Sunday, September 17, 2006

core values vs. lonelygirl15

Is it okay to lie, deceive, exploit, manipulate, toy with the emotional investments of your audience? As I see it, this is the main issue of the Lonelygirl15 YouTube controversy. Where do you stand? Do you care about the core values of blogging and videoblogging?

Do the values Authenticity, Honesty, Transparency, Integrity, and Credibility mean anything at all to you? Or do you side with such lies as Enron, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Watergate?

Jessica Rose was hired by a Hellywood talent agency to pretend to be "Bree" a 16 year old, home-schooled, lonely, apparently Satanic teenager (picture of Aleister Crowley in her staged "bedroom"), who was being prepared for a mysterious occult "ceremony".

Many viewers of her YouTube videos became concerned for her and emailed her advice on her problems. These emotionally involved viewers took her to heart and worried about her "life". When the truth came out that she was a fake, this broke the implied agreement on YouTube, and in the blogosphere, that You Are Who You Say You Are.

Why is this such a big deal? Because lots of fakers exploit teens, to prey on them sexually. Plenty of online con artists exploit people financially. We are sick of being lied to all the time by politicians, presidents, CEOs, bloggers, and videocasters.

Here is an transcript of comments under the video promotion "Lonelygirl15 200 websites in 2 minutes". Notice that the uploader's name is "phiktion".

I believe the LG15 project is to determine if YouTube viewers are easy to manipulate and if deceptive practices can work for profit and capitalistic exploitation "success". But ill gained wealth always backfires.


(2 days ago):


nirvanaistheshiz (2 days ago):

that made my eyes hurt.

samet63 (2 days ago):

what's she is doing and sex site and wikipedia

harvesteroftruth (2 days ago):

This is an example of viral marketing....

(1 day ago):

No, it's an example of deceptive consumer fraud and false depiction of self. It's called inauthentic, pandering, and exploitation for occult and commercial agendas. Sorry to rain on your misguided and gullible parade.

codem0nkey (1 day ago):

It's called acting. Simple as that....but I'm sure you're not comfortable using such a short word to describe it, as it doesn't give you your false feeling of superiority.

(1 day ago):

Monkey with code all U want. It's called fraudulent representation and toying with YouTubers, pretending to be something you're not. Fictional Characters have been dealt with harshly in the blogosphere. Now the same repulsion is occuring in the videosphere. Go kiss Harry Potter.

IrishHitman (1 day ago):

Wow, somebody LIED on the internet, who gives a crap.

Obviously alot of americans do...

PS: did i see a GTA website there.

Edbrad (5 minutes ago):

What's wrong with you guys? It ALWAYS looked like a couple of film students. It was more than that as it turns out, but it always looked too thought out and comedic on purpose.

Its like if The Office had been released on the internet, of course the office isnt real and you can tell it isnt. But its guys like you that would get up in arms about it when they finially came out and said "this was just a film project".

vaspers (14 seconds ago):

You dummies, the difference between The Office and LG15 is that one is upfront about being Fiction and the other is deceptive, pretending to be a Real representation of a person and her life. Some of us still value the blog core values Authenticity, Transparency, Genuine Passion. We despise buzz agents who pretend to use a product and rave about it. Think: Enron. And Weapons of Mass Destruction. Lies suck!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

YouTube and business models

Many young people watch YouTube now *instead of* television.

Why? Because they like repetition and easy access to the juicy scenes, the funniest moments, the heart of the buzz. So instead of boring parts of shows, and commercial interuptions, they get the best stuff, and they can watch it over and over again.

Interaction at YouTube includes posting text comments, uploading a video response (subject to approval), distributing bulletins, saving to favorites, ranking the video, subscribing to a channel, and displaying the video on your blog via a player embed code you paste into your post template in HTML mode.

LonelyGirl15, Lisa Nova, It's Jerry Time, Hope is Emo, Loren Feldman (1938 Media), and Cutiemish exemplify a business model working so blatantly we tend to skip over it: the YouTube Soap Opera series of video postings by a real teen, a computer animated character, a fictional human character, a rebel, a social critic, an outcast, an average person who revels in their average outlook and amateur style.

Once an audience is obtained, the merchandising can follow, and the loyal fanatics will eat it up, all of it, for a long time.

