Saturday, May 12, 2012
The Role of Trivia
The fabric of the internet has transformed in its serious approach to a social interaction - a set of coda to be adjusted to, that consume our time and hone our thinking into new paradigms. The triumph of trivia over academia on the internet is the interchange of reactions to things. An interplay ofpersonae. Mere membership of a website and marketing to buyer could not exceed the point of membership - which is constantly growing content - a magazine approach of the blog - every week you cut a new one, so to speak. It is only the interesting magazines that will survive so you are dependent upon having things to say. But visitors to a site are more a consequence of word of mouth than it ever will be merely by advertising and for that reason we selected social networking as the main modulator of popularity. Increasingly we find that the more pure the social network the more slavish and dull the posts become as people strive to be popular. No, not you, your posts on Facebook are of course important to me - and I will react to you because I knew you. Not because what I have to say means much. Just leaving my mark. Shouting into the air like a Western tourist upon reaching their goal of their private pilgrimage, arriving at their statue of Elvis they all wrapped in self congratulatory fizz. The old model was to try and attract readers by having something relevant that was all exciting and fizz for the search engines. This means maintaining your blog religiously but when the number of visitors is not growing and the ideas dry up, then progress will stop. There is an inert pull toward relaxing - toward delay and away from decision or action. The secret dark art was "optimisation" and "having the right domain name: title: content" was a duty in the artistic originality stakes. Now we dive into the popcorn rather than absorb the movie. We end up throwing it at each other and complain as it sticks in our hair. Our addiction to each other ensures that we remain famous to our friends and that as an engine of growth being mildly offensive or wildly funny proves more effective than saying something effective. Triviality is a code that travels faster, ironic observation on a personal level spreads in all directions at once and the ubiquitous "sharing" that rates your level of success online is key to search engine modulation. Creating a conscious limiting current stifles innovation. Social interaction is very good but a backbone of relevant content is of great value. The turn over of marketing responsibility to the consumer. Social networking requires "popularity" which no longer ensures that anything but the lowest common denominator - a sense of the illicit - is appealed to. So you would think. Then again, George Takei is one of the funniest and most popular master of the meme. He routinely make tens of thousands of followers a little happier. It is a wonderful thing, really. But so is lasting originality. If the web becomes a way that sharing results in discovering new and wonderful art, it is serving humanity in a sort of left wing way. And if a funny picture amuses our friends it also serves to convey a sense of belonging. Social networking is more fun than endless memberships and mailing lists churning out sales talk spam. Advertising can be fun too, and useful. Google's promotion of relevancy is a judgement based on criteria that may or may not lead anywhere. But the honey will be smothered by ants. The tension of knowing why is rooted in the nature of the logical structure of things that are interlinked. One can imagine the shape of knowledge is a multidimensional fabric extending in all directions. When knowledge is constrained into one mode or method of thinking, then it is weakened as it is the connections between in which thought may exist. Thought requires an object, not always, but generally. Thoughts do however require a subject and without one thoughts become abstract. These abstract thoughts may involve others in a common ground such as humour, and for that value it is rewarded. There is a pressure of crowd reflection. This works as a modulator of fame. A responsibility of a performer's retinue, best when brief and innocuous and personal. Twitter is the most abstract social network and success there depends on many things. Having something to say may not be one of them. Making a lot of noise works best.