All posts tagged Content

  • Native Digital blog project: One Movement For Music 2010

    A couple of months ago I undertook a blog project for One Movement For Music 2010, a Perth-based event whose five days (Oct 6-10) consisted of daily MUSEXPO panel discussions, nightly industry showcases at live music venues throughout Perth’s inner city, as well as a three-day music festival. I first blogged for One Movement during its first year, in 2009.

    On behalf of my employer, Native Digital, I coordinated blog content on One Movement Word and operated the event’s social media accounts – Facebook and Twitter – from the beginning of August. On the ground in Perth, I live-tweeted it and blogged daily highlights of the conference, as well covering the festival and showcase acts in photo form – links included at the bottom of this post.

    The difference between last year’s traffic and 2010 was significant. Whereas in 2009 we were starting from a literal blank slate – zero Twitter or Facebook followers, and thus no traction – this time around, we had 300 followers on Twitter and 600 Facebook fans, which meant that our blog content instantly had an audience. These numbers grew as the blog campaign continued: as of 1 November, we have 945 Twitter followers, and nearly 2,500 on Facebook.

    The growth in overall blog traffic speaks for itself – compare 2010 (top image, 17,000+ visits) to 2009 (bottom image, 6,700+ visits).

    August – October 2010:

    July – October 2009:

    This year, One Movement Word’s blog content was split into the following categories – click for further info:

    Posts in the latter category included:

    I want to give a special mention to the ‘State Of Global Independence’ panel, moderated by Nick O’Byrne of AIR, as it was an incredibly inspiring discussion, and by far the best music industry panel I’ve witnessed. Which doesn’t sound that impressive, really, but trust me: Nick and his panelists touched on some brilliant, universally-understood topics, like pursuing your passion, the nature of independence, and being kind to others without expectation of repayment. I’ll say no more; you’ll have to read my transcript of the panel at One Movement Word. It’s totally worth it. I promise.

    Thanks to Sunset Events and Native Digital for again allowing me to be a part of the One Movement online campaign.

  • Always-On

    Seth describes a world whose eyes and ears are synchronised via technology:

    So, very soon, you will own a cell phone that has a very good camera and knows where you are within ten or fifteen feet. And the web will know who you are and who your friends are…. This is going to happen. The only question is whether you are one of the people who will make it happen. I guess there’s an even bigger question: will we do it right?

    Complete connectivity is difficult to imagine. I understand the principles of the notion, but my thoughts remain firmly grounded by its logistics.

    Speaking locally, the biggest barrier to overcome when discussing an always-on world is the price of data transmission.

    I can’t see this barrier being lowered in the near future. It’s unfortunate. Australia has always been behind in terms of broadband cost and speed. ISP policy has traditionally placed harsh restrictions on bandwidth, too.

    The effect that these data limitations have had on Australia’s web economy are obvious. It’s frustrating to read about US-based technological advancements while using an internet infrastructure that’s at least five years behind.

    Phone-streaming services like Qik are financially unfeasible in the current data climate. My recent research into internet plans for a phone upgrade confirms this. Until the price of data transmission lowers, there’s little point in such an investment. The always-on notion is admirable, but out of Australian grasp for the foreseeable future.

  • Openness

    While writing about the new architecture of news, I came across Upendra Shardanand’s blog.

    I found his writing on the subject enlightening and enjoyable. I went to subscribe, but there was no subscribe link.

    I went to email him about this omission, but there was no content in his about section.

    His blog linked to his Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, though. The latter reveals that he’s worked for AOL Time Warner and Microsoft. He’s the founder and CEO of Daylife.

    My initial goal was to subscribe to his blog. Though he didn’t assist with this process, my goal was easily achieved through manual entry into my reader. That’s not my point.

    If you’ve got a captive and willing audience, why make them jump through a bunch of hoops to achieve their desired outcome?

    Conversation and interaction are achieved through making these two outcomes easily achievable by your audience. I desire both, which is why my contact details and subscription link are immediately visible to visitors.

    Of course, Upendra might have chosen to omit these outcomes. If that’s the case, I’d like to know why he’s opposed to openness.

