Blogging (when I should be surfing) from 70 degree weather from superficial Southern California…
Paul Kedrosky blogs about his panel at Supernova this week. Unlike his fellow big hitting, tech-centric panelists, he rejoiced at the number of mentions of Paris Hilton because it signaled the arrival of the web as mass media. I, too, have heard the blog TMZ over and over and over now in the mainstream press. TMZ has become the new Drudge report for celebrity worship and following. The traffic numbers prove this out.
It’s pretty hard not to find the fascination with celebrities disconcerting. I’m still at a loss as to exactly who it is that is hero worshipping Paris Hilton. However, everyone’s talking about it, even if it’s largely to simply lambaste the heiress and watch the symbol of selfishness and excessiveness fall hard. I had a five minute debate over whether it was fair to tear Paris Hilton down or whether she deserves at least some remorse for serving some jail time and already felt bad for wasting that much time on the subject.
It highlights the interesting tension between techies/hippies/realness versus superficiality. Now the superficial pleasures (of which, celebrity following is the worse kind) have found their way into the inner sanctum of the web that was once dominated by techies.
As a techie, you certainly don’t have to sell out to this and I certainly commend those that don’t. Just understand that sometimes the simplest, most superficial pleasures will become those that will ultimately find the biggest audiences on the web. And sometimes promoting some fun, superficial elements on your web property isn’t always a bad thing.