I don’t know if this really qualifies as science, heck I’m not sure what it really qualifies as, but it’s such an interesting story about the way the internet works that I wanted to share it.
Brian Brushwood and Justin Young are comedians who host various podcasts and web shows. While pushing a book on magic a while ago, Brushwood noticed a disturbing trend on the iTunes best seller list, namely that the entire top ten was consumed with obvious cash-in imitators of the 50 Shades of Grey series. These were poorly reviewed books by unknown authors but people were buying them in droves because they looked a bit like the famous series. The worst part was that once these books hit the top ten they stayed there because readers just assumed they were good because they had sold well. While many people would look on this and weep for the death of literature, Brushwood and Young looked at it and thought “Challenge Accepted.”
Via a youtube video, the pair put out a call to all their fans to help them create the first crowd sourced erotic novel by submitting random chapters to them. The only conditions were that it feature the main character, involve people with trendy jobs (like cupcake decorators and fixed gear bicyclists) and included lots and lots of banging. Here’s the pair explaining their plan:
Well guess what, it worked. The Diamond Club shot to number 4 in the iTunes bookstore and continues to hover there as poor unsuspecting housewives throw down 99c a pop for what is essentially a series of unconnected, badly written sex scenes with no coherent plot whatsoever. I’ll resist the urge to make a cheap joke about the real 50 Shades of Grey there because I think the story is funny enough by itself. Does it say something negative about the way people buy books now? Sure as hell it does. But I take comfort in the fact that the internet as once again been proven to be a great tool for bringing people together, whether that be to instigate change, develop technology or to simply troll over sexed book fans. Well played chaps.