David Gans (tnf) Mon 11 Apr 11 18:22
jelly fish challenged (reet) Mon 11 Apr 11 20:55
PETER! My BROTHER!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 12 Apr 11 07:16
Back to my question about the future of media: the Internet's emerging as a platform for distribution of convergent media, where all film, television, music, and literary creations are digitized and cooked in a kind of media stew. To power all this, we see an increasingly centralized broadband network that to some appears more like cable than the Internet. And everything's funding by ubiquitous advertising and marketing. There are already movements emerging that are talking about building a next generation decentralized Internet as an alternative to the pervasive media network. Another aspect of this evolution is that everything is "social," much content is created by users rather than professionals, and increasingly evertything can be annotated or commented. There are so many current and potential channels for distribution of media and parallel conversations, we've moved from mass media to masses of media. This is the context we've been talking about, and I know Ed feels pretty skeptical about these trends and what goes with 'em. But is there a positive side for the artist in all this? Does a band with great chops and high creativity have more control over its destiny than it would have when it had to jump through record company hoops to get airplay and distribution? Same for authors, filmmakers? Or are we in a world where the collapse of the old structures means no chance to produce greatness, where it's quantity over quality (as Ed seems to be saying)?
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:24
WE need to remember that the works that achieve greatness under the collapsing old system aren't the only great works out there. So many of the factors that determines which greatness comes to mass attention is arbitrary. For every David Foster Wallace or Zadie Smith or Jonathan Lethem, there are probably basements full of people laboring away in obscurity whose work is just as good by any objective measure, or at least whose talent is equal to theirs, but who failed, for reasons entirely unrelated to talent or quality, to find their way through all the gates. Seems to me that what we know as great art found its way through a system (record industry, publishing business, etc.) with more structure and manifest rules than the Internet offers, but which is no less chaotic and irrational or just plain stupid, and no more reliable a judge of quality. Great stuff, probably different great stuff, will continue to bubble up in whatever the current stew is.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:38
The overall picture, is that we are pre-Gutenberg and back to an oral media -- tho now we term it chat, text, voice, etc....but the point is that it is now an oral tradition again a la Marshall McLuhan, if the media (medium) is the message, then the new platform is digital, in all it's forms.... So, for me at least, it isn't either/or but rather, both/and....Yes, Ed is rightly concerned....we are losing our privacy, if we ever had it,,,NSA monitors everything that transmits on the NET, Homeland Security eavesdrops on everything, there are no 1st Amendment rights to cover our cellphones (so for gopod's sake put a strong password on that thing!).... It's not that any of us are doing anything wrong -- well, most of us anyhow, but that it is a fundamental right for each us to have our personal freedom....that needs to extend to our virtual/digital identity (ies) as well, and to our devices....EFF has a lot of work to do here....
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:39
He's right, you know. Speaking as an artist who is competing in this sphere, it's a good thing in that the playing field has been leveled (apocalyptically!), and a bad thing in that the ceiling has been lowered greatly in the process. My chances of getting filthy rich were never good, and they're worse now by virtue of the fact that I'm 57 years old and I don't make the kind of music that is going to get me a prominent spot at Best Buy nor a nice lucrative placement behind a montage on "The O.C." But my ability to reach a large number of people under my own steam is, I think, greatly facilitated by Facebook, Twitter, etc. "1,000 True Fans": <http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php> An excerpt: >>> A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living. A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans. <<<
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:40
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:46
I've been asked how to use Facebook to market a CD. My answer tends to be along the lines of, "Go back in time about five years and become a part of the community. Interact with eople - respond to their status reports, post news items and video clips abut things that interest you. Be a member of lots of communities there. If you just show up and start promoting your CD, you'll be regarded as a spammer." In that sense, I am ahead of the game in that I have been online for 25 years, starting right here in the WELL. On Facebook, I have 5002 "likes" for my artist page and another 18,000+ "likes" for my radio show's page. I am an experienced social networker, and I put energy into supporting other creative people whose work I like.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:46
We are being marketed, spammed, collated, spun and bindled into every category by experts, and targeted accordingly....it's a bore and comes with "it's free and always will be".... The telling sign for me was when Amazon and PayPal cancelled WikiLeak's accounts...and only a handful of us responded by cancelling our PayPal and Amazon accounts in protest....so it's accidental tourists in virtual space pretending to be crusaders....Oh well, what's new? As for the positive side to all of this....new distribution models and platforms exist and are in the pipes that will give the artist(s) freedom of control, production, and distribution, and marketing of their creations....That's a great thing....sure, there will be chaff with the wheat, but there always is.... I think it is virtually a great day to be a 'creative'....networks abound, channels are everywhere you want, you can now hook up 24/7 with anyone in the world....Really it's all too much, too fast and only a few have a handle on what now exists, how to develop, use and manage it....and more importantly, what should supercede the old and be constructively created to channel the new.... Great Day in the Morning! (sorry this was so long a rant -- this is dear to my heart and efforts to change things.)
