Friday, October 19, 2007

Controlled Chaos

Gaylene remarked yesterday that you can always tell the difference between a journalist blogger and a "normal" blogger. And then Brendan left that comment on this post about "controlled chaos".

For me, the best bloggers − the ones that typify the medium and its unique form of exposition − are more than just 'air guitar journalists'. Two of my own literary heroes, Samuel Pepys (OP) and the more recently late Jean Baudrillard in their own ways both pointed towards to a new style of writing that consciously moves out towards the edge of discussion (or the long tail if you must) often adopting "controlled chaos" as the chosen idiom.

Pepys in particular was perhaps the first commentator in this language to so successfully run his opinions on matters of wider import through the prism of his own introspection. Baudrillard's America is a critique constructed from fragments of observation that could only have come from the pen of a man who regarded the delivery of opinion as a kind of performance art. In terms of both style and content, mainstream journalists and academics tend to be repelled by 'edgy' writing like this because they have been trained to move towards and assume control of the centre of the topic they are addressing.

Similarly, many people in the PR industry are perhaps more naturally inclined to the mass market side of communications rather than the long tail. They'd rather be a hub than a node, which is why as a group they tend to waste so much time on Facebook and why, in spite of an apparent knack for the construction of narratives, they have thus far met with mixed success in the new medium.

It's a highly competitive workplace and the bestseller mentality, wanting to be one, and to work with others in that same category, may be preventing PRs from fully grasping the transformations in their industry.

1 comment:

chumly said...