I’ve been thinking a lot about intertextuality and connectivity lately. It connects both with Netocracy that I’m reading (although not with great haste I might add) and media strategies for a few clients that I have in mind. Eric Wahlforss went to see the Snakes on a Plane, and wrote an interesting passage about backchannels:
We see a world that is becoming increasingly hypermediated. The idea of immediacy often attributed to the conversation seems to be fading. The notion of sequentiality is being replaced by a sort of multi-modal parallelity. In other words, the backchannel is going mainstream. Soon it will be everywhere, in all conversational contexts imaginable.
This is indeed true, and an interesting development in regards to the old media trying to find their place on the internet. Traditionally newspapers have always written articles in a way that everyone can understand them – no matter what knowledge you have before starting to read. This means compromising on almost everything that excludes people from understanding what’s written. Or anything that has an edge, if you want to take that approach. Understandable in a product that reaches a wide range of people, but not applicable on the internet. Writing with refereces to backchannels – other than in an article about just that – would be more or less impossible.
This is, in my opinion, one of the largest challenges that all newspapers have to face. Okay, it’s difficult making old print journalists to record radio and photograph a fire with their mobile phone. But changing the way you choose, write and prioritise your stories? That’s a challenge. I’ll be returning to this subject several times in this blog.
Parallel with my work I run an mp3-blog called Discobelle.net. It is very niched in its content – and the whole idea is to be the opposite of mainstream music coverage. Take this article as an example – a leaked track sparked a t-shirt that got the internet goin’ nuts (geddit?) Read the story here if you’re not familiar with it.
We write about artists that you should know about in order to fully appreciate them, or at least trust us enough to be the curator for new tracks. And we use references that you either understand, or you understand that you don’t. It doesn’t just pass you by. Look this title or this article to get a feel for it.
The difference between Discobelle.net and newspapers is like night and day. And it’s obvious which one was started with the internet as their primary medium, and which one that just tried to catch on.