Thursday, August 28, 2003

It’s All About the Bigge

I wrote a bunch of articles about branding for Adbusters about a billion years ago (i.e. sometime between 96-98) and in December of last year, Wired Daily quoted from one of them ("Apple: It's All About the Brand" by Leander Kahney). I must admit to being rather excited at the time. In fact, I still am. The link to the article is here, and the relevant bit in question is below:

Ryan Bigge, writing in Adbusters, said: "Our dreams and desires for a better world are no longer articulated by JFKs nor generated through personal epiphanies -- they are now the intellectual currency of Pepsi and Diesel. We used to have movements for change -- now we have products. Brands may befriend us, console us and inspire us, but the relationship comes at the highest price imaginable -- the loss of self."

I mention the name drop because a) I have ego, which is a necessary trait in a writer and b) magazine writing is often frustrating – you write something, it’s published, and it disappears. Quite often you get no feedback. Occasionally a letter to the editor, but more often silence. (I suppose newspaper hacks face down this problem even more so, given their work has the life span of a mayfly versus the senior citizen longevity of magazines.)

Writers read other writers (although they don’t always admit it), but among the general magazine-reading public, byline recognition is scarce. The overall ethos is that nobody really cares all that much if you get published. Except your mom.

So when someone refers back to something you wrote, especially something you wrote a long time ago, it helps erase the feeling that at least some of your work isn’t a temporary ink stain.

Further to this, (warning, massive Bigge Ego blast upcoming) last September I was asked for reprint permission for an article I wrote about business jargon for Reader’s Choice, fourth Canadian Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall. And then, more recently, in March of this year, I was asked for permission to reprint a Saturday Night article in a textbook called Looking Out, Looking In, 2nd Canadian Edition, Nelson publishers.