Sunday, March 22, 2009
Maximize your Twitter wafflings with these sleek ultra-modern digital gizmos.
You've been wishing you had more control over your Twitter experience. You want to search Twitter for all mentions of "Cheney torture chamber", "Obama birth certificate", or "easy internet marketing miracle".
Well, now you can do all this, and very much more! A UFO crashed just a quarter mile away from the Twitter Developer Lounge, and the Twitter geeks reverse-engineered some haptic immersive hadron collider cubes. The results were duplicated nowhere else in the universe: a tangled mess of Twitter Improvement Modules. Now you, lucky reader, can conquer with the might of a True Twitter Ninja!
These Web 2.0 thingamajigs are exactly what you need and can't live without. No hardcore micro-blogger should be unashamed to lack these essential Twitter gadgets. Get ready for astonishment and super high achievement...you're about to meet the Supplemental Twitter Super Powers!
Step it up Twitter addict: your status update arsenal is wretchedly impoverished when missing these powerful whatchmacallits. Don't wait for some self-proclaimed Social Media Specialist to tell you what to do, and charge you a lot of money.
Try these alien-technology Twitter gimmicks today!
Twitter Fan Wiki
Start here if you're new to Twitter, or want to learn more before diving into the rushing river of brevities.
Track specific Twitter topic threads, or tweet conversations. Just enter the URL of the tweet whose replies you wish to research.
Twitter music sharing application. (Testing has begun on this app for my music marketing clients.)
Comprehensive data base of Twitter applications. As of this post date, they list over 580 diffferent apps.
When a Twitter user likes some brilliant message ("tweet"), they may get hysterical and wish to recycle it. We call it "retweeting". Some controversy and black eyes have circled around the argument about what symbol to use. I like the standard recyle icon, that triangular arrow flow. Others prefer "RT". This ReTweetRadar enables you to track what's theoretically the cream of the crop of clever Twitter statements, the retweet trends.
A photo sharing app for Twitter users. One of the most popular Twitter tools.
Get email notifications about who quit Following you and which of your tweets pissed them off. Just provide your Twitter username and your email address for the "Guess Who Just Quit Following You?" updates.
Twitter video sharing application.
Human translators render your Twitter messages in other languages.
Who Should I Follow?
Enter the Twitter name of someone you already like. This app then provides you with who that Twitter user is Following. Not sure how valuable this really is. Just because you Follow someone, that doesn't mean you necessarily "recommend" them.
After using Who Should I Follow?, you may decide that some of these folks are way too chatty, too verbose or prolix. This app lets you put certain Twitter users, the overly frequent tweeters, on hold for a spell. You specify the "chill out" time duration.
Not sure what this one does, but it has a roll of toilet paper on it, so it must be pretty good. The toilet paper icon coincides with what they call TooMuchTweet, "you're the one who wanted to Follow me", but I'm scared to use it.
The other app they offer is called HelpWith, where you can track replies to a question or problem you tweet about to the Twitter community.
A lovely app to end this post with, it organizes your Twitter experience in sophisticated control panel.
From the site:
"DestroyTwitter is a robust but compact Twitter application built to run on Mac, Windows, and Linux using Adobe AIR. It consists of a series of canvases that constantly update to keep tweets current and up-to-date using notifications that appear immediately after a new tweet arrives. DestroyTwitter also features complete direct messaging functionality. Messages and tweets can be replied to with the original visible for quick and easy reference. A search function is also available to track anything that's being talked about."
According to Google Analytics, this Pluperfecter blog has achieved a 59% upward spike (increase) in traffic this month, and the most popular posts
from Feb. 19, 2008 to March 19, 2009
are as follows:
(enter, or copy and paste, the titles
into my blog search engine
box to navigate to the posts)
(1) Amanda Chapel anti blogosphere team troll
(2) Bail out emails from Dennys
(3) 10 Famous Music Feuds
(4) Creative MySpace Music bios
(5) Usability of Mumbai Hotel Security
(6) Creative Twitter Bios part 1
(7) Creative MySpace Music artist bios 3
(8) Eyespot CEO closes his company
(9) Creative Twitter bios part 2
(10) Playboy seeks hot blogger for sexist BS
(11) Creative Twitter bios part 3
(12) How to calculate your Twitter Meta Index
(13) MySpace Music page design and friends
(14) Defeating an Abusive Boss
(15) Large hadron collider black hole
(16) Self promotions vs. Other relations
(17) Music marketing MP3 strategy
(18) Gregory Markopoulos hypno films
(19) Creative MySpace Music artist bios 5
(20) How to Improve CEO Blog
(21) 13 Twitter Superstitions
(22) 6 Signs of a Deceptive Marketing Expert
(23) Thorstein Veblen and Blog Values
(24) Twitter User-generated Novel
(25) Creative MySpace Music artist bios 4
(26) Obama: internet vs. mainstream media
(27) My favorite podcaster Dan Z. Wilson
(28) Sources Quoting Steven Streight
(29) Credibility is King, not Content
(30) Social Media Marketing Best Practices
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Backstage passes? Working as a roadie? Meeting your favorite celebrity rock icon?
Worship from afar can turn into disgust when the devotee actually meets the idol "up close and personal".
Worshiping a rock star, at its worst, can be seen when people say Michael Jackson, for example, can't be a child molesting pervert. Why? Because they like his music.
