Meanwhile, in sports news:
This has several delicious turns, for the ‘fake news’ and news/entertainment angles underpinning some recent Lifestream posts.
First, this is no ordinary amateur athlete. It’s a “prominent food blogger”. Digital cultures create and recycle their own personalities. I don’t know how many non-prominent food bloggers I know, nor what bearing it has on the ‘story’ in question!
Second, I love the notion of a business analyst who “in his spare-time” runs (the verb is sweet irony) a marathon-investigation website. Digital cultures have so many fascinating nooks and crannies. Now, I like a clean race as much as the next person, but I’m curious as to how one decides to set up such a website, and then how one gathers data for it.
Looking on the website about this particular instance, it’s an amazing presentation of data, and telling of a story, even the suggestion of a motive – to join a “subgroup” of ‘The Dashing Whippets’ called ‘The Performance Team’. Is this the lure of ‘community cultures’? Or am I being sucked into an elaborate piece of writing, located somewhere between news and entertainment? The more I look at it, it does grow in entertainment value – and I have to presume it’s true…
Third, the confession of guilt (or, at least, of shame) is then made via an Instagram account, which is now deleted. More irony, or just hard-to-verify information, in a piece seemingly rich with data, right down to the individual’s performance data, ‘shared’ on the Strava website? On that note, beware, your data stream and digital footprint will find you out – e.g. Strava‘s flyby screen (apparently).
Fourth, though, this is, in many ways, standard old-fashioned investigative journalism, albeit with a digitally-infused twist, with what the BBC call “digital detective work”. Bob Woodward, one of the journalists behind the Watergate investigation and credited with the Washington Post‘s byline mentioned on a previous Lifestream post , would at least recognise the effort that’s gone in here.