November 16, 2007
Quick hit: this thought-provoking post by Read Write Web examines the state of the blogosphere and asks readers why they blog – I started to write a response and then figured it might be better off as a blog post.
First of all, I think that blogging is starting to reach a level of mainstream acceptance – there are always going to be media types and others who disparage bloggers, but as a whole, people are reading blogs (even if they don’t realize it) and many people, from professionals of all types to dedicated citizen journalists, have blogs. The concept of a blog as a self-promotional or marketing tool has also gained a certain amount of acceptance. However, blogging is definitely not the hot new web thing anymore – and that’s okay. After all, at the most basic level, it’s just a content management system (albeit one that search engines happen to like), and one that that I believe will be considered a basic component of the media some day.
Why do I blog? Mainly, it’s to communicate and share my ideas with people around the world (and if it happens to lead to some freelance work, all the better). Also, I like having a record of what I was thinking at a given point in time – it’s interesting to look back on. And last but certainly not least, I keep a blog because it introduces me to new people and writers through comments, trackbacks, blogrolls, links, and various other webby connections.
November 5, 2007
Is it evil that I’m glad about the Hollywood writers strike? Although we might miss out on new episodes of the Daily Show and such, anything that gets writers in general more respect is A-Okay with me, and after all, without the writers, most TV shows wouldn’t even exist. Perhaps it’s time to remind people that Jon Stewart, as brilliant as he is, is not the sole genius behind his show; also, popular dramas like CSI and Lost didn’t just spring up out of out of the minds of cast and directors. Somebody wrote all those lines and created those plots (hint: it wasn’t the much more highly paid actors).
In case you’re unfamiliar, the reason why writers are striking is because while they’ve been negotiating for ages over proper payment and residuals for new media writing (think DVDs, internet downloads, etc.), the studios and networks haven’t been able to agree on these issues. As Gawker says, the rage of the creative underclass finally boiled over. So what does this mean for the average viewer? More reruns, reality TV (ahh, horrors!) and possibly imports of British shows (which might not be that bad).
Besides, maybe it’ll remind people in general that quality writers are essential to a great product- Hollywood isn’t the only place that tends to forgot their importance (cough, cough, magazine publishers and website owners, cough*). In the mean time, and we can always turn off the television and (gasp!) read a book or engage in some of entertainment that isn’t entirely passive. Or you can check out an insider’s point of view on the Artful Writer, a blog penned by two screen writers, Craig Mazin and Ted Elliot.
Hey, maybe all those striking writers will start blogs and we’ll have all sorts of new and interesting websites and content to read. After all, while striking is almost always a last resort, perhaps while they’re doing it, the smartest writers might figure out how to beat the Man (big television media) at his own game. Either way, it is clearly a critical time in the industry and whatever decisions are reached will have a lasting impact on the way that the media, or at the very least Hollywood, works.
*I’m not referring to any of my current clients, they are all fabulous.