When I first got to college, I didn’t know a lot of hip things. I was from a fair small city and was suddenly in a much larger one, with people of all backgrounds. I wanted to be able to have common ground in our conversations, so I started reading music and movie blogs, and inadvertently stumbled upon the tool that created my hipness: entertainment surveys.
Blogs helped me gain a base knowledge, but most blogs are reporting on things after they become cool, not before. I wanted to know what things were on the verge of trending, on the verge of making it big, and explore them myself. Entertainment surveys are great for that. Because they ask such a wide range of people their interests, they cover a wide range of areas.
I knew some about pop-punk before college, but almost nothing about indie rock or hip-hop. The right entertainment surveys would talk exclusively about the latter, allowing me to gain knowledge in areas where I was previously ignorant. I became a champion for a lot of bands or artists, encouraging friends to buy their music and local clubs to have them play shows.
I didn’t seek out entertainment surveys solely in an attempt to be cool, I genuinely wanted to know about the types of things that everyone else was talking out. Becoming incredibly cool was a side benefit. And after a while, to my surprise, I became a taste-maker. Instead of trying to keep up with the hip kids, I was the one they were trying to follow! It was pretty crazy for me, but also inspiring.
I got my own on-campus radio show and began playing some of my favorite acts. This increased their popularity amongst the student body and I would often hear songs from very obscure bands played at parties–solely because I had played them on my show. Without entertainment surveys, I would have had a harder time finding those up-and-comers, and they would have gotten far few record sales.
Entertainment surveys also directly helped my radio show. I started a show blog after a few months and used that to post the show’s play lists, information about local bands, and other tidbits. I would also occasionally put up my own entertainment surveys for listeners to fill out. The more people answered, the better I could figure out what they did/didn’t like about the show and tailor it accordingly.
Some people are born cool, others have coolness thrust upon them. I became cool mostly through luck, some dedication, and the invaluable help of some good entertainment surveys. Those tips may not work for you, but it’s worth a show. I have no regrets.
Zoe Holmes is a New York-based Midwesterner. She now just fills out entertainment surveys, spreading the cool to others.