In my previous post on The Social Network, I suggested that Facebook's (i.e. Mark Zuckerberg and Co.'s) pricey (minimum cost, $100-million dollars... to needy Jersey schools that is) and highly orchestrated public relations blitz now playing across the mediascape at exactly the moment of a slanderous mainstream narrative film's opening, was a "documentary." I'd like to revisit that now.
John Grierson defines a documentary as the "creative treatment of actuality." Bill Nichols reminds us that every doc has a voice: reflexive, authoritative, poetic, etc. Given documentary's roots in time based media (film and video), we have historically thought of the crafting of such an argument through artistically arranged fragments of filmed reality as a linear enterprise. But for the sake of Zuckerberg, lets grow this to encompass a network: a "documentary" that sits multi-spatially, as well as temporally, on and about the web and within all the media that converge there. As Facebook unrolls its creatively voiced but highly authorized, ah-shucks he has a girlfriend and a foundation, interpretation of Mark's sorry story, we see a new kind of documentary coming into being alongside the very social networks it covers, shamelessly uses, and owns: the creative and also corporate controlled, multi-platformed, expertly networked, and then user-ventriloquized treatments of reality.
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more