Archive | April, 2008

Ethan Zuckerman: the history of digital community, in less than 7 minutes

30 Apr

Depending on your geek cred this is either a great review or fantastic education in the historical milestones of the Internet.

Fasten your time machine seatbelt. As part of the Berkman Center’s ongoing tenth anniversary celebration, Berkman@10, we’re retrieving some classics from our multimedia archive and adding them to our new YouTube channel


To date, we’ve: re-presented Lawrence Lessig’s fall 2000 debate with Jack Valenti; brought back Charles Nesson’s framing of IS2K7, University: Knowledge Beyond Authority; re-produced John Perry Barlow’s reassesment of his 1994 essay on the economy of ideas; and re-posed the question: Will the Internet draft the next president?

This week, a double hat tip — to ROFLCon‘s group dissection of Internet culture and to Digital Natives‘ roundup of Internet video, which reminded us of this classic from the watershed first Beyond Broadcast conference…

Cambridge, MA, May 12, 2006 – Global Voices co-founder and Berkman Fellow Ethan Zuckerman delivers a magnificent, breathless history of digital community, by way of prefacing a Beyond Broadcast panel on the community dimension of media. Reaching back to the mid-60s and ARPANET, Ethan makes a propulsive case for the foundational role of communications between people — email, chat, MUDs, MySpace, more — in the development of the Net. More than a quarter century after ARPANET, why do we care? Take a few minutes to find out how Ethan answers.

Check it out.

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RIAA: Vinyl Is Back!

30 Apr

Frank Smith is always worth reading.  Today he picked up an interesting tidbit on the state of the music business.

In the U.S. shipments of CDs were down 17.5 percent in 2007, while digital formats (such as MP3s) now account for 23 percent of U.S. recording revenues. This is up 16.1 percent from 2006 and 9 percent from 2005.

About 809.9 million digital songs were downloaded/sold in 2007, up 38 percent from 2006. Ringtones and other mobile music downloadable dealies were up 14.6 percent in 2007. There was an 85 percent increase in mobile music sales between 2005 and 2006.

Total U.S. digital and physical music shipments in 2007 were up 11.6 percent. However, the total retail value of those sales was down 11.8 percent from 2006.

In weird twist of fate, sales of albums in the LP/EP format (on vinyl) increased in 2007 by 36.6 percent compared to 2006. Vinyl sales declined from 2005 to 2006, leaving no expectations for a sudden rise in sales of the format.

My Tunes Red Cat Records Tad "Jinx" 45 Mudhoney "Touch me I'm sick" 45 LP Music of the German Alps New Wave cat, Crown Hill Value Village, 02/02/08 General Public - all the Rage on vinyl Turntable - Table tournante Vinyl Player Stylus Return Of The Boom Bap the underdog Manmade Mastering LLC B-DayP_037.JPG

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Can you feel peak oil yet?

29 Apr

Jim Kunstler is sensing something in the air.  Could it be the symptoms of peak  oil?

We’re in a strange collective psychic bubble. We’d like to forgetabout all these troubling rumors of hardship and bad weather and justget on with the daily task of making a living and paying for stuff andenjoying our customary entertainments. The comforting ceremonies ofeveryday life seem to continue. The freeways are still full of cars.Nancy Grace comes on TV dependably at 8 p.m. and is there deploring thelatest pervert arrest. The baseball season has ramped up and the teamsare criss-crossing the nation in their chartered airplanes. The stockmarket is actually going up — what’s wrong with that?

       But there’s an equally eerie vibe out there that things areseriously out-of-whack. We’re on the edge of something. We’re at theentrance of a dark passage where some of the ceremonies of daily lifemeet resistance. You go to the WalMart and five of your six creditcards are refused. Uh oh. It begins to dawn on you that you’re spendinga quarter of your take-home pay filling up the gas-tank every week.There’s no dial tone when you pick up the telephone. How could all thesupermarkets in town be out of rice? The local hospital just declaredbankruptcy. The neighbors down the street auctioned off all theirfurniture in the driveway last week. Why does the cat pick up so manyticks these days?

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Leonard Brody on what news consumers want

29 Apr

Another piece on Rafat Ali’s conference in LA where NowPublic CEO Leonard Brody is talking about the impact of ‘voter-generated content’.

Other media executives said what’s different about this campaign is that people are contributing to a near real-time feedback loop through the Web that’s changing how stories unfold.

“The networks that provide ‘first to see’ immediacy (in the news) will rise,” said Leonard Brody, co-founder and CEO of NowPublic, a citizen journalist Web site that has more than 140,000 contributing writers.

now public Michael Meyers and Leonard Brody of NowPublic NowPublic Team in Vancouver

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The toxic culture of the newsroom

29 Apr

Jay Rosen pointed me to a piece by Amy Gahran.  Is the newsroom its own worst enemy?

Most of what I do is help journalists and news orgs wrap their brains around the Internet. Generally I enjoy that work. Lately, though, I’ve been getting quite aggravated at the close-minded and helpless attitudes I’m still encountering from too many journalists about how the media landscape is changing.

Abortion, Rock Music, and Freemasonry Exposed (3 of 4) Abortion, Rock Music, and Freemasonry Exposed (4 of 4) Fox News, Home of the droopy earlobe Moving into the NowPublic Offices

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@ EconSM: Election ’08 And The Rise Of Voter-Generated Content

29 Apr

Leonard Brody was in California this week talking about how news coverage is different during this election cycle.

News used to be something that was reported, now there’s a feedback loop – it’s reported, it’s commented upon and then reported on again.

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McLuhan at Vidfest 2008

24 Apr

If you are in Vancouver this month you should get to Vidfest.  The festival’s line up includes some great people including Wired’s Editor-in-Chief, Chris Anderson as well as John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the EFF.  I will also be there.  I have the priveledge of interviewing Marshall McLuhan’s son Eric.  Eric is one of the preeminent scholars of his father’s work.

Living in a digital world has created a new culture of the nomad, one of metaphysical hunters of information. The old hunter-gatherer used a spear and arrow, the new version uses a laptop and wifi – to much greater effect. Join this renowned scholar and son of Marshall McLuhan as he discusses digital media and it’s impact on today’s communication.
Dr. Eric McLuhan
(Interviewer) Michael Tippett, Founder and CMO, NowPublic

Hope to see you there.

The Medium is Birthday Cake

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