Internet | Music + Technology | Social Science | Culture | Arts | Humanities

Currently Reading:

Any opinions expressed by me on this site are my own opinions, not those of my employer.

Barak Obama and Mariah Carey forgot to consult the Internet

Meanwhile, Thom Yorke didn't..

Virginia Heffernan, writing in the NYT Sunday Review, points to how Barak Obama and Mariah Carey's recent pitch videos both bombed:

Mariah Carey and Barack Obama each had something to sell this week, and they made live videos to do it. Both videos bombed. Ms. Carey’s pitch on HSN, for tracksuits and other sundries from her fashion label, was too weird. Mr. Obama’s pitch on the networks for Congressional compromise wasn’t nearly weird enough.

Both impresarios made the same mistake. They failed to understand the shifting dynamics of the very small screen, and instead aimed to produce traditional TV spots. Spots like these nearly always misfire when they are played on the Web, where most people now see them. And analyze them. And satirize them.

The advisors for both public figures failed to understand the singularity of the Internet.

So let me repeat Paul Ford's maxim:

..people in the newspaper industry saw the web as a newspaper. People in TV saw the web as TV, and people in book publishing saw it as a weird kind of potential book. But the web is not just some kind of magic all-absorbing meta-medium. It's its own thing. And like other media it has a question that it answers better than any other. That question is:

Why wasn't I consulted?

Indeed, why wasn't it consulted?

But here's where I part ways with Heffernan, when she writes:

The challenge to anyone making online video, including presidents and pop stars, is to make video that is played without being vandalized. Ms. Carey’s HSN video was so odd — she switched accents and talked nonsense — that it was a field day for satirists. Matt Cherette at Gawker made a four-minute video from her two-hour spiel, and that video has been played more than half a million times.

So, what's wrong with that? There are many brands out there who'd love to see their videos explode online in terms of views. As we know, we can't make "viral" videos for our brand partners and we certainly can't control when anyone wants to "repurpose" that video - let's make lemonade out of the lemons in other words.

Do you think Thom Yorke didn't understand that when he made this video for a Radiohead song..which soon became this and many others?

Meanwhile you could hope for MEME!!!

How should we teach students in a digital age?

Monday morning musings