UPDate: per Jeff's comment, updated to reflect that it was the sum of all online revenues that had been exceeded by 'In Rainbows,' not the sum of all previous (offline and online) album sales.
This one paragraph from WIRED magazine, with David Byrne interviewing Thom Yorke of Radiohead, succinctly summarizes why free is the new (or a return to the old) model for music in the future:
Yorke: 'In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever -- in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.'
As Yorke states before this, the free concept work for every artist right now but Radiohead made more by offering their recent album for free than they did combining all of the *online* (thanks to Jeff for pointing this out) revenue from their previous albums.
These are powerful economic forces at work, fundamentally chaning the content industries and soon enough, other industries as well. Pay attention to this because this shift will affect all of us.
A NYT's article from two weeks ago discussed briefly how online social networking and the offline world have historical overlap. I had hoped the article would speak to the mainstream world that isn’t
involved in the technology blogosphere but I haven't read much discussion.
I don’t mean the term mainstream in derogatory way; quite
the contrary, I think it’s important that Silicon Valley and the technology
blogosphere actually understand how the rest of the world views social
networking if we ever expect to monetize in a way that is a win-win for the
companies and for the people.
While the article addresses the possible connections between
online social networking and tribal societies, I think the most intriguing and
most misunderstood aspect of social networking comes at the end of Rich’s
The more time we spend “talking”
online, the less time we spend, well, talking. And as we stretch the definition
of a friend to encompass people we may never actually meet, will the strength
of our real-world friendships grow diluted as we immerse ourselves in a lattice
of hyperlinked “friends”?
It’s a valid question to ask whether the development and
retention of online friends comes at the expense of at the benefit of our
But Rich does the non-blogosphere world, everyday people who
may view the online world with skepticism, a disservice by how he asks the
question: it sounds like a natural conclusion that real-world friendships will
suffer at the expense of increasing our offline friends. We’re all buys and we
only have so much time in day.
The problem is that the question has been researched and
initial results show that online connections do not come at the expense of offline connections. I
posted about Benkler’s amazing book, The
Wealth of Networks, a
times before and he specifically addresses the question.
The types of friends that we develop online are different
from more traditional offline friendships, they’re more fluid and temporary,
but they don’t cause a decrease in people’s numbers of offline friendships.
What's a good way to make meaningful online social connections? Blogging
I tell everyone I know to think about blogging because you do make personal connections with people and those online connections translate into offline connections:
Blogging is a an outlet for your passion and interests (Cory Doctorow calls it your "outboard brain")
You meet passionate people who read, comment, and engage in conversations with you
"When I worked at the country's 5th largest multinational corporation, I used an online office suite almost exclusively. Have you ever tried to scroll through some rows in an online spreadsheet using Firefox/Linux? Suicide starts looking attractive about 15 seconds into it."
If you don't laugh at that, then you haven't worked with Excel enough. It's similar to the classic cubicle-life movie, Office Space: if you don't laugh at the humor then you obviously haven't worked in corporate America.
It's been discussed a lot, whether there is a bubble or not: Kara's VC interviews at the recent AlwaysOn Conference to Fred's post a couple months back, "Tough Times Ahead for the Web?" And like that great quip, opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one regarding the bubble question.
Then go listen to the Gillmor Group VI (Facebook link-- sorry, that's Steve's rule) to understand where things are going. Most importantly, pay attention to Nick Carr's comments regarding the mobile web and his thesis that tech pundits are incorrectly framing the question on where and how the web and its innovations will develop in the future.
Future innovations with the web won't actually occur on the web, nor with mobile devices, but will occur with more everyday, non-computer devices or tools, like Amazon's kindle, that leverage ubiquitous but in the background web connections. And think beyond the rather cliché example of a refrigerator that tells you when it's empty and automatically re-orders foodstuffs from the online grocery store, it will be much more than that with tools, devices, products, that we can't even imagine right now.