  • Content Analysis: Winelibrary TV

    I was linked to WinelibraryTV through Jeff Jarvis’ blog. He wrote a short article on The Guardian‘s site describing the site and its owner, Gary Vaynerchuk. A few words from Jarvis:

    Before you read this, do me a favour and go to Be prepared for a jet engine in your face. That blast of personality is Gary Vaynerchuk, a 32-year-old merchant who has made more than 450 daily wine-tasting shows online – just him, his glass and a spit bucket.

    The show, with its audience of 80,000 a day, has transformed Vaynerchuk into a cultural phenomenon. He has appeared on two of the biggest TV talk shows in the US and in the Wall Street Journal and Time. His book, Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines, comes out next week and the day he announced this on his internet show, his fans immediately pushed it to No 36 on Amazon’s bestseller list. He has a Hollywood agent. He makes motivational speeches. And he has only just begun. Gary Vaynerchuk is on his way to becoming the online Oprah.

    After reading this intriguing introduction, I immediately load the site. The episode at the top of the page is #467 – Some Wines At The Blue Ribbon. Not exactly the most descriptive of titles. I click play on the FlashBlock logo, and find that the video’s running length is sixteen minutes. This is an immediate turn-off, as I tend to avoid watching any streaming video longer than two minutes unless it’s attached to a convincing recommendation. I sure hope Gary thanked Jeff for his effective word-of-mouth marketing.

    Jarvis wasn’t kidding about the jet-engine personality: Vaynerchuk is entertaining from the first second. His enthusiasm and sense of humour is immediately apparent. I’m surprised and impressed that his energy and charisma hasn’t dulled after 467 episodes. I watch with a smile on my face as Vaynerchuk talks rings around himself, but constantly returns to several central themes within the episode. It’s almost as if the actual wine-tasting process is secondary to the cult of personality that surrounds the site’s subject; intentional or not, this is the impression that I get.

    Vaynerchuk’s concluding question of the day asks his viewers to respond with their favourite wine bar in the US. He specifically addresses casual viewers who are happy to watch without interacting:

    Lurkers! Please answer! You’ve been watching my show and you haven’t left a comment! Can you do that? It’s free! Give it to me! Please! Because you, with a little bit of me, we’re changing the wine world. Whether they like it – or not.

    A cute conclusion, and one that’s produced a reasonable return: at the time of writing, the video had 18,000 views and 250 text comments. Further exploration of the site reveals a spreadsheet maintained by a Vayniac that contains exhaustive data summaries on every wine Vaynerchuk has sampled – though it only contained the highest rating wine for this episode, wherein he tasted three.

    Vaynerchuk’s impact on my life was non-existent until I decided on a whim to give him a chance after an impersonal recommendation from a person I respect. I’ve now become a casual devotee of the man. His blog contains short videos that discuss business development, marketing, and personal ethics. What’s remarkable about the site’s content is that I only have a passing interest in wine, yet I’m now compelled to watch and interact with Vaynerchuk.

    This dude is the personification of the “good, open, free” edgeconomy model. His enthusiasm and winning attitude is contagious. I have a feeling that I’ll be following him for a long time.

  • A Google Reader Shortcoming

    You click to subscribe to a site.

    If Google Reader is selected as your RSS reader by default, as it is on my PC, you’ll encounter the screen where you can choose to add the feed to your iGoogle homepage, or to the Reader itself.

    On that screen, there should be an opportunity for the user to rename the feed subscription. Instead, I have to click Manage Subscriptions within the left pane , scroll down to find the feed, and rename it manually.

    I just subscribed to a site named Social Marketing Journal. It’s written by a guy named Nick Stamoulis. I found his site linked from a TechCrunch discussion about social network data portability, which morphed into a semantic argument between Robert Scoble and Mike Arrington that I soon lost interest in.

    I don’t know Nick Stamoulis. I wasn’t aware that he existed until five minutes ago. But I’ve decided that his writing is worthy of my time and my subscription.

    My subscriptions in Google Reader are named by blog author where possible, instead of blog title. It’s frustrating when I have to search within a site’s content to discover the author’s name. “This blog sits at the intersection of anthropology and economics” is a descriptive title, sure, but it’s long-winded and, to me, irrelevant. What’s relevant to me is the name of its author, Grant McCracken.

    We live in an age where the production and dissemination of information is more decentralised than ever before. Knowledge distribution is no longer controlled from inside a walled garden, as it was when the words of newspaper journalists, authors and academics were singular voices of expertise. The walls have come down; the system has exploded. An individual has more information available at his fingertips than he could reasonably attempt to engage with in a lifetime, let alone analyse and interpret.

