The ‘voyeuristic’ pleasure of watching someone else’s thoughts unfold

Having been convinced of the writers addiction to receiving feedback through channels such as blogs and Twitter I turn to focus on why the reader returns to read new blog entries, posts comments or even shares the link with friends. The value to the reader of repeated interactions can include learning new information for social, career or company gain or perhaps it is simply for pleasure.

For many years I have been fascinated by TV programs dedicated to watching others life’s. More recently this has been taken to a new level with Reality TV which I believe was challenged by the Truman Show movie (or reinforced depending on your point of view).

It would seem for many there is a ‘voyeuristic’ pleasure to be gained from watching someone else’s life and the web social media phenomenon maybe tapping into this powerful need and desire. These new technologies give the viewer an opportunity to get even closer to a subject with an instant view into a real, familiar and non-fictional characters life.

Many years ago I was friends with one of the consultants I once worked alongside at an IT consultancy. We both moved to work for Novell at the same time but have not been in touch for many years since he moved to the USA to progress his career. He was very passionate and committed to his work and this is shown on his Novell blog.  Recently he moved from Novell to Microsoft after a conflict over direction, with this highly charged change and emotional fallout played out on his blog. The strange thing is I have rediscovered our friendship through his blog story, although it is only really a one way relationship.

We can now communicate with many close-tie friends, loose-tie contacts and strangers using the new social media technologies with the reader selecting the people who they want to read about whether it be a friend, contact or someone who has interesting or useful things to say.

As a society we have been growing the number of information channels and now the individual can selectively choose the information they wish to receive, be it from a specific TV channel, specialist interest publications or feeds from the Internet. This continuing fragmentation of channels has created a crisis in the media industry and is fundamentally changing how we are being targeted by advertisers. ‘Ad’ based Internet sites such as Facebook and viral marketing campaigns are leading innovation in the marketing industry.

Social media is a developing channel being harnessed by many individuals to market themselves and promote their employers using the ‘Play’ or ‘Act’ of there life to attract an audience. It seems the line between work and home life is continuing to blur with new technology and attitudes changing how we communicate on a personal and business level.

Truman exits one reality into another..


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