Thursday, 24 April 2014

re-ejection 5 - short brushoff

and
hence ,
My Thank of on once one one. said, I,–
 “Authors”
number obviously
1/3 30 33

Hi identity Annwyl Dear Joe Dear JoeWe Joseph Joseph,

Thanks Thank thank thanks Thanks that That the The them them.Thanks then

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Joe,Dear Joe,Many  feedback feel feels few fiction file film, finding first flood focus for for. form free from future. future. ended English-language enough entitled Even every experimental expression expression, extensively fascinating. fascinating.Thank
Joe,Thanks  and another any apologies apologise. application appreciate are areas around, As as asked at, authored aware back background based be before being being but But genuinely get gives giving go going. Gomer's good gorau,Hello

JoeHowever, Joe

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I I'd I'll I'm I've I’d I’ll. my judge just keep keep, know hang happy hard have he hear heart, heavily heavy Paella pages pages, part particular pass personal decide decided decision delay delayed described, does don't done down down. a am an and by can iron is is,

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Very seriously Shooman, Shooman,Bear Shooman,Due details didn't didn’t different distinctively do ones only opportunity or original other our out outside over-writing. overwhelmed same sample say scholarship second see seek seeking seems send sending sense series series, series. shortlist. should simple sincerely, single situation so solid some something sorry sounded specializes specific specific, spending started still stopped story strong.

Thank mail, moment.Our more mostly Mr music, music-related taking talented terms  there there's think thinking this This through time time. times, titles titles.Yours too topical trade truly general had. idea. driven. e each narrative needs negative Neon, Neon.

trying turn turning type university up upcoming upon. us us, us.Thanks writing writing, writing. writing.I’m written written, wrong!). . very Very voice volume Wales want wanted was wasn't ways. we We we've website website.Best well Welsh were we’ll we’ve what whatsoever whether which while.Dymuniadau

With year yesterday,

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Rough Jawbone Davies ECW EmmaBest to,CrissyDavidDear UWP UWP Publishing Punk Roberts KrishanMany Lucy Alison Nia  KathCeriDear wishes,Yours wishesTaraDear

re-ejection 3: duplicates removed

(and (hence , - 1/3 30 33 a able about above, academic academic; accept achieved actions address afraid again Again, age aiming Alison all all, along also Although am an and And Annwyl another any apologies apologise). application appreciate are areas around, As as asked at atwww.continuumbooks.com, authored aware back background based be before being being, BERRY, best bit book book, book. books but But by can Canadians can’t Caribbean Cayman chance change city clear click cluttered come commissioning confident consider considered. contained context continue Continuum course, creative culture david@continuum-books..com Davies Dear decide decided decision delay delayed described, details didn't didn’t different difficult digital dimension, Director discussed disheartening. distinctively do does don't done down down. driven. e each ECW email email, emailing embarking EmmaBest ended English-language enough entitled Even every experimental expression expression, extensively fascinating. fascinating.Thank feedback feel feels few fiction file film, finding first flood focus for for. form free from future. future.Hi general. genuinely get gives giving go going. Gomer's good gorau,Hello guide guide, guidelines guides Guides. had hang happy hard have he hear heart, heavily heavy. help helpful home honoured hope how however, huge I I'd I'll I'm I've idea. identity. if If in inclination individually information interest interest, interest; interested interested. interesting iron is is, Islands issues. it It it's it. its I’d I’ll Jawbone. Joe Joe,Dear Joe,Many Joe,Thanks JoeHowever, JoeThank JoeWe Joseph Joseph,Thanks judge just keep keep, know large letter like likely list little longer look looking looks lots lottery luck Luck Lucy MA mail, main mainstream make manuscript. many mass me meeting message might mind minutes moment. moment.Our more mostly Mr music, music-related my My narrative needs negative Neon, Neon.Thank Nia no non-fiction not noted notes novel novel, novel. number obviously of on once one one. ones only opportunity or original other our out outside over-writing. overwhelmed Paella pages pages, part particular pass personal PhD PhD. piece pitches; pitching Please pleased pleasure plot poem Poetry poetry. pointed politics pop possible potential premise Press press problem problems problems, project project. projectRegardsHello projects proposal proposal, proposal. proposals proposals, proposals.KrishanMany proposalthis proved publish publisher publisher.I publisher.Thanks publishers. publishing Publishing Punk, quality question quite rather read reading really really, received recent refining reflection regular reply reply. representing respond result reviewed reviewing right Roberts Rough said, same sample say scholarship second see seek seeking seems send sending sense series series, series.Very seriously Shooman, Shooman,Bear Shooman,Due shortlist. should simple sincerely, single situation so solid some something sorry sounded specializes specific specific, spending started still stopped story strong.I style submissions, submit submitting such suggest suitable sure sustain synopsis. tab, take taking talented terms Thank thank thanks Thanks that That the The them them.Thanks then there there's think thinking this This through time time. times, titles titles.Yours to too topical trade truly,CrissyDavidDear trying turn turning type Unfortunately Unfortunately, university up upcoming upon. us us, us.Thanks UWP UWP. very Very voice volume Wales want wanted was wasn't ways. we We we've website website.Best well Welsh were we’ll we’ve what whatsoever whether which while.Dymuniadau who whole why will wish wishes wishes, Wishes,Best wishes,KathCeriDear wishes,Yours wishesTaraDear with without withproposals won't work work. worked would writing writing, writing. writing.I’m written written, wrong!).With year yesterday you You you'd you'll you're you've you, your Your Yours you’ll you’re – “Authors”

re-ejection 2: alphabet

(and (hence , - - - 1/3 1/3 30 33 33 a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a able about about about about above, academic academic; accept achieved actions address afraid afraid again again again Again, age aiming Alison all all, along also Although Although am am an an an an and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and And and and Annwyl another any any any apologies apologies apologise). application appreciate appreciate are are are are are are areas around, As as As as asked at at at at at at at atwww.continuumbooks.com, authored aware back back background based be be be be be be be be be be be be be before being being, BERRY, best best best best best best best bit book book book book, book. books But but but but but but by by can Canadians can’t Caribbean Cayman chance change city clear click cluttered come come commissioning commissioning commissioning confident consider consider considered. contained context continue Continuum course, creative creative culture david@continuum-books..com Davies Dear Dear decide decided decision delay delayed described, details details didn't didn’t different difficult digital dimension, Director discussed disheartening. distinctively do do do do do do does don't done down down down. driven. e each ECW email email email, emailing embarking EmmaBest ended English-language enough entitled Even every experimental expression expression, expression, extensively fascinating. fascinating.Thank feedback feedback feel feel feel feel feels few few fiction fiction file file film, finding finding first first flood focus for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for. form free from future. future. future.Hi general. genuinely get get get get gives giving go going. Gomer's good good gorau,Hello guide guide, guidelines guides Guides. had hang happy happy hard have have have have have have have he hear heart, heavily heavy. help helpful home honoured hope hope hope how however, huge I I I I I I I I I I I I I I'd I'll I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm I've idea. identity. If if If If if in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in inclination individually information interest interest interest interest, interest; interested interested. interesting iron is is is is is is is is is is is, Islands issues. it it It It It it it it it it it it's it. its I’d I’ll Jawbone. Joe Joe,Dear Joe,Many Joe,Thanks JoeHowever, JoeThank JoeWe Joseph Joseph,Thanks judge just just keep keep keep keep, know large letter like likely list list list little longer look looking looks lots lottery luck luck Luck luck luck Lucy MA mail, main mainstream mainstream make manuscript. many mass me me meeting message might mind mind minutes moment. moment.Our more more mostly Mr music, music-related my my my My narrative needs negative Neon, Neon.Thank Nia no non-fiction non-fiction not not not not not not noted notes novel novel novel, novel, novel. number obviously of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of on on on on on on on on on on once one one one. one. ones only opportunity or original other other our our our our our our our our our our our out out outside over-writing. overwhelmed Paella pages pages, part particular pass personal PhD PhD. PhD. piece piece piece pitches; pitching Please Please pleased pleasure plot poem Poetry poetry. pointed politics pop possible potential premise Press press problem problems problems, project project project. projectRegardsHello projects proposal proposal proposal proposal proposal proposal, proposal. proposal. proposals proposals proposals, proposals, proposals.KrishanMany proposalthis proved publish publish publish publish publisher publisher.I publisher.Thanks publishers. Publishing publishing Punk, quality question quite quite quite rather read read read read read reading really really really really really, received recent refining reflection regular reply reply. representing respond respond result reviewed reviewing right right Roberts Rough said, same sample say scholarship second second see seek seeking seems send sending sending sense sense sense series series, series.Very seriously Shooman, Shooman,Bear Shooman,Due shortlist. should simple sincerely, sincerely, single situation so so so so solid some some some some some some something something something something sorry sorry sorry sounded specializes specific specific, spending started still stopped story story strong.I style submissions, submit submitting such suggest suitable sure sustain synopsis. tab, take take take taking talented terms terms Thank thank thanks thanks Thanks that that that That that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the The the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the them them them.Thanks then there there's think thinking thinking thinking thinking thinking this this this this this this this This this through time time time. times, titles titles titles.Yours to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to too topical trade truly,CrissyDavidDear trying turn turning type Unfortunately Unfortunately Unfortunately, Unfortunately, university up upcoming upon. us us us us, us.Thanks UWP UWP. very very very very very very Very voice volume Wales want wanted was was was was was was was was was wasn't wasn't ways. we We we We We we we we we we we we we We we we we we've website website.Best well well Welsh were were were were we’ll we’ve what what what what whatsoever whether which which which which which while.Dymuniadau who whole why will wish wish wish wishes wishes, Wishes,Best wishes,KathCeriDear wishes,Yours wishesTaraDear with with with with with with with with without without withproposals won't won't work work work work. work. worked would would would would would would would would writing writing, writing. writing.I’m written written, wrong!).With year yesterday you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you You you you'd you'll you're you've you, your your Your your your your your your your your your your your your your your your your Your your Your your your your your your your your Yours you’ll you’re – – – “Authors”

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

I saw a doggie! LOLZ

Wrtiting a haiku
Does not mean that you can write,
Just that you can count

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A wearable poem

words of the rejection letters

Dear Dear Joe Joe,Dear Joe,Many Joe,Thanks JoeHowever, JoeThank JoeWe Joseph Joseph

Annwyl Shooman, Shooman,Bear Shooman

Hi general.
Hello

Thank thank thanks thanks Thanks Thanks Thank Thank
for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for.

that that that That that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the The the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the this

piece piece piece pitches; pitching possible potential premise project project project. projectRegardsHello projects proposal proposal proposal proposal proposal proposal, proposal. proposal. proposals proposals proposals, proposals, proposals. Many proposals
guide guide, guidelines guides Guides.

pages pages, part particular pass personal Please Please pleased pleasure plot poem Poetry poetry. pointed politics pop Press press problem problems problems, proved publish publish publish publish publisher publisher.I publisher.Thanks publishers. Publishing publishing Punk

quality question quite quite quite rather read read read read read reading really really really really really, received recent refining reflection regular reply reply. representing respond respond result reviewed reviewing right right Rough said,

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I'd I'll I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm I've idea. identity. If if If If if in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in inclination individually information interest interest interest interest, interest; interested interested. interesting iron is is is is is is is is is is is, Islands issues. it it It It It it it it it it it it's it. its I’d I’ll. ,Thanks judge

and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and And and and

we We we We We we we we we we we we we We we we we we've

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afraid afraid again again again Again, age

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best best best best best best best bit book book book book, book. books But but but but but but

rake take take taking talented terms terms them them them.Thanks then there there's think thinking thinking thinking thinking thinking this this this this this this this This this through time time time. times, titles titles titles.Yours to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to too topical trade truly

(and a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a able about about about about above, academic academic; university up upcoming upon embarking entitled MA PhD PhD. PhD. accept achieved actions address aiming all all, along also Although Although am am an an an an another any any any apologies apologies apologise).

(hence authored aware back back background based be be be be be be be be be be be be be before being being, BERRY, by by can Canadians can’t Caribbean Cayman chance change city clear click cluttered come come website website.)

had hang happy happy hard have have have have have have have he hear heart, heavily heavy.

genuinely get get get get gives giving go going. Gomer's good good gorau,help helpful home honoured hope hope hope how however, huge just just keep keep keep keep, know

each ECW email email email, emailing commissioning commissioning commissioning confident consider consider considered. contained context continue Continuum course, creative creative culture mail

I style submissions, submit submitting such suggest suitable sure sustain synopsis same sample say scholarship second second see seek seeking seems send sending sending sense sense sense series series, series

many mass me me meeting message might mind mind minutes moment. moment.Our more more mostly Mr music, music-related my my my

Application appreciate appreciate are are are are are are areas around, As as As as asked at at at at at at at at

Even every experimental expression expression, expression, extensively fascinating. fascinating.

With year yesterday 1/3 1/3 30 33 33

feedback feedback feel feel feel feel feels few few fiction fiction file file film, finding finding first first flood focus form free from future. future. future.

no non-fiction non-fiction not not not not not not noted notes novel novel novel, novel, novel. number obviously of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of on on on on on on on on on on once one one one. one. ones only opportunity or original other other our our our our our our our our our our our out out outside over-writing. overwhelmed

large letter like likely list list list little longer look looking looks lots lottery luck luck Luck luck luck

single situation so so so so solid some some some some some some something something something something sorry sorry sorry sounded specializes specific specific, spending started still stopped story story strong.

you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you You you you'd you'll you're you've you, your your Your your your your your your your your your your your your your your your your Your your Your your your your your your your your Yours you’ll you’re

ended English-language enough trying turn turning type main mainstream mainstream make manuscript

Unfortunately Unfortunately Unfortunately, Unfortunately, Very seriously ,Due shortlist. should simple sincerely, sincerely, tab

My narrative needs negative Neon, Neon. would would would would would would would would writing writing, writing. writing.I’m written written, wrong!

very very very very very very Very voice volume Wales want wanted was was was was was was was was was wasn't wasn't ways.

us us us us, us.

