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January 06, 2007

Real Reality and Fake Reality

If you have ever worked in retail, then you might want to check out a new blog called Cooper's retail blog. It's written by an employee at a large department store and looks like it will detail his frustrations with customers and management.

Except, Cooper isn't a real person. He's a character in the daily comic strip Retail who won $5000 in a scratch lottery and decided to start the blog. But the blog is real, I mean the URL exists and Cooper has put up a couple of posts. So what will he blog about? Well, if this thing follows proper 2007ish methodology, he will blog about what goes on in the strip, but from his point of view. So you might have a strip in which one of the characters does something and then Cooper blogs his point of view. Or he might just repeat what happens in the strip, if it features him and is important enough to be his post of the day. If he takes it far enough, he could take input from his blog and use it in the strip, for example Cooper in the strip could relay a comment or story from a blog post from a "real" person. That's what *I* would do if I were the author of the strip, and I had enough energy to keep both of them up (the strip, which was a recent addition to our paper, actually is funny and is now on the short list of ones I read every day).

This merging of real and unreal is what the Wired cover story on Lonelygirl15 was about. Some may just view her as [insert suitable inappropriate terminology] for 15-year-old computer geeks. But the creators obviously have something more in mind, in which Lonelygirl15 will become a scripted but pseudo-real personality; certainly as real, to you, as a pen pal that you acquired as a school assignment in 8th grade. People will interact with her and it will be for real, to the extent that that has meaning. I mean, this crap is all about wasting time anyway, right? The fact that Lonelygirl15 is played by an actress and her responses are the collective opinion of several people...well, you're just going to have to get over that.

Posted by AdamBa at January 6, 2007 10:21 PM

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I think Stephen Colbert coined the term "wikiality": If enough people believe it is real then it must be real.



Posted by: Abhishek225 at January 7, 2007 05:41 PM