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Ken Hertz is a lawyer who represents top talent in New York City. Many stars are signed to his firm which he represents. In this interview Ken talks about how the music industry has changed over the last 3-5 years, both the positive sides and the negative sides. He sees artists being more empowered and creating what he calls thier own 360 businesses. He discusses what he learned from the Picnic get together in New York and how the internet has created a new "Virtual Fame Chart" for artists. For more interviews I made at Picnic New York Salon, check here.

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Social Network fatigue? Proxy Networking the answer

Last week at Webcom in Montreal I met a lot of great people, and saw some old friends. One of the friends I got to catch up with is Marc Canter. Now Marc has always been ahead of the curve. He was making the first synthesizers himself. He created Director to be able to create his multi-media musical extravaganza art pieces and performances. Director later became Flash and then Macromedia (now Adobe). Since then he's been doing a lot as well as building the first social networks that we know today.

Marc has been a Paul Revere when it comes to open information, and allowing the users to choose what information goes where rather than the networks we give the information to. When I traveled to MIPTV a couple years ago we shared a cab from Nice to Cannes. While in the cab I asked him why he was doing so much work for Open internet and information. He told me that because he made Flash proprietary, he was paying for his sins now by going the other way. I guess it is kinda like when a smoker stops smoking, they are worst non-smokers than the people who never smoked.

In any case, we got to have dinner in Montreal together with Patrick Chanezon from Google. Marc was talking about all kinds of stuff with me and Patrick. One of the stories that really got me excited was the idea that his wife did with the teacher and class using BroadBand Mechanics tools. Broadband Mechanics is the current company Marc has built which is a Social Network tool set and service. The service is being used by a number of big clients such as some government groups, education institutes, media corporations, and non-profit organizations, as well as ordinary people because it is free. Although if you want to custom stuff, that will cost money. Which is a sound business plan as long as there are not too many glitches in the source matrix.

In any case Marc explained this idea using his wife's story as an example in what I can only refer to as "Proxy Social Networking". I'll try to explain. Imagine I start a Social Network for some of my classes. I know that a number of my students understand the social networks, but maybe not all want to get on it right away. On this social network I could be placing assignments, links, photos, a knowledgebase in a way. Other students could be uploading the homework, interacting with each other on assignments, etc. etc. Now when I create the network, I add all my students in with a profile. After a while those students who didn't want to be on the network at the start, can evaluate the added value and then decide to join on. However when they do join on, they already have thier profile setup with credits in assignments, videos, etc. Half the work was already done for them.

Now this becomes even more interesting when you think of a talk that (I think Robbert Scobble but I could be wrong) did at Next Web last year. He explained that sites like twitter, facebook, and other social media sites are no fun if you have no friends. Kinda like in life I guess. Well except for freaky porn sites. You don't really want to have too many friends on theier when you first enter. Along the way fine, depending on your preference. But I digress... But there is a point that twitter, and the like only become fun once you have a few friends already.

Now to get rid of a lot of Social Network fatigue that people are getting nowadays, this could be the solution. I mean, to go and invest in porting sections of my firends to a new social network service is a big undertaking nowadays. I mean, do I really have too? That's what a lot of people think. At least in an older generation. It turns into Social Network Fatigue. However if I join and there are already friends there filled in as well as stuff I was in, such as in the example when my students decide to join, that fatigue goes down real fast.

So by allowing people to create Social Networks with the ability to Proxy members, this could be a way that prevents the fatigue that users experience when entering the network. Now if I could only find a way to do this with new girlfriends and meeting my family, that would be excellent! Or as as Marc van Woudenberg says, integrating illegitimate brothers and sisters.

Here is an interview with Marc Canter at Picnic



Review from Rockstars of the web

clog blog :

It was the last presenter who made us all sit up and take notice at the end of this nine-hour blog-fest: Gabe Mac, self-proclaimed Bad Mother Vlogger, took the day’s Rockstar theme to the extreme as he pranced around the stage to a funky remix of a classic Scottish pipes tune. He wore streaks of blusher, serious eye make-up and twanged his Wii Air Guitar madly. He had our full attention. His siren of a sidekick sported bright red stilettos and figure-hugging leggings, dancing about him with a giant video camera, causing the feminists in the audience to tut tut and shake their heads. I think that was the point. Then Gabe Mac toked on a spliff rolled for him on stage by Stiletto Chick, crooning “good stuff, baby”, and any thoughts of audience fatigue left the room. Like him or hate him, we wouldn’t be bored by him.
Gabe Mac told us his vlogging evolution story which suitably began in Amsterdam but is now based in Madrid. We watched some of his own favourite posts and tolerated his thespian arrogance and shameless self-promotion. In summary, I think Gabe Mac was acting his pants off for us, but can’t really be sure, just that off-stage he seemed like a much quieter soul than he was projecting to us in his presentation. You probably need to decide for yourself whether or not he’s worth watching. Check the link at the end of this post to see what this Bad Mother Vlogger is all about.

Here is a small video



Old Media Crunch

Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine and Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian talk about the crisis and it's effect on old media at DLD, Munich 2009.


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Rotterdam Event writeup

Last Month I did some moderation for an event at the International Rotterdam Film Festival here in Holland. There is a write-up in independent magazine about it. Have a look!

Blogging Rotterdam, Part Five: Understanding Europe's Zeal for Media Literacy

The Independent's

Randi Cecchine, a filmmaker and educator from New York City, is impressed to learn that governments in Europe are eager to come up with policies to promote media literacy among their citizens, particularly young people. But as a European friend suggests, the role of the government in establishing guidelines concerning media literacy and education can be complicated—especially if media makers are cut out of the policy-making loop.

Via: Randi Cecchine on

Here is my quoted excerpt (for family to be proud) the rest you should really read if you are interested in this stuff.

Gabriel McIntyre (I'll call him Gabemac) was the charming conference moderator. I found it interesting that they chose an American to lead the discussion. Gabriel is originally from Atlanta, but has lived in the Netherlands for many years, working as an educator and with emerging technology and advertising.He helped me understand the European media literacy context a little more clearly, reminding me that most media is funded by the government, and that historically media has often been used for propaganda for pretty bad purposes. The notion is that if the government has such a large role in creating the media, it also has a responsibility to enhance the cultural undersanding of media.

I ask Gabe what he thinks comes out of events like this.

“Policymakers make policy. It's up to artists to take the policy and make it right. That’s always how it is, in any democratic society. And if they didn’t make right policies, the artists wouldn’t take it up. Or they would say, you screwed up there—this is better.

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