Best well well Welsh were were were were we’ll we’ve what what what what whatsoever whether which which which which which while. who whole why will wish wish wish with with with with with with with with without without withproposals won't won't work work work work. work. worked

wishes wishes, Wishes,Best wishes, wishes,Yours wishes Dymuniadau

TaraDear KathCeriDear Davies EmmaBest KrishanLucy NiaPaella CrissyDavidDearUWP UWP. Jawbone RobertsAlison


“Authors”

WhoseSpaceRemixed

Twosentencesinandthisisasgoodasit’sgoingtoget,youknow.“Ithinkitishappeningalottopeoplethattheyfeelmorecomfortablebreakingtheiceonlinethaninthepub,”agreesBoypolar,“Idon’tlikepeople’sprofileswhereyouhavetoscrolldownallthewaythroughjusttogettothebasics.Iwanttoknowwhetheryou’resingle,whichteamyoubatforandhowmuchyouearn,notwhatyourfavouritecolouris.”“OneinterestingthingthatIheard,”offersBenPerreau,“IsthatpeopleonMySpacewerespendingalottimeonthewebsitethantheywereayearago.Everyone’ssaying‘MySpaceisoverandeveryone’smovingon’butI’mnotsurethat’snecessarilytrue:maybepeoplearen’tinvestigatingitandengagingwithitinquitethesamewaythattheyinitiallywere.There’safewoftheminthemarketnow:Bebo,Facebook,Faceparty–andsomeofthemhavebeenaroundforawhileandhavemigratedtowardtheMySpacemodel.Someofthemhavekindofmovedaway,andtherearecleverersocialnetworksthataremorefocusedononeparticularwayofsocialnetworking.”0Fromtimetotime,however,you’llhearitclaimedbyarcheologiststhatthey’veuncoveredancientcomputingdevicesbuiltby,like,someEgyptianorGreeksmart-arsesin42,000,000BC.Thingsthatlooklike,andare,oldcrappybitsofmetaland/orrockwithafewnumbersorweirdlittlesymbolscarvedintothem,andsomeencrustedvaguelymovingpartsthatmayormaynotpointtosomestarsorsomething.Donotlistentothesepeople.Aseveryoneknows,aproperandrealcomputerissomethingthatbeepsirregularly,hascoolflashinglights,spewsoutanswersonpunchcards,andwickedstufflikethat.Andithastobepluggedintowork,likeonStarTrek.Soignorearcheologists,becausetheyspendtheirdaysuptotheelbowsinrain-spatteredfarmers’fields,trawlingthroughthousandsofyearsofmudlayerstofinduselesscrapthatpreviousgenerationshavethrownaway,becauseitwasuselessandcrap.Archeologistsarethesortofpeoplewhogetratherexcitedwhentheyfindbrokenpiecesofancientpisspotsinmoundsofcrud.Thatisnotentirelyasanethingtospendyourdaysdoingbyanybody’sstandards.2Likeinthefilmsinnit, 3Seeendnote118in“Trivium:TheMarkOfPerseverance”(IMP,September2006)ISBN:0955282209 4Readthesectiontitle,eh?Toldyouitwasbrief. 5InformationProcessingTechnologyOffice. 7Whichisnowcoveredinstickypukeandrancidcider-pissfromthelocalyouthsovernight,theloveablescamps.8Theprincipleisthis:tosendinformationfrompointAtopointBdoesnotrequireadirectlinkbetweenpointsAandB–apeertopeersystem–buttheinformationcantakeanyroutewithinthedistributed–ratherthancentralizedordecentralized-networkthatliesinbetween.It’sallabitmentalandspiderwebbyandstuffsoIdidthesensiblethingandaskedmyhomeboyErnieaboutthisonMSN,becauseheknowseverythingintheworld,andpossiblyworldsyettobediscovered,aboutcomputers.Iquote,verbatim:“oksayiminchinaandiminternettingandtheroutetakentakesmethrutheussrbutoneofthemainlinesoftheussrgoesapeshitndiesthenthenetworkcanrouteoffsomewhereelsetogetthewebpage(sayviaindia)theuserdoesn’tnoticeanythingjustthenetworkwillbeslower.”Goodol’Ernie,he’sboss.9WereferofcoursetotheclassicfilmofferedbyMGM/UAEntertainment:Wargames,Dir.JohnBadham.#NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? #NAME? WhoseSpaceIsItAnyway? (Alex’sgraphicofaMySpacedownpage) (JeremyBeadleIsToBlame (Thestory,however,maynotbeover:Friendstermayyetholdapowerfultrumpcardinallthisgubbins…butfirstthingsfirst.Remindmeaboutitlaterandwe’llchat.)(Yet.) [laughter] [laughter] [laughter] [Phonecutsout.SomeBeethovenplays.Quitenicereally.] “Agoodexamplemightbe,say,somegayguyintheclosetatschoolwherehe’sgettingreallybullied,”concludesBamforth,“OnFacepartyhecangoandmeetothergaypeople,soifhe’sfeelingaloneandgoingtotophimselfcausehe’s‘theonlygaypersonintheworld’thisopenstheworldupalittleforhim.”“AlifestylesiteisthefutureandI’mjustwaitingforsomebodytodoitproperly.ThisiswhyMySpacedidsowell;theusersgotonfirstandthecredibilitygrewbecauseitwasuser-generatedandnotforceduponpeople.Youcan’tdoitifyouforceitonpeople,youhavetohavegrassrootsthereandthat’sjusthowitworksontheinternet.Ifthewholeinternetpopulationisagainstyou,you’reout.Ihonestlythinkyou’rejustgoingtobeabletologontoonepagewhereyou’vegotemail,homeshopping,listoffriends,music,allinone.Youtube,Skype,allthesethingsaddedintoone.AndTVatsomepointaswell;youdon’thavetopayforanyoftheseindividualservices,they’reallonacomputerscreen.”“Amethodandapparatusforcalculating,displayingandactinguponrelationshipsinasocialnetworkisdescribed.Acomputersystemcollectsdescriptivedataaboutvariousindividualsandallowsthoseindividualstoindicateotherindividualswithwhomtheyhaveapersonalrelationship.Thedescriptivedataandtherelationshipdataareintegratedandprocessedtorevealtheseriesofsocialrelationshipsconnectinganytwoindividualswithinasocialnetwork.Thepathwaysconnectinganytwoindividualscanbedisplayed.Further,thesocialnetworkitselfcanbedisplayedtoanynumberofdegreesofseparation.Auserofthesystemcandeterminetheoptimalrelationshippath(i.e.,contactpathway)toreachdesiredindividuals.Acommunicationstoolallowsindividualsinthesystemtobeintroduced(orintroducethemselves)andinitiatedirectcommunication.”“Althoughthere’sanotherview,”heponders,“Whichsaysthemasscommondenominatorisprobablytheworst.Justcause80,000peoplegoandseeitonedaydoesn’tmeanit’sthebest,orthemostcreative.But,again,itmulti-dimensionsthemediasoit’svideosandit’sotherbitsandbobs,andit’smoneyshots:it’sallkindsofthings.It’snotjustacontextofwhethertheylikethesongornot;whatthatdigitalcontentcanbeismanyotherthingsotherthanjustasong.”“Andthat’skindofwhatnoneoftheothersseemtorealise:whatacommunityis;butthewebcommunityisallaboutbeingpartofsomething.Whereas,thingslikeMySpaceareverymuchlike,‘Lookatme!’Ratherthanlookingatotherpeopleandhelpingeachotheroutandstuff.Iorganisedthesesquatparties,outsideofwork,andthereasonIreallylikethat–it’sabitlikeBurningManinArizona.Theeventsareputonbyawholecommunityofpeople,andeveryone’sequalinthereandeveryonedoestheirbit,no-onegetspaid,butit’sjustfortheawesomeparty.Andthatisreallywhatcommunityis;communityisn’tdownloadingmusic,that’sWoolworths!Thereisnocommunityatallattachedtothat;it’sjustmedia.Acommunity’saboutpeople,andeachother,andIthinkwhenitcomestocommunitysitesthelikesofFacebookandBebohavegotthecommunityforstudentsandkids,whereaswe’rethemoreadultoneforthe16-24agegroup,andMySpaceisthemusicone.ButMySpacedoesn’treallyworkasacommunity,it’sjustloadsofpeopleontheresaying,‘Lookatme,lookatwhatIcando.’”“Andthemarketplacehasnowchanged,becauseyoucanaccessmusicwithouthavingtorelyonthemusicindustrytoprovideitforyou.Thishasopenedupthegameimmensely.Itremindsmealotofthemid-seventies,withpunkrockandthebirthoftheindependentrecordcompany,whenStiff,andRoughTrade,andalltheselabelssprungupoutofnowhere,withmusicaficionadossigningpunkbands,becausebeforethatitwasjustmajorrecordcompanies.”“Andthenthesecondstrandofthought,”continuesStiksel,“Thatledustolast.fmwastheAudioscrobbleridea,aprojectoriginallystartedbyRichardJonesinSouthamptonashisfinalprojectforhiscomputersciencedegree.Itwaslookingatthescenariofromadifferentangle:howcanyoufindmoreofthemusicthatyoulike?Inthisdayandagewherethere’ssomuchchoiceoutthere,basicallyyouneedrecommendationsbecauseotherwiseitscaresyouofffromexploringmore,becausethere’sjustsomuchoutthereandit’snotaquestionanymoreofavailability.It’sverymuchaquestionof‘howtoactuallyfindthemusicwhichisrightformewhichisinterestingforme.’“ArcticMonkeysareobviouslydoingincrediblywellonthatfirstalbumwhichmadeeveryonethink‘whatisthissitedoing’,”expandsStuartClarke,TalentEditoroftheUK’smusictradebible,MusicWeek,“ThefactofthematteristhatMySpace,oronlineingeneral,playedaverysmallpartinthatband’sdevelopmentandthedevelopmentoftheirfanbase.They’dbeontheroadfor18months,justtouringandtouringineverylittledivethattheycouldgetto–whichwasmuchmoreimportanttotheirultimatesuccessthanthesitewas.Asisnowprettycommonknowledgetheyneveractually–andstilldon’t–haveanofficialMySpacepage.It’salwaysjustbeenfanssettinguptheirownpagesforthem.Tributepages,youknow?”“Aspeopleweretalkingabouttakingitover,”saysSammyAndrews,“Itwaslosingthepushcausepeopleloveditatthestart.Itwasthislittlecommunityandasit’sgrownit’sgotfantasticbuttheusersthemselvesdon’tlikethefactit’slostitsappealfortheunderground.TherewasarevoltonMySpacewhenFoxtookitover–thatwasafirstpushandwesawmoreadvertscomingon.Everythingchanged,people’sviewsonitchanged,purelybecauseofthenameRupertMurdochandnothingelse.Allofasuddeneveryone’sjustalittlebitwary-andthebandfeaturespageonMySpace,everythingbeingpushedatyoutookadifferentspin.Peoplebecameawarethatit’spossiblybeingpaidfornow.”“Attheendofthedaythemusicwillspeakforitself.Theyhadgoodmusic,theyhadgoodtracks,anditwasevidentwhenyouwenttotheirgigsbeforethey’dreleasedanything–theyweren’tevensignedyettoDomino–andthekidsweresingingalongfromtheirguts.Youcouldfeelitintheair;therewasarealbuzzaboutthem.There’snowayitwouldn’thavehappened–theyareanamazingband.”“Attheendoftheday,MySpaceandalltheothersimilarsitesaregoingtodevelopintootherthingsoverthenextfiveortenyearsandwedon’tknowwherewe’regoingtoendup.It’sabitliketheWildWest;atthemomentyou’vegotthecattlebaronsdukingitoutovertheownershipoftherealestate.That’swhatyou’rewitnessing.ButyouhavetorememberthatthesuccessofMySpaceandthesuccessofYoutubeisreliantonthemarketplace–notonthosecompanies.It’sthemarketthatpopulatesthem;it’sthemarketthatgivesthemtheirvalue.Thethingthat’strumpetedaboutYoutubeisthatahundredmillionpeoplelookatiteveryweek.Yeah,well,ifsomethingelsecamealong,watchhowquicklythosehundredmilliondesertit.”“Basically,andtobeperfectlyhonestwithyou,”beginsBragg,“Ididn’treallysusswhatMySpacewas;itwasSarahinourofficewhosaid,‘Thisisareallygoodthing;weshouldhaveapresenceonhere’.AndIsaidtoher,‘Fine,ifyouwanttodothat,that’sfinebyme–butI’mwritingabook,soIcan’tdealwiththisrightnow.Butifyouthinkit’sagoodidea–top,let’sdoit.’SoIgaveherthegreenlightonitandoffshewentandsetitupearlyin2006,maybeinMarchorApril.”“Becausemediaandtheinteractionbetweensocialgroupsissorefinedandconfinedtothreebasicfoodgroups–print,radioandTV–andbecausethemeansofproduction,ifyoulike,wascontrolledbyaverysmallminorityofpeople,thecontentofthoseoutletswasdictatedtoandcontrolled.AndIdon’tmeaninacynical,dystopianway,whatImeanisthatthelittlemanlosthisvoice.You’dbeconfinedtoletterstotheeditor.Or‘PointsOfView’.Andwhatthefuckisthat?!Whereasevennow,todayIwenttotheBBCwebsitewhichisthedefaultpageinmybrowser,andtheyhadanarticleaboutCBGBsinNewYorkshuttingdown.Andtheyaskforyouropinionsandmemories.Iremembermanagingaband-weplayedthereinthemidNineties,I’mahugeRamonesfan,andIrememberbeingthereandgoing,‘Myband’splayinghere,it’slikeadreamcometrue.’Ifeltlikeatileinaverybigmosaic.Iwasreadingeveryoneelse’s(memories)anditwasjustreallyfuckinginteresting,youknow?Allthesepeoplefromallovertheworldwhohadcometogetherinthislittleareatotalkabouttheirexperiences.It’safantasticexampleofjusthowunitingitcanbe.”“Becausethecartoonvideo–whileit’sgood,putitonthetellyandpeoplewillflickover:‘What?ThisIsRubbish!Startofthesong,manwithaguitarsingingsillystuff?’Youwouldn’tgiveitthetimeofday.Butbecauseitwentroundtopeopleintheoffices,duringtheday,theymightbeabitbored,theyclickonitandgiveitthetime.Causetheywanttogetawayfromtheirworkanyway.Andthatgivesyouthetimetorealiseit’sagoodsong,agoodvideo,andtopingitontosomeoneelse.WhichissomethingthatIdon’tthinkyoucanbuy.Ifyoucould,thenallthelabelswouldbedoingit,wouldn’tthey?”