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Paul Dailing

Paul Dailing

Posted: October 25, 2009 02:45 AM

Fish Burbling: How Crazy New Media Terms are Changing the Future of Everything

What's Your Reaction:

I was crowdsourcing the Long Tail while upping my Whuffie Factor through a Trust Agent when it hit me: Why the hell haven't I come up with a crazy-ass new media term?

I mean, it's a no-brainer for a burgeoning "Death of Newspapers Blogger" like me. How could I ever hope to become a professional sayer-of-the-fact-that-people-use-the-Internet-a-lot without even coming up with one Dr. Seuss nutzo term I claim describes a very specific aspect of market forces?

Pathetic. Totally Web 1.0.

Well, no more. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ... Fish Burbling.

Let the words roll over you. Fish Burbling. Fiiiiiiiish Buuuuuuuuurbling. The concept of burbling a fish but applied to communication.

What does it mean? Who cares? Heck, I didn't know "burbling" was a real word until I noticed my spell checker wasn't underlining it.

Let someone else figure out what your crazy-ass new media term means. I mean, "Web 2.0" is on its 75th definition and counting. If I were able to get an article in Wired saying Web 2.0 is based on the concepts of the Italian renaissance, the Motorola Droid and that movie where Woody Allen played James Bond's nephew, you would have to go with it at least until the next issue comes out.

So just create a catchy term (Web 2.0, 1999) and sooner or later someone will find an example of it (Wikipedia, 2001; YouTube, 2005; Twitter, 2006). "Have you seen that new microblog site that only gives you 23 characters and no semicolons? Totally a fish burbling concept."

So don't worry about it meaning anything. That will take care of itself. Worry about coming up with your sentence fragment.

You have to pick the right sentence fragment. It has to look good after a colon, it has to almost sound like it means anything and it has to start with "Why" or "How."

That's because "term colon fragment" means book title.

I mean, The Long Tail is a neat term, but it's pretty worthless without "Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More." Crowdsourcing is cool in a George Orwell slam-two-words-together way, but doesn't in itself tell us "Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business."

Wikinomics tells us "How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything" and The Wisdom of Crowds explains "Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations."

That last one's a bit long (A "Why" and a "How," Icarus?), but it does kiss my ass in a delightfully insulting way. Yeah. Screw the few.

And don't forget that your fragment itself can contain more crazy-ass new media terms, as with Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own and "Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods."

But as new media-y as it sounds, the term "Global Neighborhoods" itself seems to be the name of some academic text about the Jewish Diaspora. Ick. That one looks like it was written by some sort of "expert" as opposed to a bunch of doofs on Twitter. He probably used a pen.

While I'm sure Fish Burbling: How the Future Crowd Business Mass is Collectively Changing the Global Crowd Mass World will be a huge hit, I know I can further monetize the Fish Burble brand.

I want to bring "Fish Burbling" to the tipping point where media meets marketing meets sociology, to the milkshake moment where a nudge will sway our socialnomics through swarm creativity to be the purple cow in our post-cluetrain social wikiworld. Here comes everybody!

Oh, I'm going to be bigger than Jarvis. I'm thinking consulting fees, TED conferences, guest lectures at CUNY. Anywhere with a microphone and a TechCrunch liveblogger, I'll be there, burbling the fish of a better tomorrow.

I'm going to burble the hell out of that fish.

See? You're warming to it. It's catching on. You're sitting there thinking: "Yeah, he is going to burble that fish. I could burble a fish. I probably do it every day. God, like yesterday. That memo was totally fish burbling. And when that kid at McDonalds just stared at me when I asked for no cheese? Fish burbling. Hey, the market forces that brought me to McDonalds were probably burblish in nature. So was the Holocaust."

A monster to be sure, but Hitler was a master fish burbler.

Our world is changing. And for too long, we've been limited in our means of describing it. Shackled by such forces as "grammar" and "real words," we have been unable so far to put random nouns together with an observation and claim it's something new.

Oh, we had our meaningless suffixes, like "ism," "ology" and "onomics," but by and large, the fish of our reason stayed unburbled like so many long-tailed wikicrowds.

But no more. Thanks to my groundbreaking crazy-ass new media term, I'm ready. I'm ready for a grander tomorrow where the sun is shining and all the fishes of the world have been burbled beyond recognition. South By Southwest Interactive, here I come! Nothing can stop me now!

Except maybe Fish Burbling 2.0.