Slacker Uprising’s Weakish Social Media Tools

September 23, 2008

MV5BMjA5MjAyNzcxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTk2MzI5MQ@@._V1._SX266_SY399_ I signed up to get Michael Moore’s latest documentary Slacker Uprising a few weeks ago and this morning I received an email telling me it was now available. The documentary covers Moore’s failed bid to oust Bush the Lesser from office by giving out Raman Noodles and clean undies. With none of the emotional impact of Sicko and none of the laughs of An American Carol Slacker Uprising is being distributed online for free (or $9.95 for the DVD). The movie can be watched on Blip.tv, iTunes and Lycos or downloaded from Amazon, iTunes and Hypernia.

However, despite the free-love goodness and the clear support for Obama, Michael Moore has failed to take a page from the Obama social media playbook and leverage social media to get the movie’s message out. The Slacker Uprising site has no way to embed or super-distribute the movie (missed the button) no way to comment or rally support around it, there isnt even a means for people to indicate support or provide any feedback on the film. All fairly standard social media tools, which would extend the viral distribution of the film, defray some of the cost and amplify its message.

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Obama says Yes We Can to Digital Music

September 21, 2008

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The Obama presidential campaign will be remembered for its many first. The first bi-racial presidential candidate, the first presidential candidate to acknowledge his black children, the first presidential candidate with an African first name and the first presidential candidate to release a digital CD.

The compilation was put together by the good folks at Hidden Beach Recordings, best known for removing the arsine ramblings of ignorant buffoons from popular rap songs and making them palatable to anyone with a 5th grade education, in the UnRapped Jazz series. The CD is only available from the Obama campaign store, and will set you back $25 bucks for the digital download or $30 bucks for the physical CD. All proceeds from the the CD will go to the Obama/Biden ticket. After the election the CD will be released to retail stores around the country.


Zune EPIC Fail!!! Tattooed fanboy buys iPod.

July 29, 2008

I’ve never been a fan of the Zune, back in November of ’06 I laid out 10 reasons the Zune would fail and was surprised by the number of Zune fans that told me I was dead wrong. Of course the ultimate expression of Zune fandom was when Steve Smith’s got himself tattooed with the ZUNE logo.

This was social media at its best. A fan interested in a product takes up the mantel of that product on behalf of the brand and evangelizes for it in their own communities. Even I had to second guess my Zune bashing, if a seemingly sane man was willing to permanently brand himself with its logo for no money or other consideration.

Fast forward two years and the flip side of social media shows how quickly a brand can be torn down. The Zune tattoo guy is back and he is not happy. In a video posted to YouTube mszunefan (aka Zune Tattoo guy) outlines why he is unhappy with Microsoft. In a fairly damning and somewhat compelling video he highlights why he thinks the product has failed and its lack of future prospects. Clearly indicating the the 50 thousand people who have watchde it so far that they should avoid the Zune.

From fan to foe in a Web 2.0 minute. Social media giveth and social media taketh away.


Academics Plan the Celectial Jukebox

July 29, 2008

Was just looking at Paul Lamere’s list of accepted papers for the ISMIR conference and they are amazing. The academics are once again showing the executives how innovative thinking can move the industry towards solving users practical problems and create new business opportunities along the way.

At least the academics have really begun to build the tools that will make the celestial jukebox and unlimited music locker a commercially viable and practical product. Which is kinda funny when you think about it because thats actually the job of the Harvard MBA’s in the executives suites collecting big checks. If you work in or around media, these are the papers you should probably read and use to guide your thinking about the industry. Marketing, especially for media, will be largely algorithmic and these are some of the early experiments in creating the algorithms that will result in discovery and hopefully sales.

The papers that look the most promising:
– A Comparison Of Signal-Based Music Recognitionmmendation to Genre Labels, Collaborative Filtering, Musicological Analysis, Human Recommendation, and Random Baseline Terence Magno and Carl Sable

Armonique: Experiments In Content-Based Similarity Retrieval Using Power-Law Melodic and Timbre Metrics Bill Manaris, Dwight Krehbiel, Patrick Roos and Thomas Zalonis

Moodswings: A Collaborative Game For Music Mood Label Collection Youngmoo Kim, Erik Schmidt and Lloyd Emelle

Oh Oh Oh Whoah! Towards Automatic Topic Detection In Song Lyrics Florian Kleedorfer, Peter Knees and Tim Pohle

-Social Playlists and Bottleneck Measurements : Exploiting Musician Social Graphs Using Content-Based Dissimilarity and Pairwise Maximum

I wasnt able to find a couple of them but if f anyone has any of these papers I would love to see them or if your blogging from the conference could you please post or email me a link.


Mining the social web with WeFeelFine and Twistori

May 14, 2008

the mysocialmap app

Back in 2006 I was working on a venture I called SocialNet (MySocialMap), based largely on research by dinah boyd and the Vister application she and Jeffery Heer put together. The idea was to build a icon based visual map of relationships across multiple social networks and layer this with a Taste Fabric styled algorithm. Users would be able to visualize their relationships across social networks (something still not done well) as well as discover their networks propensity to like anything from brands to movies. After a couple of successful beta applications the initiative got bogged down in a bunch of issues from vendor management to time constraints (not to mention SocialStream). I had to shelve it late last year after a ton of work and a couple grand in expenses with only a barebones prototype to show for it.

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Zopa’s coming, anyone want to borrow a few bucks?

November 30, 2007

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Its been months since I last mentioned Zopa, the UK strain of the P2P lending bug which will hopefully wipe-out retail banking and credit cards. So it came as a bit of a shock when I got an email from them yesterday morning loudly proclaiming their imminent launch.

Well, we told you we were coming! At this very minute, we are testing the service and expect to bring it to everybody within a few days.

Thats what they said months ago! Still, as a former Prosper lender (I stopped actively lending back in June), I’m pretty excited to try out Zopa and jump back into the P2P lending space. Zopa promises shorter loan terms, potentially higher returns and lender selected rates (on Prosper rate are set by bid). One line from their email really jumped out at me:

No risk for investors.
Your funds will be federally insured. No more worrying about whether your borrowers will pay your loan back.

No risk and investors should never be used in the same sentence, as it is very rarely true. I’m clearly not the only skeptic out here (and here and here). Why would the federal government insure my private loan to another individual? Makes no sense to me but when it launches, I will be lending… I can spot you $50 for 3 months at 6%, with 200 other strangers. You can use the $10k to fund that new web 2.0 start-up you’ve been dreaming about. You know, that Myspace meets YouTube idea, for English speaking Mexican boys between the ages of 9 and 17, living in the suburbs of Spokane. Its a winner for sure!


Forrester 6 Steps of Social Media

June 5, 2007

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Back in April, the much maligned, Forrester Research put out a report entitled Social Technographics, which took a stab at segmenting the social media audience. Mirroring the thinking of the good folks at Church of the Customer blog, Forrester offers 6 steps instead of the 4F’s suggested by CotC. The report helpfully points out that different folks are engaged with social media at different levels and engage in different activities (reading this makes you a spectator, writing makes me a creator). Lots of interesting information with no major surprises. One might question some of the definitions (is commenting on blogs really different from participating in discussion boards?) but overall this report is more believable then BSA’s fluffery about kids no longer downloading…