The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

So. Rebecca Black. Apart from achieving the kind of fame and recognition aspiring singers could hope for, the 13-year-old's permeation through every social medium and, ultimately, the pop cultural consciousness has proven an extreme lesson in how the industry has changed. Indeed, her story calls to mind another teenager who found fame online.

To put things in perspective, Black's earworm of a video has clocked in at over 33 million views and is rapidly rising. This puts her ahead of Lady Gaga's video for her latest single Born This Way, which has just over 23 million views. One can only imagine where things can go from here with more and more people joining social networks and sharing everything they absorb online.

Video courtesy of trizzy66

Twitter has celebrated its 5th birthday. Fun! Fun! Fun! The Guardian's list of 100 Most Followed Tweeters includes Lady Gaga (8,914,965 followers), Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian in the top 5. In celebration of its big day, Twitter created a new website and YouTube video featuring prominent users, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart, Piers Morgan, Rachel Zoe and Snoop Dogg (see it after the jump).

In blogging land, the New York Times writes on the rise of the "mummy blogger" and how more and more marketing firms are tapping into this niche to help spread awareness of their product. Could it be the food blogger effect? Justine Cullen, where art thou?

The new shield laws passed by the government this week will now ensure that those involved in the news gathering process, "regardless of where they work can seek to avoid a source being identified." Director of communications at Media, Entertainment Association of Australia, Jonathan Este, had this to say about the ongoing industry convulsions over 'bloggers vs. journalists':
To a question on whether 'citizen journalists' are now as equally credible as professional journalists, Este said: "Let's not get too hung up on who's a journalist and who isn't. The question is what is journalism. Which is to keep the public informed."
Photo by Scott Schuman
@ The Sartorialist
Bloggers at Paris Fashion Week have come under fire for semi-stalking fashion editors in a 'bloggers walk' with their antics compared to the likes of paparazzi, such are the lengths bloggers go to for their style blogs. Um, guys - there is only one Scott Schuman, so wait your turn and sit the frak down!

Also on the age of citizen journalism - will future journalists be curators and/or aggregators? This was the serious question posited at the annual SXSW Festival last week. Is the ability to trawl through innumerable sources (thank you internet gods of doom) becoming an "indespensible element in journalism"? Or is a journalist's role purely to tell a story and inform the audience and little else?

Vaguely old news, but still worth a mention is the New York Times' paywall coming into worldwide effect from March 28 (it was rolled out to Canada yesterday). Here's a round-up of what the actual subscription plan contains (it's US$455/year for full access online, in case you were wondering - yes, my credit card is weeping at the mere thought), plus the New York Times' own justification into their decision to cap free access to just 20 articles a month. Le sigh..

Speaking of newspapers, is the age of longform journalism dead? Not so, according to a recent media panel hosted in the US.

Image courtesy of Glee @ Facebook

Fangager has rounded up the most engaged 'pages' on Facebook via, based on number of users, comments and frequency of page activity. Manchester United takes out top spot, closely followed by The Biebs and Glee.

Speaking of social media, is it like crack cocaine for marketers? Buzz words for the sake of buzzing? In some instances, yes, in others, definitely not. Douglas Nicol of creative ad agency, The Works, shared his thoughts on the growing trend towards social media with mumbrella - definitely worth a ponder.

Locally, Fairfax Digital recently announced a new head of transactions.

New advertising guidelines were also introduced this week, giving power to the people in their abilities to opt-out of receiving ads targeted to their online browsing history (HELLO BROWSER COOKIES) - this tactic is also known as "behavioural advertising" for those uninitiated.
Local talent site for media and creative
The Loop, took out the
Best Enterprise Category

The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) have announced the winners of their 17th annual awards. These awards are like the Oscars for the local digital media industry and celebrate the efforts of some very creative talents. The full list of winners and their respective categories can be found here.

And just in case you're feeling a little burnt out from all this news, The Atlantic has unearthed ways to keep your digital sanity in an age of information overload. Excuse me while I step out for a little crazy time with my bottomless coffee cup.

Margaret Tran is an digital producer and freelance writer often found eyeball-deep in the goodness of the internet and all things digital. She recently departed the glittering ranks of the digital crew at Pacific Magazines, where she had the privilege of working with that's life!, InStyle, K-Zone, Total Girl and Girlfriend magazine. Nowadays, she can be found freelancing, eating lots and swimming through her mutating piles of magazines in her home study.

Margaret @ Girl With a Satchel