products user base. The need for weak social ties is not as apparent for people in social institutions such as grade school or college. Oppositely, workers are less prone to finding opportunities to explore diverse communities.
As a result, I wonder if the current messaging services Dionysian appeal will eventually shift into a Apollonian network utility. Synonymously, these services would shift into becoming tools for weaker social ties and older audiences…