1.10 Spin doctors, copywriters and spam

I am an independent writer in a modern world that is defined by the Internet. This is a world where practically everybody can publish his ideas. Not only his ideas but also his sales lines.

I don’t think that the average reader is sufficiently aware of the degree to which information on the Internet is intertwined with economic interests. Information seldom is just an expression of ideas or news. It often also is a tool employed to guide readers to a certain consumer behavior. This has always been the case, but on the Internet, it has become much worse than it has ever been before.

The Internet grew by providing free information. To publish information takes time and costs money. To give away for free a product or a service, the compilation of which has taken time and has cost money, is a luxury few can afford for any length of time.

Political parties can. They have a far-reaching agenda.

And companies can, if the information they provide directs consumers towards buying their products.

I don’t say that this wouldn’t be legitimate. It’s part of capitalism.

When politicians engage information professionals these information professionals operate as spin doctors. And when corporations employ authors to write texts to direct consumers to buy their products, these authors are categorized as copywriters.

And what spin doctors and copywriters produce on the Internet is called spam.

At least 90 percent of the information one finds on the Internet is spam, especially when it comes to sexual enhancement.

I have been a writer for all of my professional life. I started my professional life as a journalist, and I was a low-key journalist for many years. I have also written copy. And I honestly admit that a portion of my work that has been accessible on the Internet was copy.

But I have decided that copy isn’t my line of business. I try to provide quality information because it is so much more satisfying to work on it. I try to offer honest information that is not designed to influence consumer behavior, even if my income in doing so is much less than what I could earn as a full-fledged copywriter.

Or as a professional spammer.

From a letter to a friend:

“I may be a writer, and writing may be a theoretical discipline, but I am also a very practical person. I do not live to be a writer. I am a writer because I have found it to be the most convenient way to earn money without being anybody’s employee, and without being tied down at any specific place, and without needing bulky equipment.

“OK, I also am a writer because I believe that putting down one’s ideas in writing is a great way to organize them. I even admit that I enjoy to communicate to others such ideas that present matters in a more truthful manner than commonly encountered.

“But I don’t hold romantic views of my profession. Writing is less important than living. For me, the former is only a by-product of the latter. I regard many practical issues as more important than writing. Specifically, writing is no substitute for satisfying sexual relationships.”