My Browser Can Sing, Yours Can’t

February 19, 2006 by
I’m not shy about how much I love browsing on Mozilla Firefox. Like anyone else, at first, I thought, big whoop, but i was just so fed up with the polluted browsing experience of IE, and Netscape was a thing of the past, and oh what the hell let’s try it already. Then I realized – those Mozilla guys are totally right. It is elegant.

So now, from my perspective, a year into my love of Mozilla and support of all things open source, running concurrently with my immersion into the narrow-vision world of online music marketing, not to mention my adventures in digi-dj culture and mp3 blogging… and out pops Songbird 0.1, a web player. Essentially, its a browser that converts webpages to playlists that you can play, download, burn, share, and so on. Even though this is just a simple preview, a proof-of-concept… I’m already jumping for joy!

songbird

Designed by Pioneers of the Inevitable LLC, the San-Francisco quintet of programmers (“digital media innovators”), that developed Winamp and Yahoo’s Music Engine. The team is headed up by digital music veteran Rob Lord, whose success, and bankings, you can accurately guage by how almost every new media project he’s been involved in has been snapped up by a major corporate – BMG, AOL, Vivendi/Universal, etc. But Songbird is a whole new baby, and pehaps quite atypical of the team’s past portfolio… It’s definitely a whole new dimension for online music fans.

The Pioneers use Firefox’s open source platform as a starting point on their quest to perfect the total digital music experience. Yes, Songbird looks like a black iTunes at first, but then you realize that you’re staring at a browser window that’s going to rock you in full 256 colors! You can surf on it like any old browser, but when you hit a page with mp3s, Songbird lists out all the files for you in a convenient download panel. The rest of the application is everything you could need or want from a smart new-generation media player. Some of the more exciting features include:
Integrated Web Search
– Search the web from the context of your collection or tell Songbird to search on the currently playing track.
Make Smart Mixes & Dynamic Mixes – Criteria-based playlists that are always up-to-date with what’s on your laptop… and what’s online!
Multi-Tasking – Based on what I can tell, they will be macking up the multi-tasking capabilities, which is key for rabid media eaters.
Feathers (Skin) – Choose from standard designs, or make your own!

You get a feel for the depth of insight of user needs that the Songbirdnest has when you check out the bookmarks they loaded into this preview – sure they have the Googles and the eMusics on there, but they also have Beatport, Bitchdork (err… typo! Pitchfork!), Creative Commons, and some other digital services or content sites that suggest a prerogative to keep Songbird indie-friendly. Beyond that, after spending a little time diddling around with the interface, I have almost total faith that Songbird will be a triumph in user-friendliness, rubbing out the PC/Mac divide. Hey, as long as it truly reads all formats, as they claim, I’ll be ok. But I’m guessing Songbird is going to get pretty macked out (in a good way), and here’s why: Open Source Community & Development.

songbird mech

Web 2.0 – The Commodification of Content

February 15, 2006 by

On Friday, February 10th, I had the opportunity to attend a Media & Entertainment conference for MBA students at Stern, NYU. This conference is an otherwise rare opportunity for students to meet face to face and learn from top executives at major conglomerates like Sony/EMI, MTV/Viacom, and Time Warner, as well as indie defectors at cutting-edge new media marketing firms, like Wiredset and Deep Focus. The panel discussions were highly technical, and probably typical of the new media vocabulary and grammar popping up at corporate boardrooms across America. It took me a few days to let the flood of information coalesce… and here they are, the top 5 take-aways from the sessions, with my editorial commentary:
everythingset

Multi-Platform Marketing – Hedge your bets everyone, but multi-platform marketing is the name of the game. With so many competing technologies, business models, differing consumer segment demands and desires, marketers are obliged to at least test out the alternatives available to them. Whether we’re talking about simultaneous multi-platform distribution of content (e.g. film released in theaters and on DVD simultaneously; songs available for wired or wireless download to laptop, mobile, iPod, PSP or other device) or cross-platform advertising and branding opportunities, it’s obvious to new media marketers that digital convergence is on the way. However, it may be further away than we expect, and we will probably continue to experience the apparent divergence and proliferation until market forces (or federal forces) kick in and force a saturation. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but some (a precious few?) are already starting to see positive results in revenue streams from experiments in multi-platform marketing.

