Friday, July 07, 2006

Danah at NZMIC
Danah Boyd gave a talk to interested music folks at the NZ Music Industry Commission's offices, Monday night. Here's some random notes from it. Enjoy.

Myspace's initial growth came from band promoters in LA - myspace founder Tom was closely aligned wth them. The promoters set it up so that if you wanted to get into their shows, and their VIP areas, you had to be on Myspace. They'd announce shows there exclusively.

Bands need to have your band name on the home page, not just in the webpage address - to help Google's search function.

Keep it live, keep it interactive - ie put up an early version of a song/or/ a live cut of a song, then send out a bulletin - "check out this tune". Or put up a list of "what i'm listening to now"

Put up video, not just music vids, but random stuff - Myspace pays for bandwidth.

Personalise pages with photos, not just cover art.

For bands, they can use Myspace to send out bulletins, as a way to keep their fans informed on upcoming gigs etc. She suggests using hacks to utilise the site.

Not just about attracting a huge number of friends - there are automated programmes that do that - Bands are now wanting comments rather than a huge number of friends - comments that include a fan's location.

Pre-release your music/video via Myspace - adopted by fans and spread thru their friends.

Myspace has 2 terabytes of data uploaded daily.

Danah noted that is more popular here than Myspace.

Danah says Murdoch has added lawyers and lobbyists to Myspace, but has largely left it alone.

Curently, Myspace is focussing its resources on dealing with the moral panic - two thirds of the staff are searching out porn on Myspace and eliminating it. Danah says they need to be focussing on music, which is their strength.

Myspace has no quality assurance - they expect their users to do it. They throw up 3 or 4 new featrures a day and see if they work.

She thinks next big thing will be mobile, which means it wont be in the States. Phones as multimedia devices. In the US, Kids over 18, with a credit card can get a mobile phone.Under 18, your mobile has to be linked to your parents phone account.

Notes that the Sidekick does IM (instant messaging) via AOL - There are 4 times more downloads to Sidekicks than any other phone. About 500,000 in use in US and Germany.

She asked Myspace the % of females on the site - they can't even do the data for that. They are not running much in the way of statistics at all.

One point that didn't get touched on in the Myspace talkfests - a lot of unsigned NZ bands are using Myspace to create a web presence. Rather than spend mega-dollars on creating and hosting their own site, they use Myspace, to host music, photos, video, etc. they can customise it, make it their own, and it's free.

Oh, and Robyn notes that "interested parties can out examine photographic evidence of the Great Blend." And here's Robyn...

and speaking of photographic evidence, Me and James Littlewood (occasional PA contributor) grinning... maybe it was the free coffee, or our cheery dispositions, who knows...

and Matt and me...

From Matt's blog on the PA Great Blend... snip...

Myspace of course was built to run friendster into the ground. Whereas friendster still placed its emphasis on dating and such, Myspace blew it open. Not only the combining of blogging, dating/networking, music, pics etc. into a utility site, but the fact that the HTML coding left it wide open for a flood of teenagers to do what they liked with their pages, and basically recreate their identity online. And basically what is being a teenager? Its appropriating and projecting an identity of an idealised self. Hey, I do it all the time. Ill take a compounded reality with a side of fries, thanks. On the panel, I also raised discussion about sub cultural movements finding a foothold on myspace (Uh huh, yes, emo) like Danah said, its all about gLOCALisation (yeah drop that one next time youre having one of your wanky debates on campus)

But yeah, thrilling enough as it was to be regarded as a myspace expert, next thing Im getting thronged hard by academics, media and tech heads and my consultancy service as youth market internet analyst is in great demand! Watch for me rolling up in my Porsche blinging high as a kite on powdered tiger penis any day now!!!

Even Danah herself wants to interview me for her research but she was in the same boat as me, she wanted to catch Timmy the Schu man laying down beats, while I didnt want to miss Emma Green @ Fu because her myspace says shes single and I think Ive got a crush on her..."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why the loudness wars are killing today's music - link
"Pull out a vinyl record from the 70s or early 80s, and listen to it. Odds are it'll have a big dynamic range -- it'll be whisper-quiet in some parts and booming loud in others. You'll pick up new nuances every time you listen to it. Now listen to any music track recorded in the last ten years, and it'll be radically different. That dynamic range is gone: The entire track is loud, all the way through..." Apprently it's all Oasis fault. Bloody rit-pop.

Why music lovers need a record cleaner - link
"Record Outlet, a small music store in Thousand Oaks, carries used vinyl records as well as CDs. Store owner K.C. Staples said business has been as good as ever.
"Vinyl sales have never really slowed down," he said. "CD sales have slumped, but I'm seeing more junior high through high school young adults buying more records."

HONOUR AMONG THIEVES, or DJ Morality Headscratchers part 1 - Link
When clearing a tune for a compilation becomes a nightmare.... especially when you realise the label you are dealing didn't clear/pay for the samples in the tune you want.

The above links are from the esteemed Andrew Dubber - here's more, in his own words...

"I've recently been maintaining an email list for close personal acquaintances. I send out a message a couple of times a week, containing a plain text list of headlines and links to news, blogs and articles about Online Music. I'm ready to expand that select list to The Wireless constituency. If you'd like to get that email, drop me a note ( and I'll add you. "
Thoroughly reccomended if you're involved in music....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday July 1st
Sunshine sound system - As of lately
Hopeton Lewis - Take it easy
Carl Bradney - Slippin into darkness
Joe Gibbs - Angola crisis
Cut chemist - The garden
Manzel - Midnight theme (Dopebrother remix)
Wilson Pickett - Engine No 9
Dizzy Gillespie - Matrix
Barrington Levy - Collie weed
Bob Marley -Stand up jamrock
Ini Kamoze and Capital D - World a reggae
Freddie Kruger - Something good
Esso Trinidad Steel band - I want you back
DJ Vadim feat Demolition man - Leeches
JStar - Musictime
Brentford allstars - Racetrack
Cornerstone roots - Forward the sax
Mad Lion feat KRS One - That's it
Nina Simone - Funkier than a mosquito's tweeter
Breakestra - Stand up
Edwin Starr - Easin in
Nas - Where y'all at
Wu tang clan - Uzi (Pinky Ring) inst
Gianfranco Reverberi - Nel Cimitero di Tucson (as sampled by Gnarls Barkley for Crazy)
Prince Fari - Same knife
Nomo - Divisions
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce
Jackie Mittoo - Get up and get it
Zilver zurf - Moment is gone (Kieser Velten remix)
Scientist - African daughter dub
Bombs - Under mi sensi remix
Nightmares on wax - Flip ya lid

Righto, last show for three weeks, Big Matt and friends will be filling in while I'm having a break. Current holiday research - Fear and Loathing in las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson. There's a clue, huh?