The Onion poked a hole in the Miley Cyrusization of the internet today in this piece “Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning.” It was a pinpoint accurate blow to the clickbait culture we’re mired in, and myself and my internet content producer colleagues all had a pretty good chuckle over it before promptly sharing it ourselves on Twitter.
Let me explain why I, the media smartass character, was so excited to share it. You see, it was because I want you to think I am the type of media pro who sees through the bullshit, propping myself up as a sort of metaphorical cleaver through the muck of the internet. Maybe as a barrier, a filter of some kind, I guess. A prism or sorts, you might say. The point is, a guy who knows where to find the primo viral content, but also to present it in a way that cuts down to brass tacks, you follow? (Haha, if all goes well you do.)
This is to engender a false sense of familiarity between us, meaning me, the writer or blogger or whatever, and you the regular reader. That way you’ll come to see me as a person you can trust to inject a little irony into the normally depressing slog of the content mill. It makes it easier for both of us to swallow that way. You, by saying you’re not really reading about Miley Cyrus on the type of site that writes about Miley Cyrus sincerely, and me by telling myself I’m merely pulling off some sort of one step-removed commentary on media. It’s not clicks, or even hate clicks, but meta clicks, which, guess what, computers can’t detect sarcasm, so the long and short of it is I get the eyeballs either way.
All of which is likely to result in new follows for me on Twitter, where you’ll thereby become more likely to click on the links that I share day and night, in order to promote my own personal brand. Yes, most of them are to my own work, which then goes on to reflect well on the sites I write for, like this one, increasing their clicks, and maybe even turning into a tidy little pageviews bonus for me, the guy who is too good for this sort of thing. On top of that, the better my stuff does here, and the more followers I accumulate on Twitter, the more likely I am to be offered work at other, bigger sites who pay more. Like The Onion or CNN, for example. Both of whom can reach me at the aforementioned Twitter handle here.
Anyway, that’s how this whole thing works.