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That's Interesting...

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

We often first get into something (a hobby, an idea, a philosophy) merely because it's interesting.

There's a particular handpan video that has attracted tens of millions of views and that is referenced by many as their first introduction to the handpan.

While the quality of that video is negligible (and now turned into countless memes), its far-reaching impact cannot be denied. This video is one of few events that single-handedly propelled our unknown handpan art form into mainstream culture.

But the thing about "interest" is that it fades away. That's actually something we can measure. According to Google Trends, global interest for the most common search term "hang drum" has been declining for years.

In his book The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell talks about this same concept:

The diffusion model, as he calls it, is how a contagious idea or product or innovation moves through a population. Although the following passage pertains the mid-twentieth century farming... it could perhaps apply to the handpan today.

"The handful of farmers who started trying hybrid seed at the very beginning of the 1930s were the Innovators, the adventurous ones. The slightly larger group who were infected by them were the Early Adopters. They were the opinion leaders in the community, the respected, thoughtful people who watched and analyzed what those wild Innovators were doing and then followed suit. Then came the big bulge of farmers in 1936, 1937, and 1938, the Early Majority and the Late Majority, the deliberate and the skeptical mass, who would never try anything until the most respected of farmers had tried it first. They caught the seed virus and passed it on, finally, to the Laggards, the most traditional of all, who see no urgent reason to change."

In which stage of the diffusion model is the handpan today? Has your interest faded?

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