The Trend to Spend - Related to the point above, panelists stressed that we are only going to see increasing costs of online marketing in the coming years. Managing multi-platform marketing, advertising and promotions is a huge administrative and operational burden right now. This is obviously related to the scope of divergence and convergence of technology platforms. However, with the (open) Internet’s almost utopian capability for leveling the playing field, i expect to see more aggregators and intermediaries showing up to fill in the gaps, allowing smaller players to compete affordably and cost-effectively. Yet, the industry still has to overcome its bickering over metrics and determine the linkages between multi-platform marketing activities and the bottom-line.

Pay to Play – Certain panelists touted the “have everything, own nothing” concept, as the future in retail of online content. This is the model espoused by Napster, which itself is predicated on Mr. Gates’ historic vision of on-demand-delivery of online application software. In other words, we should expect a commodification of content such that the content is rendered less valuable than access to that content. We will be paying more to transfer the content, because the content itself is ephemeral, in terms of attention. Streamloading and similar delivery mechanisms are expected to make a major comeback, only if supported by broadband penetration. This model will only be successful to the extent that content providers are able to manage their delivery systems – as well as the extent that users trust surrendering that element of ownership and control to corporations, and miscellaneous third parties. With the superfluous static and dynamic content online, powered by the continual explosion of online content creators (non-profit user-generated content notwithstanding), compared to the handful of entities controlling the foundations of distribution channels (reference: end of network neutrality), it’s clear who has the bargaining power.

The Right Rights - To support the pay-to-play model in favor of content creators however, some panelists were excited about upstart Navio’s rights-based digital commerce solutions, which so far seems to be a promising soft DRM solution that works. Navio aims to allow not only content creators, but entire communities (e.g. P2P file-sharing networks) to buy, sell, trade and share their rights to content. In addition to a range of specialized products for monetizing commerical online content, the company’s core product is the AV Commerce Suite™, a secure, digital commerce service and transaction engine, supported by Navio’s servers as an internet Application Service Provider (ASP) that delivers the aforementioned capabilities. What’s amazing about Navio, is that conceptually, it seems possible for every party to get its micro-cut from the transfer of online content here, there and everywhere. In other words, depending on the accepted industry-wide valuation models, bloggers could get compensated for viral marketing, P2P file-sharers wouldn’t have to be moochers, and every monetizable action on any content file could be monetized, in potentially infinite numbers of micro-payments. Navio hopes to do for the Internet what paper money and credit records couldn’t do for the real physical world – provide a reliable, accurate, pervasive valuation model. Navio has already partnered up with IBM, CISCO, Red Hat, Cingular and others. One panelist conferred to this blogger that we have 12-18 months to prepare for the mass adoption of this zeitgeist. However, before I toss my 2 cents into the ring with this saviour, I’d like to see how well Navio is able to manage the scaling of their success, because the entire model rests on the efficiency and efficacy of Navio’s servers, and, not-to-mention, customer service…

Sell Out or Get the Hell Out – Finally, a thought that is probably terribly disturbing to anyone who still hasn’t tossed out the term “sell-out” from their vernacular. Web 2.0 is pushing the content market to a near elimination of any separation between content and the monetization of that content. Music, film, TV and traditional print conglomerates are still powerless to Internet companies, who can easily shut out anyone and invest their billions in market capitalization to developing their own content houses. True, right now, at the beginning, these companies need the big media brands to drive & draw consumers online, but the migration is quite inevitable, and with increasing user sophistication, the big media brands will be back to competing online, the same way they are struggling offline. Take the previous 4 points into account, and independents have much reason to be anxious too. We are already experiencing an increasing trend of content creators trying to expand and multiply their revenue streams as extensively as possible. For content, if you’re not making money from additional distribution channels or merchandising, the only other place you can look for more money is basically advertising, including licensing rights, co-branding, product placements and so on. Content creators will face increasing competitive pressures from content marketers to create and distribute content in a way that puts more food on the table for more people. The future is ripe for smart authors, musicians, designers, and so on. Everyone else set up a donation jar.