Stupid fans equate "liking his music" with "thus, he's a good person" or "thus, he's a genius musician".
Disillusionment is good, though. Illusions are detrimental to mental health and social functioning.
The fan has a misconception that guides their emotional orientation toward the mistaken identity of the source of their pleasure.
Entertainment exists to provide the good feelings the fans are unable to generate within themselves. Some say the fan projects his or her fantasies on the star, and in turn, introjects the star into their own psyche, in an act of psychic cannibalism.
Average people call this "identifying with" the star. The fan tries to look, act, and drink/drug like the star, hoping these acts of assimilation will impart some vague values to the pathetic, untalented fan.
The fan "consumes" the star along with the musical products of the star, and some mysterious power and glory of the star resides inside the fan. Or so they think. Sometimes the star is not fully digested by the fan, and the star is vomited out. Those fans are the lucky ones.
What the fan thinks they like is this: the artist.
The artist is separate, distinct, and alien to the art they make. Often they have no explanation of how a song happened. It just "came to them" in the middle of the night, etc.
Not that the artist is a necessarily a mediumistic conduit, as Marcel Duchamp says they appear to be, but more like a flower garden planted by a gardener is not the gardener themself.
You may see aspects of the artist in what they produce, but the art exists as a separate unique entity containing its own character traits and agendas.
You are not what you make, you are merely the maker of it. It has its own properties, laws, and future, which may have nothing to do with you, and will probably outlast you in time.
Thus, to like the art does not mean the artist is also liked.
This distortion would serve only to completely negate the artistic scope and dream, it would make art a facade, an enticement, a trapdoor.
We must learn to like the technique, without unduly fawning all over the technician.
You do not like the artist when you respond to art. You think you like both artist and what the artist made, but it's child's play to prove that this assumption is wrong, dangerous, and delusional.
#1 -- If you met the artist, prior to any knowledge or experience with his art, you would probably not like the artist. It would only be upon learning who he is, and seeing some of his art, and learning of his prestige and originality, that you would then start to like him.
#2 -- If you leap beyond the art, the music, the poetry, the paintings, that you like, and attempt to contact the artist, the prognosis is dismal, with very few exceptions.
Most artists appreciate cheering, but not too close up.
Most artists love the money and praise of the fans as a collective group, but have little concern for individuals.
They prefer distant praise, published reviews, critical accolades, and fans purchasing product. But to actually meet, and get to know, a customer? That's called "getting dirty" in the Wall Street investment business. The reasons for failure or disaster are obvious and manifold.
the artist tends to be both wary and weary of having to be "on" for an individual spectator.
It taxes their strength of professionalism to have to "be that artist", i.e. not the one he is now, or is trying to become, but the one who did that old crap the fan is all excited about.
It may some work that the artist did before they acquired new skills or equipment, or when they actually had a talent "back up" band, and the artist is now deeply ashamed of it. Each compliment pierces and impales his self-esteem like a poison dart of bitter remorse.
Even if the fan loves the new material, the star is not capable of being that thing the fan idolizes. Much of the mystique and charisma is based on theatricality, acting, faking it.
A rock star can seem really brave, powerful, and exciting up on stage. Get them alone, one to one, and watch your admiration wilt as fast as Bill Clinton chasing a fat intern.
The fan makes the artist sick.
The artist feels irritable, retro-relevant, paranoid. because enthusiastic fans swiftly switch into wounded haters when the artist says or does something that hurts the fan's bizarre and incomprehensible feelings.
The artist realizes that an individual fan is a danger. Deeply devoted fans can be thinly disguised stalkers.
A single devoted fan, face to face with the adored artist, is a ghastly and gloomy sight, indeed.
It's easy to love them en masse, these fans. But to have to deal with a solitary specimen, that's a bit much for even the most sophisticated and kindly of artists.
The only solution is for the artist to deliberately ruin the fan's illusions.
Make the fan angry, embarrassed, or feeling imposed upon. Demand things from the fan. It's up to the artist to destroy the fascination of the fan, for the fan cannot dismantle his own delusions, that's why they're his delusions. They've overpowered, and deluded, him.
Once the artist is liberated from the fanhood of this specific fan, what becomes of the fan?
The formerly loyal fan must now despise the artist, regret ever being so ignorant as to like his art, and to think the artist was worthy of being liked, right along with his art.
Now the art, the artist, and the fan are in shambles. All because the fan wasn't content with being pleased by the art, he had to attempt to drag the artist into the messy mush of his likings.
Even his enjoyment of the art is thoroughly wrecked, dashed into a million pieces, never again to provide a single second of pleasure to the fan. that art is now dead, worthless, soon to be forgotten, like it never happened.
The fan finds redemption either in creating his own art, going far beyond the artist that made art he once was stupid enough to like, or in returning to another artist's art, and enjoying that, but firmly resolving to never again presume to equate liking the art with liking the artist.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Your "Bio/About" text on MySpace Music Artist pages is very important. Many times, musicians skip this field. In doing so, they miss an opportunity to connect with fans by sharing a little background, history, or philosophy of the music.
But there are some bands who go too far. They go on and on and on. I will not quote these Bios, for they take up too much room in a blog post. Most web users don't want to swim through a freaking novel, just to learn a bit about a band. Still, too much information can be scanned swiftly, or ignored, while no information just leaves a gaping hole in your page.
