Obama and McCain battle it out on YouTube

February 11, 2008

The nature of the medium has changed the tenor of the message. Two videos posted this month to YouTube show the power and potential impact of online messaging. The first is will.i.am’s inspirational probama (pro-Obama) video which has attracted millions of people with its moving subtext, great music, beautiful celebrities and grass-roots, folksy nature.

The truly transformative power of Internet messaging is its ability to level of the playing field and allow all voices to be heard. Seizing on this power, a group of political activist supporting John McCain, have posted an inspirational and moving video of their own. While lacking some of the production qualities of the will.i.am video, its another moving example of how the Interent is giving voice to impassioned, but previously voiceless Americans.

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The Music Will Continue but the Labels Might Not

April 9, 2007

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Photo by Lacey

A great article from the Evening Standard out of the UK about a signer song-writer who had a top selling digital track on iTunes for a couple of days without a major label or offline marketing. Her name is Kate Walsh and she record her whole album in a friends bedroom, forever squashing the theory studio quality is necessary for digital success. Two things strike me from the article first is that while the record labels will almost certainly die, the music will not, despite the labels near constant claims to the contrary. The second is that while its happening to labels today it will certainly be happening to the studios and networks tomorrow.


MAJOR RECORD LABELS WITHDRAW FROM RIAA

April 1, 2007

garland_logo-1.gifThis amazing bit of news was forwarded by Fred Benenson of Free Culture @ NYU. It’s amazing news and a critical development for the online music space. You can get more information at the RARA site and I’ve duplicated their message in full below without commentary:

From: Press Contact <respectartistaudience@gmail.com>
Date: Mar 31, 2007 7:58 PM
Subject: MAJOR RECORD LABELS WITHDRAW FROM RIAA

MAJOR RECORD LABELS WITHDRAW FROM RIAA
Apple and Microsoft Help Launch RARA: Respect Artist, Respect Audience

April 1, 2007 (Hollywood, CA) – In a major break from the litigious and often alienating strategy pursued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) against everyone from preteens to college students and grandmothers, the four major record labels have decided to drop all pending lawsuits and instead join with Apple and Microsoft to eliminate Digital Rights Management (DRM) from music sales. The companies are joining other personal electronics manufacturers and independent labels in a new organization, Respect the Artist, Respect the Audience (RARA).

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The Two Sides of NIN

March 21, 2007

poster_23052.jpgAt this weeks VON 07 conference I was accosted by a fanatic passionate Canuck Podcaster. He regaled me with tales of the Internet’s future and helpfully suggested I spend more time online; so I could better understand online communities and the changes they are likely to have on big media.

One of the many points he made was how NIN was using the Internet and specifically Last.fm to engage theirs fans. He spoke about it in such loving and rapt tones that I thought for sure that Trent and team had jumped from their label and were now doing things on their own. No such luck. Janko Roettgers over at the put up a post today highlighting just how well the labels can screw-up anything dealing with the Internet. The short story, a German fan participating in the NIN ARG (started by NIN’s label) got shakendown for $675 by NIN’s German label reps. Thats right he got sued by NIN label reps for participating in a game started by NIN’s label. After a few months and lots of pressure from the blogosphere the label woke up, ate crow, apologized and made good.

This struck me as such an apt example, especially after the WSJ article today, of how dysfunctional the labels are and how difficult it is to manage the diametrically opposed goals of control and engagement.


Homeland Security cant tell LED from IED

February 1, 2007

Lite-Brite’s Shut-Down Beantown

That’s right folks Boston was brought to its knee’s yesterday by a number of suspicious looking devices planted all over the city. Police were called. Traffic was halted. Panic ensued, at least among panic prone politicos and Jack Bauer wanna-be ‘s. Thankfully, the bomb squad was called out and blew up a number of the devices. Yes thats right, the Bomb Squad! However, since the devices were LED not IED the Bomb Squad had to bring their own explosives with which to blow-up the devices.

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