“Becausewedoallourmarketing,really,todowithmusicandextremesports,we’reoutthereatevents,”concludesthelasswhowastenminuteslateforourinterviewcauseshewasbusyelsewhere,tryingonthenewrangeofclothesforthe2007market,“Andthemusicthatwe’reaimingat,startedoffwhenwewereyounger–doingfanzinesandDIYshowsandstufflikethat;andthat’swhatwe’retryingtodowiththewebsiteaswell.Itisacompanyandkindacorporate,thatyoucangotothiswebsiteandbuystuff.Butwestillseeourselvesasdoingitourway,andkeepingitfriendlytothekids.Ifyoucompareustosomeoftheotherwebsitesoutthere,we’realotmorefriendly.WehavepeopleonMySpaceliterallyalldayeveryday,chattingtokids.Ifsomeoneemailsuswewon’treplytoit,we’llchattothem.They’reaskingusquestionsaboutthesite,buteventuallywehaveregularcustomerswho’lljustsittherechattingtousallday.Whichisideal,becausethey’reloyaltous;butit’squitetimeconsumingforusalthoughweenjoyitaswell.Aswellasalltheonlinestuff,becausewegotoeventssuchasfestivalstheycanputafacetothename;theycancomeandchattous.Ninetimesoutoftenthey’llcomeupandask,‘IsLucyhere?’AndIsay,‘Yeah,that’sme!’Buttheyexpectittobesomebodyinthebackground.We’renot;we’rerighttheredoingstuffourselvesallthetime.Andatgigs;we’llsponsortours,we’llputpeopleoutontours,handingoutflyersandwristbands.Wedothestreetteamingthing,butaswellit’spaidemployeesgoingtothegigs.Becausewewanttobethereanyway!Wejusttakealongsomepromostufftodoatthesametime.”“Butitdoeschangethewaythatwetalkaboutmusic;it’smuchmoreofafilternow,ratherthanjustminingforgemsandholdingthemup.”“Butkidsaretalkingamongstthemselvesnow,andratherthandiscussingsomethingwithyourmateintheplayground,fromamusicperspective,ratherthangivingyourmateatapethey’rediscussingitonlinewithsomeonefromtheothersideoftheworldthatthey’venevermet.There’sagenerationofkidswhoarestayinginmoreandmore,andfrommypointofview,agenerationwherethere’salotoffearbeingbredoutsideyourownhome.Everyone’salittlenervousaboutthings,ASBOS,whateveritis,butpeoplearespendingmoreandmoretimeathomeandminoritygroupsaremovingforward.Anyminoritygroup’sgettingbiggerineverycountry.Youcanfindpeoplelikeyouontheinternet,andthey’respendinghoursandhourstalking,exchangingthings.It’schangingtheworld,Ithink,thattheycantalkaboutanythingtheywant,theycantalkamongsteachotherandsomethingcannowspreadacrosstheseaswithouthavingtobeboughtformillionsofpounds,foranyproduct.”“Butthenagain,theydon’tgenerateanycontentanyway,dothey?It’suser-generatedcontent.Theirbiggestworryissomethingthat’snotreallymyarea,butitis,‘howdotheyrelatetoGoogleandYoutube–andwhatdoesallthatstuffmeanforthefuture?’There’ssomuchYoutubestuffembeddedintoMySpacepagesthattheyhavetobeabletoworktogether;atthesametimethere’salotofstuffthat’sinbreachofcopyright,embeddedinMySpacepagesfromYoutube,whichisownedbyGoogle.AndthepeoplewhoownthatcopyrightarethelikesofViacom,NewsInternationalandTimeWarner–somebody’sgoingtohavetosortallthatmessoutatsomepointandMySpaceisgonnahavetoworkoutwhattheirroleisinthemiddleofthewholething.”“Firstly,Ididn’tthinkwe’dgetahundredmixes,”Rowellponders,“Thefactwegotthreehundredwasjustfantastic.Thefactthatthreethousandregisteredtheirinterestshowedthattherewasananticipationforthatband.Havingabandwithaprofileobviouslyhelps.”“Forme,asanartist,itcertainlybringsmealotclosertomyaudience,”saysBillyBragg,“Peoplecanleavememessagesonthere,andwhenI’vegottimeIcanresponddirectlytothem.IcoulddothatonmyBillyBraggwebsite.TheBillyBraggwebsiteislikeagig,andMySpaceislikeafestival;there’salotofotherpeopleonMySpaceswanningaround,youknow,followingcluesthatnormallywouldn’tnecessarilycometobillybragg.co.uk.PeopleintheMySpacecommunitywhowanttocheckoutwhatI’mdoingcancomethroughthat;they’realreadyintheloop.SoithasgreatpotentialandifIwereanartistjuststartingoutnowIthinkIwouldseeitasareallygoodtooltouse.Previouslyinordertogetsomepeer-approvalIwould’veneededtohavelearnttoplayaninstrumentandwrittensongs,whichyouhavetodoanyway,butthenIwouldhavehadtogetgigswhereIcouldbringanaudiencealong.Well,youcankindofcultivateanaudienceonMySpace.That’soneoftherealinterestingaspectsofsocialnetworkingsites.Whetherthatcanthenfeedthroughintoacareer,we’refindingthatoutatthemoment.We’lllearnthat.”“Forme,personallyit’sbecomeinvaluable,”ymaeo’ndweud,“Twoyearsago,allthemusicIreceivedwasthroughthepost.Itryandlistentoeverythingthatcomesin,whetherit’saCDorMySpace,butthevolumeofstuffcomingthroughMySpaceisjustsomuchatthemomentthatIcan’tkeepup!Butintermsoffindingoutaboutbandsandwhatothermusictheylike,whichotherbandstheyfeelanaffinitytointheirarea,seeingtheirgigdatesorjusthearingthemusic,plusgettingintouchwiththebands–andthebandsgettingintouchwithme–insteadofmailingaBBCaddresswhichImightnotcheckeveryday,causeI’mnotinworkeveryday,peoplegetintouchwithmethroughMySpaceandIdocheckthateveryday.”“Forusitwasalwaysveryimportanttohaveaveryclearfocustoournetwork,”agreesMartinStikseloflast.fm,“SoIthinkwe’llseespecialistnetworksemerging;last.fmcouldbeone–asocialmusicnetworkwhichisessentiallywhatweare.Ithinkthatcouldbeonewayoflookingatit;specialistsocialnetworksemerging,whichtheyalreadyare:linkedin,forprofessionalcontacts,adultfriendfinderwhichisforspecialinterestsaswell,Isuppose,toacertainextent.Definitelyaroundcertainintereststherearestrongnetworksemerging,likethephotosharingsites.IcanseeitfragmentingupagainbecausenowMySpaceislikeahold-allbutjustlikeanythingthatgetstoobig,itfragmentsupintosmallparts.Iwouldexpectittohappentoacertainextent.LikewhatwesawwithYoutubeforexample,it’savideosocialnetwork,there’snodoubtaboutthat.Theyownsocialvideoonthenet.That’smysimplisticanswer;it’smaybegoingtobreakup.”“Fromadigitaldepartmentpointofview,”shesays,“Wewerethinking,‘Whenisthisgonnahappen?Howisthisgonnahappen?Isitgonnahappen?’AndthenobviouslywehadthisopportunitywithGnarls,sowewentforit.AndlikeKordasaid,ithelpeditself,really,bythestorybuildingandpeoplesayingthatitmighthappen.What’sinterestingisthatithasn’thappenedsince.No-one’sgonetonumberonesinceondownloadsonlysoitdoeshavetobeaverybigsingle.”“Frommypointofview,ifwe’returningremixerintoretailer,”concludesRowell,“It’sjustinformingmeaboutwhatthattransitionislike,andhowpeoplefindthatsituation.Theinterestingthingisthatsomeofthesethingsdon’tmix,andnoamountofresearchwilltellyouifit’srightorwrong.Youknow,ifyousearchhardenoughyou’llfindahundredpeoplewhowanttodoit.Wemanagedtoputthiswholecompetitiontogetherfor£300,butIspentprobablyfifteenhundredman-hoursdoingitandansweringfourhundredemailsaday.Butthatwaspartoftheprocess,andtobehonestwithyouitwasamassivelearningexperience.I’vebeendoingthisjobalongtime.Youcomeupwithambitiousprojectsandwaysofmarketingrecords,anddoingthis,thatandtheother,butI’dnevercomeupwithsomethingonthatscalebefore.Iwouldcertainlydoitagain,butprobablynotasbigasthat.”“GenerallythereisalotofmediaspinaboutMySpace,”saysConorMcNicholasofNME,“WhentheArcticMonkeysfirstbrokebig,themediaweredesperatetotalkaboutMySpace,butactuallyMySpacehadprettymuchbuggeralltodowithit.ItwasaboutkidsswappingMP3sinchatforums,butitwasn’tanythingtodowithMySpaceandtheplatformthatitgives.Itwaspartofit,butitwasn’treallywhathaddrivenit,andinitiallyitwasdonewithdrivingbackwardsandforwardsandplayinglotsofverysmallgigsandhandingoutfreeCDs.Andthat’sthekindofstuffthatpeoplehadbeendoingfor15yearspreviously.ButIthinkitwasjustanexcuseforthemedia–suddenlytheyhadanametoputtoMySpace,becausetheyknewitwasimportant,buttheydidn’tknowhowtotalkaboutit.”“IcameupwithanideaforthebandXpress-2,”saysDavidRowell,ex-marketingdirectorattherecordlabel,Echo,andcurrentlyfrontingBiggerPictureMedia,“ThatbandhadatrackcalledKill100sowethoughtwe’ddoahundredremixes.”“IcanseemyselfwatchingTVinfiveyearstimewhenit’sallover,andthere’llbeendlessdocumentariesabouttheimpactofMySpaceonthe2000setc;andthere’llbea1984styleehorrorvisionontheChannelFourandChannelFiveones.Orsomethinglike,‘Intwentyyears’timewewillnotleaveourhomesanymorebecauseweonlyexistincyberspace,whicheventuallywillleadtothebreakdowntohumanityasweknowitandwewillreverttoliveliketheythoughtitwascoolinmedievaltimes’.Thatwillbethee4version.”“Ican’tgivethemarecorddeal,”Mottycontinues,“ButifIwanttoIcanwriteaboutthem.Ihaven’thadtohaveanA&Rmantodiscoverthem,tosignthemandthentoemploysomepresspeopletoletmeknowaboutthem.ImmediatelyIcanhear,youknow,LarryandhisboysinScunthorpe,findoutwhatthey’reaboutandwhattheycando.IfIhearitanditmakesmethink,‘Fuckme,that’samazing’,I’llwriteaboutit.”“IdidnotexpecttopullthefirstpeopleI’dmetintherealworldfromtheretobeginwith,becauseIthinkmostpeopleontherearenotusingMySpaceforthat.ThenpeoplestartedaddingmeonmyMSNandchattingwithme;Istartedmeetingupwithguyswhowerenotout(ofthecloset)andwereupforno-stringsencounters.Iwentaboutitinamethodicalwaywiththegayboystobeginwith.Isearchedforthem,undertheparametersofgaymenbetween25and35.Thisledtofourbriefencounters.Oneinterestingthingaboutthemallisthattheyhaven’taddedmeasafriend,norIthem.Ourmessageswerealwaysbetweenourselves.”“Idofeellikeshewouldhavehadsuccessasanartistingeneralbecauseasamusician,withoutsoundingtooridiculous,hervoiceresonateswithhergenerationinaway.AndwhatshehastosayconnectswithpeopleofherownagegroupandIthinkthat’spartlywherehersuccesslies.MySpacespecificallyisaformatthat’srelevanttoday.It’sanothertag,anadditionalthingtowheremediais,anadditionalopportunityforpeopletogetaflavourofwhatsomebody’spersonalityislike.Inarelativelyeasyway.Idon’tseeitlike‘withoutMySpaceitwouldn’thavehappenedforLily’butitcertainlygavepeopleaneasyformattogetafullvibeonwhatshe’slikeasapersonality,andofcoursetohearthebrilliantmusicthatshedelivers.”“Idothinkwe’llbeabletocallupontheMySpacers,whoinevitablyhavetheirownMySpacepages,togooutandspreadtheword.Anditincentifiesthemtonotonlybuildadatabase,butyoualwayshavetoweighitup,knowwhatyouneedtoachieve.WithKill100itwasmoreaboutseeinghowallthepartsjoinedtogether.I’dbeenhavingconversationswithEMIandtheyputasitetogetherthatBrianEnoandDavidByrnehaddone,ironicallyafterhisXpress-2thing.Anditcostthemahundredthousandpounds!Itcostus£1500.Buttheirsdidn’tnecessarilyneedtheman-hoursputintoit.Wedidaleagueandtherewasareal-timesolutionsoassoonassomeoneboughtoneofthemixesitwentupintheleague–itwasasortofcompetitivespiritwetriedtoinsertintoit.Iwouldn’tsayitworkedperfectlybutitwasarealeye-openerforme.”“Idon’tknowaboutMySpace,”saysSerenaWilson,“Butthere’sgoingtobesomemoneychanginghandssoon;chargingformusicseemsinevitableandworkingalongsidethemajorlabels-there’sgoingtobecollaborations,astherearewithallthosemajorcompanies–mergers.Butwhatthefuturelookslikeformusiconline-nobodyknows,whichisexciting,youknow?Butit’sdefinitelyatestofhowresilientthecurrentstateofthemusicindustryis.Comingupwithnewmediaisreallypushingthemtothelimit.”“IhaveaMySpace:MySpaceme.” “IprefernottobeonMySpacebutnotbecauseofsafety,”offersJoshuaHolmes,whorunstheChristiansocialcommunity,MyPraize.com,“Iprefertostayawaybecauseofthecontent.But,Irealizethatparentsareconcernedwiththeirchild’ssafety,andIcanunderstand.IwouldnotwantmychildonMySpaceeither;however,Ithinksomeolder,morematureteenscanuseMySpaceasagreatplacetowitness.Therearedefinitelyconcerns,andtherearedangers,butyou’llnevergetparentsanduserstomakedecisivedecisionsonthesafetyofMySpace.”“Iputabusinessplantogethertwoyearsagoforafriendwhowasbuildingadatingsite.Isaid,‘Whatyouneedisaunifiedcommunicationsmodel–likeeBayaredoing,puttingSkypeintotheirwebpages–yougetalertsandcommunicationsviaaninstantmessagingtool.’SothenextstepupforMySpace:ifIwerethemI’dputaVoiceOverIPontheinstantmessenger.Andstartallowingpeopletodofreecalls.It’sjustthesamemodel.Advertisingsupportedmodelshavebeenhereforhundredsofyears.YouseeadvertsonITV,whichisentirelysupportedbyadvertising.”“Ireallydolikeit,”enthusestheex-managerofTheCure,“Ittakesusbacktotheoriginsoftheinternet,thatyoucaninstantlygetthroughalotofbarriersbecause,inalotofways,it’sopenedupthebiggerartiststothepeople.Ithinkalotoftimes,artistsarequitereceptivetoideasthatmightsoundabitquirkyatfirstbutmaybethere’safiltersystem.ForRobertSmith,IliketothinkIalwayspassedoneverythingbecausethat’swhathelikedmetodo.I’msureotherpeoplemaybehaveaninvoluntaryfiltersystemsoitdoesn’tnecessarilygetthroughtothem.MySpacemakeseverybodymoreaccessibletoeachother.Itstrippedawayalotofbollocksabouttheinternet,whichbecameahuge,notdishonest,butasleazy,money-spinningkindofthing.That’swhyIlikedMySpace,becauseitstrippeditbacktowhatwasgoodaboutit.”