As I've stated repeatedly, I prefer short, informative Bios written in a serious, scholarly manner...or completely bizarre and funny Bios.
It depends on your style of music and your personality. What annoys me are long, self-obsessed Bios that provide every little detail of a musician's career, yet the music itself is rather ordinary and not all that great to begin with. It sounds pompous for a run-of-the-mill musician to rant on and on about all their accomplishments and collaborations and concerts and label switchings.
I personally have started creating new MySpace Music Artist pages as science fiction scenarios, starting with my Wainwrights of the Mind. The music and the story behind this band are provided as comical science fiction. I won't quote it, but you can visit the page. I use text, video, and photos to complete the absurd narrative.
Wainwrights of the Mind on MySpace Music.
Now let's look at some clever Bios.
(1) Glowing Dinosaurs
Formed in 1905, by three three-year-olds. Dean, Max, and David have since reunited in this year 2010 for a special performance. Profiling some of their classics from the 1930's and 40's. These songs were recorded live in front of no-one.
(2) Aaron Spectre
born and raised in the middle of massachusetts, usa. drums & bass. heavily influenced by the then-growing hardcore movement, all ages shows in worcester & clinton. moved to new york city in 1999 and got into jungle, d&b, ambient. moved to berlin in 2003 and began touring the world making music. currently working on the next drumcorps album.
(3) Justice Porcupine
I just live inside my head, oh well I feel that justice is a porcupine with no particular goal in mind just guts and claws and spines I feel myself forgetting how to talk.
(4) Turbulence Theory
It started after a great untold war between God and Satan. The two battled for nearly two centuries with the best powers they could possibly summon. In the end God prevailed, but what was left behind was the knowing of the minds of God and Satan could master.
Until one day three adventurers bent on discovering something ancient came upon this power and immediately seized everything it could muster. This power came to be known as Turbulence Theory. The rest is history...
(5) Disposable Man
In a last ditch attempt to make sense of a lunatic world, Disposable Man was formed - screaming & mewling - out of the heads of two people who really ought to know better. We shan't mention them again. Taking as its spring-board the hideous legacy of Thatcher, the eternal yearning mystery of the Mellotron Mk2 & a smattering of vaudevillian angst, Disposable Man takes a dive into the corporate middle management slush pit of modern life.
(6) Robert Fripp
Best known for his work with the seminal rock group King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp has a long history of groundbreaking collaborations and making decisive contributions to records by a diverse of artists including Blondie, The Orb, Talking Heads, The Damned, Robert Wyatt, Daryl Hall, The Future Sound of London, The Roches, Andy Summers, David Bowie, Brian Eno, The Stranglers, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, No Man and more recently Porcupine Tree, Jakko Jakszyk and jazz player, Theo Travis.
He has also worked extensively as a solo artist, releasing many solo albums and touring initially with Frippertronics (developed from Brian Eno’s tape delay system) during the late 70s and more recently Soundscapes – a process he describes as the best way he knows to make a lot of noise with one guitar. Robert maintains an online diary over at DGMLive where you can also find several concerts from his soundscape and churchscape tours available for purchase.
(7) Chaos Butterfly
Chaos Butterfly is a band that stretches the boundaries of genre. the people that have played in the band have from various musical backgrounds spanning from Camper Van Beethoven and the Meredith Monk Ensemble to the opera and the orchestra to free improvisation and electronica to the Cirque du Soleil.
They incorporate several computers, singing, violins, guitars, wine glasses, etc. In concert they present a combination of outside improvisation and twisted song compositions, collaborating with a variety of special guests.
In 2005, a duo of Chaos Butterfly also composed and performed with the Deborah Slater Dance Theater, including the month-long run of the show “Hotel of Memories” in San Francisco in May of 2006.
(8) Fifty Foot Hose
Released: 1967/Limelight In 1967, San Francisco’s Fifty Foot Hose were certainly one of the innovators of a sound that took Psychedelia to new heights and was captured on the band’s one record, “Cauldron”. Band leader, Cork Marcheschi, used homemade electronic devices to create crude and experimental soundscapes and instrumental compostitions that were sprinkled throughout the album.
However, these passages are not characteristic of the whole albums. “Cauldron” passes through many other styles, which include Folk & Jazz and is anchored by Nancy Blossom’s Grace Slick-esque vocals, creating a wholly unique listening experience. In addition to his work sculpting, Cork Marcheschi brought the Hose back to the public eye for a new record in 1996 and still performs periodically.
(9) The Leonard Coen Brothers
The Leonard Coen Brothers formed when musical journeyman Mike Leonard Coen met his musical brother Mal Leonard Coen over a few Boags Honey Porters. Mike and Mal Leonard-Coen...Just like men, but more so.
(10) Flying Saucer Attack
[NOTE: They quote 3 different sources in their Bio text: All Music Guide, Wikipedia, and Domino Records. This is unique and quite smart. Let others rave about you, eh? I quote here the All Music Guide only, to conserve space. "New Lands" is their best, most innovative album, btw.]
Formed in Bristol, England in 1993, the elusive avant-noise project Flying Saucer Attack primarily comprised the duo of singers/guitarists David Pearce and Rachel Brook, refugees from the group Lynda's Strange Vacation who formed FSA as an outlet for their interest in home-recording experimentation.
