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Braindump from Liz to reporter

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago

Get the links from this and pull them out. also make it more outliney and organized.


- add la lesbiana argentina, other fictionblogs

- list fakeblogs and sockpuppety things

- the new law from Europe

- Lying and its ethics. Lying and fiction.



> It sounds like there are two kinds of fictional blogs--ones used by individuals for self-expression, where the fiction is artistically liberating, and ones used by corporations for marketing, where the fiction is more like seamless advertising?

People like Odin Soli, my co-panelist at SXSWI, fiction-blogged as a literary experiment. Blogging in character is an experiment in identity. Writing in character must establish believability and trust; this is part of canonicity. As readers, we don't care about realism. Readers need to know and trust a character. With Odin's blog, Plain Layne, hundreds of people believed in his character's reality, and when that wall broke it was devastating for them. Blogging more openly, as a character known to be fictional, is starting to become its own art form. Hernan Casciari, in Argentina, blogged for years as Mirta Bertotti, a married woman with three teenage children and a grumpy couch potato husband. Though Mirta is known to be fictional, and in fact there's a TV show based on her blog, people still talk to her and care about her "life". We have non-blogging examples of authors in trouble for being fictional -- JT Leroy, for example, or Nasidjj who wrote as a Navajo novelist and memoirist; or msscribe, who built an army of sockpuppets to make herself a Harry Potter fanfic rock star. They broke a basic social contract; they lied. In the process something fascinating was exposed. We want lying we can trust, lying that's transparent. We don't want to feel stupid and be tricked by hoaxes. But some lying, the lying of fiction, is good and ethical. It creates distance between a person and the world, and in this distance we can explore crazy, fascinating ideas.


If corporations used fictional blogs seamlessly and with artistry, a lot of people wouldn't mind the fakitude. They'd be entertained. We could potentially love the PSP2 fake bloggers just as we love Chaucer Hath a Blog -- if the PSP2 blog was any good.

Companies who want to build out a fictional character should hire novelists and playwrights, role-playing gamers and larpers, bloggers and social media people; creative world-builders who understand how to bring life to an online presence. Blog readers and web entertainment consumers are sophisticated. They want depth to a character.







> What aren't book publishers getting about blogs?




I'd love to see companies blog creatively from the points of view of minor characters in a novel or other fictional series. I don't want Harry Potter's blog; I want Dobby's blog or Neville's or Pansy Parkinson's. Or better yet, a network of interlinked fictional blogs and worlds. In the imaginary world, we aren't limited by truth, reality, history, or time. We can have Genghis Khan blogging in dialogue with Caroline Ingalls and Picard and two hundred different Harry Potters, with real people thrown in the mix. A smart company would interlock its fictional worlds and information and allow participation from everyone in the building of alternate fictional realities. There's a lot of energy in fanfiction, for example. This energy should be welcomed by media owners and publishers, who need radical change in their approach to intellectual property.


Book publishers aren't getting wikis either - or not enough of them are getting it. Every book needs a wiki. Every book needs a blog, but I'd push it further and say that they need wikis too, or blikis.


Wikis have enormous creative potential. Socialtext uses wikis and blikis to increase collaboration and speed up communication in big corporations. Corporate wikis change the ways people talk with each other at work, or how they approach the definition of a project. But novelists and creative writers need to play with wikis in many other areas. Wikis are clearly useful for worldbuilding in science fiction and fantasy. But let's push it further. We could write a novel as a wiki. Someone should do that for Nanorimo! Maybe they already have. It's a scary thought, isn't it, if you're a writer? It challenges the idea of authorship, authority, style, and the singular voice of the genius artist. That's a fine challenge with a ton of potential. When we get our first excellent bestselling novel written by a wiki collective -- better yet by an open collective -- we'll know that our society's approach to the generation of knowledge has evolved. Fans groups of particular wikinovel hive minds will spring up. Literary criticism will change as well, and academia's resistance to collaboration will have to evolve to change with the times.


Book publishers aren't getting how to make a blog into a book. What is the value of the book? Besides editing the blog and making it portable, a book should annotate. The book of Riverbend's blog, for example, could have been a fantastic book rather than just a nicely bound bundle of printouts. Add information, indexes, annotation, glossaries, diagrams, geneologies. Enrich a blog; don't just print it. Publishers think people don't want footnotes. They're wrong. When people love a world, a character, or a subject -- or a blog -- they want to know everything, on different levels. A generation that grew up listening to DVD commentary tracks and writing complex Wikipedia articles about Pokemon characters does, indeed, love footnotes, and the option for depth of information they provide.




The other thing I'm curious about is the wiki side of the equation.

What kind of an impact could wikis have on traditional publishing if

they were usable by non-geeks using SocialText or another service?

I'm totally freaked out by the idea of a live, collaborative text

waiting for authors to jump in.

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