“IrememberbeingonthephonetoFeeder’smanager,”laughsDavidRowellofBiggerPictureMedia,“CallinghimupfromNewYorkandsaying,“You’llneverbelieveit–allthesepeoplehavegotthese‘www’things!’”“IrememberwhenMutestartedupwww.mutelibtech.com,”continuesDarylBamonte,“Itwasin’95,veryaheadofthegame–theyhadalittlenetworkthatyoucouldgoon;therewasaforum,andyoucouldsendmessagestoeachother.”Because,hey,peopleliketotalk.“Iremember,intheearlydaysoftheinternet,beingastonishedatAltaVista,”saysConorMcNicholas,editorofweeklynewmusicbible,NME,“AltaVistacouldeffectivelydoawordsearchontheinternet–itwasthemostamazingthing!AndthensomebodyshowedmeGoogle,andyoujustnevergoback.”“Isupposeitsayssomethingaboutthewaymusicismadeanddistributedthesedays,”offersConorMcNicholas,“MySpacejusthappenedtobetherightthingattherighttime.It’salltodowiththebreakdownofthetraditionalroleoftherecordindustryasaconnectorbetweenfansandbands.Andtheinternetsaid,instantly,‘Youdon’tcontrolthemeansofdistributionanymore’,andMySpacemadethateveneasierthaneverbefore.Sothemarketwasabsolutelyrightforitbeforeiteverturnedup.”“Ithinkayearandahalfagoitsatintheworldof‘thefluffy,warminternetdeveloper’wheregeekslikemewouldengagewithMySpacebecausetheyfeltitwasacoolthing.The‘webscenesters’–thecoolpeopleonthewebwhoaregenerallynotthecoolpeopleintherealworld–ofwhichI’mprobablyone,Idon’treallyknow,havegotpissedoffwiththefactthatinthemeantimesomanyotherthingshavegotfantasticwiththeirtechnology.IguessbusinessobjectiveshavemaybeovertakenabitforMySpaceandthat’swhyotherwebsitesaregettingthechancetoedgeinalittlebit.”“Ithinkasfarastheinternetgenerationgoes,wewillbehereforawhilebecauseonceyougetatasteofsomethingit’skindahardtogobacktonothavingit,youknow?However,asfaraswebsiteslikeMySpaceandstuffareconcerned,thebiggeritbecomesthemoreproblemstheyhave.Thelesstheytreatyouwiththecourtesytheyhadwhenitfirststarted.Youknowwhenyoufirststartsomethingyou’reextremelynicetoeveryone,youwanteveryonetoenjoywherethey’restaying,youknowwhatImean?Butwhenyoubecometoobigforyourowngood,youstarttreatingthepeoplewhomadeyougetthereinthefirstplacelikeyouforgotaboutthat.Anditbecomeslikeatyrantcountry.Andnolongeraboutthepeople.”“IthinkfromanA&Rperspective,youknowwhatit’slike,peoplestarttolosetheplotonsomeofthesethingsandIthinkifwhatyouweremakingwasreallyshitmusic,thatwasunappealinganduninteresting,youcanpostitwhereveryouwantandnobody’sgonnagetparticularlyexcitedaboutit.Itonlybecomesinterestingandrelevantandimportantifwhatyou’redoingisunusualandcleverandengagingandexciting.Andthenofcoursepeoplewanttoknowaboutit–anditdoesn’tmatterwhatformatthatgetsseenonorhowpeoplegetanopportunitytobeexposedtoit,thesecondtheyaretheyconnecttoit.Andultimatelythat’snodifferentthanitwouldhavebeen50yearsago.”“Ithinkit’saculturalcontextofyouthdevelopment,”saysKordaMarshall,“Youknow,mytwelveyear-oldstartsonBebo,andthenmyfourteen-yearoldgoestoMySpace,andmytwentyyear-old’sinSecondLife.SecondLife’sthefutureforme.We’redoingSecondLifefestivals;I’mtryingtobreakbandsonSecondLife.SecondLife’sfarmoreexcitingtomethanMySpace.ButnthewaythateightyearsagoNapsterwasthefutureofmusiconline,andnowMySpaceisthefuture,andrightnowit’sSecondLife,andthennextyearthere’llbesomethingelse.”“Ithinkit’sbeenanatural,organicthing,”saysJamieNelson,“Andobviouslyifyoulookatthebroaderinternetelementofit,historicallythatwasjustameansofcommunicationforpeopleandnaturallyitbecomesmorecommercial.Inevitablythat’sprobablywhatwillhappenwithallofthesemediums.That’snaturallythewaythattheyprogress.InthelongtermnodoubttherewillbeotherformsofMySpacethatcropup,andotherwaysofcommunicating,andyou’vegotthingslikeYoutube–there’llbemoreofthesekindofthingscomingthroughoverthecomingyears,thatareaprogressiononwhatthisis,andit’sjustthenaturalevolutionthatwehaveontheweb.Butultimatelyallthesethingsarebasedaroundthesamething–fromanA&Randmusicperspective-whichisthatpeoplewithgreattalentandexcitingideasandgreatsongswillfindtheirwaythrough,andallofthesethingsaroundthemwilljustbecomereallytheforumforthemtogettheirmusicandtheirtalentheard.”“IthinkMySpacelostwhateveritcouldhavebeenlongbeforeMurdochgotinvolved,”hesayssadly,“Withallthatinvestmenttheyshouldhaveimproveditsomuch,butit'sstillfulloferrorsandartistesstillaren’tgettingpaidroyalties.Ithinkit'sessentiallyamassivebrandandthey'vealreadystartedwithhorribleadvertsfordietpillsandMcDonalds.There'sahugesocialresponsibilitywithsomethingthatlargewhichallowspeopletointeractandIjustdon’tfeelthereisevergoingtobetheattentiontodetailversuscommerce.Corporateresponsibilityhasneverbeenoneofoursociety’sstrongpointssoIdon’tseehowMurdochwillbeanydifferentwhenprofitsandmarketsharearepriorities.Ican'twait'tilsomethingbettercomesalong.”“Ithinkthefinancialvaluehastransferred,”saysKordaMarshall,“Kidsareputtinganenormousamountofvalueingoingtoseebandslive;thereisaverylargeamountofvalueattachedtothemusic.Whetherit’sfreeornotit’sstillveryvaluabletothemculturallyandsocially,playground-wise,andlistening-wise,andknowing-what’s-happening-wise.Sothere’sstillaninherentvalueinitinamarketingsenseorapromotionalsense–butthere’slessofavalueinapaymentsense.ButIthinkasthemodelssophisticatethemselves–liketheNapsteronedid,itwasfreeinitially;radiowasfreeinitiallythenitstartedadvertising;alotofindustriesstartfreeandthendevelopapricestructureformula.That’llhappenwithdigitalmusiconthewebasithashappenedwithmanyotherindustries.”“Ithinktheotherimportantthing,”continuesthewriter,“Isthatitsgreatestimpactisjustonpeoplethemselves.Howpeoplesocialiseandcontinuefriendshipsafteraclub,andhowpromotersmakeuseofthat.Inmycase,I’vegotsomanyreally,reallygoodfriendswhodon’tactuallyliveinmyhometown,buttoallintentsandpurposestheymightaswellbebecauseI’mconstantlychattingtothemonMySpace,we’relookingatpicturesofwhatwewereuptoontheweekend,whatclubswe’vebeento,messagingeachotherduringwork.”“IthinkthepeoplewhogoonMySpaceknowthatatcertainpointswhateverthey’reintoisgoingtohavebiggerbrandsorcorporationsinvolvedinit.Aslongasitdoesn’tdominateitandchangehowpeoplefeelaboutit,thenitcancarryon.Ithinkwhatyoumightfindisthatit’sgettingsobigthatyou’regettingalotofsimilarsitesstartingtotakeoffthatmaybearen’taswide,genre-wise,asMySpace.Therearedifferentsitesspringingup.Moreboutiqueversionsofitwillprobablybethewayforward.”“Ithinkwewereupto1.5MillionhitsonLily’sMySpacebeforethealbumwasout.We’venotsoldamillionandahalfalbumsoffthebackofit.It’snotlikeforlike,ifthatmakessense.Butallthesameit’sbeenareallypositivething;it’sagoodthingforhertohavehadandIthinkit’sobviouslybeenareallyinterestingthingforus.”“Ithinkwe’reataparadigmshiftintheindustry:younolongerneedtosignyourentirecatalogueawaytoalabelforlifeofcopyright.Youcanlicence:fiveyears,tenyearsorwhatever.AndI’dreallylikepeopletoappreciatethatbeforetheycomein.I’malrightbecauseI’vegotapublishingdealandarecordlabeldeal,andIdon’tknowforsurebutIbetthosedealscouldoverridetheTermsAndConditionsofMySpace.Idon’tknow;I’massumingthat.CauseoneofthethingsthatMySpaceoriginallysaidinresponsetomycriticisms–nottome,butgenerally,inpressreleases–was,‘MadonnaputshermusiconMySpace;obviouslywedon’townthat.’Whichisfairenough.Towhichmyresponsewas,‘Madonna’sgotlawyers,she’sgotadeal,themajorityofyourcontentprovidersdonothavelawyersanddonothaveapublishingdeal.’Sotheownershipoftheirmaterialisopenbothtodisputeandexploitation.WhereasMadonna’sisn’t,andmineisn’teither.Ibelievethereshouldbeanindustrystandardforthiskindofthing,underwhichthesitesoperate.Wherepeopleareprovidingoriginatedcontent.Adouble-edgedproprietaryrightsclause,inwhichartistsowntherighttooriginalmaterialbutalsoundertakenottouseotherpeople’smaterial.Theotherpartoftheproprietaryclauseisthat‘yourepresentandwarrantthatyouownthecontentpostedbyyou,andyouhavetherighttograntusthislicence.’WhichIthinkisfair.Sotheproprietaryrightsissuebecomesdouble-edged.You’vegotacastirondefenceforyourownoriginallycreatedcontent,butyou’realsoofferingthesitethatyou’repostingonindemnitythatyou’renotpostingstuffthat’snotoriginalmaterial.Ithinkthat’sonlyfair;itdoesn’tneedtobeaonewaystreet,butitdoesneedtobeanindustrystandard.”“Ithinkwe’reatastagenow,”musesJoeMott,“Wherewe’vegotthisnewthing,andwe’venearlyworkedouthowtouseitbutwe’renotthereyet.Wehaven’tletgooftheold,andwehaven’tfullygraspedthenew,andassoonaswedoit’llgetcatalysedonandwe’llhavetomoveonagain.”“IwantedMurdochtobuyManchesterUnited.IwastheonlyUnitedfanwhowantedMurdochtobuyUnited,Icouldn’tbelieveitwhenthe(otherfans)werewhingingandwhining.AndthentheygottheGlaziersbuyingus,withdebt.Thefansgoteverythingtheyfuckingdeserved,thearseholes.”“IwasinNewYorkdoingsomeshows,inlateMarch,”continuestheEssex-Londoner,“ImetafriendofminetherewhosenameisSue-EllenStroumandshe’dstartedtomanageanartist.IthinkwemighthavementionedabitaboutMySpaceandsoshesubsequently,afterwecamehome,wentontoestablishaMySpacepresenceforherartist,amateofminecalledFionnO’Lochlainn.Beingaconscientiousmanager,shereadtheTermsAndConditions.”“IwasintoCD-Romsinthemidnineties,”saysInTheCityfounder,ex-FactoryRecordschief,currentF4Recordsbossandmanofsomanyhatshisheadmustbemassive,theeminentlyquotableAnthonyH.Wilson,“AndmygreatfriendMarkGeigersaid,‘Fine,you’reintoCD-Roms,Tony,I’mintotheInternet,letmetellyouallthegreatdevelopmentsinhumancultureandhumantechnologyareledbysex.AndwhenwasthelasttimethatyousawasexyCD-Rom?’”“IwasshockedbyBebowhenIfirstsawit,”smilesSammyAndrews,“Forkids,andforkidsalone-that’skindatakenonaworldofitsown.Butthey’rethenextgenerationwhoaregoingtobeconditionedthisway.”“Iwouldn’tsayit’sredundant,becauseIthinkgoodcriticsandgoodpublicationscanstillprovideareallyimportantservice–andalotofwhatwedohereatBillboardispreciselythat;makingsenseofthesethingsforourreadership-butequallyIthinkthere’speopleouttherewhoaren’tsofussedaboutanNMErecommendationastheywouldhavebeenfiveyearsago.”“IwroteanarticleforMusicWeekonMySpace,inthemiddleofJune.Basically,itwascallingonMySpacetoeithermodifyorclarify,basedontheirproprietaryrightsandcontentclause,whichIthoughtwasprettytightterms.WhatIwantedthemtoclarifywaswhotheybelievedownedthesolerighttoexploitthecontentputonMySpace,andtomakeitexplicitintheirtermsofagreementwhotheybelievedownedit.”“I’llgiveyouafewexamplesofwhatcommunityis,”saysDaveBamforthofFaceparty.com,“Wesentamessageouttoeveryone:‘OK,we’vegotsixmillionmembers,we’vegotallkindsofdifferentjobs,sowhatcouldwedo?We’vegotabudgetofnothingbutwhatcanwedotogethertotryanddosomething?’Wehadacompetitiontocomeupwithideas,andthewinnerwas‘buildaschoolinAfrica’.Basically,thisiswhatImeanbycommunity.Wesaid,‘OK,whocanhelpoutwiththis?Theremustbeathousandplumbersonhere,wemusthavetwentythousandbricklayers,andstuff.’Andwegotawholeschool,worth£12million,allreadytogofornothing.Wehadaguyofferingafreehelicopter;wehadaguywhoworkedatafootballfactoryandheblaggedafewfootballs;itwasamazinghowmanypeoplewouldallchipintodosomething.Andthatiswhatcommunityis.”“I’lltellyouanotherthingthatwasveryinteresting,”saysBillyBragg,andhe’srighttoo,causeaseverwiththatchap,hedoesoffersomeveryinterestingfoodforthought,“TheMySpaceTermsAndConditionsactuallyhaveadateonthetopwhentheywereupdated.They’djustrecentlybeenupdated,thisyear.Thiswasn’tsomethingthathadalwaysbeenthere;thiswasarecentnewsetofTsandCs.AndobviouslythequestionpeoplewereaskingwaswhetherthiswaspartofMurdoch’splansforMySpace.Washegoingtomoveitfrombeingacommunitytosomeformofweirdhybridbetweenarecordcompanyandaradiostationandwhateverelse,youknow?Sotherewasallthatbubblingunderneath,andpeoplewerewonderingaboutallofthat.”“I’masuckerfortheInternet.IwasonFriendsterwhenInoticedthatafewfriendshadpostedmessagesaboutwhattheyhadcalled“TheNewFriendster”,withlinkstoMySpace.Ihadn’theardofitandatthetimeIdidn’treallyseethepointofFriendsterbecauseIusuallyemailed,phonedorlivedwiththepeopleIwantedtosee.AtthetimeMySpacewasverynewandassuchIwasamongthefirstwavetojoinbutittookaboutninemonthsbeforeIstartedusingitregularly.IhadalreadystoppedusingFriendster,ashadeveryoneelse.”