Drawing influence from Krautrock, folk, and dream pop, they emerged with the single "Soaring High," followed by an eponymously-titled 1993 debut LP which buried the group's narcoleptic vocals and amorphous songs under dense, organic sheets of feedback.
After 1994's Distance, a collection of atmospheric singles and unreleased material, FSA returned in 1995 with Further, a remarkably evocative work which transported the group's hypnotic guitar wash into a uniquely pastoral setting.
Chorus, another singles compilation, followed later in the year, and with it came a declaration of the end of the group's initial phase, setting the stage for Flying Saucer Attack's continued evolution as one of the decade's most innovative and ambitious groups.
1997's New Lands was the first fruit of this new FSA, now a Pearce solo project exploring the possibilities of sampling; Brook, meanwhile, focused on her side group Movietone, a similarly blissed-out excursion into sound. FSA followed up New Lands three years later with Mirror.
(11) Eat Static
Eat Static were formed in 1989 by Merv Pepler and Joie Hinton, then drummer and synth player respectively for the band Ozric Tentacles. They were joined by Steve Everitt, a library musician and occasional Ozric member.
The band made a name for themselves on the Megadog/'live' techno scene of the early '90s, playing alongside the likes of Orbital, Underworld and Aphex Twin. They were the first signings to Megadog-offshoot Planet Dog records, releasing their debut album 'Abduction' in 1993.
In 1994 Steve Everitt retired from the group's live performances, though he has continued to collaborate in the studio. Since then the band have played hundreds of gigs worldwide and become one the most respected and spectacular live dance acts around.
They have been voted 'Best Dance Act' in the NME, achieved a top twenty album, headlined the first dance tent at Glastonbury in 1995 and recorded two Peel sessions.
Whilst essentially a sci-fi influenced, trance/techno outfit, they have also incorporated drum and bass, breakbeat, latin, garage and ambient styles into their sound at various stages.
the past few years the band have become heavily involved with the psy-trance scene, playing parties and festivals the world over and releasing numerous tracks on trance compilations. Merv has also recently collaborated with the likes of Steve Jolliffe (Tangerine Dream), Will White (Propellerheads) and Simon Posford (Hallucinogen).
In addition, Joie plays with Here & Now, Zubzub (with ex-Ozrics bassist Zia) and Dream Machine (alongside former Ozric flautist Jumping John). Both Joie and Merv also occasionally play live with Ozrics leader Ed Wynne under the guise of Nodens Ictus and have recently been playing with the Ozrics again.
Eat Static released their long-awaited new album 'De-Classified' through Solstice Music in July 2007. In February 2008 it was announced that Joie would be leaving the group in order to spend more time with his family.
Now going it alone, Merv released a downtempo Eat Static album entitled 'Back to Earth' in July 2008, followed by a string of festival appearances. The next project will be a break-beat orientated album under the name Dendron (the follow up to 2003's 'Supernatural Jazz') Watch this (my)space for more details...
(12) Trevor Goronwy
Trefor Goronwy joined This Heat in 1982 to replace Gareth Williams as bassist/vocalist after the latter had quit the band, and played on their last European tour.
After a brief hiatus, he and Stephen Rickard joined Charles Hayward in the studio to work on what was originally to be a Hayward solo project. As things progressed the venture took on more and more of a collaborative nature, and the recordings were ultimately released as Meridian by Camberwell Now .
Several years and several recordings later, when the band finally split up, Trefor withdrew into himself somewhat, recording and making increasingly infrequent live performances under a variety of names, often producing an entirely new set of work which would only ever be performed on one occasion.
Soon he began to work as a sound technician, which would lead on to involvements with artists such as Pere Ubu, Momus, The Band of Holy Joy, David Thomas and the Two Pale Boys, Spearmint (in an earlier incarnation), and Towering Inferno, among others. Early on in this period Trefor went on several tours of the former Soviet Union, and it was during one of these tours that he realised that he was more interested in the language, culture and history of the countries themselves than in what he was supposed to be doing, so he decided to enrol on a degree course in Russian Studies in London.
Another consequence of his travels was his subsequent involvement with the Tuvan musicians, Huun-Huur-Tu after meeting Albert Kuvezin (now of Yat-Kha) in a bar in Novosibirsk, Siberia, during a music festival. They exchanged telephone numbers and agreed to meet up should either end up in the other’s neck of the woods (which seemed like a remote possibility at the time). Soon, however Huun-Huur-Tu found themselves in Wales, having represented Tuva at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, and a call was made.
They had time to kill and nowhere to go and Trefor had a spare room in London. He also had access to a 24-track studio which was unbooked for a weekend. The recordings they made were touted around, and were ultimately released as Huun-Huur-Tu’s first album, Sixty Horses in My Herd. On their departure, the Tuvans left behind a somewhat battered igil, which Trefor eventually restored and began to play.
This led to an interest in the possibilities of Asian spike-fiddles in general (to which category both the igil and the erhu (which he had already been playing in Camberwell Now)) belong. After three years spent living in Moscow, Trefor returned to London, and, having married a citizen of Kazakhstan, it was only a matter of time before he added a kobyz (a relative of the Tuvan igil) to his collection. Trefor has been making recordings prominently featuring these instruments for some time, and the first results of these endeavours are at last appearing here.
