'Is Dead' Isn't Dead-But Maybe It Should Be

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'Is Dead' Isn't Dead-But Maybe It Should Be Powered By Docstoc
					WALT CRAWFORD
                                                                                                                       disContent



‘Is Dead’ Isn’t                                                              More indicative of the pure failure of the “X is dead” theme are
                                                                         proclamations that this or that social medium or social network is
                                                                         dead. Wired (isn’t that dead yet?) has announced that blogging is


Dead—But                                                                 dead. So have many others (including Dan Lyons, better known as
                                                                         Fake Steve Jobs)—sometimes in blog posts. Someone finds a hotter
                                                                         technology for them—and that means blogs are dead. (EContent

Maybe It                                                                 used the alternative cliché about blogs in the January/February
                                                                         2009 issue—few of us are immune from this tired usage.)
                                                                             Andrew Baron declares Twitter is dead because Tumblr’s

Should Be                                                                better. A number of people have pronounced that Google is
                                                                         dead—or that PageRank is dead. Facebook? Yep, as pronounced
                                                                         on a Wall Street site in December 2008, with the qualifier “in



w                hen was the last time you read some piece of
                 econtent (or print content) proclaiming “X is dead”—
                 where X is something other than a person who’s
recently deceased? Five minutes ago? An hour ago? Yesterday?
    Unless you’re luckier than most or read only in rarefied circles,
                                                                         U.S.” earlier in 2008 (we all fled our Facebook accounts,
                                                                         remember?); and, of course, elsewhere. MySpace, of course, is
                                                                         dead, as are user-generated content and content itself. (Content
                                                                         was killed by community—and community is dead.)
                                                                             What about TV—or network TV, broadcast TV, or scripted
I’ll bet it’s been less than a week—probably a lot less. I’ll also bet   TV? Dead for years now, pronounced deceased almost as
that X is not dead.                                                      frequently as print books (remember print books?). Newspapers?
    It’s gone beyond cliché to the point that it weakens stories to      They died years ago. Why, U.S. papers will probably have a mere
which it’s attached. Many stories that use it are sloppy futurism,       $36 billion in ad revenue this year. Apple? Dead for years: Look
equating “weaker than it was a year ago” with “dead or about to          it up. (So is Microsoft. So is Intel. So is the CPU …) Bing yields
be,” which isn’t the way most things work. Others just ache for          the improbable “208 million results” for “email is dead” as a
attention, such as articles that explicitly say,
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: "X is dead " has gone beyond cliche to the point that it weakens stories to which it's attached. Many stories that use it are sloppy futurism, equating weaker than it was a year ago with dead or about to be, which isn't the way most things work. There's an alternative formulation -- "X is dead; long live X." But of course, "X is dead; long live XI" is self-negating. More indicative of the pure failure of the "X is dead" theme are proclamations that this or that social medium or social network is dead. Andrew Baron declares Twitter is dead because Tumblr's better. Mostly, it's nonsense. Magazines aren't dead or even close.
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