Hip Hop veteran and habitual scowler, Harry Allen, has an “exclusive” video of literary sensation Margaret B. Jones on YouTube, she discuss her upbring on the mean streets of LA and her new book Love and Consequences. The video is excellent as it is one of the few were we get to see Margaret Seltzer in full ghetto mode, using authentic street slang straight from BAP’s and Colors. The book can still be purchased at amazon and carries the description below, made all the more funny by the controversy surrounding the book: A stunning memoir of a mixed-race girl growing up in gang-ridden South Central Los Angeles, where she followed her foster brothers into the Bloods before she hit puberty: what she witnessed, how she survived, and-against all odds-thrived.
The recorded music industry has become the global icon of how to destroy customer goodwill and torpedo an industry, in the digital age. Their mis-steps go from the tragically self-defeating (suing fans, grandma and apple pie) to the spectacularly ineffective (seeding corrupt files on P2P networks, malware and DRM). The US recorded music industry isnt in decline, its dead, there is nothing left to do but harvest the usable organs.
The surest sign that the recorded music industry has gone the way of chimney sweeps and buggy builders, is a couple of recent articles from blog A-listers Seth Goodin and Kevin Kelly. These are not folks from the lunatic fringe screaming in the wind, like myself, these guys are mainstream pundits well respected by the conference booking set. Even they no longer question but are promoting solutions to come after. The lessons and insights they offer could be as instructive to magazine publishers and indie flim makers as they should be to musicians.
Kevin Kelly’s article, 1,000 True Fans is a must read for any artist hoping to make money in the digital age. In it he argues that an artist can make a decent living ($100,000k/yr) concentrating most of their efforts on cultivating a fan base of just 1,000 “true fans”. He defines a true fan as “someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce”, ie your mother. The model is actually very well reasoned and hearkens back to the patronage model that Pholks have been debating for years. The application of a CLV to a music fan that appeals to me on some fundamentally geeky level but attempting to a hard dollar value on fans is frought with issues. While this is agreat article with lots of interesting areas for exploration and strategy building its to be taken with a dose of salt.
Marketing god Seth Godin, one of the coolest looking bald guys since Cypher, released the text of a speech he delivered on the music business. His Live Music Talk is another long read, but well worth it (pdf here). He basically argues that fan engagement, he calls it “tribe management”, is the future of the music business. Get permission, get personal and get pervasive is the point he is driving home. Of course he says it much better then that but you get the point. Seth, we’re that close, reimages the music industry through a consumer marketing framework, using Natalie Merchant to make it concrete. While this article doesnt offfer anything really new it does make seem to crystallize and simplify many older arguments.
Yesterday, ChangeThis posted an essay entitled “Against You: A manifesto in favor of audience“, by Andrew Keen. Keen is famous for two things, the 18 month flame-out of Audiocafe.com and the merciless taunting of Web 2.0 boosters. The essay is a jaded, bitter and over-simplified rehashing of Jaron Lanier’s more academic essay, Digital Moaism. Channeling his inner Roger Ailes, Andrew Keen borrows the more reasoned and reasonable arguments from Digital Moaism and stretches them to the Fox extreme (its worth reading for that alone). Read the rest of this entry »
Back in April, Michael Robertson launched his latest Internet venture called AnywhereCD, which was supposed to sell CD’s with MP3 tracks that could be downloaded immediately. No sooner had the companies press release hit the Blogosphere then Warner Music pulled its music from the site. The lawsuits started to fly and the AnywhereCD was reduced to eMusic.com circa 1999.
Technorati has belatedly released their State of the Blogosphere report, which runs through some of the stats from their index of the Blogosphere. Its kinda like Yahoo or AOL putting out a report on the state of the Web, it may be great directional information but with more possible meanings then an interpretive dance. Some of the highlights of the report:
- Japaneses is the dominant language of the Blogosphere, Farsi is growing
- 70 million blogs in the Technorati index up from 52 million last time
- 1.4 million posts per day spread across these blogs
- 120,000 new blogs created everyday up from 100,000 in last report
- ~5% of these new blogs are spam-blogs (splogs)
Last week I was inspired by the progress of my ultra-secret project to register a domain name for the project. Thats right my ultra-secret mission now has an ultra-secret domain name to go along with it. Anyway while I was getting things set-up I decided to register a vanity domain and upgrade my blog to what I thought was a more robust, full-featured version of WordPress.
Needless it to say it has been an educational and humbling experience. I’ve been using wordpress for almost a year and I was growing tired of all the hand-holding and restrictions. I wanted to play with some of the plug-ins and widgets Guy Kawasaki is always touting and maybe add some to my blog. Heck, I’ve had an Adsense account for more then a year but I havent collected any of the millions Google is doling out to Dalit bloggers like myself. So, I registered siddiqbello.com, installed the WordPress 2.1 on the server, imported everything from the old blog and flipped the ON switch.
Your reading this on the old blog… Nuff said.
See, what people leave out when they talk of beauty of having ones own installation of wordpress, running on ones own domain, is that with all that freedom comes very little else. I’ve spent the better part of this week trying configure the themes, plug-ins and widgets that make this site run on my new server, while simultaneously trying to understand and configure a bunch of new themes, plug-ins and widgets. Its no easy task.
Check my progress (or lack thereof) here and feel free to let me know what you think. When I have it in a usable form I’ll switch over, but until then its free wordpress all the way.
I’m a big fan of Ze Frank. From the unblinking monologues to the zanny assignments, The Show is one of the best Vlogs (video blog), that doesnt include a beautiful 20something named Zadi (Mmm, Zadi!). Anyway, you have to check out this video, it’s one of the funniest and most creative skits from Ze this year. Watch for the invisible adult Street Chickens towards the end of the show and dont let the Park Slope scenery get you all home sick.