Dan Aykroyd: Imaginary musings about blogging

I had the opportunity to conduct an imaginary interview with Dan Aykroyd, the Canadian actor, about the expansion of the blogosphere. The questions are real: the answers are taken from Aykroyd’s movies. Footnotes are at the bottom. Q: The media environment has experienced fundamental change since you first appeared on Saturday Night Live in the 70s. Consumers and corporations have embraced the technological and cultural implications of innovations like satellite TV, cable and the WWW. Now, we’re grappling with how thin and rich media apps may change our world. What are your thoughts?

A: [It’s] part of the same system that NASA used when they faked the Apollo moon landings. Yeah, the astronauts broadcast around the world from a soundstage at Norton Airforce Base in San Bernadino, California. So it worked for them, shouldn't give us too many problems. (1)

Q: Corporate communicators are increasingly interested in how blogging can help them reach out to their stakeholder groups. Still, they have problems securing buy-in from senior management, and hold nagging concerns about shifting from a comfortable communication system based in hierarchy and control to an evolving system that depends upon transparency and responsiveness by all participants. Do you think these “growing pains” will continue?

A: You know, it just occurred to me, we haven't had a completely successful test of this equipment. No sense worrying about it now. (2)

Q: Well, it’s becoming evident that blog technology will have to find a common ground if it is to crossover into mainstream acceptance. There are a number of independent delivery standards, and several different publishing platforms. Do you think the general public is ready to embrace, or even understand, an environment like this?

A: No! Nobody ever made them like this! The architect was either a certified genius or an aesthetic wacko! (2)

Q: Do you think the blogging community will be able to guide the technology to a workable and publicly palatable solution, or will commercial pressures force the technical specialists to find an acceptable, but average, consumer application?

A: I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college. You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results. (2)

Q: But how are we supposed to find that one magical app – the one that allows expands the blogging universe to welcome corporate, community and personal bloggers with lesser levels of technical expertise? I suppose the new Blogger is one tool – especially if combined with the new Gmail service – but there always seem to be concerns about security and control. Even Google found that Orkut had been hacked. Have you found security a challenge?

A: Well … I broke it with this … Drogen’s Decoder Wheel … I found it in a box of, uh … Lucky Charms. (3)

Q: Now that Google is going public, they will have the resources to pursue people who crack their security measures or criticize their privacy policies. Doesn’t this worry you?

A: No, they don't got my address, I falsified my renewal. I put down 1060 West Addison. (4)

Q: Hmm. Let’s get back on track. I still think real public acceptance of the blogosphere will only come if there is a concerted effort by bloggers and technical experts from across the blogging community to popularize the technology and develop practical applications.

A: Well... I got a few leads ... I got some phone numbers but... I mean... how many of them wrote or visited you, huh? (4)

Q: You know, I think you’re not really much of an expert in this area.

A: I was going to do your family a favor and hookup the Disney Channel for free. Well, forget it. (3)

Q: Many journalists continue to argue that blogs are not a challenge to their methods, and do not pose a threat to their institutions. They seem to be clinging to their traditions and their professional biases, in the face of obvious change and evolution in popular communication. What do you think?

A: I remember Revelation 7:12. “And I looked, as he opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became as black as sackcloth. And the moon became as blood.”

Every ancient religion has its own myth about the end of the world. (2)

Q: You know, it’s probably not a good career move to mock the media so brutally.

A: For once I'm completely in agreement … Do you know what those things can do? Suck the paint off your house and give your family a permanent orange afro. (3)

Q: Thank you for your time, Dan.

A: You’re welcome ... you ignorant slut.

(1) Sneakers (2) Ghostbusters (3) Spies Like Us (4) Blues Brothers