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:48
more slippage... but I'm glad this rang David's bell as well as mine.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:49
David Byrne said it takes 5 years to develop a band's following, e.g. Talking Heads, and then you have your target audience and go from there....it's a whole lot faster now for someone who knows how to use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, etc....it's all about audience, digital marketing and getting viral....Woohoo
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:56
Or not, in the case of the Decembrist's...this week's Rolling Stones ran an article about how they are number one and now taking a few years off to pursue other projects -- books, movies, etc....they are sticking to their original plan in spite of viral success....I take great heart from that decision....More power to them!! (Sorry, no link online for this yet)
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 09:57
Ed knows this story. How many times did we music journalists discover some great new album, write it up, and then watch in horror as the vicissitudes of the release schedule killed it in its crib? Your life's work comes out on the same Tuesday as the new Madonna record, and the sales dept, rack jobbers, et al. just never get to do anything on yours. And under the record label model, not only are you dead in the water, but you don't even own the corpse. I do not mourn the death of that system.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Tue 12 Apr 11 12:21
And it's not that much different with books. Suffer, for whatever reason, bad (i.e., less than the publisher, with all the tools at his or her disposal, estimated) sales--which, assuming the book is decent, is generally the result of arbitrary and external factors--and you're toast. You do own all the remaindered crumbs, but good luck with your next project. So when authors and agents start conspiring with Amazon to cut out the publisher and release an e-book, they're just doing the thing that makes sense. Amazon gives you 70 percent of the take. Meaning that if you sell 20K copies at $12 each, you'll take home $168K. The advance on a book a publisher thinks might sell 20K will be maybe $75K, and if yo udon't earn out, try getting another advance of any size. Amazon may be the great Satan, but at least they konw what they are doing, which is more than you can say for most publishing houses.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 15:47
i think this true for all creatives...we (if I may be so bold) are not business types for the most part....we think, write, paint, sculpt, sing and reflect the cultures and worlds in which we find ourselves, locally and globally.....and then the pariahs come!!!
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Tue 12 Apr 11 18:32
Well, evidently if we want audiences and food on the table, we are going to have to become business types.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 18:47
I just started a new business,,,,and added two business types to my board so they could do all that for me :)) Got that from doing what they call a SWAT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Assets, Talents as part of my business plan...A first for me....they basically want me to think, and they will handle the business...WOOT
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 18:48
David, et. al. what do you think about this link? http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/print/2011/04/how-copyright-law-hurts -music-from-chuck-d-to-girl-talk/236975/
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 19:45
My responses to that article begin here: <http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.02/oswald.html> and here: <http://www.dgans.com/mutilaudio/>
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 19:48
And two mashups of Beatle songs that we (Rubber Souldiers will never be able to release): <http://www.dgans.com/rubbersouldiers/studio/pleasemelong_final.mp3> <http://www.dgans.com/rubbersouldiers/studio/norwegianboy_final.mp3>
David Gans (tnf) Tue 12 Apr 11 19:51
Really interesting article - thanks. I have been kicking around a book idea that would involve building each chapter around a song (by someone else). Guess I'd have a hard time getting htat published, too.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 22:00
The Old Guard will protect every vested interest in every possible nickel they can get....I think Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig have a lot going with Creative Commons and free digital offerings.... David, I'm sorry I don't have anything positive to offer in your dilemma, it just sucks! Maybe Jon or Ed know of something???
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 12 Apr 11 22:04
<95> wow, thanks for sharing those....any possibility you could just ask Paul or Ringo for permission???
Ed Ward (captward) Wed 13 Apr 11 07:23
And we're back to the same old arguments, to which I have to offer my counter-arguments. Copyright, for writers, is essential, especially now that we're denigrated by the term "content providers" and being told, after decades, to work for free. Authors can't sell t-shirts or other merch to make up for loss of copyright, nor can we necessarily take it on tour for profit the way a band can. Plus, even with musicians, some of them don't translate to the stage well, and others don't want to turn into machines touring 300 days a year just in order to make the rent. The 500 true fans argument is fine -- for young people in a rock band. For the rest of us it's just blither.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 13 Apr 11 09:02
I disagree that it's "just blither," but it's a scary situation for sure.
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