“I’mnotsayingitssuccesswasjustbecauseofmebecauseitwenttootherpeopleaswell,”continuesthemusicjournalist,“Butwithinaweekofmegettingthatvideoahellofalotofpeople,whoIwasn’tnecessarilyimmediatelyconnectedwith,weretalkingaboutit,hadheardit,werewhistlingit.Itbecameclearthatitwassomethingthatyou’vegottogetonthebackof.AndIthinkit’sthekindofthingthatifyouhadn’thadtheinternetbehindit,andyoucertainlyhadn’tseenit,itwouldneverhaveworked.”“I’veafriendofmine,whometanAmericanguyonMySpace,”smilesBrainlove,“Shewasmessaginghimconstantlyandstuff,thenshewenttovisithimandstayedoverthereforafewweeks.Ilookedonherprofiletheotherday,anditsays‘married’.Shewentoverthere,andtheygotmarriedwhileshewasoutthere.Nowshe’smovingovertoAmerica!”“I’vebeenworkingwithaband,Scarling,fromLAforayearandahalf,”concludesBamonte,“They’vegotfiftythousandfriends;thisisabandwho’sjustsignedtoanIndielabelinCalifornia.WhenweweredoingshowslastyearandthisyearintheUK,wewouldnoticeaspikeinticketsalesjustfromdoingaMySpacemailout,orjustaposting.”“Ifyouneedtofindit,”saysthisweirdEnglishlanguageweappeartohavedeveloped,“Googleit.” “Ifyou’vegotabandthat’sbigandhasahugemailinglistit’sgoodbutifyou’vegotahugepromoterbehindthemandthefundstopayforTVadvertisingormaybeprintadvertising,thenyou’renotnecessarilygoingtobeabletopinpointwhetheritwasdowntosomethinglikeamailinglistmailout,causeitmightcoincidewithabigadvertinQMagazinethesameweek.Butwhenyou’vegotabandwhohaven’treallygototheroutlets,it’sverynoticeable;we’ddoaMySpacemailoutthenthere’dbeaverybigspike.SoIthinkit’sproventhatforbandsthatmaybedon’thavemanyotherbackupfacilitiestopromotethemselvesitdefinitelyworks.”“Intermsofdirectaccessitfeelslessremotethantheofficialsitesusually,”offersBillboardmagazine’sMarkSutherland,“Becausegenerallythey’reputtogetherbytherecordcompany,andthey’vegotakeeninterestinsellingyousomething,generallyspeaking-oratleastdirectingyousomewherewhereyoucanbuysomething.WhereasMySpace,whetherit’strueornot,isverygoodatgivingtheillusionthathereyouareindirectcontactwiththatband.Thatthereisnothirdpartyobscuringyouraccesstothem;thatthisisthetruthfromthehorse’smouth.”“IntermsofHotClubdeParis,”agreesPaulRafferty,vocalistandbassistforsaidquirkyjumpyhuggysexypopband,“Wetendtousethesiteasabarometer.We'veneveractivelyaddedfriends(apartfromatfirstwhenwefirststartedourMySpacepageandaddedourclosefriendsandbandswelikedtoplaywith).Friendrequestsandsongplaysindicatethelevelofexposureyou'rereceivingeitherthroughthepressorthroughplayingliveinsupportofbiggerbands.WelikeMySpacebecauseitkeepsusdirectlyintouchwithpeoplewhohavechosentokeepaneyeonwhatwe'redoing.It'sessentiallyamailinglistwithpicturesandmusic.It'sbecomeanessentialtool.”“Initiallyitwasanemailgroupofvariouspeoplewhowerefromtheofficialmessageboards,”saysPeter,“Emailsweregoingroundsaying‘We’vegotasinglecomingoutthisweek,canyouemailradiostationsandTVVideochannels,askingthemtoplaythesong.’Fromthatpointitexpandedtoafewmorepeople,whicheventuallyformedintoyetanothermessageboardwheremembersofthestreetteamwouldcongregatetogetnews,andweresettaskstopromotevariousthings.”“Insteadofaskingforeachother’snumbersattheendofthenight,peopleforeachother’sMySpaces!Andthentheyjuststudyeachother’sMySpaces!”heoffersincredulously,“Seeingwhothey’refriendswith,andwhatthey’vebeensayingtoeveryone-it’skindalikealittleglimpseintosomeone’slife.Youcangetsuchagoodideaofsomeonethroughjustcommunicatingthroughwordsandtextandchat:youcanfeellikeyoureally,reallyknowsomeone.Idowonder,ifyoumeetsomeonefirstthroughMySpace,MSNandchattingloadsintext,doyougetabetterideaofwhatthey’relikebecausethesocialpressureofchattingforhourshasgone?Youdon’thavethesocialawkwardness,orthatsortofthing.Youcanjustgetonwithchattingforever.It’sasnaturalawayofmeetingpeopleasany.Infact,it’salotlessrandomthanmeetingsomeoneinabarorwhatever,causeatleastyoucangetquiteanideaaboutthembylookingatthecommentsthey’velefttheirfriends,andwhatthey’reinto.Likescreeningorsomething.”“Itbuiltfromtherereally.Watchingitchange,they’reupdatingitallthetime–nearlyonadailybasis.Itdidgofromthissocialcommunitysitewhereitwaspurelyuser-driven–peoplespeakingtoeachother–toamassiveadvert.Butpeoplejumpedonthebackofbeingabletoupdateitanddothingswithit.Friendsweregettingintouchwithme,peopleIhadn’tseenforyears;therewasFriendsReunitedwheremostpeopleIknowhadgoneandregistered,butitwasapaininthearse-youcouldn’tgetintouchwithanyoneunlessyoupaid.MySpace,straightaway,hadaschoolfriendfinder.MySpacetookthebestaspectsofalotofsitesthatexistedandofferedthemallinonepackage.”“Ithastheabilitytodogoodbutessentiallyisonebigmessofhalf-thoughtideastackedontoonefairlygoodideaoftakingemailandpersonalwebspacetoanotherlevel.”“Itiswhatcommunityis;like-mindedpeople,”Bamforthsmiles,“It’snotabout‘Lookatme’;it’sabout‘Lookatyou’.Andalotoftheothersitesyouseeareverymuch,‘Lookatme,lookatmyamazingprofile,lookathowamazingIam’,butit’snotaboutthat.It’saboutbeingpartofsomething,notbeingthemostimportantpersoninsomething.Ithinkalotofthecompetitorsarebasedon‘who’sbetterthantheother’andIthinkthey’remissingthepointbecausethat’snotcommunity.Community’sabouteachotherand‘team’ratherthan‘me’.What’sthatcheesyexpression?‘There’sno‘I’inTeam!’”“Itprobablyhasmoreofaneffectindancemusicinthatsortofsensethanithasintheindiescene,”agreesGavin,“Causetheindiesceneisveryruthlessinthesensethatthere’slotsofbandscampaigningforfansandreallyworkingtheirMySpacemarketingtothebone.DancemusiconMySpaceisn’tsomuchaboutthat;it’smoreaboutpeople.It’smoreaboutsocialgroups,soit’skindofempoweringthepuntersreally.TheartistsandtheDJsdefinitelygetsomethingoutofit,butnottotheextentthatthepeoplegetoutofit.”“Itwasinitiallyinanemailfromsomeonewhosaid‘Checkoutthislink,it’sreallygood’,”recallsMott,“AndIrarelydothatcauseninetimesoutoftenit’sjustsomeshiteprogramthatsays‘you’reatwat’thenyouhavetorebootyourcomputer!Butitwasjustgreat!Itwasatthetimewhenthenetthingwasbecomeclearthatit’snotjustanovelty,itwasbecomingclearthatitwasbecomingabigthing.”“Itwasmoretodowiththesingleandthetimeframeandthewayitwasdone,”concludesMarshall,“Morethanitwastodowiththechartformulaorrules.AndalsothisisGnarlsBarkley,Imean,it’sDangerMousetheproducer;they’reverytechnology-aware,they’reverydigitally-aware,they’reverytwenty-firstcenturycutting-edge,sowehadthesupportofanartistwhounderstoodwhatweweretalkingaboutandwaspreparedtogambleitwithus.Whobelievedinus,andwebelievedinthemenoughtomakeithappen.Andtheybelievedinusenoughtotaketherisk–anditworked.”“ItwasoneofthosenamesthatwasknockingabouttheNMEofficeinthewaythatnewbandnamesknockabouttheNMEoffice,”musesthatmagazine’seditor,ConorMcNicholas,“Sowewerekindaawareofit,andthencamethat‘MySpaceexplosion’,andforeveryA&Rmantherealmeasureabouthowexcitingabandwas,washowmanyfriendstheyhadonMySpace.Thisisbeforeallthekindofmasscorruptionthatstartedtocreepin,whenitwasvaguelypure!Anindependentarbiterofhowgood,orhowexcitingthismusicwas.Anditwastremendouslyexcitingforeverybodyforawhile.”“Itwasverysimplereally,”beginsKordaMarshall,headofGnarls’recordlabel,Warners,“Therewasahugebuzzontherecord;theywerelatedeliveringtherecord,wekeptputtingthereleasedateofthesinglebackandback,weputitoniTunes,theuptakewasenormous,itgrewweekly,andwhenwedecidedtoreleasetherecordthephysicalreleasewenttoNumberOnebeforewe’dreleasedtherecord.SoitwasthefirstNumberOnerecordpurelyondownloadsalesinisolation.”“Itwasn’tMySpace,”declaresStuartKnight,“No.They’dalreadyplayedReadingFestival!They’dalreadyheadlinedtheAstoria.Iwenttothatshow,beforeanyofthishappened,andthenofcoursethealbumcameout.Andbecauseeveryonewasstarvedforreleasedmaterial,theyallwentoutandboughtit.IthinkMySpacewaskindathere.MySpaceisagreattoolifyou’reanewartistandyouwantsomeonetohearyourmusic;it’sagreatplacetoparkit.YoucanforwardyourMySpaceaddressandgetpeopletodownloadthesongs.”“ItwouldbeveryeasytogiveyouaveryromanticmessageoftheA&RprocessbeingaMySpacething,”beginsNelson,immediatelyaftertheratherspuriousprecedingsentencefinished,“Anditreallywasn’tlikethat.Lily,fromstageone,hasalwaysbeenabsolutelybrilliantlyself-awareaboutwhatsheis.Obviouslyforallofusit’sgreattogetfeedbackonhowpeoplelikeyourmusic.Ultimatelythevisionforthesongs,andthefocus,andallthatstuff,hadhappenedlongbeforeshe’dsetthatpageup.Therecordingsthatyouhearontherecordnow,giveortaketheoddmix,areprettymuchthesameaswhattheywhereayearagowhenwedidthedeal.TheactualA&Rprocess,even,wascomparativelypainless-justbecausewhatsheoriginallydeliveredwassogreat-sounding.Soitwasn’tagreatcaseofherpostinguptracksandthenchangingthembecauseofcommentsoranythinglikethat,therewasneveranyelementofthattoit;it’sjustobviouslyquitereassuringwhenyoupostupsongsofyoursanywhere.It’snodifferenttoplayingmusictopeopleandgettinggreatfeedbackontracksyoufeelweregreatinthefirstplace.It’sthatsortofthing.”“It’sagreatwayofgettingattention,”agreesMarkSutherland,“Butyou’renotgonnaactuallybecomeinternationallyfamousandsuccessfuljustbecauseyou’vegotalotoffriendsonMySpace.Itdoesn’tworkthatway,sadly,anditprobablyneverwill.Butinaworldwherethemusicbusinessisevermoreconcernedwithmakingmoneyfast,everlesskeentomakelong-terminvestmentsinpeople,thenit’sausefultoolforyouasabandifyoucangeneratebuzzquickly,andthemusicindustry’salwaysgoingtobeinterestedincapitalisingonthat.”“It’sallaboutpeople,”agreesAlexCameron,“Youdon’tcommunicatewithwebsites;thisistheproblemwhichdrivesmemad.It’sasocialanthropologyquestionmorethananythingelse.It’saboutpeoplecommunicatingwithotherpeople;they’renotusingwebsites.Thisisthethingwithbroadbandconnections:youdon’tbuyitforthebroadbandconnection;youbuyittolookatawebsite.Youlookatawebsitetolookatnews,admittedly,buteffectivelyyou’reinteractingwithotherhumanbeings.Ifyoureadanewsreport,that’ssomethingthatanotherhumanbeinghaswrittenwhichyouarereading.Andwhenyou’reonMySpaceyou’relookingformessagesfromotherpeopleandsendingthemtootherpeople.You’renotusingitcauseit’sagreatsystemwithgreatfunctionality,you’redoingitbecauseyou’remeetingnewpeopleorbuildinganaudience–andit’sallbasedaroundbeinghuman.”“It’sallaboutsocialnetworking,”agreesDavidRowell,suchisthegeniusofthatprecedingparagraph,“Ineffectit’sjustmirroringthemovesthatweremadefiveyearspreviously,whenyoutrackpeopledownthroughyourband’swebsite,thenyou’dgostraighttotheforumtohaveachat.Notnecessarilytotalkabouttheband;totalkaboutwhatyou’rehavingfortea.Youthink‘blog’–well,actually,it’sjustaconversation.”“It’sanecosystem,alittleone,”Stikselconfirms,“Thesocialcomponentofkeepingupwithwhatyourfriendsarelisteningto,andalsothere’stheeventssystemwhichweintroduced,whereyoucanfindoutaboutwhereyourfriendsaregoingtoandwhichgigsthey’regoingto.Thesecondoneismusicinformationandmusicdiscovery.Itbringsthewholethingfullcycleagain–youcanseewhoelseisgoingthereandmaybeyouspeaktothematthegig.Itreallybringsitroundtoreallifeagain.Allthedigitalidentityandthingslikethisthencomesfullcircleinthegigs.Ithinkmusicisoneofthestrongestsocialgluesthatthereisoutthere.There’slittledoubtthatmusicisthecommunity;apartfromlanguageandreligionIthinkmusicisthird.”“It’sanexcitingformat,anexcitingnewtrend:thejury’sout;Istillhaveaperceptionthatthey’vebuilttheirbusinessonotherpeople’scopyrightsandthatultimatelywillcometoanend,butit’sexcitingandit’schallenging–anditmeansthatfirstlyIhavetogooutandseelessgigsbecauseIcanjustwatchitallonthecomputerathome!It’schallenging:weneedtoembracethefutureandmarchintoitratherthandowhatthetraditionalrecordbusinesshasdoneforthelasttenyearsandrunawayfromitandtryandsueeveryone.”“It’sbeenavitalwayforcommunitiesofpeoplewhometinclubstocontinuetheirfriendshiporinteractionduringtheweek,”hemuses,“Defyinggeographicalboundaries.Forinstance,IwasinMexicoCitylastweekonajobandmetlotsofpeoplewhoaremutualfriendsofminethroughtravellingaround,andMySpace,andnowwe’refirmbuddiesandsendeachothermessageseverydaywhichwouldneverhavebeenpossiblebefore.Fromaclubpromoter’sperspectivethisisamazingbecausethethingaboutdancemusic,sincethedemiseofthesuperclub,isthatclubculturehasbecomemoreaboutcrowdsofpeopleagain–andnotnameDJs.It’sbecomemoreaboutfriendshipsthatpeoplemakeondancefloors,andthelittlesocialbondstheymakethatmakethemwanttocomebacktoaclub.MySpaceissuchanimportantpartofthatnowthatmostpromotersnowdon’tbotherwithtraditionalwebsites.TheyjustoptforaMySpacepagewhichiseasiertosetupandfarmoreeffectiveinbeingabletomessagetheirdancefloor,andfortheirdancefloortokeepincontactwitheachotherinleavingeachothermessages,becomingfriendsandallthatkindofthing.”