- Digital Continuity Conference Proceedings — proceedings from a New Zealand conference on digital archiving, preservation, and access for archives, museums, libraries, etc.
- What Are The Scaling Issues to Keep in Mind While Developing a Social Network Feed? (Quora) — insight into why you see the failwhale. (via kellan on Twitter)
- Fan Feeding Frenzy — Amanda Palmer sells $15k in merch and music in 3m via Bandcamp. Is the record available on iTunes yet? Absolutely not. We have nothing against iTunes, it’ll end up there eventually I’m sure, but it was important for us to do this in as close to a DIY manner as possible. If we were just using iTunes, we couldn’t be doing tie-ins with physical product, monitoring our stats (live), and helping people in real-time when they have a question regarding the service. Being able to do all of those things and having such a transparent format in which to do it has been a dream come true. We all buy stuff on the iTunes store – or AmazonMP3 or whatever – but it’s not THE way artists should be connecting to fans, and it’s certainly not the way someone is going to capture the most revenue on a new release. (via BoingBoing)
- Sad State of Open Source in Android Tablets — With the exception of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, a device that isn’t even really a tablet, I found one tablet manufacturer who was complying with the minimum of their legal open source requirements under GNU GPL. Let alone supporting community development.
Maturing Wikileaks, Connectivity as a Right, Music from Proteins, Preserved Source
- Is Wikileaks Growing Up? — I linked earlier to FAS commentator Steven Aftergood, who had ripped Wikileaks as irresponsible and dangerous. The latest leaks, however, get grudging respect. “the latest dump deals with a perfectly newsworthy topic and — judging from my initial glances at the news coverage — Wikileaks itself has acknowledged the necessity of withholding certain portions of the documents that might endanger individuals who are named in them. If so, that is commendable.” (via jayrosen_nyu on Twitter)
- Open Connectivity and Open Data — is access to the Internet a human right? Video of a presentation by Jon Penney, the InternetNZ CyberLaw Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
- ProteoMusic — twisted music inspired by genomes and proteins. (via christianbok on Twitter)
- MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Donated to Computer Museum — source is as much a historical artifact worthy of preservation as hardware, and will be increasingly so. Should Library of Congress require submission of distributed computer code the same as for published books? (via Andy Baio)
Measuring Life Success, Music Industry Woes, Google Humanities, Open Source Hardware
- How Will You Measure Your Life? (HBR) — Clayton Christenson’s advice to the Harvard Business School’s graduating class, every section a gem. If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most. (via mjasay on Twitter)
- Lyle Lovett Yet To Make a Penny From Record Sales (TechDirt) — read with Virgin Sues Platinum-Selling Band and Zoe Keating’s ongoing exploration of life outside a label. Big record companies take the album profits but give you visibility so you can tour. This sucks if you’re a good musician but can’t tour (e.g., just had a #cellobaby). (via danjite on Twitter)
- Google’s Commitment to Digital Humanities (Google) — giving grants to universities to work with digital works. Will also be releasing more corpora like the collection of ancient Greek and Latin texts.
- Open Source Hardware Definition — up to v0.3, there’s momentum building. There’s an open hardware summit in September. The big issue in the wild is how much of the complex multi-layered hardware game must be free-as-in-speech for the whole deal to be free-as-in-speech. See, for example, Bunnie Huang’s take.
It was the best of decades, it was the worst of decades...
With only a few weeks left until we close out the ‘naughts and move into the teens, it’s almost obligatory to take a look back at the best and not-so-best of the last decade. With that in mind, I polled the O’Reilly editors, authors, Friends, and a number of industry movers and shakers to gather nominations. I then
tossed them in the trash and made up my own compiled them together and looked for trends and common threads. So here then, in no particular order, are the best and the worst that the decade had to offer.
