First Person Singular

June 3rd, 2007

I can’t tell you what joy it brings me to see my colleagues’ mugs online. And not just because they’re good looking.

I’ve been ballyhooing the blog as a means of granting audiences access to newsrooms to no avail for years. Still, even as corporate news correspondants — from Brian Williams to Katie Couric to Anderson Cooper — were breaking down the fourth wall, our brick and mortar remained. Information was carefully vetted, assuring not only that it took days for actual news to make it to the audience, but that the experience around getting that news — say, for example, what it was like to fly cross country on a private lear jet with Fall Out Boy — never saw the light of day.

I’m a fan of what we in the business call, “color.” That is, while the who, what, where, when and why is cool, I’m interested in everything else around it. What was he wearing? What did she smell like? How did his eyes look? Was he smoking? Drinking tea? Was he engaging? Distant? Did you shake hands? Or hug?

There are plenty of reasons why it’s challenging to open up the gatekeeping a little bit. For starters, it’s additive work, and there are only so many employees, and so many hours a day. For another, it’s difficult to keep an eye on a moving target. Allowing for first person singular in an otherwise corporate setting can be a slippery slope. Plus, at the end of the day, some people just don’t like the word “blog” (which is why I call this thing The Daily Journal).

Still, I’ve been chipping away for months. The first small win was the allowance to blog on our My Space page (itself a small victory), theory being, My Space is all about first person singular (possessive, but that’s semantic). That we now have an actual blog, though, is an interesting confluence of factors.

The Cliff Notes, politically sanctioned (actually, that I’m writing this at all is probably not politically sanctioned) version is that — after all of my evangelizing about audience, access, and voice — it was someone else’s well-timed, utterly guileless inquiry that functioned as the proverbial straw.

“Can you guys blog the Movie Awards?”

Can we!?!

Still, the big lesson has been that my arguments about audience, access, and voice were moot. It’s all about the page views. A year of long tail and search engine optimization monologues (with well-timed contributions from a well-versed Greek chorus) paid off.

So here it is: The MTV Movies Blog.

And now that the wall has cracks, it’s tumbling down. We’ve launched three blogs in the last three weeks, there are six more scheduled for August first, and many, many more shortly thereafter.

The revolution will not be televised. It will, however, be blogged.