Reflecting on a short piece on the magazine programme The Culture Show a handful of years back, I'm left thoughtful by the direction digital publishing and social media are taking us in terms of the books, music, art and entertainment we have access to. The programme in question foretold a massive accessability to the general public for the publication of creative work in all spheres, and at the same time a massive decline in quality as everyone had the chance to air their views and their work online. Five minutes of fame.
Don't get me wrong, the opportunities offered by the likes of twitter and facebook are only too plain to me, allowing instant access to my work and a chance to pitch to any person or organization across the globe. The chance to build relationships, get your name known and impress potential backers is phenomenal - a real social leveller to elitism. Yet as the grip of publishing houses and media companies decline amid the rising tide of youtube TV channels, self published e-books, online vlogs, instagram and twitter, who is left to tell us what is any good? On the one hand the people can decide instantly, yet for me, I feel swamped by this Orwellian rush of budding authors, artists and craftspeople, overwhelmed by being one of billions with a laptop, a catchy slogan, a flash logo and work to air.
Even if what I produce is good, and I have the best chance ever to pitch it digitally, there's every chance I'll be missed amongst the herd, overlooked by bored agents and liked and
for five minutes amongst the other wit and eye-candy. Or perhaps not. Perhaps it's good that we can all dream of being published and in some way achieve our dream. Perhaps that five minutes of fame is well worth it if it inspires someone, only once.