This blog has at least four reasons to exist:
1) It’s a requirement of the Podacasting class;
2) It gets me to pay closer attention to how podcasting is being used by human beings in general – which I can write about here;
3) It gets me to look at and think about business-related applications that I can suggest (and sell to) my clients – which I can write about here;
4) It gets me to think about potential formats for my personal podcasting project, which I could write about here, as well as produce and post experimental comps of.
This week’s most interesting application of blogging and podcasting by humans was reported in The NY Times about angry ex-spouses airing dirty marital laundry in blogs, podcasts and web videos. A chilling example is a video posted on YouTube by playwright Tricia Walsh Smith in which she directly addresses the camera about the dirty deeds of her estranged husband, Philip Smith, the head of the Schubert theater organization.
“Oh, and another thing,” Tricia tells us as casually as if we were all sitting in circle at a meeting of her divorce support group. “We never had sex. Philip told me it was because he had high blood pressure. And then I found his Viagra, porn movie and condoms…”
What is obviously great therapy for the aggrieved party dumping their grievances onto the Internet can be painfully embarrassing for the other spouse,regardless of whether they are guilty as charged. The article notes a estimate by the Pew Internet and American Life Project that more than one in ten adult Internet users in the US now have blogs, and that increasing numbers are using them to tell their side of relationships gone bad. Spouses who have sued to stop the public rants have thus far received no comfort from the courts. Apparently, the only way to fight back is to post your own side of the story online , but the only realistic hope of winning an audience or evening the score is to respond in kind, i.e., make your defense as salacious and revelatory as your spouse’s original accusations.
Surely, prenuptial agreements of the rich and famous now have standard clauses prohibiting online exposés as a condition of any financial settlement. But the trend raises the specter of spouses amassing embarrassing video snippets and recorded sound bites whenever they’re feeling at all unhappy and filing them in a “just in case” vault of media assets. Will any of us dare clown in front of video camera again? And forget about even letting a Polaroid camera into the bedroom. On the other hand, if everyone thinks that their any marital move could turn up on YouTube, it could having the effect of keeping us on our best behavior, for better or for worse.