“It’sironicreally,becauseinthedot.comboomIwasbetweendodgydealsandmankyravebusinessesatthetime,”laughsBamforth,“AndIneededabitofcashjusttostartupsomeprojectssoIwasconsultingforwebcompanies.Theywereallbigdot.comstartups,andtheywereallgettinghundredsofmillionsploughedintotheseideaswhichwerejuststupidandwouldneverwork.IwastryingtotoutforinvestmenttogetFacepartyofftheground,intheCaptainMiracledays,andno-onewouldtouchitbecausetheydidn’tbelieveitcouldbesosuccessful.Weexceededourfirstyearexpectationsinthefirstcoupleofmonths,sowebeatwhatwepredicted,andweturnedprofitwithinfourmonths–whichisunbelievableforanybusiness.Notthatit’sjustaboutmoney,butobviouslyitcostsmillionstorunserversofthissize.I’mgladwedidn’tgettheinvestmentinthedot.comthingbecauseitwouldn’thaveworked.Thelevelsofinvestmentbeinggivenaroundweremorethananykindofwebbusinesswouldevermake.”“It’slikeasinglescolumnforhipsters,i.e.middletoupper-middleclassartypeoplewithambitionsonbeinginvolvedinmediaandartsinsomeway,”offersAndyCapper,editorofthemonthlymagazineViceUK,“Peoplelikethatdon’tgetjobsoropportunitiesinaconventionalfashion.Theynetworkthroughfriendsandpartiesandpretendingtoliketerriblebandsandartists.It’sapowerfulself-promotionaldevice.Alotofthesepeoplearereallyself-obsessed(whoisn’t?)sohavingatooltotelltheirworldallabouttheirpersonalfoiblesisanattractiveprospect.Italsogivesshypeopleawaytotalktotheoppositesex.There’srumoursofMySpaceorgiesandstuffbuttheclosestI’vecometoparticipatinginoneofthese,itwasunorganisedandterribleanddidn’treallyhappen.”“It’smadeitsoeasytocontactbands,andfriends,”parhauoddyrDJ,“YouMySpacethem,youGooglethem,it’smadegettingintouchwithpeople–music-wiseorsocially–so,soeasy.It’sunbelievablereally.It’slikeamobilephone,kindof,whatdidyoudobeforeyouhadone?WhatdidyoudoinaworldbeforeMySpace!Butwe’vebookedsessionsfortheshowthroughMySpace-bypassingpluggers,andmanagement.”“It’smadethemajorlabelsalotlesspreciousaboutthe"value"oftheircontent,”saysSeanAdams,“Butatthesametimemadeitsothatthebarriershavedroppedsolowthey'vecompletelydevaluedtheirproductandartistryandI'mnotsurehowtheyeverexpecttomonetiseaculturesousedtolisteningtomusicforfreealldaylong.Idon'tunderstandhowtheoldprecedents-radioledustohavingpublishingandhighvideoroyaltiesfromMTV2,etc-couldhaveslippedawaysoquickly.”“It’sobviouslyanimportantresourceintheDJsandartists’repertoireoftoolsthattheyusetoreachtheiraudience,”saysHerlihy,“WhatIfindquiteinterestingisthatDJsareofteneasiertocontactviaMySpacethantheyarethroughaPR,orthroughtheirownemail.SomeofthemseemtohavetakentoMySpaceveryreadily,andyoucanalwaysspotthem.Someguys’sitesareveryPR(created);theblurbatthetopsays‘Thisistheofficialpageforblahblahblah’,thebiogiswrittenbysomeoneelseratherthantheirownpersonalisedthing.ButthentherearepeoplelikeErolAlkanforinstancewhodefinitelyfurthershisnameandhiscareerbythefactthathe’saveryapproachableguyonMySpace.Youcouldprobablystrikeupaconversationwithhimorapproachhimaboutsomethingthathe’sdoing,asafan,andgetaresponsefromhim.”“It’sreallyquitefundamentallychangedourrole,”heconcedes,“Historically,bandswouldtourtheirarseoff,tryandgetnoticedbyanA&Rguy,wouldsignarecorddealwhichwastheBigWin,andthensomebodyatarecordcompanywouldtellNMEaboutthisband–andformostpeopleintheworld,mostmusicfansinaband,certainlyinourarea,didn’texistuntilNMEtalkedaboutthem.Therewasnootherwayoffindingout.Nowadays,signingarecorddealisalmosttheendoftheprocess,whichiswhatrecordcompaniesarefindingsodifficult.Whatwedon’tdoiskindofsay‘there’sthisnewbandthateverybody’sgoingonabout’becauseeverybody’sgoingonaboutshitloadsofnewbands,allthetime.”“It’sreallyunadvisable,”AndyCappersays,“It’sadeviceusedbypeopletotelliftheirpartnersorspousesarecheatingonthem.Somebodytriedtouseitonmerecentlyanditbackfiredspectacularlyforthem.”“It’sreallyweird,yougetrandomindividualstherelikeKeithChegwinforinstance,”laughsthemanwithnotelevision,“HeabsolutelylovesMySpace.UpNorth,‘Cheggers’or‘KeithChegwin’isslangforKetamine.Alltheseclubkidsthinkit’shilariousthatKeithChegwin’sonMySpacesothey’vebeenmessaginghim.He,ofcourse,isnonethewiser,andhethinksit’samazingthatsuddenlyallthesecoolyoungclubkidsthinkhe’sreallyinterestingandwanttogetintouchwithhimandbehisfriend.”“Justthethingtoquenchmythirst,”quothhe. “Last.fmistryingtomakethismusicdiscoveryandmusicpromotionautomaticforyou,”reiteratesStiskel,“Ifyouputmusicinthereandgiveitastartingpointwithatag,orsomesimilarartists,thenitspreadsfromlistenertolistener.Somebodylistenstoit,likesit,itgetspassedontootherpeoplethatlikesimilarkindsofmusicandifyourmusicisreallygoodittravelsaroundthesystemautomatically.Ourintentionwasreallytotakethehassleoutofmusicpromotion.MySpaceislikeyourotherwebpagethatyouhavetodrivetraffictoforpeopletopayattentionwhereaswehavemoreofapushmodel:theradiobringsyounewmusic,musicrecommendation,exposesyoutonewmusictailoredtoyourtastewithoutyoureallyhavingtogooutofyourwaytogetalloftheseresults.”“Last.fmoriginallycametogetheroutoftwoprojects,”beginssitefounderMartinStiksel,“onewasaplatformforunsignedartistsandbands,whichFelixandmyselfhadfoundedinabout1999/2000,itwasoneoftheseplatformswhereyoucoulduploadyourmusicasaself-creatingartistorband.Andinaveryshorttimewewereinundatedwithreally,reallyalotofgreatmusic.Butwehadtheproblemthatnobodyknewanyofthemusic,andtheartists’namesofthemusicthatwehadonthere.Sowewerethinkingaboutalevelwaytoconnectpeoplewiththerightmusic;abouthowyouasamusicfancouldfindmusiceventhoughyoumightnotknowthenameofthebandortheartist.BecauseevenGooglecan’thelpyouthere,ifyoudon’tknowwhattotypein.There’snowaytofindanything.”“Let’ssayyoustartaprofile,youwriteaboutyourself,andyoujustsohappentodomusic,”continuesTila,rumplinghernoseinthought,“Soyousay,‘Hey,I’mamusician,’right?Soit’sjustme,talkingaboutmylife,Idon’tuseittoalwaysspampeople,andthat’swhattheylikeaboutme,Iguess:gettingtoknowme,personally.TheyknoweverythingaboutmeandwhenIgooutandfansnoticeme,they’llcommentonsomethingverypersonalaboutmethattheyknow.Insteadofsaying,‘Oh,I’msuchabigfan!’they’llaskmeaboutlittlethings,like,‘Didyoueverfindyourhat?!’CauseIpostedablogsaying,‘Where’smyfuckinghat?!’Soit’sverypersonal,butatthesametimeIfeellikethey’rerootingformetobeevenmoresuccessful.Causeit’slike,‘Hey,that’smyfriend.Youknow,Italktoher.’”“Likenormaldating,itdoesn’talwaysgoaccordingtoplan,”Bobmuses,“I’vebeenoutwithafewgirlsI’vemetonthereandit’snotreallygoneanywhereafterthat.Youcan’tjustskiprighttotheshagging–youstillhavetodazzlethemwithyourpersonalityinperson,withoutthecoolfrontthatMySpaceprovides.”“LoserkidsonlywentlivelastJuly,”shesays,“WestartedtheLoserkidsMySpacepageinSeptemberorOctober2005.Itstartedoffjustbeingapagewherewe’daddpeopleandthatwasit,prettymuch.ButsinceI’vebeenworkingonit,andnowI’vegotanassistanttohelpwithonlinemarketing,there’salotofaddedcontent-thecompetitions,thenewproducts.Andwecheckthroughallourfriends’birthdaysandwe’llsayhappybirthdaytothemandstuff.MySpaceisareallyimportantthingforusandallofourbigpeaks,sales-wise,arearoundthetimeofourweeklynewsletter.Butonethingthat’sreallyinterestingiswhenweputonareallynew,exclusiveproduct–andI’llgiveyouanexample,we’vejustgotsomenewMacbethshoes,thatnoothershophasgotatthemoment,we’vegottheminacoupleofmonthsearlybecausewedistributethem-weputthemonlineandtherewasnoeffectbecausetherewasnoincreasedtraffictotheLoserkidsUKsite,butwepostedabulletinonMySpaceandwithinaboutanhourwe’dhadsixordersforthenewshoes.Soitisthatinstant.AndIlaughcausewepoststuffupduringthedayattwoo’clockintheafternoonwhenI’dthinkthekids,thepeoplebuyingstufffromoursite,wouldbeatschool!Butthey’llseesomethingonMySpaceandthey’llbuyit,straightaway.Thereisabigpeakfrom4pmonwards,butstillifwedopostsomethingpeoplewillstillnoticeitduringtheschoolhours–whichIthinkisquitefunny.”“Myfriendwho’sinabandtoldmeaboutit,”saysBoypolarwithaglintinhiseye,“Isigneduptolookatherband’spagebutthendidn’tusethesiteforanyotherpurposeforquiteawhile.ButassoonasIputmyphotoupIstartedgettingmessages.”“Myopinionshavetotallychangedroundinthespaceofsixmonths,”concludesCroxson,“InitiallyIassumeditwasfordatingandnetworking,andthatbandsdidn’treallyhavemuchofaplaceonthere.Buthavingdevelopeditandtappedintothepotential-whenIfirststartedthereweretwoorthreethousandfriends.It’snowpushingtheeighteenthousandmarkandwegetthirtyorfortyrequestsaday.AndI’mnotdoinganythingandthebandaren’tdoinganythingtopushthat:it’sjustviapeoplesearchingthroughit,findingit,lookingatthepageandgettinginterestedenoughtowanttobeafriendandfeelpartofit.Youcouldpreviouslyhaveabandwebsite,Feederwebhasexistedsince1998,butunlessyoufounditandwereawareofthebandyouwouldn’thaveseenit,whereaswithMySpaceyou’veasearchfacilitywhereyoucansearchforbandsandlistentothetracksandgetinvolvedthatway.Therewasnoinvolvementwithabogstandardwebsiteandreallytherestillisn’t.ThereisFeederCentralwhereyoucanloginandgetexclusivecontent,butgenerallythatcontentisalsonowputontotheMySpacepage,intheblogandsoon.”“MySpacebreaksdown‘elite’barriers,”purrsRadioOneDJ,HuwStephens,“Everyone’sequalonthere.YoucangetlittlecliquesbygoingtoTop8sorwhatever,thelistofTopFriends,butitbreaksdownpersonalbarriersanditcanberevealingaboutpersonallives.Youcanfindoutwhethersomebodywantstobeinarelationshipornothavekids,whatstarsigntheyare.Youcanfindoutabouttheirsexlives–andseephotosifyouwantto!Butalso,atthesametime,it’sabiggerpicturewithpeopleputtingexclusivemovieclipsonthereandbigartistslikeBillyBraggputtingnewsongsonthere.It’slikeabigvillagehalllikebackintheoldendays,whenpeopleusedtoswapthingswitheachother.”“MySpaceisaglobalpopularitycontest.Althoughplentyofpeopledon’tuseitlikethat,you’llfindthephotosstillsortofcreepinthatdirection.Thetypeofpeoplewithnophotosofthemselvesorofjustotherpeopleorevencompletelyirrelevantobjectsaretheoneswhoobviouslythinkthey'reTOOCOOLforthat.TheseareliketheleatherjacketwearingmetalheadtypesfromaHighSchoolMovieintheearlyNineties.Theyprobablysmoke.Thenthere'sthe‘fewtoaverage’groupwhojusthaveafewphotosofthemselveshavingfunwithfriendsandstuff.Thisismostlyjustbecauseyoucanputthemupandpeoplecanrecogniseyou,andit’sbettertoseeyouhavingfunthansay,murderingatramp.Hencealotoftheminvolvingdrunkenarseholes.Obviously,peopleonlyputonesofthemselveslookingremotelyattractiveonthem.Humannature.Afterthis,youjustentertherealmsofridiculous.There’speoplewithfivepagesofphotosontherenow,alltakenofthemselveslookinglikecompletenonces.There’sthekidswhopostbulletinsabouttheirnewphotosandstuff,theoneswhowritestupidlittlemessagesonthemorunderthemandallthat.Thenthere’sthatfacetheyallpull,lipstooneside,hairallintheface.Ithinkit’ssupposedtobesomenewvariationonwhat‘cute’lookslikebutisclosertolookinglikea‘spaz’.Basicallythen,thephotosarenormallyjustaharmlessbitoffun,butthere'sshitloadsofdickheadsusingittotryandmakethemselveslookattractive.Unsuccessfully.”“MySpacewasintheascendantatthesametimeastheArcticMonkeys,”offersSamSparrow,headofdigitalcontentatWarnerMusic,“Sopeoplejuststuckthembothtogether.”“Now,culturally,itisveryquick,”agreesKordaMarshall,“You’reonyourthirdgenerationofGenerationX;you’vegotkidswho’veneverlivedthrougharecession;neverreallyfoughtawar;they’reallverywell-educated;they’reallveryinformationtechnology-aware;theyalldon’tliketobesoldto–theyliketobuytheirownthings.Everythingislouder,faster,harder,angrier,dirtier.Everything’squicker–nobody’sgotanypatience,nobodywantstowaittobuyahouse;theywanttobuyahouseNow!Theprocessofwanting,it’sallquick,quick,quick,quick.Everythingdigital,ortelecoms,orMySpacerelated,isallpartofthatculture.Sociologically,it’saveryinformation-aware,technology-drivengeneration.Andthey’reusedtofindingouttheirownthings,sotheydon’twannaknowwhatRadioOneareplaying;theywanttogettheirownplaylisttogether.Theydon’twannawaitfortherecordtocomeoutinthreeweeks’time;theywanttogetitnow.AndiftheycangetitstreamingonMySpacethenthat’swhattheywilldo.”