Grrrrrrrrrlz of Myspace Spread ‘Em

February 13, 2006 by

Unperturbed by the reportage of nookie nastiness on Myspace, miniMurdoch-world seems to be going ahead with the planned Playboy feature. Hmm… I wonder if Melissa or Kimberley or any of the other fakester ladies that message me every week or so either about how lonely they are or how I should check out their pay-for-porn site will be in the calendar?

Of course, Myspace will claim that they are doing their best to keep their cyberspace free from sexual predators, and hopefully nuisances. I hate getting spam friend requests, sexual or otherwise (lower mortgage rates, anyone?), and I wish myspace would at least put a stop to that nonsense. As for the dirty stuff, there are a lot of people who are legally getting their rocks off, and I think they should be allowed to do so. Myspace deserves credit for using its super-democratic structure for reporting every variety of abuse – it does seem to have improved over the last 2 months, at least based on my tests.

Myspace’s Tom and Chris insist that they and their staff find the time to go through every single message to them or complaint by users. I’ve abandoned my Friendster account because it got boring, I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to part from Myspace though, no matter how annoying it gets, it’s popular because it’s the most functional Online Social Network by far. However, the functionality of an OSN naturally includes a prerequisite for critical mass, and Myspace is already nearing its mid-life crisis in Internet years so… is the time ripe for a leftfield underdog to attempt to take over the OSN mass market? Or will we merely observe the continuing, and continuingly banal, proliferation of imitators & specialists (LinkedIn, Facebook, Tribe, and so on, take your pick…)? Or perhaps, we are on the verge of the entry of integrators and aggregators (gasp)!

WWW, sweet WWW; What further marvels doth the future hold?

Dark Fiber Death Star

February 9, 2006 by

Is the end of network neutrality more doomsday hype like yesterday’s Y2K or tomorrow’s peak level oil crash? Free Press offers reason why the threat is really real, why we should care and what we can do about it.

You know who else understands what’s going on? Someone at Google has got them buying up dark fiber. Refer to my last article on the physical (really real) basis of the Internet, and think to yourself – so if Google “does no evil”, and probably isn’t too excited about paying Verizon or At&T or whoever for use of their pipeline to pump their cyber gold to the masses, what might they think of doing, with oh, say, a few billion dollars… In a nut shell, Google is buying up thousands of miles of incompletely installed, currently unused fibre-optic cable abandoned by dotcom busts. Or so the rumors go…

But why should we the people believe that GoogleNet will be any different from MurdochWeb or A-T&T-P://…? The revolution is coming, will it be streamloaded?

Free Love – The Art of Buttering Bread

February 7, 2006 by

Recently, I had the pleasure of helping out at the Plug Awards. The production team – c/o World’s Fair & Fringe Benefits – had it all together at Webster Hall, while I was late getting there. So I got stuck (or rather, with hindsight, I should say, at the time, I thought I got stuck) with two simple tasks – (1) Get the rock stars to sign promotional giveaways for the fans, and (2) Make sure the industry people in the All Access V.I.P. (not merely the V.I.P. – that’s a different, lower priority section) and backstage get their gift bags…

Gift bags. Living online, enraptured with our brave new world, Web 3.0 (what, you still rocking version 2.0? get hip already!), it’s easy to forget our physical needs (what, me hungry?) and motivations… You gotta love getting stuff for free that you almost wanted so much you might have bought it. What happenned to all the iPod giveaways?

