On Two-Faced Blogging

I’d like to just take a moment and share with you what it is like being in industry and academia. This post is actually in response to Monique’s comment yesterday:

Hi Christy,

Ah the terming debate… sigh.

Now, what Monique is referring to is my recent rantings about terminology on this blog. I highlight it because it may just be indicative of many of my industry readers. I find it interesting because I also have academic readers who I’m sure “sigh” at my posts about marketing and my lack of theoretical debate. You see, I work in industry and academia and both of them speak different languages.

Industry isn’t concerned with discussions about terms or antecedents. If a term is introduced or claimed (eg: ‘mobisodes’ or ‘360’) it is to draw attention to the person or company touting it. A term helps create a product that can be exchanged for monetary value. They’re focused on the present, but more so the future. Industry is interested in the latest and next trend. It is about being economically viable, and that means products are marketed as being the first. Industry rarely refers to its predecessors and always claims it is the future. Industry is never unsure, it champions definitive cause-and-effect solutions only.

Academia is concerned with how the present and past shapes the present and, at times, the future. Academia looks at phenomena in the present and wants to find its heritage. It presumes there is never a first. Terms are introduced to delineate the object of study from other things. They describe a specificity. A term can be exchanged for monetary value (it is an IP business), but the aim is to draw attention to the object it describes rather than the person describing it. Terms represent theories, ways of seeing things. When discussing a way of seeing a thing, an academic has to know the conversation that has been going on for decades about it. It is always referring to its predecessors. Academia is always unsure, it champions sound inquiry only.

It is hoped that with these sweeping generalisations I have communicated the conflict of interest of I have when writing for this blog. I have purposely made this blog as accessible as possible but I am not a neutral reporter of projects. I am an academic and creator, who has opinions and a way of seeing things. This means that I’ll talk about things that won’t interest all of you all of the time. I have hardly any theoretical debate on this blog (because of plagiarism concerns) but I will be including more as I move into the final stages of my PhD land. I may be moving my theory stuff to another blog but that won’t be for a while. In the meantime, you’ll just have to grin and bear it. Or start your own blog that discusses things in an industry- or academia-only manner. But please, be aware that this is a shared space. So, academics and industry people, be tolerant of each other. And for those of you that are both…we can share war stories some time.

2 Replies

  • HI Christy,

    What an excellent piece… Just to clarify my.. sigh..
    I am not an academic like christy. BUT I do tend to find it very very necesarry to have the terming debate..

    My sigh is for reasons that I meet every day, people using the term crossmedia at every end and NOT willing to clarify what they mean by it. This pollutes the debate on what we are talking about. It is completely OK to have different opinions on what you think crossmedia is, BUT please either science AS WELL as industry CLARIFY what you mean. Don’t dismiss this as another term you use to get other strategic goals set.. OK you will, as industry. And you will not clarify what you mean out of strategic reasons, maybe.. But if so, don’t bother, you already missed out on the new ecology. Crossmedia is about transparancy as well. But please do not polute the necessary discussion of what crossmedia is all about. What happens if you dismiss the term…. the actuality of the immensive change in media (convergence, use, industry, technonology etc etc) will REMAIN!
    So just start talking and thinking about it and clarify what you mean if you use the word crossmedia.. BIG SIGH.

    Christy you are a light baken, for trying to be and stay pure about this!

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