From the “Uh Oh” department, it’s interesting as hell to be watching all these companies racing into the “New Media” space from the “Old Media” perspective and it occurs to me that it’s kind of like watching lemmings run to the sea.
For decades, production companies have routinely really had *one* client to satisfy, one client to pander to and placate – and that was the Network Executives (or the Ad Agency Executives, or the Distribution Executives). So our companies and the people within them developed the kind of communication that placated these individuals (and committees).
We learned lots of double-speak, and more interestingly, we learned LOTS of “empty speak.” Words that made us all sound important, utterly indispensable, and most importantly Worth Lots Of Money.
And as long as the Nielsen ratings (by the best accounts, a rather worthless aggregate meter) came in or some sales went up for advertisers buying time on such and such a particular show, all was Right With The World.
The cliff that I mention above, is the cliff called the Internet citizens. (and it’s still us, as I wrote before), but this time there is no distributor, no network, no buffer. And all these people watching what we’re doing? They can smell empty-speak a mile away.
“Yes, but our Content is Really Cool” says the Corporation.
“No, it’s not” says everyone else.
And the Corporation’s reaction? Try to manage it, spin it, place fake postings in discussion boards around their content, or better yet, shut off the boards altogether. Disallow comments.
“You don’t need to talk about our content, because we’re telling you all you need to know about it.” says the King Content Producer.
It’s time we either start learning how to own up what it is we make and present it to other people in a way that communicates our passion or some modicum of authenticity; or we’re going to get buried in a very plain pine box without many tears shed over our loss.