Been thinking about how conspiracy is a subgenre like any other niche, like vampire erotica or what-have-you. Each with its own stylistic forms, tropes, etc. and expectations on the part of readers about what it ought to contain, or at least play with.

There’s a quote on this Wikipedia page about the thriller subgenre, conspiracy fiction. It is not quite what I mean by just pure conspiracy theory content, but entirely relevant:

“The protagonists of conspiracy thrillers are often journalists or amateur investigators who find themselves (often inadvertently) pulling on a small thread which unravels a vast conspiracy that ultimately goes “all the way to the top.”

The difference between this thriller > conspiracy subgenre (as described in above quote) and that of conspiracy theory “proper” is that the protagonist of the latter is not to be found in the pages of the work, but is the reader, who becomes the amateur investigator.

This is also tied up in the format of modern conspiracy theory storytelling (across forums and platforms) as a type of networked narrative or transmedia storytelling. Where each reader has their own journey into and through the material via web artifacts encountered in particular contexts online.

Which is to say that, writing in this genre, it pays to emulate the format norms of making many diverse artifacts available, each one digging down into a specific topic, building in a web of cross-references.

In a way, structurally how conspiracy theories operate is extremely well-suited to hypertext in the first place, since short non-linear blurbs that are easily digestible tend to displace more meaningful and contextual longer works. Blah blah blah. It’s a blog post, it doesn’t need to make sense or have an ending.