(13) Renaldo M
Renaldo Malpractice aka Brian Poole was one half of Renaldo and the Loaf who were signed to Ralph Records (USA) and Some Bizarre (UK) in the 80s - RATL released 4 albums until calling it a day in 1988. Since then Renaldo has continued, albeit VERY slowly, to produce music at his computer based home studio gathering a catalogue of unfinished/nascent songs. However spurred on by various friends and requests to collaborate on specific projects some songs have been finished.
Over the past couple of years Renaldo has been working with the Portsmouth band, Autons, to realise his cover version of the Kink's See My Friends has been encouraged to perform live for the first time in over 25 years.... more recently still indulging in 'laptronica', dipping his toe into the world of live sample mixing.
Most notably however is that 2006 saw the reunion of Renaldo and Ted the Loaf leading to a collaboration on a retrospective Renaldo and the Loaf project and, tantilisingly, new material.
(14) Taffy Giraffe
Rolling in the Sugar Cane fields of the my Home Planet - Glucosia! I sometimes allow my advisors (Ducky, Tipsy Bunny, and PeeSquak) to look through my accounts. I trust them with popsicles, ice cream and caramel but NOT with chocolate.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Matt Solo: Amateur Astronaut
...and now my response (I also am an astronaut, I just decided)...
Wainwrights of the Mind "amateur astronauts travel to Andromeda"
Saturday, March 14, 2009
@BeckyMcCray, who is a long-time friend and colleague via Twitter, asked her Twitter stream if anyone had any how-to advice for beginning vloggers. If you're new to video blogging, presenting information, personality, or entertainment via video, you'll find great ideas here.
Be an individual. Learn from what others have done. Develop your own style, but keep evolving. Change is good when the improved results are worth the time and trouble. Listen to audience reactions. Don't worry about jealous underachievers and malicious trolls. Keep at it.
But how do you begin?
Let's skip the preliminaries. I assume you already understand the power of television, movies, and video. You came to this post because you probably have a good idea of what you'd like to do in a video.
10 Ways to Use Video:
1. Amuse yourself ... just for fun.
2. Entertain others ... maybe get discovered by Hollywood.
3. Promote products ... showing users solving a problem by using the product.
4. Start conversations ... on topics or fields you care about.
5. Showcase your expertise ... to gain clients or get a new job.
6. Make video art ... explore the realms of video painting and special effects.
7. Present information ... to employees, customers, users, sales force, seekers.
8. Educate newbies ... with step-by-step visually-oriented tutorials.
9. Display talent ... by making a video for music your band recorded.
10. Web conference ... by linking multiple participants or spectators through online video streaming.
Video Tips for Newbies
* Good webcam:
It all begins with high quality image and sound. Thus, those cheap webcams for kids are not want you want. Start with a decent camcorder or webcam (I use Logitech UltraVision webcam with HD image and sound, about $150.00 USD).
Your biggest problem at first will probably be audio volume.
You may wish to configure the sound settings to use a stand-alone USB microphone, rather than the built-in webcam mic. For my own music, I now put a WAV audio file into the video, rather than trying to capture live sound from my jamming. Music very easily overwhelms and distorts webcam microphones.
* Video capture effects:
Generally not used in corporate videos, tutorial films, documentaries, or business presentations. Definitely should be experimented with in artistic applications, like music videos and fun-product commercials.
You probably DO NOT want to use the talking baby face "mask" effect in your corporate presentation video, but this works for me:
"Social Media Marketing" video on YouTube is a satirical parody of social networking experts.
* Camera angle:
Why always dead-on, straight in your face?
Experiment with overhead, ceiling viewpoint shots, like you're a bird looking down on the action. Vary the angles. In tutorials, check how things are looking as you go along. Don't be afraid to do short individual segments, which a video editing software can splice together.
* Video editing tool:
Windows Movie Maker is pretty good for editing videos. PowerDirector is also good, and tonight I'm test driving the new Corel VideoStudio Pro X2.
For artists, the problem is you quickly exhaust all the special effects and transitions, so eventually, you're just repeating yourself. Move on to a new editing tool, many have free trial periods, so you can play with them and see if they're worth buying.
Generally boring, preluded with long introductions, full of dubious value bantering, and often veering off into tangents that waste your time.
Do a tutorial, an educated rant, or a flat out promotion or lecture. These formats tend to be easier to consume, faster to forage, and richer in mission critical content.
* Talking heads:
Turn on the camera, look right at it, and start talking? That's what most vloggers do, and that's why nobody's ever heard of them.
Or how about a glimpse into the bowels of a radio station or DJ booth?
Generally a disorganized, unfunny, intolerable visual and auditory drone. What was it about the videos you've seen in the past that made you value them, maybe even Twitter a link to them? I'll bet they were more than just somebody smoking cigarettes and chattering aimlessly at the camera.
* Video length:
Duration of video is extremely important. In most cases, videos should be as short as possible. Apply the micro-blogging brevity of Twitter to the visual arts. Concise. Quick. To the point.
(NOTE: I deliberately violated this rule of thumb recently. I did a satire, a parody of an interview with Jean Baudrillard, famous postmodern philosopher.
The interviewer asked this long, ten minute question, the typical intellectual query that's a lecture in disguise, while Baudrillard sat through the ordeal. My video poking fun at this situation is more comical if you watch at least some of the Baudrillard video first. Otherwise, you'll think "why does this go on so long?" )
"Streight interview - Twitter: Fundamental Misgivings" video on YouTube.
