“Always Stay In Your Own Movie”

Bohemian Cafe, S. 13th St., Omaha, NE (care of Flickr user, Norchas)
I’ve been spending more time on Flickr, of late. The experience is a lot like reading blogs, but the content is all visual. Like blogs, people promote what they find most interesting. For some, it’s their self-image, for other’s it’s semi-erotic images, flirting or artful nudes. Still others find fabric fascinating or dead malls. And by no means is Flickr limited to photos. Artists can share their illustrations, design or painting just as easily.
Ken Kesey used to say, “Always stay in your own movie.”
Today, with the explosion of blogs, photo sharing sites and podcasts, people are, without a doubt, starring in their own movies. People who use this “social software” feel empowered to find and develop community by like interest to a degree and at a pace never before realized.
Here’s how one New Orlean’s playwrite feels about it.

I have written about a play a year since I was 22, and, at 37, I have written eight that I am very satisfied with. I am now at the point that I want to see more productions of these plays (and, with some of them, would like to see any production at all). And technology has reached a point where doing so is not a huge investment of time and resources. The Internet has proven to be the cheapest, fastest, most efficient and democratic publishing tool ever created. I might as well take advantage of the fact.
So I have taken the eight plays I feel strongest about, converted them into PDFs, and placed them online, so that anyone may download them.

As I think about the media I consume today, it’s obvious that I and others like me make room for citizens’ media first. Mainstream media still has an important place, for sure, but it’s a shared space now. I want to see the world through an individual’s eyes, not a corporation’s. We may not have true democracy in the governing bodies of our land, but our media is fully democratic.
One of the big shifts resulting from this freeing of the media space is elimination of middle men. For instance, writers don’t need agents or in some cases publishers to help them find an audience. They can find it on their own, as so can businesses, big and small, which is why some are screaming about the death of advertising. Advertising is made of middle men and middle women.
What all this means for marketers of dish soap and their cronies is what concerned agency types are scrambling to answer. Some of the answers have been so bad all you can do is laugh. Others have tried to muscle in on the action



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.