Category: Britney spears

Shut all the blinds
You mighta been seen
Sittin’ alone
With your internet dream

Winning the race
For your digital fix
Living your life
With a clickity-click

“So every day I swear
I’m gonna go to bed at like eleven.
And all of a sudden its 4AM . . .
And I was just watching Youtube and
reading Wikipedia for five hours.
It’s like MAN . . . you ask me the
next day. I can’t even remember
what I was doin. Crazy.”

Tay Zonday “Internet Dream”
(writer of Chocolate Rain)

*author deftly opens his umbrella to protect himself against the thundering Chocolate Rain*

I have had the good fortune to attend a wide variety of so-called new media conferences, hear people who drive the “content market” speak about the present and future of the various “media distribution platforms”, how to “drive traffic” to your site, using Web 2.0 social networking sites to make friends where you would have previously just been tossing spam into the anonymous gray mass of stats , the importance of making your site interactive and sticky, how long visitors will wait for a page to load (3.2 seconds) and the importance of viral marketing.

They usually call out YouTube as the de facto turning point and how “anyone in America, and the world for that matter” can now “make movies with their cell phones” with the hopes that they will become the next “Chocolate Rain,” “Star Wars Kid,” “Lolcats,” “Tron Guy,” or that weird snaggle-toothed Japanese girl who just stares into her webcam and draws millions of views for doing seemingly nothing (it helps that she has a big rack).  Now a site like TubeMogul allows you to instantly upload your homemade insertion into the pantheon of filmmaking to virtually all the major “video aggregation and distribution sites” our there including Vimeo, MetaCafe, DailyMotion, How-To Cast, MySpace, Revver, and of course YouTube.

Jay Maynard is Tron Guy

Jay Maynard is Tron Guy

Have you caught on yet?  This blog entry is one big fat collection of keywords, something used in “SEO” (search engine optimization” and to promote higher “CTR” (click-through ratios) for my “affiliate ads” (but, you know this already) – another thing that they talk about behind the velvet curtain which now seems to enfold pretty much anyone else sitting at home bored and lonely and wondering how to get everyone’s attention.


And when they do, they realize they have not yet figured out how to “monetize” all this traffic.  ROFLcon, which took place at MIT this year was a conference for all the people who somehow managed to garner said attention for one reason or another and came together to figure out what to do when the general public shows up and says “Here we are now, entertain us.”  That’s all well and good but unfortunately the creators of these phenomena forgot to hire a door person with a cash box.

This is not leading to a discussion on “how to monetize you content” so much as it is underlining William Gibson‘s astute assertion that the very idea of Fame is becoming extinct due to it massive over inflation; if everyone is famous, then really, no one can truly be famous.   Everyone is broadcasting and those same people might be watching.  But are they watching, or are they trying to figure out how the hell these heat-seekers pulled it off?  Well that was then. So I get to my point: we now have this glut of Web 2.0 “guerilla marketing” -savvy ingenues who will stoop to progressively lower depths to grab a piece of the “eyeballs” / “asses in seats” pie.  It makes me feel like I ate way too much cotton candy with my mustard-covered hot dog.

It isn’t even the “content” that bothers me.  It’s that fact that everyone thinks that they can somehow pull the wool over everyone else’s eyes using the above mechanics.  It’s not just preaching to the choir, it is an infection in the culture.  It is indeed a virus in the system, that thrives at the expense of its host, adapts rapidly to any form of inoculation and then proliferates to any other candidate that comes within range.

Snap out of it folks, you’re having a bad fever dream.  You have tools at your disposal that defy the imagination of your former self ten years ago.  You are Marshall McLuhan‘s cautionary observation that the medium becomes the message – your very source has become your pitch, you are making trailers for things that don’t exist, like specters that haunt the territory where they died –  but lest you click-away at my posting yet one more iteration of that now tired cliche – recognize that I am appealing to you to bring something to the table. 

Forget viral marketing.  Forget spending your days and nights checking your visitor stats; these activities have supplanted the very act of creating itself!  Make things.  Make things that come from you.  If you still have something within that you can remember being distinctly your own, then call on it.  Viral videos are so DRM ago.

Have you had enough of viral videos,  or do you think we are just getting started? 

It is a form of insanity, what the Buddha would call hardcore addiction were he to use the vernacular. We are in a riptide of obsessive compulsive behavior that has left mainstream media culturally bankrupt; everything is post-source to a degree that we are mashing up a mashup culture. Every news source now has a dedicated Britney block that is set to follow Britney, and any incoming reports on the subject trump all others. One tabloid promotes its cautionary tale examining what it is to live with mental illness with Britney Spears as its focus. beside it, another tabloid gleams about how you can learn how Britney lost 15 lbs in a month. Hrm. Mental instability / weight loss. I wonder if there is a co-relation in this case? Could it be the girl wouldn’t be half crazy if she wasn’t being followed around by a bunch of lecherous spectacle vultures all day?

As South Park eloquently illustrated, she is this year’s sacrificial lamb, whom they wait to execute in the town square so they can move onto their next virgin. Hannah Montana anyone? The druids did it because they wanted to please the gods, but what do we gain from this mania other than to stuff the holes in our psyches, those perturbed emotions and over-stimulated nervous systems, than junkie-level distraction?

But I turn this lens around on you now: how ya feelin? Little kooky?

If you want to know how to scratch that itch, check out nature. Try silence. Take a vow of silence for a week – don’t comment, don’t talk, don’t attempt to mitigate. Just focus on impartial awareness. If you embark upon this, I further recommend at least temporarily discontinuing exposure to the noise – of the radio, the internet, the television, the game console. Check in with your self and register What’s Up. This will be hard. It will feel like you are going crazy for a day or two or three as your mind grasps for something to satisfy its insatiable hunger for information. And then something will shift. You will begin to detox your nervous system and perhaps even, in recognizing your aversion to the mental clutter, begin to abhor it the way an ex-smoker abhors cigarette smoke.

I am not presenting anything here that you do not already know. I am simply substantiating that it is going on. Here. Now. Here. Again. Now. Like knitting. Loop in. Now here. Loop in. When you have reconnected to the immense richness of all the things around you in the present, your junkie-mode for all the attention grabbing drivel of the mainstream media will begin to appear as it really is – a desperate and petulant child crying out for your attention. You can either feed it, or let it exhaust itself and restore some equilibrium and have a good life.

And from that place, you will create. You will become a source. And then, I will blog about you.

I am attending the National Association of Broadcasters convention this week. This year’s conference has a heavy focus on content creators. I am interested in hearing with what they want to populate the multiplicity of broadcast “solutions.” I do not have any disdain for the content creators; they have stories to tell and they need your attention to get the funding to tell them. some will bail out and fall prey to sensationalism. some will figure out a way to transcend that and win you over by virtue of a virally active word of mouth based on merit and innovation/genius. I look forward to reporting back to you.