* Preview repeatedly:
There are millions of videos to watch. Make yours strike swiftly at the heart of the matter. Redo your video until you can watch it over and over again without flinching or daydreaming. If you've uploaded it to YouTube already, and it doesn't work for you anymore, either delete it or set it to private, so only you can view it.
* YouTube and other online hosting:
Your videos must be on YouTube, now owned by Google, for maximum search engine results and audience numbers. YouTube is where everybody goes first, when looking for entertainment, tutorials, rants, film clips, TV program segments (like Conan, Leno, Saturday Night Live, NASCAR) , and music videos.
I also upload videos to Vimeo and Rhizome at the New Museum. I have had good results with Kyte.tv and some others. Decide on how much you need or want to interact with other members of the video sharing sites. Find video hosting sites that are dedicated to your industry.
Include videos on your main corporate site or blog.
Consider the video as just one more communication tool. Video is ideal and mandatory for showing things that have to be seen to be believed, like product demos. Also for explaining what is difficult to comprehend in words alone, like how to do caning when repairing a wicker chair.
* Avant garde exposure:
Force yourself to watch some art films, like at Archive.org or Ubu Web. Check out all the artists on Ubu Film and Video. View films by George Kuchar, Michael Snow, Dali, Warhol, Paul McCarthy, and other innovators.
Most experimental films go on too long, far after the point has been made. Perhaps that's to use ennui as a tool, to drill the technique or concept into your mind.
But you can learn a lot just fast forwarding these films, or watching half of them, and skipping to taste more video work by other artists. The artists will hate me for saying this, but I'm one of them, and I don't care what they think.
This is a guaranteed way to get ideas and motivation. Watch those underground cult classics and obscure artist experiments. If you just watch videos from colleagues in your field, you'll be tempted to imitate them. Learn from them, but don't expect to discover new ground.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The new Str8 Sounds Media Lab project: Wainwrights of the Mind. Read the science fiction story at Wainwrights of the Mind on MySpace. It will help you understand this Dada mystery play.
Wainwrights of the the Mind "Spiral Disk of Stars"
Thursday, March 12, 2009
As I see it currently, the biggest flaw in the development and marketing of Web 2.0 is the failure to respect the free version and its user community. This disrespect, a mirror of how game developers alienate users by dumbing down and commercialization, wrecking what used to be a cool game, is widespread.
I mention gamers because web activity, of all types, can be seen from the point of view of the content-free form of the interaction. Disregarding the intent and outcome of internet behavior, all of it can be viewed as gaming.
For example, you Friend bands on MySpace Music to promote your band and to meet other musicians. You express your enjoyment of their tunes, and post a complimenting comment. You upload new tunes, videos and artwork. You fuss with your bio/About.
It's like playing a video game. Don't misunderstand me. You may do serious, professional work online. But in many respects, it's like a video game. And I'm not talking about "gaming the system" or exploiting social media for personal advantage.
I'm talking about how what we do in social media is very similar to what is done in gaming, though I myself am not a game player. Those of you who are could probably add a lot to my reflections here.
For examples of console game woes, see Gamer's Manifesto.
Your total counts on Friends and plays of your tunes, plus comments and private messages, and other bands displaying your avatar in their Top Friends displays, are how you keep score.
You can apply the same analysis to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Wikipedia, Last.fm, and all the other social media. People are using these Web 2.0 tools as a way to exhibit themselves, meet others, accomplish business goals, and exert influence through online activism.
Too often, however, once a Web 2.0 tool forms a substantial community of users, and achieves some success and media attention, it coasts or deteriorates. Rarely responsive to user requests, complaints, or suggestions, the customer-centrism suffers due to the fact that it's "free".
Web 2.0 tool communities are "free" in order to generate a large user community, with the buzz and prestige these provide to the developers. Then VC money and other funding is obtained. New servers are purchased. But the bulk of the money, after partying, seems to be directed toward premium services for customers of the upcoming New Improved Paid Version.
One method to bully the free users into the paid version is ad proliferation, degraded functionality, and declining reliability. They figure thusly: "Screw them, if they want a good tool now, they're gonna have to shell out some money. Their free ride is over."
So the charter members, the beta testers, the WOM fans, the core customer base is despised, as the greedy and amateurish Web 2.0 team lust for big money. And they know most of this big money will come from, not the freebie user base, but new, corporate customers.
So the poor, the young, and the struggling have been exploited again by The Man.
The game of using the free version is spoiled, more and more, by the clutter of commercials, the pop-up ads, the broken view counters, the disabled special effects, the sporadic connectivity, and the archiving problems.
By deterioration of the free version, they hope to annoy users into moving into the paid premium service. Motivation by aggravation is their brilliant idea. Instead, it will backfire, and a more user-centric company will meet the new needs of the disgruntled users.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
My new musical project, under the band name Trailblazing Trio, now features 6 tracks from the "Forgotten Sounds of Nature" CD at:
These selections feature vintage field recordings of rhinocerous, penguin, hyena, bear, hippopotamus, badger, zebra, shark radar, sea lion, walrus, baboon, raccoon, jungle birds, and much more.
No musical instrumentation -- and only sporadic and slight modifications via computer edit filters. Looping and layering are the primary techniques used to achieve these works. Thus, nature sounds are in the spotlight sonically, with little human intervention.
