Merry Christmas to all. A few more days of relative calm before we return to battle.
Our band of merry rebels won’t take anything away from the mega success of the self-help phenom: “The Secret.” But an obvious lesson learned in old media fuels our web war machine for ’08: Corporate secrets are poisonous.
When I started in rock radio, the first wave of FM freedom fighters were under attack by a small handful of wolves dressed in corporate clothing. A few ex-disc jockeys and program directors cut their long hair, dressed up in fancy new suits, and jumped up on a new pedestal as self-appointed “consultants.” These bad boys devised plans to rake in megabucks by convincing radio owners and general managers they possessed secret formulas for ratings success. Veteran radio warriors earned scars and stripes as we watched these wise guys disappear behind the closed doors of power and suck the spirit out of an industry built on innovation and creativity. Originality was replaced by cookie-cutter formats with identical playlists making stations separated by thousands of miles sound exactly the same.
A number of these same consultants invaded other bastions of cool and followed some of radio’s best & brightest to new fronts fighting for mindshare of the pop culture planet. It was surprising and sad to see these wise guys show up in the hallways of MTV. More secret meetings, more secret memos, more secret sauce to romance executives into dishing out fat retainer fees to the con-sultans.
We have a few important rules in our rebel army. “Dirty Hands” means anyone who works with us has to produce actual work. We can’t afford the luxury of paying people to navel gaze and dispense wisdom. The new world moves too fast and our gang is too skeptical to be sucked in by snake oil.
We’ve got another pretty old-fashioned rule for My Damn Channel.
“No secrets.” Everyone in our community has direct unfiltered access to our people and our site. Everyone who works with us – our artists – staff – interns – co-conspirators – and backers – get the buck naked truth. It’s easier. We’re unafraid of what lies ahead and too psyched to be bogged down by bullshit.