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RIPTWL October 31, 2007

Posted by James Warren in pr, web 2.0, wine, work.

So TWL has hung up its boots.  Shame.  It had really begun to make its mark.  As far as I was concerned, TWL was all about fun.  The kind of fun that’s like a hand grenade rolling around without a pin, sent from heaven to toy with our minds…  You were never sure when it was going to go off.  Or something.  I’ll miss it.

In other news, my very good chum Pinny’s started a new blog, to go with his wine one.

Comfortably dumb October 9, 2007

Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, music.

First Radiohead, now Nine Inch Nails.  All very interesting, but further to my point of yesterday, these are two of the biggest bands in the world – or certainly they used to be – so they *can* go it alone, as they’ve already built up massive fan bases.  There is an argument somewhere in amongst all this that says without ‘the music industry’ (in all its forms) to support them, they may never have reached their current heady heights.  So while the ‘business model of the future’ may help established music acts, it doesn’t necessarily provide global opportunities for new/up-and-coming bands.

Yes, bands can promote themselves via MySpace etc, but at the end of the day, while it allows access to shedloads of music, MySpace isn’t as easy to ‘use’ as MTV, Radio 1 or Xfm (or at least not to a mid-thirties-no-spare-timer like me).  Sometimes, just sometimes, I want the quality control filtering done for me.  I want to sit down and be a dumb terminal.  Which is why there’ll always be a place for the media (and therefore a music industry to provide it with content that matches its audience).

Of course the likes of Pandora can do this filtering process for me, but you still have to start somewhere (I want to hear music like xxx) and I’m not sure to what extent they feature unsigned bands.  Anyway, I enjoy a little bit of serendipity.  Without it I would never have heard half the music I now hold dear.

(I should caveat all this nonsensical rambling by saying, ridiculously, I haven’t bought any music for months – unless you count HSM2 for the kids (which is fabulous) – so maybe I’m just massively out of touch.)

Radiodead? October 8, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, marketing, music.
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I can’t work out whether this is the future of the music industry or just the deliberately disruptive strategy of a band that already has more money than it knows what to do with.  The proof of the pudding, as they say, will be in the eating.  I’d love them to show live downloads vs revenue – ie show the average price paid.  In that way the audience really would set the price as a community, rather than individually (as they (by which I mean we) would all follow the consensus, like sheep).

Amazong October 5, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, books, web 2.0.
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It’s been a while since my last post.  It’s also been a while since I visited the Amazon web site.  So I was taken aback by some of the great stuff that has cropped up there, without my knowing.  To cut an already very short story even shorter, I was thinking of buying this book.  On the product page I was able to watch a video of the author talking about the book in a ‘related videos’ section.  Needless to say, it was great and made me want to buy the book even more.  Great example of providing additional product information to potential customers in a convenient and engaging way.  I like.

It struck me that although much has been made in some quarters about the danger of the internet to publishers of text, in fact it is book publishers who are some of the most innovative users of online marketing gubbins.

Only a few books seem to have the amazon video service, and most are American – but I wonder how long it’ll take for other product types/regions to catch up.  I noticed there’s also a new ‘customer discussions’ function too, which (incredibly) allows customers to not just write a review of the book, but have an interactive discussion about it.

In other news, yesterday I saw a man in a bowler hat, which pleased me greatly.  I also saw an (apparently fully loaded) Apache helicopter hovering over the Thames, which pleased me slightly less but was still pretty cool.  And on Monday I saw a man in a three piece suit with ‘Diana, I love you’ written on his face in permanent marker.  He had a very high-pitched voice.