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BloggingOn x.1 - "Evolve(d) Beyond Crude Flesh to Become a Being of Pure Light and Energy"

A few thoughts after reading this "very germane thing that Colin mentioned".

Perhaps Res Publica picks up on the
"conflict-averse, iPod-wearing metrosexual MBA’s from Planet Starbucks, who think podcasting is activism" for good reason. And perhaps the "MBA's from Planet Starbucks" is the really significant bit. That is to say that I think there is a little more than nothing to the whole idea of generational divide, though it's probably not how Kos (or Res Publica) characterize it. Which is to say - and bear with me here, cuz' I'll get to the point some time or other - what distinguishes this "new" generation from the "old" (or at least a certain subset of the "new" generation) is their ability to market a certain idea of themselves, more successfully than they are able to make their "selves" match that marketed ideal.

Take Kos for example. His real achievement is not any contribution that he has made (or is making) to the democratic party by being a policy-maker or a leader-of-men. His real achievement is that he created a relatively successful (and by successful I mean both active and lucrative in a strength-of-the-brand-name sort of way) online forum for the "exchange of ideas".

But that's not it. The "exchange of ideas" part. Even that is a front. The exchange of ideas is really just a foil for an internet brand name that offers "belonging" to those who are willing to leap through the fire it takes to get inside the inner circle. Becoming part of the Kos community is not being part of a "movement", it's another "affiliation" for your Friendster profile. It's a t-shirt.

So what does this have to do with the particular adaptations of the
"conflict-averse, iPod-wearing metrosexual MBA’s from Planet Starbucks, who think podcasting is activism" set? They belong to a generation who are no longer concerned with crises of "authenticity". They (we?) are more concerned with perceieved authenticity.

The idea of "coding" may strike some as insidious, but consider that the consumer is now the one doing the coding. That is to say, it's not just Corporate America, but corporate Americans who are asking these questions:
Who is my target audience? How can I present myself to my target audience them in the most enticing (lucrative?) way? What (self) image will yield the maximum profit (happiness, companionship, sense of belonging)?

Perhaps having a successful (widely read and copiously linked-to) blog is just a way of proving your net-worth to your target audience.

Jason Kottke? Dooce? Wonkette?


1 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger fouro 

    Okay, I'll bite. And I'll agree, to a point. Your beef is with the information age and it's incubi, and blogs is only a -bus. Below, from some mumbling on Bzzz agents, here:

    ...Welcome to the snow line of Maslow's mountain of esteem. We have food, jobs, shelter, good teeth, edumacation and 401ks. (And we may just get to keep them since Dubya--Regular Guy BrandBzz!™--is term-limited to only 8-years of his majestic mountains of def-cit.)

    With all those satisficers, um, satisficed, what's left? Well, if using my wacky self-image model you buy (heh!) that ...

    •  in these literally and figuratively, physically and electronically blowing apart times that brands and groups, and affiliation with whatever your particular "brand" of meaning is are only getting more powerful, and that

    • All we ever really do is trade sweat for economic wherewithal for social capital and "meaning," then...

    What are we building with it?

    "My ID," "My Brand." My statue as a valiant vanguard of New, more, better, bigger, splashier. And Me. And First.

    And as We. A flock.

    It's Jon's aformentioned Ontological paradox. Me-ness, within we-ness. First, among equals. They're the reflected light of their buyers' and their readers' Suns.

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