“Why would Taylor Swift (21.3m followers) ever need the New York Times (6.7m followers)?” The question, posed by the astute and funny Ryan Holiday, is the big fat head on the nail that new technologies are driving into the coffin of traditional media. Everything is numbers–didn’t Nate Silver just prove that? Holiday notes how PR effort–hell, any effort to communicate–today relies utterly on the subject’s own ability to share the news with his/her own followers and fans. (‘Twas ever thus! cry out emerging bands, local businesses, and lonesome novelists.)
Why should Swifty (as Taylor is known, faux intimately) notify the Times when she’s about to drop a new single? Today she can get word to those who care most faster than even her namesake, the agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar, could make a two-picture deal for Bogart. Taylor Swift just presses a button. Today everybody has a button. Did you build a better mousetrap, hangover cure, waffle iron or Twitter app last night? Tell the people! We curate our own news every morning (or afternoon or midnight) now, we whip our world together with the swish of our finger or Pulse app. It’s a mess. It lacks eloquence, cohesion, style and a sense of order. We love it. Please share.