Saturday, March 19, 2005

Attention Economy

Everyone wants to be a celebrity these days. Even if one doesn't get to appear on a reality TV show or Idols, Popstars or Do You Want To Be A Millionaire, one can maintain a blog on the Internet. Nothing is too trivial or banal there: may I have your attention, ladies and gentlemen?

Let me bore you to death in the course of these following columns of personal tedium and with my ill-advised opinions no one wants to hear. Let me share with you the deadening details of the drudgery of my everyday existence. Join me in my latest nerve-wrecking neurosis and existential ennui. Do you really want to hear the explicit details of my excursion to a grocery store today or of my exciting adventures in the lift (that's "elevator" for you Merkins)? Well, countless blogists around the world seem to think so. Everyday life has become the Spectacle.

Everyone has become a brand in the so called attention economy, which feeds unbridled narcissism. A marketing-consultant-cum-lifestyle-guru in his neatly cut tailor-made suit earning thousands of euros for one hour's "lecture"; spouting for full auditoriums of CEOs platitudes of "finding one's inner hero", and receiving a standing ovation from his corporate fans.

Pseudo-celebrities whose sole claim to fame simply is that they're famous, but no one knows what for. Garish gossip mags feed off these people -- their marital crises, alcohol problems, eating disorders -- though the relationship here is not really parasitic but symbiotic. A pseudo-celebrity can't exist without the constant spotlight of publicity; otherwise she will wither like an untended flower.

I think pHinnWeb is an anti-brand, and pHinn an anti-celebrity. I am amused by the thought of someone reading any of these lines, and attaching them with "a deeper meaning", though, like everyone else, I'm fascinated with "the ecstasy of communication". The centre is eveywhere, and everyone can be a guru. May I have your attention, ladies and gentlemen?


mk said...

Sounds like an blog-existential crisis. One that, like many others, has been solved by stating that one is "anti"-ying the assumed trends and maybe attempting to differentiate through that.

The thing with blogs is that they're potentially two things. Mainly they're diaries, which often successfully act as both a historical log of events and a personal thought-clarifier. The added bonus of having a public blog is that you may get some interaction and even recognition going, thus feeding the small egoistic in all of us. Some are happy with just the diary, some want some ego-boosting also - thus creating a wannaby-celebrity.

But then again, that was attaching deeper meaning to your lines. That was supposed to be amusing, so enjoy your Monday morning! :)

pHinn said...

Ooh, someone actually reads this blog! (Except for Juri and Jan.) My ego feels positively boosted now (grin).

Tiedemies said...

Don't be so modest. A lot of people read this.