Yes, slow news and the heat getting to journalists’ brains means that it’s time to put together lists of the most influential/cool/powerful people in media. Folks in advertising and TV will be frantically scanning the Mediaguardian 100 — in particular for leads, mates, or (most importantly) themselves. Meanwhile, BigShinyThing was delighted to have got a namecheck on our friend Lisa Devaney’s renegade list on BrandRepublic which was MUCH more interesting than the Mediaguardian‘s (natch). Also worthy of note is The Hospital Club’s Top 100 which is sooo alternative and cool you have to be a member to read it. (Full disclosure: we write for The Hospital Club’s site.)
Now this is not just a pat piece about our mates (honest). There is — as The Hospital contends — a new world order upon us, and one in which the old heirarchies no longer apply. It’s very sweet and retro of newspapers to ply us with the Mediaguardian Power List and Observer journalists’ idea of what stands for ‘cool’ but we don’t have to listen to them any more. Besides, old media has always been obsessed with glorifying those who have already made it — those cronies who are already ‘in the club’. We’re much more interested in the renegades, the iconoclasts, the innovators… Generation Next. Some of them have been paid lip service — drag artist extraordinaire Jonny Woo gets a namecheck in the Observer cool list — but we suspect that’s just print journalists trying to look ‘with it’.
No, the new power networks are defined by all of us and not by them. And influence is no longer a numbers game dictated by salary, age, employees, readership, viewership … all of that is blown. The true influencers now exist in a long tail of cohorts: the clubkids, knitting circles, flash mobsters, gamers, bloggers, weirdos, geeks, freaks, kids … whatever. For instance, within the perfomance art cohort, Lisa Lee’s Underconstruction night has quietly helped launch the career of many a star of the current Performance Art explosion. And in street art, stencil originator Blek le Rat is finally getting his dues. And those are just in BST‘s little corner of the world.
With Generation Next, their influence is obvious: it’s in the clubs, in social media, on the bus, on the street… where it matters.