Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The medium is the message

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Picking up on the blogging trend has gotten me thinking about publishing work whether it be music, articles or just random thoughts. I don’t think any of my observations are terribly original, but they are on my mind since I’ve recently gotten myself involved in regular blogging, music writing and writing in general.

Publishing your thoughts in a blog or putting your music up on a Web site such as MySpace takes only a few seconds and you can immediately share it with friends and whoever takes the time to find your page. I recently blogged from China and was wowed by the fact that I could relate my experiences to friends and family on the other side of the world. I went to see live music and was able to relate my experience by writing down my thoughts and by posting video. Likewise, I can record a track on my computer in my living room and have it up on a website in a few minutes.

This is cool, but it makes traditional publishing seem terribly slow. You have to wait for an editor to review it, look at the revisions, send them back and wait for the finished piece to show up in print, whether it be in a journal, magazine or book. The same goes for publishing music. You have to record, edit, re-record, send off your master, wait for it to be pressed and shipped.

In both cases, after waiting many months I noticed something strange. When the article was published and when the CD arrived, they both seemed foreign to me. I read over the pages, listened to the tracks and had hazy recollections of writing and recording them, but the work didn’t feel like it was mine. Here was this printed page and CD in front of me with my work on it but I felt a disconnect since the work was done so long ago!

(Editor's note — Actual Proof's CD release party is being held on July 31 at the Double Door Inn. While Eric doesn't want to do shameless self-promotion, I'll say, "Go check them out!")

Maybe I just have a bad memory, but I’m suspicious that this disconnect is caused — at least in part — by the prevalence of media (such as the internet) that allow me to consume information quickly and easily. I can read a blog posted just a moment ago, download music to my iPod that was just released, and Jeff Hahne’s Twitters will be keeping me up-to-date on the latest musical goings on in the Charlotte area.

This is all good stuff, but again, one wonders what is going to happen to traditional media such as the printed page and CD. Maybe it’s a good thing that I’m blogging after all? At least I’ll have some work that feels like it’s really mine…

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