Support Artists

May 31, 2006

Downhill Battle and other say that buying iTunes and cd's does not support artists.

But do they offer any solutions? No, just bitch, steal, and mail a buck. I smell lots of guilty dollars sitting in peoples pockets who just did the first two steps.

  1. Bitch
  2. Steal
  3. Profit!

I'll mail your damn dollars for you, and take a dime for the pleasure. So i'm gonna buy up a memorable domain, allow you to pay as few as five dollars, divvied up to as many artists as you like, and once that artist has 5$ saved up, they can have it. (The limits are to prevent credit card companies from burning me) If they never get 5$, or it takes too long, you can have it back.

If you want to code monkey for me, I'll give you 50% of everything.

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Social Networking Done Right

May 31, 2006

Social networking sites have still failed to do what friendster set out to do 6 or 7 years ago: introduce people to other people don't yet know. Yeah, I can keep a very close eye on the people I sort of know through class and friendship, but their friends are not very accessible. It's socially challenging, with good reason, to 'poke' a friend of a friend (foaf). Why? It's the same situation as in a bar, maybe a little better since you know a few things about them and that somebody you know knows them. (maybe not though- how are you supposed to ask a girl what she's into when its all laid out in her profile?) But you still have to make that introduction. So how do you fix that? Parties, icebreakers, and introductions. I think icebreakers are lame, and introductions don't really get things going in the way they should. So how the hell do you have a party on a website?

You tell me, because I lost patience with this post. :)


Internet TV and Movies

May 31, 2006

The internet is fast becoming the place to get everything. Music is here already, movies and tv are on their way, even friends and relationships are on offer here. Monetizing that is a huge problem. Most people I know don't pay for music. Music I have no ideas about, in fact. Its so available, so small, why not pirate it? The best I've been able to come up with is AllOfMp3.com crossed with this artists site. You pay at least the costs of my bandwidth, and after that, pay what you want. It only works in Russia though… Movies and TV seem to fit the compulsory ad model, ala salon.com. Or, more intrusively, product placement. I think I'm ok with either, salon doesnt bug me, and product placement is usually either obvious and ineffective, or subtle and inobtrusive. I want to see TV and movies on the internet with digg and wiki interfaces. I watched the show, and along the bottom is a feed of the highrated comments on the show, or the fresh comments, or my friends comments, and I can add to it, and moderate them as well. The highrated ones get front-paged and saved for the next viewers, and can be time and graphically anchored. So I can comment on the whats going on 2mins into the show. Or I can comment on the actress who appears 5 mins in, and ID her for everybody. This kind of factual data could be modded slashdot style with informative, and subsequently wiki-edited to have a link to the imdb page for her. Also, if ads are used inline, like oldschool tv, viewers can tag them accordingly as well – good, bad, relevant, irrelevant. I haven't fully browsed Mugshot.org yet, but they seem to be doing some interesting stuff along these lines with TV party. A little ad-on, credit to Mike-FF from #joiito on freenode.  All those tickers of comments would be even more annoying than stock and news crawls, so it would probably be best to have them activate on request.  So I can pause to find out more or add my comment.  Since its no longer synchronous like oldschool tv, that actually works.


Focus and Research

May 19, 2006

I recently finished my last semester of college, and my Grant and Proposal Writing professor's two words stick in my mind the best – Focus and Research.  The other phrase that sticks with me is "What makes a good model?" but thats a topic for another post.  Focus and research is what successful companies do.  Lack of focus is what doomed the foreign restaurateur on Seinfeld who had everything from spaghetti and meatballs to hamburgers.  Lack of research is what dooms so many companies that think the market is ripe for their niche product with no customer base.  A few examples from local businesses –

  • Handmade pies for twenty something bucks.  Whats wrong with the local bakery/farm stand etc?  No market, way too much cost for the payoff.
  • Dollhouses.  Not only do girls spend less time playing dolls, but they can be had for cheaper over the internet.  Small market, too much expense (space).

As far as focus, I was talking to a guy from craigslist who had what he thought would be the king of all music sites.  The plan was to have buddy lists, dj'ing, collaborative editing, indie artists, and anything else that might come along.  But each of those needs a team of developers and the money to pay them.  So the project is stuck at square one with a cool prototype image.  If you pick one of the great ideas that is involved, and make it happen, instead of a jpg on your computer, you have last.fm, mercora, or pandora.  That is, money in the bank, and a name, and a way to get interested people involved.   


Colbert vs. Bush

May 5, 2006

There's been a lot of buzz about this battle, but this post on boingboing convinced me to say something.

Colbert was in fact funny. Colbert did rip into the Bush administration. That's side one of the story. Side two is that Bush was funnier, and also ripped into the Bush administration. Liberal bias? Vast right wing conspiracy?

I look at this in a couple of ways.

  • Because of the hype about Colbert and the internet viewing, people missed Bush's routine immediately beforehand. Also, many read the transcript instead of watching, which prevented them from seeing Colbert's painfully slow delivery. So to these people, Colbert was funny, and satirical. Compared to Bush though, he was sort-of funny, and only a little harsher than the man himself.
  • The media are in fact lap dogs, and were incredibly worried about how harsh Colbert was to the president. This is why few laughed at Colbert's speech, and fewer still commented on it.  The people who organized this event clearly knew what Colbert is about, so they shouldn't have been surprised by a speech that repeated lines from his show verbatim.

I think the first option is closer to the truth. I'm a fan of Colbert, and not a fan of Bush, but I was feeling like a flipflop after watching them in action. Colbert was a schtick, and not particularly original. He rehashed comments from his show. His best jokes were clever, witty ones, not good hearty laugh inspiring.

All the talk about media bias is too generalized to get the point. It's not a left wing or right wing bias, its both biases interacting in complex ways. Al Franken's book 'Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them' looks at the issue in meticulous detail, coming to the conclusion that, although most of the foot soldiers of the media, the journalists, are left wing in their own thinking, the media's tone is set by the editors and producers, who are usually right wing. That doesn't mean that article's arent written leftish, it means they get corrected to the right. So if the conservative bias was in effect, the liberals would have been laughing at the dinner, and then not publishing after it. But nobody was laughing. Colbert just wasn't funny.