Thursday, May 28, 2015

Odds and Ends

Woke up early today as I have a doctor's appointment in the morning. Noticed I had passed the million visitors mark for this blog, after deleting it the third or maybe fourth time. Which means, realistically, this could be the second or third million hits.

Over, I dunno, 11 years? 12?

Those journalists who once told me that this Internet thing is a fad and that yes, they've seen similar fads come and go (like Smell-O-Vision, perhaps?), that it will soon die off in 2004 and people would go back to buying newspapers are now plying their trade at Internet portals.

If there is a literal interpretation of eating one's words, I guess that would be it.

In any case, things keep on changing. Internet media is a nebulous, ephemeral thing. People keep on repeating nomadic patterns. The numbers shift from one thing to another. Now, that is a fad behaviour.

Myspace and Facebook are interesting examples. Myspace died quite properly some hundreds of cyber years ago. Facebook didn't. Or haven't. Facebook is no longer sexy, of course, but the late adapters number more than the attention-deficit Xs and Ys.

While the cool and hip leftist-leaning urbanites moved their overpriced coffee pictures to Twitter and now Instagram, the majority who just discovered broadband Internet access also stumbled upon Facebook.

The bulk of the BN audience is on Facebook, which remains their most effective platform. Twitter was won over by seemingly endless bots, as demonstrated by the ill-fated and easily-discovered bot-fuelled 3 million tweets campaign one Merdeka Day.

I sent a message to one of the bots, that were tweeting the same message even though sporting the Twitter equivalent of Osman, Muthusamy and Lai Kok Seng multi-ethnic Twitter handles. I told them, "We come in peace and look forward to serving our machine overlords."

While numerous Opposition agents try to convince me - someone they marked as Government-friendly, though I'm nothing of the sort - that Twitter is no longer cool, I understand it still has a role to play in the coming election. The big one. The one BN is supposed to lose due to their own stupidity.

And yes, BN as a political party has played the cyberwars quite stupidly. Their tactics are easily uncovered and the stance or direction - when they have one - has always been arrogant and standoffish.

There are people and brands who succeeded by being arrogant and brusque online, myself included. There is a reason why and how it is done that way. Mostly due to the pursuit of vaginas. It is not one would expect from people begging for your votes to stay in power and does not inspire any confidence or endearment whatsoever.

When the giant BN cyber machineries fall and fail, and they will fall hard and fail catastrophically, I hope somebody notes the numbers. Would be fun, dissecting just how much they royally fucked up.

So where does that leave blogs? I wrote in 2008, after the GE that blogs are done and dusted. That bloggers are now inconsequential. Those who believe otherwise are delusional.

Sure, there is still a role for blogs to play as a platform. But lose the tired idea that personalities drive blogs. Nobody cares anymore. Post-lonelygirl15, nobody really believes in the interesting personality online. And Lonelygirl15 was a thing - a scandal - before even the big Malaysian blog boom.

Blogs are sites. Sites are sources of information. Sites are tools. Blogs, sites, FB pages have all blended under the generic 'Internet Tools' banner.

Nobody cares who you are, unless you are DrM. The rest care about WHAT they get from this... tool. Naked pictures? Weather forecasts?

The age of the thought-leaders are over around seven years ago. You have mob-leaders now and at the post-peak point of the Information Age, we will have hordes of the most mis-informed crowds going at it with each other. All shouting, non-listening, hordes of idiots flaming online. This is the future? This is today.

The future exists in tangible things. I have gone back to working at a newspaper and updating this blog. Why? Because despite everything, I have never done this for money (except the newspaper, TV and movies part) or attention or fame. I do it because I want to. I rather enjoy it.

Few things give me greater pleasure than reading my own writing and admiring how great and intelligent I am.