Monthly Archives: February 2009

internet vs economy?

I wonder whether the internet is contributing to the economic collapse by automating more and more people out of work.

From a blog about real estate in my area:

With online tools like Zillow, Redfin, Property Shark, Dataquick, Melissa Data, Realty Trac, Foreclosure Radar and now, Los Angeles Blockshopper, access to coveted “Realtor” information is now at your fingertips. Anyone can now do their own research and be better prepared to enter into transactions. All of these are available in my Real Estate TOOLS/DATA Section. Throw in real estate blogs like Dr.Housing Bubble, Patrick.Net, WestsideBubble, etc., and people have a public forum by which experience and pertinent information can be exchanged.

Exactly how much, do we need realtors today?

CBS

Per Hypebot, terrestrial broadcasters have gotten a big rate reduction on webcasting, while web-only casters have no deal at all. I assume this is because terrestrial radio has a big bargaining chip in that record labels want terrestrial radio to pay more royalties.

rates for simulcasts or web channels operated by local radio stations are reduced 16% in 2009 then gradually increase through 2015 – from $0.0015 per streamed sound recording in 2009 to $0.0025 per stream by 2015.

Terrestrial radio already gets higher prices for its advertising than online radio, because it has better penetration in the local markets that the advertisers are trying to reach. So it’s now going to be paying less in royalties at the same time that it’s earning more in advertising.

In related previous news, Yahoo and AOL both killed their homegrown webcasting operations in favor of outsourcing to CBS. One would wonder what’s in it for CBS, given that it should be working with the same impossible economics as Yahoo and AOL, but apparently CBS pays lower royalties than they do.

Techies may get a warm feeling from the fact that Last.fm is a CBS property, so there’s a competitive piece of music software in the mix. CBS is also the major backer of Targetspot, the major broker of webcasting ad inventory. Targetspot bought Ronning Lipset, the major ad sales firm for webcasting ad inventory.

So don’t get all web 2.0 on that shit. It’s not like print publishing and advertising where organizations like the New York Times are crumbling. With online music the old school radio world is making big moves.

Well, ok, it’s not all great news for CBS. I have heard that terrestrial stations are seeing the writing on the wall about the end of their business, though I don’t know enough about their business to be able to judge the truth of it. But let’s say it’s true, and let’s also say that the online picture looks pretty damn good for CBS. The overall picture is of a pre-cloud giant making a very credible move into the cloud.

the web talking portal

Blogarithms » SpokenWord.org: Open to the Public:

The day is finally here. No more excuses. No more alpha or beta. It’s time to open the doors. SpokenWord.org is ready for prime time and ready for you.

If you’re a regular reader of Blogarithms, you’re probably tired of hearing about SpokenWord.org, but if you’re a newcomer, here’s a portion of the press release:

There are perhaps millions of audio and video spoken-word recordings on the Internet. Think of all those lectures, interviews, speeches, conferences, meetings, radio and TV programs and podcasts. No matter how obscure the topic, someone has recorded and published it on line.

A portal / community for spoken recordings on third party sites is such a fundamental idea that it’s an instant landmark.

meta day

Lately I’ve been feeling that the world is too interesting to just blog about it. I want to be _in_ it.

And anyhow an accurate description of things would be a straight reprinting of the state of the web on the day I was writing.

distributed creativity and networked musicians

ccMixter: A Memoir:

When we started the ccMixter project, it was obvious that liberally licensed source material would provide musicians a way to interact that was simply prohibited by an All Rights Reserved model. For all the benefits of participating in the sharing economy that has been touted by free culture advocates, including myself, the surprising result of ccMixter is that it provides evidence indicating the most compelling argument yet: free-wheeling participation in a commons makes the art better.

This is an account by Victor Stone of his experiences as the lead at the ccMixter remix community. It’s fun to read and full of interesting nuggets. His key finding over the years was that the community had a net output greater than any one musician.

Victor coins the term distributed creativity to describe this phenemenon. This is a twist on the computer science concept of distributed computing, which Wikipedia describes as:

In distributed computing a program is split up into parts that run simultaneously on multiple computers communicating over a network. Distributed computing is a form of parallel computing, but parallel computing is most commonly used to describe program parts running simultaneously on multiple processors in the same computer. Both types of processing require dividing a program into parts that can run simultaneously, but distributed programs often must deal with heterogeneous environments, network links of varying latencies, and unpredictable failures in the network or the computers.

Distributed creativity is what you get when you network musicians rather than computers. And to network musicians, they can’t be encumbered by the law. If the law prevents musicians from working together in a networked way, for example by making derived works out of anything they see fit to use, then the law will make the music worse.

music is not a very free market

The recording industry is having a harder time restructuring for the digital economy than the news industry. Wherever these two industries are going, news will get there sooner than recording.

I think the reason is that music is so highly regulated. News is a more natural economy, involving things like the cost of paper and salaries for classified salespeople. When music needs more paper, or its analog to paper, it gets a law or a court judgement. These laws and judgements have created a byzantine framework. This framework is inflexible.

If the recording industry were more natural, creative destruction would make the move to the internet less wrenching.

I don’t mean to be hard hearted about the personal impact of the destruction. My thought is that there’s so much because this is not a very free market.