At Plug, there were a handful of CDs, a full week’s worth of magazine reading materials, stickers, buttons, and other miscellany in each 4″ by 13″ fully full gift bag. I, unfortunately or not, had no role in the laborious preparation of the gift bags, not to mention the solicitation of sponsorships. Yet, handing out those gift bags, I was pleasantly shocked by the reaction I received. Taste-makers turned into taste-testers, it didn’t matter how many hundreds of influential people considered them gatekeepers, they were silly putty in my hands.

“Could I please get one for my brother? He’s retarded. Su, you’re awesome!”

“Nobody steal these gift bags under the coat rack! They’re for Holy F&*k! Su, you’re awesome!”

“Yay! Gift bags! Su, you’re awesome! Want the rest of my beer?”

These people, next year, around this time, will be Plug’s evangelists. They will spout quandaries on the awesomeness of Plug, although they probably might not remember the gift bags, because truth be told, even for an indie event, the gift bag was pretty so-so. There was nothing in it that deserves OMFG! Not to me. But other than the people there who did want the stuff in that bag (enough to probably pay for it otherwise, or else to keep attempting to get it for free), which is probably a good number, for everyone else, the underserved part of the target, a very simple schema of cognitive associations is formed… Plug: Gifts: Awesome! These associations will be a catalyst when we call on them in the future for other marketing messages. It’s not rocket science.

Just a few days later, I’m working The Czars @ Delancey, giving away free Bella Union (Czars’ label, owned & operated by Simon Raymonde, ex-Cocteau Twins) samplers to celebrate the first night of the residency, and fortunately, I guess someone was doing their job well, around 80% of everyone who got the sampler was noticeably excited about it. They didn’t expect it. They love The Czars anyway. Someone told someone told them about it and then they heard the mp3 and then maybe they read something about it on Flavorpill, or maybe not… Is Midlake on this CD?

While online music, and many other media & entertainment markets, are all facing difficulties establishing sustainable equilibrium price points and the associated revenues, here we are, continuing to practice a promotional technique as old as the first product ever promoted – try it, for free. In the midst of declining “record” sales, price wars, rampant piracy, raging P2P file-sharing, CD burners and so on, are we devaluing our product at all? Where do we draw the line between giving away a CD for free and hoping that the target buzzes it a bit, and threatening a geeky 15 year-old in Mobile, Alabama, with legal action if he doesn’t stop telling his friends about all the awesome music he likes?

I was at a panel last year at Baruch College‘s liberally titled New York Music Industry Association on the “Moral and Legal Issues of Downloading Music”. Obviously, there’s a compelling argument that the creators of content, and their management/marketing teams, rightfully deserve to get paid. Take it a step further, and you could even say that illegal downloading is crippling American progressives. Yet, it’s clear that even with an assumedly intelligent and fair-minded market segment as indie fans, marketers may be self-sabotaging their efforts by training customers to prefer free product, or no product. There are a few different models emerging – new stuff for free & old stuff by subscription, new stuff for free & old stuff with advertising, new stuff with advertising & old stuff for free, etc. None of which seem to be making any particular sense to consumers. Perhaps we need a whole new platform, a higher plane, to resolve this old conundrum, with new dimensions, by a business model that makes sense, and money.

Corporate AntiChrists and Other Footnotes to the Internet Armageddon

February 5, 2006 by

Of all the Google news instilling the fear of big brother in American businessmen and consumer advocates alike, the reports on Chinese censorship seem to be the most considerable. There’s a lot of political hoo-ha and corporate double-face, and the real dangers as I see them, are generally hidden from public view; at least, few people are able to connect the dots and express the urgency. In 10 years of Internet growth and proliferation, netizens in the West have become accustomed to using the Internet to obtain every little tidbit of information or content to their heart’s desire, at a price or for free, legally or otherwise. Indeed, we like to believe that the Internet is a virtual land of limitless possibilities and resources that has changed and should continue to change our lives for the better. Thus, Google’s, and Intel’s, and Yahoo’s, and Microsoft’s explicit compliance with the Chinese government’s censorship policies, seems a blow not just to civil liberties in China, but also to the general idea of Internet freedom and empowerment that Internet companies and online marketers eschew out here in the West for us Internet users to gobble up.