“Now,ifI’dbeencalculating,inmymarketingway,IcouldhavechosenthosepeoplewiththebiggestMySpacepresence.ButIdidn’t.Weactuallychosewhatweconsideredtobethebestmixes.Buttheideawasthattheneachofthoseremixers–andthisisallcharteligible–wouldenterintoacompetitionwheretheonethathadthemostpre-ordersandordersbytheSaturdayofreleaseweekwouldget£2000fortheirmix.Itwasjustareallyinterestingthingtodo.”“Nowadays,thebuzzwillstartonabandwhenthey’vegotacoupleofearlydemosout,ortheearlyadopterfanswillgetvery,veryexcited;bythetimethey’vegotroundtosortingoutamanager,themanager’sbeenroundtheA&Rcircuitandhasgotthemadeal,you’retalkingsixmonthstoayearin,sixmonthsminimum;bywhichtimeeveryone’sgoing,‘God,I’vebeenlisteningtothisforsixmonths!’Andthentheymoveontosomethingelse.Nobody’sgoingtoreleasearecorduntilthey’vebookedtheretailspaceatHMVorVirginMegastore,soit’sgonnatakesixmonthstorecordandgetasingleoutofanykind,sobythetimepeoplehavedroppedabandtheyendupturningupsixmonthslaterandreleasingasingle.Andeveryone’sgoing,‘God,aretheystillaround?’”“Organisationscanbeownedbylargemediacompaniesanditmakesabsolutelybuggeralldifference,”offersConorMcNicholas,“Ifyoureallywanttotraceitup,NMEispartofthebiggestmediacompanyontheplanet,whichisTimeWarner.Butyouwouldn’tknowit,andfranklywe(theNMEstaff)wouldn’tknowit;we’resominisculecomparedtowhattheydoandfranklyourindependenceisourgreateststrength,andIthinkthey(NewsCorp.)knowthataboutMySpace.SoIthink,content-wise,that’snotaproblem.”“Ourroleismuchmoreofafilterandanarbitratornow,”saysNMEeditorConorMcNicholas,“There’sloadsofstuffoutthere,butthethingaboutMySpaceisthatit’sbasicallyjustanenormous,fuck-offdatabaseandyoucanaccessallofthatcontentreallyquickly,soourroleistogo‘actuallythisisthethingthatyoureallyoughttobelookingat,becausewhetherthey’vegot100,000friendsornot,thisisthebestthing.Andalsothatthingthatpeoplearegoingonabout,that’sactuallynotverygood;thisthingthatpeoplearegoingonabout–yes,thisistherealdeal.Andwe’regonnatakeittoanotherlevel,we’regonnaembraceyourendorsement,andwe’regonnaputthemonthecover,orgivethemafeature,orwhatever.’”“PeopleonMySpaceusedtobemore,‘I’monlyaddingpeopleIknow,’”concludesTheFutureMrsShoomanMissTequila,“I’vealwayswantedtodomusic,butaswithanyoneelse,youmovetoLAfromTexas–wheredoyoustart?AtthetimeIwasmodellingalreadysoit’slike,‘Hey,whynotusemodellingtobuildafanbase,capitaliseoffofthat,andthenuseittopromotemusiconceIgetittogetheronthemusicend.’SothenIstartedaband.Imean,IdidallthisbeforeMySpace,butMySpacedefinitelyhelpedmecrossovertoallfanbasesworldwide.Ineededtopromotemycareer.Andthenpeoplesawhowitworkedforme,soeveryonestartedusingMySpacethatway.”“Peopleseeitasathrowawaybecausetheypostthesebulletinsandtheyknowwhoisgettingthem.Iftheydon’ttrustthosepeopletheywouldeitherdeletethemfromtheirfriendslistornotpostthebulletin.Theyreallydoshowaperson’scharacterbecausesometimesifthereisathemethatrepeatsyouCOULDbringituporavoiditinconversationinreallifenexttimeyouseethembecauseyoucandecipherfromthebulletinexactlyhowsensitivetheyarewiththeissue.If,forinstance,aladykeepsonmentioninginherbulletinthatshe’s30yearsoldandhowsheimaginedherlifewouldbedifferent,youwouldn’tmakejokesaboutthatwithher.It’sweird.”“Peopletalkabouttheinternetasanothermediumalongsidenewspapersandmagazines,anditisn’treally.Theinternetisasuper-mediuminthesensethatitbringstogetheralotofothermediaasweunderstandthem;thingsliketelevisionorradiocanexistindifferentformswithinit.MySpace,andsocialnetworkingsites,arethemselvesanewmedium.Soit’sratherlikewritingastory:‘TheArcticMonkeys–nobodyhadeverheardofthembeforetheyappearedonthecoverofNME!NMEisamagazine,magazinesarereallypopular,they’regonnachangethewaywetalkaboutbandsbecausewecannowseethemaswellashearthem!’It’sjustridiculous.It’sbecomejustwhatpeopledo–inthesamewaythataradiostationpromotesnewmusic,MySpacepromotesnewmusic.Itdoesitinaverydifferentway,butIthinkonitsownit’snotastoryanymore.”“Peoplethinktheyneedtraditionalmedialess,”saysMarkSutherland,“Whereasinaweirdwayperhapstheyneeditmorethaneverbecausethereisallthisinformationoutthere.Infact,youwouldthinkthefilterdevicesthatgoodpublicationsprovidewouldbemoreusefulthanever.ButIthinktherehasbeenakindofperceptionchangeineverythingreally.Perhapspeoplearelessworriedaboutwhethersomethingisbrilliantbeforetheybecomeinterestedinit.‘I’lljustdownloadthistrack,it’sfree,there’snotreallyanyinvestmentinit,justlistentoitandifIlikeit,Ilikeit.Idon’tneedsomebodytellingmethatIoughttogoandseekitout.’”“Soitwasfromamusicfan’sperspective,andwebroughtthesetwostrandstogetherandwestartedworkingtogetherin2002.Essentially,theseweretwosidesofthesamecoin,justlookingatitfromdifferentangles,andwerealisedthatobviouslythesystemthatwedevelopedoutofthiswasmonitoring,trackingwhatpeoplewerelisteningto;buildingamusicprofileoutofthat,thencomparingthesemusicprofilesamongeachotherandmakingintelligentpredictionsonwhatyoumightlikeaswell.That’sthecollaborativefilteringaspect,really,whichisinspiredtoacertainextentbyamazon.com:‘Peoplewhopurchasedthis,alsopurchasedthat.’Wehave,‘Peoplewholistenedtothisalsolistenedtothat.That’swhyyoushouldcheckitout.’Arguably,ourdataisalotbetterbecausecurrentlywe’regettingthirtymillionplaycountsaday,sothirtymilliontimes,ourpeoplearetellinguswhatthey’relisteningto–thisisourscrobbles–thirtymillionsongsscrobbledaday.ArguablythisdataismorevaluablethanjustpurchaseinformationlikeAmazonhas,becauseyouneverknowwithAmazonwhetherpeopleactuallylikedtheCDthattheybought,ordidtheygiveittotheirgirlfriendasapresent,orwhat.Withlast.fmifyoulistentoasongfiftytimesinaweek,it’savery,verystrongvaluestatement.Andyoudon’tneedtoaddanyratingoranythinglikethisanymoreafterthat;it’salreadyenoughforustomakesomeassumptionsaboutyourselfandthentrytoconnectyouwithsomeothermusicthatyoushouldcheckout.Andotherpeoplethatlikethesamemusicasyoulikeyourself.”“Somanyofmyfriendsspyontheirex-boyfriendsandgirlfriendsonMySpace,”laughsLucyHughesofloserkids.com,oneofthenewbreedofcatch-allonlinestoresandsocialnetworks,“Suchahighpercentageoftheusagemustbeeitherpeoplespyingontheirexesorcheckingoutpotentialguysorgirlsthattheyfancy.”“Sorecordcompanieshaveareallyseriousproblem.Ihadaconversationwithsomebodyatarecordcompanytheotherday;Isaid,‘IfIwasdoingyourjobIwouldbedoingeverythinginmypowertoconcertinathatsigning-to-releaseprocess,becausethat’sreallykillingyourindustryatthemoment.Causeyou’renotmovingasfastasthefansare;youneedtohavethingssignedwithinweeksofitfirstappearing,andthengetsinglereleasesoutindays.Andanythingyouhavetodotomakethathappeniswhat’sgonnadriveyourfuture.Causeifyourunitthewayyoudoatthemoment,thefanswilljustwalkalloveryou.They’llgosomewhereelse.’”“SocialnetworkslikeMySpaceallowpeopletofindmusiconlineinthesamewaytheyfindoutaboutmusicinpersonthroughtheirpeers,”declaresSerenaWilsonofNile-On,onlinePRcompanyforArcticMonkeysandmanyothersuccessfulgroups,“Veryfewpeoplegotoawebsitelookingforbandsthey’veneverheardofbefore.Intheearlystagesalotofartists/labelsweworkedwithwerewaryofsocialnetworksandusingit,theydidn’tgetitorweren’tthatinterested.TheywantedcoverageonAOLorMSN.Nowadaysartistswon’tletusneartheirMySpacepagestomanagethem.Theyareaddictedanduseitforallsortsofnetworkingandcontacts.IwasdisillusionedbythewholeFriendsternetwork.ThepeopleIwantedtomeetweren’tsignedup;itwasthepeoplefromschoolthatyoudidn’tlikethatwereonline!SoMySpacecomingalongwithacrediblebackgroundtoitwasfreshblood.Especiallyforthemusicindustry;therewasn’tanythingreallylikeitoutthere.”“Teenagersinthelastfiveyearswouldcomehome,”interjectsKordaMarshall,“Andsloboutonthecouchandchannel-hoponTV;they’dwatchScuzz,andAmp,andMTV2,they’dtuneintowhattheywantedandskipontothenextoneiftheydidn’t(wanttowatchthatchannel).NowtheycomehomeandtheygetontoMySpace.Whatit’sdoingisthatit’sweakenedthetraditionalmediaoutletsofsayRadioOne,orXFM,orradiogenerally,andit’sweakeneddigitalTVandotherformsofmediaentertainment.Becausepeoplecandiscover(things)forthemselves,andmaketheirownplaylists,anddiscovertheirownmusicratherthanbeingfedortoldwhattheylikedbynationalradiostationsornewspapersorTVstations.”“ThatSandiThomthingwasatotallymarketedthing,wasn’tit,basically,”saysHuwStephens,“ThesamethingasArcticMonkeysinthatthere’speoplepro-activelypushingthemthroughtheinternet–butthey’rejustusingthatMySpacesiteasanextratoolinthewholecampaign.”“ThatwaswhatIwanted,”Billyponders,“Aclearstatementofwheretheybelieveownershiplies.IhappentothinknowthattheMySpaceproprietaryrightsclauseisaprettygoodstartingpointforaclause.Becauseitalsohasaget-outclause:‘licencewillterminateanytimeyouremoveyourcontentfromMySpaceservices.ThislicencedoesnotgrantMySpacetherighttosellyourcontent,nordoesthelicencegrantMySpacetherighttodistributeyourcontentoutsidetheMySpaceservices.’Imean,thattomeisfine;ifthathadbeenintheoriginalproprietaryrightsclauseIdon’tthinktherewouldhavebeenaproblem:becauseit’sclear.”“TheamountofmoneythatMurdochismakingoffofMySpace,”saysBillyBragg,“He’sdoingitoffthebackoffreecontent.Soaquestionthenarisesastowhetherornotthereshouldbesomeformofroyalty;paidtopeoplewhoputmaterialonMySpace,causewe’reprovidingaservice.IfyouhaveyourrecordsplayedoncommercialradioandtheBBCyougetpaidaroyaltybecauseyou’rebringlistenersin.Well,thecontentthatappearsonMySpaceisbringingaparticularlydifficult-to-reachagegrouptogetherwhichallowsMurdochtogetveryhighadvertisingratestoshowthemadverts.”“ThebigthreattoMySpaceatthemomentisBebo.PeoplearesickofMySpace.Thefeedbackthatwegetfromourkidsis,‘Ican’tfindwhatIwant;Idon’twantaMcDonalds,orSkyTVadvertisedatme.’Youknow,thesethingsthatarepoppingupallovertheplace,it’sjustgettingalittlebitsillyandit’stoobig;youalwaysgetthatkindofnegativeresponse,andit’sinthenewsallthetime,soit’snotverycool.SoBebo,andFacebook,andalltheothers,arethere–andthat’swhatthekidsaretellingus.”“Thebirthofthe7”camefromthatera,andthisisthebirthofthedownload.Andthemusicindustryhasbeenreallyslowtoreact;it’sonlybeenthelasttwoorthreeyears.Peoplehavewantedtobuymusicinthisformatforthelasttenyears,andyouhavetoremember,inanOrwellianway,thatthemajormusicmachinehaschangeditslanguagetosuitthetimes.Anditwasn’tverylongagothatpeopleweresuingthemarketplace,orthreateningtolockupShawnFanningwhostartedNapster.Downloadsweretantamounttotreason!Youknow,youwerestarvingMetallicabydownloadingtheirmusic,anditwasaterriblekneejerkreaction.Suingthemarketplaceorbuyingthem.Suethemorbuythem!Andnow,ofcourse,it’s,‘Weshouldabsorbthistechnologyandthisiswhatthemarketplacewants;weshouldbecomingupwithourownsolutions.’Whatotherindustryintheworldsuesitsownmarketplace?Orsticksitsfingersinitsearsandgoes,‘Lalalalaladon’twannaknow,don’twannaknow’?That’showarroganttheindustrywas;it’splaintosee,likethenoseonyourface,thatalotofexecutivesjustsoarrogantlywouldn’tevenlistentotheirownmarketplace,andthatisappalling.”“Theconceptbehindthesitewassimple,”explainsHolmes,“TherewerenomorallysafesocialnetworksontheInternet.Morespecifically,therewasnoplaceforChristianstogatherandnothavetoworryaboutpornorinappropriatecontentalloverthesite.AfteracoupleweeksofplayingaroundanddebatingsomeideasIstartedcreatingMyPraize.com.ThemainideabehindMyPraizewastocreateasitefreeofporn,foullanguage,suggestiveposesandthethreatsofpredatorswhilemaintaininganatmospherewhichisnon-offensivetoChristiansandnon-Christians.”“ThedaysofTVbeingthemostimportantpieceoftechnologyinyourlifearegoingtobeover,”heresponds,“SoIdon’thaveaTVathome;Ihaveaninternetconnection–IcouldgetallmyentertainmentpurelyoutofMySpaceandYoutubeandnewswebsitesifneedbe.Ithinkthat’satrendthat’sgoingtoincreasebecausepeoplearemorelikelytobeentertainedbycommunicatingagainandspeakingtoeachotherandsocialisingratherthanwatchingsomethingonaTVscreen.There’llalwaysbeaplaceforthatbutthebalanceofinterestswillshifttowardMySpaceandstuffinthefuture.”“Thedirectsalesconcept;Ithinkontheinternetasawholethere’salotoflittleshopsthatsellanyobjectthatyoulike,specialistshopsthattheinternethasblossomedfor.Alotoftraditionalsmaller(real)shopshavediedbecauseyoucangetstuffontheinternet;theycanimportstuff.IfMySpacewasawholelifecommunity,likethatJapanesesitewhichhaseverything–ashop,asocialnetworkarea,music–yougetitallforasubscriptionfee,whichiswhereIthinkeverythingisgoing.Allmusic.Ifyousubscribeditwouldmorethantriplethemusicindustry’sincome.”