A LOVE SUPREME

I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Flogs

I remember a while back emailing Doyle about an intriguing (I called it a "Baudrillard-type") experiment:

Start an anonymous blog and write daily entries reflecting, as close as possible, the life of a celebrity who is living life and relaying their experiences to the mass audiance. But keep it up regularly to very closely mirror the actual life of the celebrity and, via the imagination, fill in the details closely proximating said celebrities life.

I wonder if this is not already being done. It would be interesting b/c if someone followed, with close attention to detail, a celebrities life over the course of a long period of time, then such a person could probably reach a point where they the blog very closely reflected the actual thoughts/actions of the celebrity on a given day.

But think about it....if you could get to that point then when a major event (positive or negative) happened, news outlets may actually cite your blog as a reflection of what the celebrity is actually thinking/feeling about that major event. What is Tom Cruise thinking when Kattie goes back to Ohio with his baby? How is he responding to the airing of the South Park "Come out of the closet, Tom" episode? All this would be captured by the blogger, who by this time has become a representative of the celebrity - probably a better rep than the celebrity themselves...or at least more interesting!


Well, not only are there such a thing as fake celebrity blogs, but there are actually fake celebrity blogs that are not fake. They are called Flogs. Here's the wikipedia explanation:

A fake blog (sometimes shortened to flog or referred to as a flack blog) is a marketing tool designed by a professional advertisement company to promote a product in a fashion one might find on a fan site or in regular blog entries. The purpose of such "flogs" is to inspire viral marketing or create an internet meme which generates traffic and interest in a product disproportionate to the interest a company could generate using the same budget on traditional means of advertising, much the same as astroturfing (a "fake grassroots" campaign).

Flogs pretend to be one or more people writing a blog out of pure enjoyment or enlightened self-interest, when in reality the whole blog is a carefully crafted piece of advertising. The person may be real, but usually isn't.

Flog is often applied to corporate blogs or those written by politicians, where the public relations department or aides do the blogging. Generally, a website pretending to be a blog but actually the creation of public relations firms, the mainstream media, or professional political operatives.


In other words, a flog is something of a copy of a copy. An impersonator who is impersonating an impersonator.

By the way, here is an attempt at that Tom Cruise blog that I suggested:
http://tomcruiseblog.blogspot.com/
The blog has a Disclaimer that clearly states it is a fake. However, if there are now fake blogs run by the real person/corporation, then such Disclaimers become virtually meaningless.

My suggestion: Embrace the artificial! This is an incredible opportunity for creativity. The above Tom Cruise blog is good, but a little bit soo spoofy. The challenge is to create blogs that so closely mirror the lives/thinking/feeling of the "real" celebrity that the blog actually becomes a synthetic spokesperson. Honestly, if it were done well enough and it was kept up to date you would find yourself with invitations to television news shows, interviews with celebrity gossip columnists, and even opportunities to write books. Sure, you might wind up with legal problems, but remember: No publicity is bad publicity. If you spin it right the legal wranglings would only serve to make you more popular.

Get fame by imitating fame. Get fame by imitating an imitation of fame. This is the new "trickle-down-blogonomics" of fame.

Ok. Well, I'm off to start a few fake blogs on the Theos Project.

Stay beautiful.

13 comments:

Melody said...

Just think how little of a life a person would have to have to be able to even semi accurately reflect some other person that they have (probably) never met is thinking.

I have little of enough of a life just living mine!

The corporate flogs...well those aren't suprising...irritating maybe...but not suprising.

Have you read one? Do they sound realistic or are they pretty fake?

Jonathan Erdman said...

It is actually kind of hard to find the corporate flogs because they go on undercover, and if they are ever exposed they pull the plug on the project.

Here is a consumer advocacy group that harshly criticizes a flog that was set up under the disguise of some kids who want a Sony PSP for Christmas:
Sony's PSP Blog Flog Revealed

Here is a link on a project similar to what we are talking about. It is an organization and not limited solely to a blogging project, but the same concept holds true:
Working Families for Wal-Mart.

samlcarr said...

Try out http://erdmania.blogspot.com, no disclaimers!

Jonathan Erdman said...

I'll be interested to read what "erdmania" writes about his love life.

Melody said...

Highly amusing...I loved the site "All Sony Wants for Christmas is a better marketing department"

samlcarr said...

all those suffering from erdmania do write in-your comments and suggestions, it's the only known temporary cure for the acute phase symptoms.

Your submissions will be logged and the greatest erdmaniac gets a date with U Know WHO!

ktismatics said...

So are you saying that it's possible to write a post here and it'll show up?

Erdman said...

Definitely. I'm working on a polling device that will log all visitors.

The hard part is going to be to think like the celebrity in question or at least to get the readers to think so! I may be helped by the present state of general ignorance on this topic...

Melody said...

I think you're going to need a different photo if you want to fool people. It'll also help if you stretch it out length ways so it's all distorted. Very authentic.

Erdman said...

Melody, great suggestions, B/W blurred and wracked out looking!
Give me a ay or two.

ktismatics said...

"Give me a ay or two"

???

"I may be helped by the present state of general ignorance on this topic..."

Are you calling the Erdmanian ignorant?

Melody said...

No, he's saying that people don't know that much about him.

Jonathan Erdman said...

That Erdman guy really is clever.