Yet, China is not in the least the only country to avidly filter and censor its Internet against perceived political and social threats. All oil-rich Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and others do so. In the Far East, Malaysia and Singapore are filterers, despite their flourishing technology industries, while on the other hand, troubled republics Indonesia and Burma also have stringent controls. The specific sites and search terms censored may vary but they share many commonalities (e.g. human rights, political issues, sexual education, religion), especially in Muslim countries. Some countries even impose limitations on who is allowed access to the Internet; others routinely use their authority for invasive surveillance. Open Net Initiative is a resource for further information on state control of national gateways to the world wide web.

On a fundamental level, the Internet is a communications technology. Enchanted in a magical cyber forest, most Internet users don’t even realize that there is a massive physical infrastructure required to pull off the miracles of the Internet. In the early years of public access Internet, the network relied on telephone lines and modems to convert electronic data to electrical and vice versa, through unsightly poles stretching across the horizon to infinity, and even through satellites we can’t see, yet see us continually. Now, we need cable, because it’s faster, right? Well, that means laying down millions of miles of expensive cable dug deep into the ground, from the trunk to the skinny wire sticking out of your living room wall. This lasts until we develop better, faster cable (e.g. fiber optic) or alternate transmissions media (e.g. wireless), and then we need to build and install the infrastructure to support these and further technologies. This is just the highway; now, in order to have information flow through it, we need lots of server computers, including some giant ones, plus tons and tons of physical hard-drive memory to house all the gazillions of gigabytes of words, sounds, images, video, and whatever else there is lurking out there on the Internet!

Each item of the entire abovementioned infrastructure is owned by some entity. In the beginning, circa 1962, J.C.R. Licklider of MIT came up with his “Galactic Network” concept. After much tinkering and toiling by university researchers, the idea proved itself in manifestations for the US Department of Defense. By the turn of the millennium, seven of the nine international gateway super-servers are still owned by the U.S. government. ICANN, the private organization that regulates and polices the Internet, is sponsored by the US Department of Commerce. Meanwhile, nations manage their own national gateways and backbone networks. (Last year, we saw a rally by the international community to wrestle control of ICANN; eventually, nothing changed, as the EU backed down.) It’s only at this point that the Internet Service Providers connecting the average consumers and providing various related services enter the picture. Thus, the Internet as we perceive it, the seemingly continuous flickering pixels on our computer screens, actually requires telecommunications through properties owned and/or operated by numerous intermediaries (government, corporate, industry association, non-profit organization, or some other independent entity).

Most other online articles attempting to answer the question “who owns the Internet?” don’t even acknowledge the physical base; they represent the Internet as merely software, content and information. Is this part of what leads to the illusion of the Internet being a tool for freedom and empowerment? Meanwhile, early warnings are appearing threatening an end to the golden age we’ve been enjoying. Of course, we expect for-profit giants to try to monopolize the market by taking control of assets and infrastructure, but as soon as January, 2008, the Internet as we known it may change radically with the end of network neutrality? Thanks to the short-sightedness (or imperialist motives) of the FCC, after that date, backbone network operators and ISPs will have tremendous power to dictate terms in the industry, potentially up to the point of deciding which sites and services to allow its internet users access to. There is much to fear, and much to ponder about how and why the FCC endorsed this development, that brings to mind the empire-building that consumers endure in too many major utility and infrastructure industries. first telecoms to the energy industry, the mass commercialization of any new “disruptive” technology.

