Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 24, 200810:49 PM

Is Inconsistency The New Mass Media?

Just before recording the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast this weekend, I had two thoughts:

1. What am I going to record this week?

2. What am I going to Blog about?

I record the Podcast every week (usually, sometime over the weekend, and I post it on Sunday). I also Blog just about every day (some days, I simply don't get around to posting, so I do a little something I call, Retro-Blogging, where I post the Blog stuff on the date it was intended to be read). It all reminded me of the days before Blogs (remember those?), when I would head into the local magazine shop and hope that a new edition of one of my favourite magazine was available.

There was consistency in mass media (there still is). It's pretty easy to predict when the issue of Wired Magazine is going to hit the stands, or when 60 Minutes will air. You can also tell when the daily news is on TV, and you can set your clock by the arrival of the daily newspaper.

Why do those involved in creating content for the Social Media channels (Blogs, Podcasts, etc...) fall into that same trap of creating a regular schedule? I know, I know, you hear all of the time that the beauty of these channels is that you can Blog or Podcast when you want, and for as long as you want, but those who do not update frequently and regularly, seem to always be teetering on the extinction side of Digital Darwinism. It's hard to build audience is you're not consistently Podcasting or Blogging.

Can you really build your community if you only tweet on twitter once every week or so? The norm used to be that you could Blog as infrequently as once a week. Does that still hold true? (I fear not).

To a certain degree, I think we do need to get back that Willie-Nilly vibe of doing it when it feels right, versus doing it because you feel like it's expected (I grapple with this constantly). Isn't that the reason mass media bores us? It's their constant need to "feed the machine."

What if we only Blogged when it was really pent up? What if we only created a Podcast when we had something that had to be said? What if we are, in fact, just creating more pieces of content that have similar traits to the general mass media?

What would Mass Media really look like if it only came out when the media sources had something really important to say? (stop laughing).

I've been following a lot of Blogs and listening to a lot of Podcasts (including my own) and, as independent and unique as they all are, they do have many similarities to Mass Media channels - from voice and content, to production schedule and monetization schemes.

Can we break that cycle, or are we trapped in the Mass Media Complex?

And, the last thought (that really sparked this Blog posting), can inconsistency ever, really, become the new consistency?

By Mitch Joel