Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Lonelygirl15: We Will Not Mention The Horrid Term That People Use To Describe William Gibson's Oeuvre

Posted by: Jon Fine on September 7, 2006

The vicissitudes of the day-to-day have kept us off active lg15 duty, but luckily a friend of a friend writes in with a nice summation of one of the saga’s latest memes:

Dear Jon,

Why has nobody made the connection between Lonelygirl15 and the book Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson???

I was in [redacted] last week visiting my friend [name redacted]


We started looking into Lonelygirl15 after hearing a story about this media storm, on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

After viewing all Lonelygirl15 episodes he just said it. That’s Gibson. It’s Pattern Recognition:

‘Pollard is among a cult-like group of Internet obsessives that strives to find meaning and patterns within a mysterious collection of video moments, merely called “the footage,” let loose onto the Internet by an unknown source. Her hobby and work collide when a megalomaniac client hires her to track down whoever is behind the footage.’

—- From: Editorial Reviews at for Pattern Recognition. []

Lonelygirl15 may be “a viral marketing campaign dreamed up by some major advertiser.” That is by-and-large the guts of the book Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Even the use of fragments of footage and speculation about the who, what, why of such footage means:

‘She seats herself in his high-backed workstation chair and clicks the transparent mouse. Stutter of infrared on the pale wood of the long trestle table. The browser comes up. She types Fetish:Footage:Forum, which Damien, determined to avoid contamination, will never bookmark.

The front page opens, familiar as a friend’s living room. A frame-grab from #48 serves as backdrop, dim and almost monochrome, no characters in view. This is one of the sequences that generate comparisons with Tarkovsky. She only knows Tarkovsky from stills, really, though she did once fall asleep during a screening of The Stalker, going under on an endless pan, the camera aimed straight down, in close-up, at a puddle on a ruined mosaic floor. But she is not one of those who think that much will be gained by analysis of the maker’s imagined influences. The cult of the footage is rife with subcults, claiming every possible influence. Truffaut, Peckinpah … The Peckinpah people, among the least likely, are still waiting for the guns to be drawn.

She enters the forum itself now, automatically scanning titles of the posts and names of posters in the newer threads, looking for friends, enemies, news. One thing is clear, though; no new footage has surfaced. Nothing since that beach pan, and she does not subscribe to the theory that it is Cannes in winter. French footageheads have been unable to match it, in spite of countless hours recording pans across approximately similar scenery.’

— From:

More to the point: Will the guessing game end?

Reader Comments


September 8, 2006 11:06 AM

I cannot even count the amount of times people bring this book up. Great book but people bring it up whenever there is an unexplained piece of footage online... its the new "blair witch" reference in meetings.

But definitely read it...

David Polinchock

September 8, 2006 12:23 PM

OK, so everyone seems to be watching her, but holy smokes she's boring! While I may not be the primary target for youtube, I don't get the fascination with her at all. As I said on our blog about her, "I mean, my life can be pretty boring on its own and I wouldn't want to put any more time into watching snippets of other people's boring lives." I just don't understand why people think she's interesting? Even if she's just a shill, she’s not creating any desire to go out and see her movie or whatever. There’s some cool stuff on youtube, but this isn’t it!

It was one of the Gibson books that I wasn't really crazy about the first time I read it, so I guess I'll try it again! Of course, if people want to read a book that advertising folks really want to be our future, you should read “Brave New World!”

Post a comment



The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!