In the case of the Internet, if our worst fears materialize, the game is just downright cruel to consumers. After unbridled innovation in the hands of hippy programmers and neo-liberal marketers who hand the reins over to the common person, only until the market reaches critical mass, so that greedy investors can snatch back the keys to the fun room… Say it isn’t so? However, if the Internet does turn into a lame, restricted, expensive, boring, useless virtual space, perhaps we might witness an exodus? There was life before the Internet, you know…

Tekkies and Nerdlingers Game Together!

February 3, 2006 by

Yahoo!’s new Tech Buzz fantasy investing game is an ingenius marketing research tool and fun game, for new media fanatics. The project relies on the four key principles of The Wisdom of Crowds to create a rather valuable public resource, and private pool of data consisting of the combined wisdom of a diverse base of contributors – technology fans, early adopters, researchers, academics, critics, testers, and so on. I mean, only people interested in this would play, and would take an interest in the results – so if you are, register now to get $10,000 magic Internet money to invest – I did!

The game has eight categories of markets – New Markets, Open Source Software, Entertainment, Gadgets, Network, OSDD (Operating Systems, Databases & Development), Wild Wild Web (including Ad Services, Maps, Browsers, RSS Feed Brokers, and other miscellaneous online categories), and Experimental – to choose investments from for your portfolio. I’m going to look at Browser Wars, P2P, and Weblog Empires to begin with.I wanted to go wild on Social Networks, but how come there’s no Myspace listed? I’ll have to look into that. Plus, I’ll be watching the Online Music market closely! I’ll post updates, and let’s see if I have any claims to being an oracle.

Tag You’re It

January 27, 2006 by
Consumate

Consumating.com is a new online community for geeks to hook up with other geeks, that was developed by geeks in a totally geeky way. Joking about online dating, programmers Ben Brown and Adam Mathes originally conceived Consumating.com as a joke, but when people started using it to actually find dates, they decided to get serious.

The site extends the ideas and systems of tagging proselytized by Del.icio.us, Technorati and flickr, that has spawned a social movement. We finally have a filing system for the Internet. The implications and possibilities are only beginning to be discovered – beyond just being able to search for stuff that’s related because everything is already marked and easily accessible. When tagging is applied to a social network, the network begins a self-organizing process and users virtually swarm around related interests, photos, events, and so on, adding their opinions and perceptions to the item as tags. Just scrolling thru tag sites, one feels the excitement of something that makes a lot of sense arising mysteriously out of a chaos, and spreading like wildfire.

Consumating

When I talk about Consumating with other people, the first thing that pops up is – how is it different to Myspace? In other words, why do I need to participate in yet another online social network? I don’t know, I’m not. I’m curious if tagging is going to continue growing in popularity until myspace is obliged to incorporate it into its interface. Or would myspace view it as a little healthy competition, an alternative to viewing the world thru myspace lenses?

Consumating claims that tagging is not only a more efficient system of identifying and describing yourself online, but that it is more flexible, so you can show yourself off to the world “without having to fit into any rigid stereotype“. I beg to differ. Tagging is a tool for categorization. Stereotypes are built on categorizations – you are tagged “asian”, “fun-loving”, “skateboarder”, “booze”, “cooking”, etc. Although it may be true that over time, the summation of a user’s tags will be unique, on the whole, each user’s individuality has been broken down into convenient little pieces… for marketers. See the main reason why tagging may be a threat to myspace’s direct relationship marketing platform? Tagged user profiles empower marketers with almost infinite flexibility to segment and target as they wish, and the best part is that the consumers segment themselves, at no cost!

So let’s see how this social trend and its industry develops. I’m concerned that once big marketers discover how to exploit tags for direct marketing, we will see a flurry of ill-conceived and intrusive campaigns. I’m further concerned by the social implications of tagging – here in New York, it’s easy to see the real world effects of online social networks as people continue to make friends and dates online because it works well in our hectic, disconnected, modern lives. If people are only associating with the people, companies, events, activities and so on that they are directly related to, will that mean that they will be increasingly disassociating with those stereotypes that they dislike? And if that does happen, the power of the Internet to bring people together, may actually be spreading people apart in consumer clusters.