    This is the reason why I value a blog author’s name more than their blog title. When you’re falling down a bottomless pit of knowledge, noise creeps. If the audience reading your message hesitates for even a moment, your voice is lost amid the din.

    This is why Social Marketing Journal means less to me than Nick Stamoulis does. The medium is the message; without an author, a page has no content.

    Names will outlast titles. Your name is your brand. You should wear it with pride.

  • Instant Gratification

    There is nothing on the internet more immediately satisfying than a brief, easily digestible slice of content that appeals to your sense of humour. You can sit back and stew on wellwritten Wikipedia articles. You can invest time writing thought-provoking entries on your blog. You can partake in meaningful entrepreneurial discussion.

    Or you can create a ridiculous image that results in uncontrollable laughter. This is the latest I’ve seen. Instant gratification.

    FailDogs is a recent emergent player in the field of instant gratification internet content. The site consists entirely of dogs photographed in amusing poses, accompanied by the word FAIL inconspicuously plastered onto the image. The site’s run by Ryan Holiday, who I linked above. There’s no advertisements. The only content is photos of dogs failing. It’s hilarious, and instantly gratifying.

    There exists a huge market for light entertainment online. Much of it is sporadically distributed across the web, as in the Locke / Slowpoke example above. Repositories containing extensive collections of these small slices of content have become profitable since the idea was first conceived – by whom, I’m not certain. If you know, let me know.

    In many situations, there will exist opportunities where instant gratification is a viable outcome. Discretion is key.

  • Stress

    Justice have released an intense video for their song Stress. I was linked to it through the Modular label’s mailout, via the comment: “Just thought we’d throw a rub n’ tug the way of our buddies Ed Banger, who’s latest video for Justice’s latest single Stress has been watched by everyone in the office like five times today, dope clip, check it out HERE.”

    I was initially sceptic, especially since Modular is a label that I increasingly find uninteresting. I don’t like Justice much, either. D.A.N.C.E. was one of the most overplayed songs of 2007, and I’d prefer to never hear it again. Still, I clicked, and I loaded the video in subdued anticipation.

    The video depicts a gang of ten youths who undertake a seemingly unprovoked criminal rampage. The most shocking element is that they appear emotionless and indiscriminate toward their numerous victims. The violence appears very real, especially the bottle broken against the bartender’s skull.

    The director breaks the fourth wall when the video’s sound guy appears holding a boom microphone in the latter half of the video. It’s unclear why the cameraman is following the group, and at the end of the video, the group turns on him.

    The video provokes an emotional response in the viewer almost immediately, due to its shocking nature. Why are these men acting in this way? Most unnerving of all is their absolute confidence and seemingly invulnerability. The actions of a determined, violent few can evidently unsettle society in a surprising manner.

    The music itself is barely noticeable once the action is underway. The schizophrenic beat suits the video’s vision perfectly. The only laugh-out-loud moment is when the hoodlums are driving a stolen car, and the aforementioned Justice song D.A.N.C.E. is heard on the radio – which is subsequently kicked in, and thrown out the window. This is Justice dispelling their radio-friendly image in an overt and provocative way.

    You’re not going to see this video on any publicly broadcasted channel. You probably wouldn’t be aware the video existed until you got linked to it. I know that I wouldn’t have. It’s a fucking intense piece of work. I’ve watched it four times in a row. To me, its attraction lies in the fact that what occurs in the video is so far detached from social norms. It’s one thing to sit happily imitating these crimes in your living room while playing Grand Theft Auto 4, but it’s an entirely different beast to see actual people engaging in these acts – acted or not.

    My mind is drawn to a Jim Whimpey-linked post regarding the nature of violence being considered more obscene than sex.

    It’s ridiculous. Murder (bloody, violent murder in the case of video games) is a crime, it ends people’s lives. Sex on the other hand is not a crime, it’s in our biological nature, it’s enjoyable, it’s a mandatory requirement to create life. Yet sex is considered more obscene than violence. Stupid.

    Bravo, Justice. Stress is the most memorable music video I’ve seen this year. It’s directed by Romain-Gavras. The video is further discussed here.

    Update (16 May 2008): There’s another interesting analysis of the video here.