My goal was to compose outside all human musical tradition, and to showcase the distinct harmonic and tonal values of stochastic invention displayed by nature. To exhibit to the ear what certain creatures sound like.
Thus, generally only two species are used in each track. That makes it easier to identify the sound sources per tune. For example, "Concerto for Bear and Sea Mammals" contains sounds made by only those two types of animal.
Brian Eno, Fennesz, Tortoise, Tim Blake (of Hawkwind and Gong), Faust, Joy Electric, Ultra Eczema, and Yma Sumac are among the distinguished music innovators who have thus far expressed interest and support, by Friending this project.
And the project has been on MySpace Music for less than one day!
I had fun orchestrating these taped sound events, done in one night from about midnight to 4 AM a few days ago.
Non-human music was here first. All human music is secondary, marginal, postponed, supplementary, and subordinate to the Music of the Universe, under very capable command.
Let's give the realm of musical nature a sound approval and appreciation!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Unscrupulous, desperate people are using Twitter and blogs to promote dubious and detrimental "businesses", easy ways to make money, online, right in the comfort and stupidity of your own home! And these miracle marketing plans are better than all the other plans of other hucksters and con artists! Trust me on this!
Clues to fake Twitters users include: they mix personal trivia with pushy tweets like "I'd rather be chatting with my Twitter pals. Seriously, will someone please look at the website on my profile?...Feedback."
Here, we see them revealing that "chatting with Twitter pals" is disingenuous, insincere, a pretence, to cover a crass marketing scheme. Take seriously, the "seriously, will...", for it betrays what's actually serious to this Twitter abuser. They want to drive traffic to a fake blog, using a fake Twitter persona, and suck you into a fake internet business.
Rather than link to this Twitter account or to their ignorant, generic, hyped-up blog, let me give you the specific characteristics and some of the wording of this con job. Beware. Many of these will be appearing on the web, more than ever, as worldwide economic woes persist.
How dumb have we become?
Luckily, con artists are clever, but not linguistically trained. Their own speech trips them up. Their own words deconstruct their systems from within, like Derrida claimed. Take their statements seriously, pay close attention, pause between thoughts. They're insane!
Chew on these juicy fragments from the blog (my commentary in bold red):
* In this dark economic day and age when everyone is looking for that certain magic formula to enhance their income and trusting no one has it, ...we submit one alternative solution.
Everyone? No. Some of us still believe in hard work and serving people. You offer a solution, an alternative, a certainty, a magic, a formula, an enhancement, a thing I can trust? You suck.
* It is one of those online home marketing deals... hummm?
Right off the bat, it's tempting you to doubt. Clarifying (vaguely): "one of those..." so you know it's just another scam, but being an idiot you feel good and read on...
* After very little time evaluating the program, I can say I have decided to join this program without hesitation.
You expect me to trust you? But you are lazy and inept! You admit you spent "very little time evaluating the program". After this sloppy, impatient activity, you went ahead and committed yourself to it. Sounds like the recent stimulus bill the Congress didn't read but signed!
* I was personally invited by one of the Founders in Batam, Indonesia who helped start [company name deleted] in Indonesia.
Did this awesome Founder treat you to a steak dinner? That's what they usually do, after you commit to buying $20,000 worth of seminar CDs and training material. Note how the "personal invitation" ploy is used, in a feeble attempt to make you feel special, elite, favored.
* In fact for those of you who have achieved significant success in other companies and need to keep your identity secret, you can. Everything is by ID# number - only if you wish. (Many direct marketing companies will not allow you receive serious income from another opportunity if you are a leader with them.)
WTF? Why would a decent person want to do this, anonymously? The "many direct marketing companies will not allow you to..." is bullshit and you know it!
* I have great confidence in this man's business integrity and I owe a great deal to him for the past opportunities he has invited me to be a part of.
What integrity? No proof, just emotional testimonials, lazily written, without even a lot of fake details. These fools must be in a big hurry to trick you and get your money, while pretending to offer you an "opportunity".
Notice it's not "opportunities I made X amount of money in", but "opportunities he has invited me to be a part of." No word about what these "opportunities" were.
What was your ROI on these "opportunities" you've been so blessed and lucky to be "a part of"?
* ...this person has proven to me to be a “leader of leaders” in the financial and investment arena. He has a true heart for member concerns and I stake my own reputation on his loyalty to his business passion. His credibility weighed heavily on my decision to look at the program. I am now committed.
Uh, we know all about "credibility" in the financial and investment arena. Why do I feel my confidence diminishing?
You stake your rep on what? On his proven success, which is documented by links to articles in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and BusinessWeek? Nope. Just vague, but soaring, rhetoric.
* Just because I love what I do, not because it is necessary, I'm going to create my own marketing site for our own particular team...
You overachiever! You workaholic! You're creating your own what? Website! You are so geeky and ahead of the curve. Why don't all businesses have a website? Genius!
* This is a new age. I can feel it.
Alright. Since you feel that new age, I now accept your authority and put my trust in you.
* Today, a vibrant, aggressive network marketer gains success instantly, online.
That's the new age? Fast money. Easy money. Brilliant! All due to the internet, too! Wow! Or are they talking about Congress and bailout money?
* What it use to take months even years to do face to face can now be accomplished in an incredible short time for the person who knows how to market online.
Why wait? We want instant cash! No waiting, no working, no being professional! Just fast easy money! I want to "market online"! This is the dream I've been waiting for all my life!