Last week's On The Media (mp3 download here) devoted the full program to challenges and changes during the past decade or so in the music business — from the unanswered legal questions about sampling (check out Girl Talk for the genre taken to the extreme) to the shifting economics of concert tickets and promotion to the changing role of…
Copycrime, Die Music Industry Die, Open Government Data, Augmented Reality
- Second Degree Murder and Six Other Crimes Cheaper Than Pirating Music — I’m outraged that the Obama administration is supporting the RIAA on the case against Jammie Thomas, a single mother of four who has to pay them $1.92 million for downloading songs. That’s more expensive than murder and six other crimes… (via Br3nda)
- Bill Drummond Talk (MP3) — cofounder of the KLF gives 130 years of music industry history and explains why music’s future might depend on not recording it. (via Br3nda)
- NZ Government Recommends CC-BY — NZ all-of-Government licensing framework recommends CC. So far as copyright works are concerned, NZGOAL proposes that agencies apply the most liberal of the New Zealand Creative Commons law licences to those of their copyright works that are appropriate for release, unless there is a restriction which would prevent this. The most liberal Creative Commons licence is the Attribution (BY) licence. So far as non-copyright information is concerned, NZGOAL recommends the use of clear “no-known rights” statements, to provide certainty for people wishing to re-use that information..
- Augmented Reality: 5 Barriers to a Web That’s Everywhere (ReadWriteWeb) — great post with five areas that need to be addressed before we can move from “wow” to commonplace. Interoperability: Right now you cannot see information from the Wikitude AR environment if you’re looking through the Layar AR browser. This could be the coming of a new browser war just like that of the 1990s. It may not be obvious and it may not even be true that users have a right to view any layer of Augmented Reality through any Augmented Reality browser. Interoperability, standards and openness have been what has let the Web scale and flourish beyond the suffocating walled gardens of its early days. The same is true of telephones, railroads and countless other networked technologies. Logically then, a lack of interoperability between AR environments would be a tragedy of the same type as if the web had remained defined by the islands of AOL and Compuserve or Internet Explorer, forever. (A lack of data portability when it comes to Augmented Reality could cause substantial psychological distress!)
My once-beloved San Francisco Chronicle has been "hollowed out," reduced to a thin pamphlet, thereby accelerating their subscriber attrition. Do you even know anyone who actually uses the Yellow Pages? Remember record stores? Whither Blockbuster? When analog media collides with digital media, "creative destruction" occurs with brutal efficiency — unless you can truly differentiate your offering, a tall task, but not an insurmountable one.
What you're selling as an artist (or an author, or a publisher for that matter) is not content. What you sell is providing something that the customer/reader/fan wants. That may be entertainment, it may be information, it may be a souvenir of an event or of who they were at a particular moment in their life (Kelly describes something similar as his eight "qualities that can't be copied": Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, and Findability). Note that that list doesn't include "content." The thing that most publishers (and authors) spend most of their time fretting about (making it, selling it, distributing it, "protecting" it) isn't the thing that their customers are actually buying. Whether they realize it or not, media companies are in the service business, not the content business.
Twitter Bucks, Nike Numbers, Map Apps, and Digi Shiz
- How an Indie Musician Can Make $19,000 in 10 Hours Using Twitter — as Zoe Keating pointed out: “cash made by @amandapalmer in one month on Twitter = $19,000; cash made by @amandapalmer from 30,000 record sales = $0″.
- The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics (Wired) — And not only can we collect that data, we can analyze it as well, looking for patterns, information that might help us change both the quality and the length of our lives. We can live longer and better by applying, on a personal scale, the same quantitative mindset that powers Google and medical research. Call it Living by Numbers—the ability to gather and analyze data about yourself, setting up a feedback loop that we can use to upgrade our lives, from better health to better habits to better performance. Collective intelligence + sensor networks can = happiness. (Mathematics gets by with just an “equals” operator. The rest of us need a “can equal” operator …)
- Old Map App — iPhone app with old maps. Reminds me of David Rumsey’s keynote at OSCON 2004.
- Make It Digital — Digital NZ site that helps organisations wanting to produce digital content, by offering them guidance on formats, metadata, and other issues they’ll have to tackle. Includes a voting system to promote the (NZ) content you want to have digitised.