Sunday, 21 February 2010

Bits, Telecasting & Songles

Jaron Lanier discusses various strategies for enabling creators of music, movies or text to be paid for on-line consumption of their work, while retaining the flexibility and convenience of the web.

One concept, based on the ideas of Ted Nelson, who invented the hyperlink, involves integrating the function of ISPs with the collection of micro-amounts of money per bit when a content link is accessed. However this would involve a radical reshaping of the infrastructure of the web, perhaps using Nelson's own Xanadu system, which is different from html.

Another possibility for musicians and performers would be "telecasting" live performances on subscription. As domestic screens and audio improve in quality, size and volume (HD, surround sound) the telecasts would be more immersive and closer to the experience of a live gig.

Lanier also has a curious proposal for musicians - the "songle" or musical dongle. As it's becoming easier to embed digital files and wireless devices in anything and everything, he suggests music should be sold via physical objects, which could be integrated into everyday objects - coffee mugs, hats, clothes, as appropriate. A party skirt would play Lady Gaga as soon its owner made her entrance, a zoot suit would play swing & jive...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

You Are Not A Gadget

I'm currently reading Jaron Lanier's stimulating book, which considers some of the negative effects of the on-line media explosion, as well as the positive ones.

Lanier is a pioneer in computing, virtual reality and also a musician. While acknowledging the Web's enormous potential for empowering both individual creativity and global collaboration, he reflects on the shallowness of much Web 2.0 cyberculture - fragmented, anonymously trollish, a derivative mash-up in which the crafted personal statement is devalued.

He's also concerned about the effect of file-sharing which not only undermines the finances and long-term health of the cultural industries, but , in his view, devalues cultural production. He feels there is a danger that we 're becoming locked into a kind of digital totalitarianism, by confusing data with the persons that produce it.

You can read a section from the book, which sums up one of his key ideas here, as a pdf. He's also interviewed on American radio here.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Media Automaton

The video clips and news feeds on this page have been selected automatically, on the basis of key words I've supplied like "media" and from an automated scan of the content on the page. I've had no direct input into the process.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Pete's Media Blog

Pete Fraser is the Chief Examiner for OCR Media Studies and runs a large and very successful Media department at Long Road College in Cambridge. His blog contains a lot of interesting ideas about on-line media, with up-to-date examples.

Function of this Blog

This blog is simply intended as a convenient resource for my students at the Royal National College for the Blind exploring Media in the Online Age as a topic on their A level Media course. As digital technology has transformed media production and consumption, the blog also may help them to investigate related topics like Post- Modernism.

It supplements our materials on the RNC intranet and it's a quicker way of updating them, with more opportunity for interaction and feedback.

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