Much Ado About Mapping

January 22, 2006 by

If your recent vernacular includes “mash-ups”, “ajax”, and “2.0″, you’re probably a fan boy of the new .com erection. Thus far, the “new web” is more theory than practice, but the possibilities for new marketing stategies, while boundless, can at once be experimental, reckless, *and* highly successful.

One area that should be on your radar is the wild success of Google’s cartographic endeavors. Following Google’s acquisition of Keynote’s satellite imagery, those clever Bay Area geeks in white lab coats put together, and released for free, the dominant map service on the Internet, Google Maps. Shortly afterward, they released another milestone with the release of Google Earth, an application which allows you to log various points on the earth, push a button, sit back, smoke a joint, and watch the astronaut simulation spin you around till you’re so dizzy your regurgitating your space food in between the cushions.

pintsearch.com

This was all in good fun, but we’re not talking about fun here we’re talking about marketing potential. And that is where the most significant detail begs introduction. Following Google Earth’s launch, Google announced an API (Application Programming Interface) to Google Maps. The gist of this means, Google created a means by which you could mark points on the map, arranged however you wished, with whatever content you wanted, whether it was a list of the best parrakeet salesmen in Nebraska or the most serviceable nannies this side of Nantucket, Google was happy to help.

So in the year since this API went live, the quantity of GMaps experiments has been remarkable, but the quality has varied wildly. Google Maps Mania, a blog regularly updated with links to the notables, is a good place to start for those wondering what all the fuss is about. Some of the recent entries include:

  • geobirds.com – where you can scan through a list of your favorite feathered friends and the likelihood you’ll see them on the trip to the mailbox this afternoon.
  • Canadian Election 2006 Mashup – where you can catch a glimpse of how Canada will swing tomorrow
  • pintsearch.com – a candid catalog of where best to lift your glass in London.

None of these three are separate from the inclinations of the market. For the first, imagine if you were a tourism operator of birding tours in Wyoming. For the second, imagine if you were a campaign strategist. The third is even more obvious: imagine if you didn’t like the color of your competitor’s bar stools and wanted the world to know about it.

As socially-driven cartography grows, so will the importance of our awareness of its significance. The existance of these mapping tools, created and given away for free, mean the difference between “word of mouth” suggestion and “compassionate salesman” is closer than ever. Who’s going to police the purity of the content? No-one. We’ll have to accept the idea that anything we read on the Internet could have ulterior motivations, just as we’ve come to accept for any other medium. And, from the other end of the spectrum, getting the attention of Internet citizens within your local area has become one step easier.

Is this all much ado about nothing? It’s a familiar debate – the amount of users of Google Maps experiments are still quite small. But they are more curious, patient, and trusting. How much should that pub owner care what’s on the pintsearch.com website? We could only expect that the importance grows, even if it is still relatively small.

My Live Web Stream Is Rotten To The Core

January 21, 2006 by
Hecker

Hear a 8 hour radio survey of young Canadian Tim Hecker‘s creative and exciting electronic music this Monday, January 23rd, on the live web stream at Cambridge (MA)’s WHRB 95.3 FM. More info at Montreal’s Alien8 Recordings. After listening to too much noise/experimental music for years, Hecker’s music, to my surprise actually, has evolved to become one of the only such music i find consistently engaging. It’s adventurous sound art with a futuristic pop appeal. My Love Is Rotten To The Core (Alien8), a concept album on washed out ’80s hair metal phenomenons, never fails to get me roused and riled up. This live broadcast will cover the entire span of his work, including his super hit Techno alias Jetone, so forget about Sirius and XM and enjoy some of the more adventurous indie content online.


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