Betray, deceive, exploit, toy with, manipulate that audience, especially their emotions and desire to care for strangers, and you're dead.

LonelyGirl15 may be enjoyed by a devoted group of people who like her, even though she, "Bree", is just a scripted fantasy produced by mysterious figures who are evasive about motive, religion, and commercial agendas. But probably most of her fans will mutiny and turn their allegiance to more authentic performances.

The same core values that drive the best of the blogosphere are operating in the vlogo/videosphere.

The uproar over Lonelygirl15 is focused on Fictional Character Blogs being deceptive mind games that exploit and injure the feelings of actual humans who may become quite fondly attached to the character, and then feel used and duped. They emailed advice and consolation to "Bree". Now they think their earnest, heartfelt communiques were being laughed at. Bree is just a committee of oppressors, capitalist exploiters with a hidden and unseemly commercial agenda.

The frenzy and hostility is over the issues of Authenticity, Passion, Transparency. How refreshing to see the younger crowd rally to the same war cry as the early bloggers.

Is your company online? Blogging? Videocasting? Web conferencing?

Then you better be exactly who you say you are. With online predators, con artists, and malware, authenticity and honesty are fighting words in the videosphere and blogosphere. Cluetrain Manifesto and Gonzo Marketing made that clear long ago.

Truth and Transparency as you solve a problem or enhance a life style for your customer.

Let that be the foundation of your business plan. Don't deceive or exploit. Be yourself. Be upfront about everything. Anticipate flames and complaints, don't be caught off guard and then panic with denials and lies.

MySpace is so 2005.

YouTube is 2006.

Blogging is where you should already be.

Video is where you need to be going now.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

web users get smart, reduce activity

Web users are smarter, and more cynical, according to Consumer Reports Webwatch, in a report from October 2005.

Due to ethical problems, health concerns, and self-protective measures, web users have retreated back to the real, offline world, and have drastically reduced web activity.

"Leap of Faith"


Web users are demanding more of Web sites while becoming less trustful of them, and are adjusting their behavior in response to what they see as real threats online. In fact, almost a third say they are cutting back their Web use, according to a national survey and report prepared for WebWatch by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI).


For all online users, the report found that concern about identity theft is substantial, and is changing consumer behavior in major ways.

Four in five Internet users (80 percent) are at least somewhat concerned someone could steal their identity from personal information on the Internet. Nearly nine out of ten users (86 percent) have made at least one change in their behavior because of this fear:

• 30 percent say they have reduced their overall use of the Internet.

• A majority of Internet users (53 percent) say they have stopped giving out personal information on the Internet.

• 25 percent say they have stopped buying things online.

• 54 percent of those who shop online report they have become more likely to read a site’s privacy policy or user agreement before buying.

• 29 percent of those who shop online say they have cut back on how often they buy on the Internet.



Also see "Who Are You Online?" by web ethics columnist Angela Gunn (Oct. 2002).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

lucid-translucent excuses

Something that has been put here, and man has persecuted.//Freedom.\\We make so many excuses: brilliant, unarguable, endlessly proliferating, [words censored by superscripted under-text] lucid-translucent excuses. Result? The diminishing of //a good\\.

We sigh and change channels on the television, or hop to another blog in the blogosphere, but we don't change inside. The same old marketing ploys, the same hyped up pleading, the Business As Usual blase blues. We hear the troubled chords.

("Try my product."--no not that, but rather instead: "Solve your problem, enhance your lifestyle, increase your enjoyment of being alive -- by my product." whimpered in a Miserably Servile Customer Pampering system [txt missing from original source data] tone of voice.)

I w...[text illegible in the original document]...and wrote this brief, elusive, annoying post.

"You don't like how I'm dealing with certain problems, " I said surreptitiously.

"Are you trying to make excuses and exceptions to explain your behavior?" she asked in ironic voice.

I replied. "But something was put here, and I utilized it, and now there's a problem. The fault is not in the item, but in me, because of the perceptual framework of others. This is a sad and unfortunate state of affairs, a situation that contains only my doom, and not my release."

"[garbled communication in reference work]", she answered.

What was "put here"? you wonder.

Just this: //Freedom\\.