Nick's thesis from the Gillmor Gang deserves a more thorough post than this small mention above but this should get you thinking. And I've added Nick's upcoming book, The Big Switch, to my wishlist so make sure you read that when it comes out.
"Here in New York's so-called Silicon Alley, we occupy ourselves by
filing stories about people setting up meetings to talk about
organizing events to increase awareness of necessary preconditions for
entrepreneurship. This leaves us with no time to do anything as tiring
and complicated as, say, actually writing software." (link)
From Two Weeks Ago:
I've learned from Kara Swisher's Boomtown section at WSJ's All Things D blog that she doesn't pull any punches. Or put another way, she doesn't drink the the kool-aid as often or as willingly as other people covering the tech world and I give her credit for that.
I do, however, find the intros to some of her videos, when she is giving us banter before waking into to interview someone for example, can be trite. Kara, the content is good so don't worry about entertaining us with the colorful commentary.
Regardless, her recent Facebook coverage has been extensive (I've kept silent on the privacy fiasco and thought I've written posts on it, I have posted them yet) and here's Kara's coverage of Facebook losing the lawsuit against Harvard magazine 02138 (emphasis mine)
"It should come as no surprise, of course, given it was essentially a
legal temper tantrum on the part of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
But a judge in Massachusetts wisely denied an inane request by the
Palo Alto, Calif.-based social-networking start-up to take down
confidential court documents that 02138 magazine had made available for
downloading on its Web site...
But how could its execs, really, given the appalling nature of their
efforts to quash documents that should not have been, especially
because they were already loose on the Web?"
I'd been listening to the Gillmor Group since almost the beginning and now Steve has brought the show back under the name, The Gillmor Gang. Join the Facebook group here for more details on the show.
The first three minutes of Episode V, Part IV, with Arrington and Calacanis playing and ripping on David Pogue's iPhone song is damn funny. Anytime you're laughing out loud while listening to a techie podcast means it's hilarious (or it means that you're really a nerd).
And why didn't Jason grab the PodWreck.com domain name?
Although no snow fell here in D.C. there's snow in New York and in Rochester; saw on The Weather Channel yesterday that the Midwest, especially Minneapolis, was getting slammed. All of this means only one thing, it's time to go shralp the gnar and I can't wait. I picked up the newest issue of Transworld Snowboarding Friday night and read it cover to cover. I have the snowboarding bug bad now.
So let's mobilize for another epic trip but not to Colorado again. As Grant has said, Colorado is flat and the runs are short (the few exceptions include parts of Vail, Aspen, and of course Silverton Mountain- I really need to go there).
And my vote is now for Silverton after seeing this epic video below:
I've been receiving Conde Nast's new business magazine Portfolio for free over the last few months, maybe because I subscribe to WIRED, and have enjoyed reading it. I probably wouldn't pay for a subscription or buy it at the airport news stand but there is some quality news and analysis.
It's fine for keeping tabs on the general business economy, regardless of your industry or focus. With that in mind, they have a neat Weekly Intelligence quiz on headlines from the past week's top business stories. Here's the Nov. 26-30 quiz:
I was doing perfect until the question about Richard Branson's new Virgin acquisition and then my score went down the tubes; 50% on my first quiz. This reminds me of the daily, ten-question reading questions I had in 10th grade English class. They were simple (not necessarily easy though) quizzes if you did the reading and paid attention but as my teacher always said, you get a couple 50% or 60% and it takes a lot of 80%,90%, & 100% to raise your average for that quarter.
Now if I were them, I'd allow readers to save their scores and maybe even make a widget letting folks publish/boast about their business news knowledge from their blogs. Would drive traffic to the site and stories and generate some community/feedback as well about their coverage. The online quiz is cool but they need to take it to the next logical step of engaging their readers in a two-way conversation with the quiz.
As Fred puts it, "I don't want to consume media that I can't interact with."