Electric Shadow

"You Are Not a Publicist": @danielwcarlson

To this point, selected annotations of items in a thread by Daniel Carlson on Twitter:

In 2011, I organized a panel for SXSW called “You Are Not a Publicist,” in which I tried (semi-successfully) to work through the issues facing modern film critics and talk about the pressure to be part of the promotional process.

I don’t think I was saying anything new, or anything that wasn’t already on the minds of a lot of people in the game (full time or freelance). It’s a tricky thing, knowing that the work you do to try and talk about a movie can and will be co-opted as branding.

I think where I came down (then and now) is that all you can do is honestly talk about how you feel, what you like, what you see. And to be aware of the degree to which you are crafting content that isn’t a reflection of yourself but a promotional tool to be used and monetized.

I remember a very specific point in the rise of movie blogging where there was money to be made from being the best aggregator of the most prominent content. Page views were everything. Friendliness with the right publicity and marketing people translated to access that was refused to others. The "game" was for the "throne" of King of the Moment.

Anyway, I’m thinking about all this because my timeline isn’t so much filled with people talking about Game of Thrones as it is with people creating content that can be branded and sold to bolster HBO.

Movie/TV blog advertising evaporated in part because the rise of social media gave millions and millions of copywriters their printing presses, and the aggregate became completely un-critical, un-journalistic, and cheap (more like free) in bulk. This isn't meant as a criticism, it's just what happened.

On social media, the user is the product. Just by being here and typing this for free, we give Twitter (or Facebook, or whomever) value.

The critic/writer version of that has to be when you go beyond covering something, beyond championing it, to acting as a full-fledged PR rep.

The difference is: you know you’re the product on social media. But when you’re doing what’s basically unpaid work for HBO, you make yourself think you’re working for yourself or an outlet, instead of the studio reaping the reward.

My very handsome friend has elucidated why I'd rather shift back to producing more #content in a space I own than generate more grist for the various social media industrial mills than I have to for my actual stuff to get noticed.

I binged the entirety of Game of Thrones over about two weeks a while back, taking notes as I went about things I predicted and noticed and so on. Instead of posting a massive thread on Twitter, as I would have previously, I'm going to post those heaps of #hottakes here and drive people to it from Twitter the best I can.

Yes. The answer to the question you are asking is yes.