I thought again about Lilly Allen’s remarks regarding Paris Hilton.
Allen confuses several issues here: the quality of “art” (whatever we might call as art), the art of successful marketing and the distinction between creative work and the medium in which it is created and promoted.
Allen views herself and MySpace as “good” and Paris and her marketing tactics as “evil”. So evil, that someone should kill those buying Paris Hilton records.
However, her argument is inherently wrong: if Allen’s music could stand on its own, the medium on which it first appeared – MySpace – is only part of the picture. The bigger part should be her “art” and not the way she marketed her art. If she includes herself and Arctic Monkeys at the same groups (of artists who managed to find fame through MySpace), it means that Allen actually attributes much to the medium; to the fact that before the age of Internet, no-one might have heard of her.
The medium is not MySpace, as much that MySpace enabled Allen’s success. The medium through which MySpace exists is the Internet and more importantly, user-generated content (web 2.0 and so on). And in the medium of user-generated content, Hilton manages to draw much more links (check out her Google trend with that of Allen, no place for comparison…).
This is in a way a lesson for those trying to succeed online: it is really important to create a buzz, to manage to use the qualities of the medium you’re using, whether you’re creating alternative music, or selling your image as the ultimate blonde.