Thursday, 30 November 2006

The power of blogs and how Abby Lee became a household name.....

Web 2.0 has created a whole new world of content. In the past production and technology costs had meant that media organisations produced content and the audience just consumed it. Now anyone can publish to the web in minutes. Sites like YouTube or Flickr allow people to post videos and pictures but by far the most popular way of producing User Generated Content to date has been blogging. Technorati (http://www.technorati.com/) monitors activity and currently tracks 91.4 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.

The BBC recently produced a documentary discussing the blogging phenomenon:


This documentary featured Abby Lee - a blogger who started an anonymous sex blog and ended up becoming something of a celebrity. The way that this happened (and the speed with which it happened) is a great example of the way that new publishing technology has forever changed the media environment. People may not find the content agreeable and she can be a dirty, dirty lady, but it is one of the best examples of how publishing has changed.

The blog:


GirlWithAOneTrackMind features Abby Lee's thoughts on sex and contains graphic descriptions of her sexual exploits. Girlwithaonetrackmind became one of the UK's most widely read blogs (2 million+ visitors) and as result a publishing deal was offered.

Girl With A One Track Mind - the book

'Girl with a one track mind' is a kind of 'dirty Bridget Jones' and features choice extracts from the girlwithaonetrackmind blog. Whilst the book protects the anonymity of the author, the Sunday Times decided it would be in the public interest to reveal the real life identity of the 'Girlwithaonetrackmind.' On 6th August 2006 they used a large part of page 3 to do so.

Abby Lee outed in the Sunday Times

Abby Lee refused to contribute to the Sunday Times story, but in it's aftermath sanctioned an interview with the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1842121,00.html

She then went on to appear on the Sharon Osbourne show:

http://girlwithaonetrackmind.blogspot.com/2006/09/sharon-osbourne.html

and has now been seen in a number of places either discussing her blog or putting forward her views on relationships.

This is a great example of how a personal weblog (blog) can cross over into the mainstream - in this case Abby Lee's online diary became a best selling book, with further 'fame' found through the Sunday Times and subsequent TV appearances. This may just be the beginning, it wouldn't surprise me to see more and more blogs driving the mainstream media (especially around news).

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