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Braindump from Odin to Liz

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

ECONOMIC STUFF:

 

 

If only there was a paid content framework to this discussion. Systems around blogfic haven't evolved to support monetization of standalone product. No micropayment models; Visa/Mastercard cartel and minimum transaction size. Closest thing is blogads, but blogfic doesn't generate sufficient traffic. No DRM and IP problematic, just look at all the copyjacking and faux-blogs. Inverse problem with distribution channels -- too many. Emergent infrastructure (i.e. still need the Ipod/Itunes for textural content) but real issues with readability, usability, cost, etc.

 

 

Personal experience -- 10 years ago my first company was selling self-publishing tools (e.g. blogs). Tried to develop a monetization model for writers/readers, separately and in collaboration with some of the largest media companies in the world. Textual content always a loss leader. Corporate orientation is market- and brand-based, "community-developed content". Push the cost of creating content (writing) off the corporate P&L and onto the enthusiast community.

 

 

YouTube and other "amateur" content revenue-sharing models for video; no textural content analog that I'm aware of.

 

 

Macroeconomic orientation is like integration of India/China labor pools into global economy. Massive online surplus of writers and textural content is devaluing both.

 

 

 

 

BLOGS, PUBLISHERS, WIKIS:

 

 

Definite trend toward "thick" and "messy" concepts that fan community can embrace and extend. Plot-driven examples (e.g. Lost TV show) and character-driven examples (The L Word). Effect is an ecosystem with the actual show and its writers functioning as the prime mover. IP still owned/controlled by publisher, but narrowcasting (small relative $$$) reduces incentive for publishers to go after fanfic and other extensions of the brand/IP.

 

 

Radical change of publishers toward IP only possible if monetization models support it. Dead tree publishing industry already in crisis, lack resources to drive/survive transition. If newspapers can't pull it off, doubt book publishers can.

 

 

Fanfic example -- when IP devolved to network, brand growth but any possible monetization is diffused. What happens if a fanfic site is getting xN traffic compared to publisher's site and making $$$ off it? Answer is probably various forms of creative revenue-sharing that may be more trouble than they're worth on the margin.

 

 

(Okay, this is more economic stuff. Must stop.)

 

 

I'm stunned by the book-wiki idea -- "why didn't I think of that?" moment. I've never come across a book's wiki before, need a link to see how they're being used. Fascinating possibilities. I can think of a couple dozen novels I've read, I demand wikis for them!

 

 

Not sold on the wiki-based approach to literary content creation. Historical context -- a couple hundred years of novel publishing and how many collaborations? Not perfect parallel to massive online self-publishing networks, but still. Maybe this is my entreprenuerial bias, but I can't shake the genuis artist orientation. Nothing of genuine creativity happens within institutions, within the orgchart. Open-sourcing literary content creation -- sounds like something unreadable is cooking.

 

 

Or maybe I'm thinking too narrowly, in novel terms. Even pro ghostwriters have trouble maintaining voice/stylisms in fiction series, how can an army of amateurs appropriate voice and characterizations? But if it's a new kind of novel, some kind of massively parallel storytelling, who knows?

 

 

Tangent -- we could be witnessing the death of the novel and other long-form fiction. Declining readership trends across demographic cohorts as GenY/Z time-shift from reading to other forms of entertainment. Slow death of offline paid publishing models, no concomitant rise of online paid publishing models. At the end of the day, authors have to get paid to create long-form fiction (renumerate opportunity cost of time investment).

 

 

 

 

FICTION, LYING, ETHICS, PLAIN LAYNE:

 

 

Risk sounding pathological, but not all lying is equivalent. Kaycee Nicole hoax, political attack blogs, etc. Motive becomes all. Are you trying to move hearts, minds, units, $$$, what? Goldilocks theorem -- the basic social contract is a "just right" lie.

 

 

Tremendous need to believe what we read and investment in canonicity. Bible and church, newspapers and factualism/ombudsmen, enthusiast forums and amateur one-upmanship/flamewars, etc. But direct author/reader relationship removes external mechanisms for establishing veracity. Decisionmaking context is trust-based.

 

 

Plain Layne took it outside the context of blogs and fiction. You could interact with the character and even have a relationship with her. Most fans who felt betrayed cited that transgression -- they were having a relationship with someone who wasn't real, telling her things they'd never tell a stranger, etc. To me that was the power of the experiment. Known fictionalism isn't the same context, requires an explicit suspension of disbelief.

 

 

I never thought of Plain Layne as a hoax until it was called that on the front page of my local newspaper. It was always a literary experiment to me. Disagree that people don't want to be tricked by hoaxes -- they just want to be tricked on their own terms. Superiority of figuring out hoax, or amazement at not figuring it out, but context is understood.

 

 

Tangent -- fiction/nonfiction is a false dichotomy anyway. All blogging is fictional, just a matter of degree. Fallability of memory, narrative flux in retelling, self-representation, etc.

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