* No meetings. No Trainings. No faxes. No conference calls. No one complaining at my door at inappropriate times, and no one actually needing me.
I hate to be needed, don't you? Wow, no more dealing with people! Who cares about other people? I just want money! The fast and easy way, of course.
* I can build a business anonymously and watch it grow...
Yeah, sure. Your whole life is anonymous, discredited, vain.
* Then, feel free to forward your opinion to us. We look forward to hearing about your success. May God bless you all.
Always good to throw God's name in their. It makes the religious people feel good. It causes them to consider you one of them, a God-fearing, upright person who believes in final judgement after death for the deeds done on earth.
To top it all off, you link to an offshore asset protection blog.
I'll bet you missed another detail.
You never were given the Founder's name, or links to his blogs or websites, or references to reputable articles on the guy.
But he's a "leader of leaders", so high and mighty, probably, he prefers to remain anonymous. Could it be Bernie Madoff, or the ghost of Ken Lay? You decide!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Art is utility to the mind only, its hunger for variety and imaginative worlds. Thus, the digital paint program or video game, anything that serves or helps us pragmatically, is not art, unless you tamper with it (unexpertly or adroitly).
Art approaches life with a sneer and a glare, which has developed into a topsy-turvy creatively mixed up orientation, from life's point of view. Thus, to be artistic begins with questioning, mis-understanding, or destroying romantically what lies before you.
Mis-direct it, force it to do what's outside its box, break its chains to purpose and popular usage, set it free to be unbridled, under-implemented, diverted from its planned and forecasted aims.
At most, a utilitarian object can be "artistic" in form, color, composition, or ergonomic elegance. A mundane item can please the eye or other senses, but not technically be "art". Utility tries to sneak into art through the backdoor of "crafts" and "artisanship", but as valuable as these are, the realm of art is the realm of the useless, the impractical, the unwanted.
Maximalist Abstractionism takes this a step further. In doing so, it offers many doors of progress that video, plastic, and musical arts may boldly and joyfully step through to enter a properly evolved future.
Maximalist Abstractionist art assembles, orchestrates, and designs a multiplicity of inter-streaming flows of meaningless, or nearly senseless, virtually illogical juxtapositions. But the genius comes into play when editing and making the entire project pleasing to both mind and heart, to human intelligence and passions.
An instance of Maximalist Abstractionism is displayed in the close alignments of the "noises" of industrial and physical labor processes with circuit bending, synthesizers, flutes, and pianos. Add to this a liturgical setting, and there you are.
With the collapse of the institutional churches comes the rise of factory worship.
This new trend is given musical expression in Str8 Sounds "Sacred Music for Industry", basing its concept on the theory that machines, like all of nature (according to Psalms), is praising the Creator God for making humans who then invented them.
Nobility of goal driven achievement, raising the machines, from ancient industrial to state of the art digital, from bicycles to hadron colliders, to an exalted status in the order of creation and science.
For example, in Str8 Sounds "Circuit Bend Fantasia", an Armenian Orthodox monk chorus blends with a classic techno drum kit and sporadic multi-tracked ensembles of circuit bending on retro talking Barbie toys and Texas Instruments Speak and Math, or "Liturgical Interludum"'s slow sliding from toy keyboards, squeaky doors, and construction sounds -- into an instructional demo on playing a Theremin.
Maximalism often consists of multiple minimalisms. However, a specific tune or composition will change as it progresses, often preluded with noise bursts, quickly moving into techno, evolving into classic with primative drumming, and ending up as jazz with space music overtones.
Thus, maximalism implies both multiple content and forms, plus complex segues transforming the single song into an EP or Maxi Single, enabling the audience and fans to experience something similar to a "set" or a live performance, a sustained but ever-morphing stream of artistically advanced music.
Musique concrete (recordings of naturally occurring or mechanical "non-musical" sounds, from barking dogs to ventilation fans) corresponds to a major influence and content factor in these adventures in sound orchestration. It's not enough to use electrical musical instruments, to be maxed out, one needs to include nature and reality, too.
Sound effects, classical strains, folk beats, industrial tones, dream waves, frequency flickerings, corrupted audio files featuring unintended distortions, undulating modes of sines and signature sounds, streaming languidly from the composer to the material, which is everything, all sounds existing or forced to exist, which are then transmitted to the fans and critics and impudent students who reject Bach and seek to wreck all the traditions, using collage technique to piece together a new mush.
Abstract, meaning not true to life as ordinarily experienced in a half-sleep programmed mode. Abstractionism seeks to uncover the buried glimpses glimmering under the mountain of mental regulations and perceptual limitations derived from societal norms that obscure the true nature of what's real, and really there, when you strip away all the normal aspects of it.
Isolating an image, removed from context, decoupaged onto the canvas alongside another, irrelevant image. Repeat this Dada operation as often as they let you, yet the mind imposes meaning or story on the whole mess, thus creating its own maximalism in the form of interpretive commentary.
What happens in blogs, the reactive comment appended to the "original content" of the blog post, has always happened mentally as we responded to art and utility.
Art, expanded and enriched by maximalism, and made anti-subjective and universal by abstractionism, is in good shape as it faces the future, which because it hasn't happened yet, is unknown and unrealizable, but foreseen by the artist who abandons utility and logic, to venture into the vast citadels of pre-conscious, futuristic grandeur.