“Thefuture–Idon’tknow.I’dlovetoknow;Ifeelit’sstillunclearwhatasuccessfulmodelforsellingmusiconlinewilllooklike.Onethingiscertain-thenewvisionofmusicisopen,democratic,cheaporfree.”“TheinitialthingIdidwhenIwaspromotingwasthatIwentandfoundfourthousandpeoplewholivedinNewcastlethatwantedtogotoagig.AndIsawreturnsstraightaway.Rightfromthestart,MySpacehadthesearchfeaturewhereyoucouldputinapostcodeandfindalittlebitaboutpeople,age,sexandlocation.WhenIhadarocknightIwouldgoandinvitealltherockfans.Itwasworking;werancompetitionsthroughitandpromotions,andhadinstantfeedback.Sofromthen,aswellashavingthewebpageontheflyerswehadtheMySpacepageaddress.”“Theinterestingthing,”Rowellsmiles,“Isthat80%ofthosepeoplehadaMySpacepage,andwerepushingouttheirmessagetotheirMySpacers.Thiswaspartofmyplan.‘OK,let’sthinkwhatthesepeopledo:theyregularlyDJ,sothey’veprobablygotadatabaseofsorts.’Youknow,itwastryingtoharnessalltheseadditionalpieces.NowIwouldsaythatprobably30%ofthemreallyenteredintothespiritofit,50%justwantedtobeassociatedwiththebandandtelltheirmatesthatthey’dremixedXpress-2,andtheother20%weresaying,‘Howdareyoutoaskustogoandsellourownmix!?.’ButitjustprovesthatthewholeideaIhadwasspurredonbythenatureofMySpace:‘OKthere’samassiveshopwindowhere,’andthisis,again,inasense,partofthegoodandthebad.Iwouldn’tcallitagroundbreakingidea,butitwasanideawhichwasabletoevolvecauseofagreatsocialforumroundit.But,equally,noneofthesethingswillworkperfectly;unlessyou’recompletelycalculatedinthewayyoudoit.Andthenyouwillinevitablylosequality.Wewentforqualityoverquantity–andasIsay,itworkedOK.”“Theinternethasmadepublishingyourthoughtssuperaccessible,”saysPaulRaffertyofthebandHotClubdeParis,“Journalsarenolongerpersonalartefacts.Thereistheoptiontopublishthem,sowhynot?Itdoesn'tmeanpeopleactuallyreadthem.”“ThekeythingwiththeArcticMonkeyssuccessstory,tome,isthattheywereagood,old-fashioned,grassrootsBritishmusicscenesuccessstory.Wheretheinternetprovedinfluentialwasthefactthatitjustacceleratedeverything.IhavenodoubtthatArcticMonkeyswouldhavegottoNumberOneinthechartseventually.Ihavenodoubtthattheywouldhavesoldalotofrecordseventually.ButwhereasperhapsthemostobviouspredecessortothemistheStoneRoses,whereastheytookyearsandyearstobuildupafollowinglikethat,ofplayinglive,andyou’dhearreportsfromupintheNorthabouthowtherewerehundredsoffanssqueezingintotheirgigs;theneventuallypeoplewouldcheckitoutandthere’sthislong,slowprocess.Theinternetjustaccelerateditvastly.IthinkthemediawerelookingforawaytojustifythefactthattheyhadmissedtheArcticMonkeyscomingup,becausetheyhadn’thadthesortofcoverageyou’dexpectinthesortofplacesforabandlikethatwhowerefairlyobviouslyontherise.”“Themainstreammediawilluseitasabuzzword,”saysDarylBamonte,“They’lljustgo,‘MySpacedidit’andyou’resupposedtothinkthatit’sjustthiskidintheirbedroombutit’snot;youfindoutifyouscratchbeneaththesurfacethat,whilstitisthekindof‘inthing’,they’restilldoingloadsofgigsandhavegotapublicist.Butit’sjustadifferentroute,ratherthanrelyingontheinkypressorwhatever”“Themusicindustryisdefinitelyveryinterestedinthegeneralmusicusers’informationthatwehave.Andwehaven’treallydoneanythingspecificwiththedata.We’rejustusingitforourwebsitewhereit’saccessibleforeverybodytogo,”concludesMartin,“Soit’sdefinitelyextremelyhelpfuldataforavarietyofapplications.Youcouldbeconfrontedwithasituationwhereyouhavetwoorthreedemos,andyoudon’tknowwhichonetogofor–youcanchuckthemontolast.fmandinashorttimeyouknowwhichoneisdoingbest.Oryouwannafindoutwhatthesingleshouldbeofacertainrelease,ortryingtofindoutwhatwouldbethebest‘BestOf’compilationyou’redoingofabandthathasn’treleasedanythingforawhile.Allthisinformation,youcangarnerfromlast.fmandgetalotmoreinformationoutofit.”“TheNMEsiteexistsasthepeekofthe55-yearoldtraditionalNMEintothedigitalworld,”saysPerreau,“Itstartedlikethatin1996becausesomecleverpeopleheredecidedthattheinternetwascomingandtheyshoulddosomethingaboutit.Andiftheydidn’tdoanythingaboutitthenitwasgonnacomealongandwashoverthemwhethertheylikeditornot.Sotheycreatedamusicwebsitetogetthingsofftheground.Backthenitwasaneongreen,oraneonpinkduringthatparticularphase–somecrazy,garishcolour,usingthatage-oldpublishingtechniqueofusingfluorosandneonsandbrightcolourstotryandattractpeople’sattention.Itcameverymuchfromthepublishingstable.Totheircredit,theywerequiteprescientIthinkwithcreatingamusicwebsite,onlywhentheMP3andNapsterwerejustkickingoff,really,roundabout’96.”“Theotherthingisthatsocialnetworking’sverynatural;we’vebeendoingitforthreethousandyears.There’snothingaboutsocialnetworkingthat’sremotelynew,andthere’snothingnewaboutuser-generatedcontent;wehad‘You’veBeenFramed’tenyearsago.“Thepointoftheinternet,whenpeoplewerefirstusingit,”saysDarylBamonte,exDepecheModeroadmanagerandoccasionalmember,andsubsequentlymanagerofTheCure,“WhenIbecameawareofitin’95itwasallsupposedtobefree.Thentheydidn’tevenwantregulation,whichwasabitofaWildWestethic.”“Thepoweriswiththemarket.It’suncontrollable.Thethingis,withcommerceandcapitalismatthemomentthere’sthisliethatthere’safreemarket.Thereisn’t.It’sacontrolledmarket.Ifitwasafreemarketwewouldn’tbesubsidisingfishermenandfarmers.Wewouldn’tbepayingBMWtokeepthefactoriesopen.Everyonewouldbeatthemercyofmarketforces,andifthey’remakingaloss,they’remakingaloss.You’renotRailtrack,we’renotpayingdividends…you’renotmakingabetonahorse,anddemandingyourwinningsifitcomesinfifth.That’swhatbigbusinessisallaboutthesedays;‘Ohwell,we’llmoveourfactoriestoIndia’.Well,fuckingmoveittoIndiathen!It’ssupposedtobemarketforces.Somebodyexplaintomethatifwe’vegotafreemarketwhydon’tweliveordiebythemarketforces?It’sprotectionism:it’slikearacket.AndwhatIthinktheinternetpotentiallydoesofferis,‘I’msorry,butyoucan’t(controlthis),it’stoofreeandopen,andit’sglobal.’Sowhat’sgonnahappenwhenthemarketplaceturnsround,enmasse,andsays,‘Well,sodyou!’?Yourvalueisjustgonnafallaway.”“Theproblemwithbandemailsisthattheyoftengointoaspamfolder,”continuesCroxson,“TheSignUpenablesyoutosetupamailinglist,buttheemailaddressitcomesfromisbasicallyaloadofnumbers.Mostinternet-basedemail,orevenOutlookExpress,willtreatthatasspambecauseitdoesn’trecognisethesenderasaword,andthereforeyoumightnotseeit.WhereaswithsomethinglikeMySpaceit’salwaysgonnacomefromacentralemailaddress,anditshouldgointosomeone’sinbox.Andyoucansendsomethingoutimmediately;withMySpaceyoucansendoutabulletinoranewblog,andifpeoplearesubscribedtoitit’spushedouttothemandyou’renotrelyingonpeoplecomingtoyourownsitetolookthingsup.”“ThethingaboutMySpace,”accordingtoStuartKnight,“Isthatit’stooindiscriminate.It’sjustabigwebsite.It’slikeahugewarehousefullofmusic.Howdoyouknowwhichpartofthewarehousehasgotwhatyou’relookingfor?Youwalkinthere,youcouldbewalkingarounditfordaystryingtofindwhatyouwant–unlesssomeonegivesyouasignpost.Andwho’sgoingtogiveyouthesignpost?Ifyousaidtome,‘HeyStuart,it’sJoe,there’sthisamazingnewband,JoeAndTheBastards,goandcheckthemout,it’swww.MySpace.com/joeandthebs’,you’vegivenmeasignpost.That’stheproblemwithit.There’salotofmythassociatedwithMySpace;‘Thisband’sgettingfivemillionstreamsonMySpace!’Well?Whatdoesthatmean?Youknow,andhowisthatgonnatransferintothesalesofrecords?There’sawholeloadofquestionsaboutit.”“Thethingformusicfans,”hecontinues,“Isthatobviouslyhalfthejoyofnewmusicisthenewness.Andsomethingcanonlybenewforasmallamountoftime,soifthefirstthingyouhearaboutsomebodyisthattheyreleaseanalbumortheyreleaseasingle,thenthat’sveryexciting,andyou’rewiththemonthatjourney.ThewayithappenedwithKaiserChiefs,orFranzFerdinand;we’reonlytalkingthreeyearsagonow,butnobodyreallyknewwhoFranzFerdinandwereuntiltheyreleased‘TakeMeOut’anditwenttoNumberThreeataveryquietpartoftheyear,suddenlythey’dcomeoutofnowhereandeveryonecouldlivewiththemforthatyear.”“Thethingthattheinternethasdone,”saysStuartKnight,co-founderofthewebsitesX-TasterandX-360,“Isdemocratisedtherelationshipbetweenthemusicindustryandthemarketplace.Andit’salsoinvolvedthemarketplaceintheprocess.Inthepast,themusicindustryignoredthemarketplaceandsetitsstallout:youbasicallyboughtwhattheyputintheshops.That’showitworked:‘there’sanewband,we’regoingtoadvertiseithere,it’sgoingtogoonRadioOneandTopOfThePops,andthisiswhatyouwilllike.’”“Thewayweusedtothinkofcopyrightisgoingtohavetochange,butownershipofintellectualpropertyrightsisabig-handledword;therighttoexploitmaterialthatyou’vecreated.Whoownsthatright?Shouldthatrightbemypensionorshoulditbethepensionofsomeonefacelessinamultinationalcorporation?That’swhat’satstakeforme;it’salwaysbeenatstakeformeandmyrecords.I’vealwayshadtohavethatconversationwithmyrecordcompany:‘Thesearemyrights,andtheymustreverttome.’Thoseissues,ofreversionandownership,althoughperhapsnotgermanetowhat’shappeningonMySpace,theMySpaceparadigmgivesusarealopportunitynotonlytoairthisissuebuttoimprovethelotofartists.Nobodyknowswhatthemusicindustrywilllooklikeintenorfifteenyearstime,butIcanassureyouthere’llbepeoplemakingmusicandpeoplemakingmusic.That’sabsolutelyguaranteed,soitwouldbereallygoodifwecouldusethistimeofchangetostrengthenboththerightsoftheoriginatorandalsotherelationshipanddistancebetweentheartistandtheiraudience-whichhasalwaysbeenkeptbyphysicalmanufactureanddistribution,becausewhenyoumadearecord,ifyouwantedittobeinshopsinNewYork,LiverpoolorAustraliayouhadtogowithabiglabel.Andnotonlydidtheyhavetomaketherecordsandcarrythemtotheseplaces,theyalsohadtobebigenoughtomakesurethatpeoplepaidthem.That’swhyitwascrucialtocleavetoamajor.Now,withdigitaldistributionnoneofthatisnecessary,ourhandasartistsisstrengthened.IthinkthattheMySpacephenomenonhasjustshiftedthesandbeneaththefeetofthemajors,andthey’restillworkingouthowthefuckinghelltorespond.Meanwhile,peoplearecarryingonmakinggoodmusicandperhapsaremoreinclinedtodosonowthattheyknowthattheydon’thavetotreadthatdifficultroad.”“TheWeb,whenitoriginallywascreated,wasadocumentmanagementsystem.”–AlexanderCameron,DigitalTXLimited.“Thereareplaceswhere(technically)MySpacefallsback,butasabarebonessite,it’sasignofthingstocomeIthinkit’sthewayit’sgoingtogo.Kidsaregoingtositintheirhousesandwatchthingsandterrestrialtellywillgooutthewindow.AsYoutubeChannelsdevelop;generally,Ithinkthewholeuser-generatedthingisthefuture.It’shereandit’sonlygoingtogetbigger.”“TherewastheonetimethisgirlcontactedmeonMySpacetosayhello,”offersBobDeBilde,“I’dnevermetherbefore,shewasjustbrowsingandlikedmypicture.Anyway,wewentoutafewnightslaterinCamdenandIendedupbringingherbacktomine,andthat.Itwasgood.ButreallythebigstoryiswiththisgirlintheLA.NotlongafterIjoinedMySpaceIhadalookonTomMySpace’spageandthisgirlhadleftanamusingcommentonhispage:‘Tom,whenareyougoingtocomeroundandcollectyourstuff?’Itookalookatherprofileandmessagedhercausesheseemedfunny.Wegottalking,andcarriedonlikethisforayearuntilweendedupspeakingonthephoneafewtimes.EventuallyshecameovertoLondonforatripwithherfriend.Wesnoggedquiteabit,butnothingmore,asshehadaboyfriend.Shewentbackhomeandfinishedwithherboyfriend.Sowe’remeetingupinNewYorkinafewweekstosortofclosethedeal.I’mthinkingaboutmovingtoLAforawhiletobewithher,andseeifitcouldworkout.It’sfunnytothinkthatnoneofthiswouldhavehappenedifI’dclickedonTom’sprofilejustafewsecondslater,asthat’showquicklynewcommentscomethrough.”“There’sawholegenerationofkidsthathavegrownupcommunicatingwithawebcamorarebeingcreativewithvideos,”saystheDigital/Viralconsultantattheforefrontofherprofession,“PeoplelikethatovertheMySpacestuff.HostingyourvideosonMySpaceisgreat.Instantmessagingismassive,andMySpaceoffersit.IftherewassomethinglikeMySpacewithemailsrolledintoone,ifyourmessageboxlookedlikeanemailpeoplewoulduseitforemail.EveryoneIknowhasaMySpacepageopenandtheiremailprogramatthesametime.Iftherewasasite,exactlythesameasMySpace,whichofferedbettercommunicationwithemailsandfilingsystemsandtookoveremail,everyonewouldgothere.”“There’stwowaystolookatMySpace,”accordingtoBenPerreauofNME.com,“Oneisasaninterestingsocialnetwork,andmaybeit’sthefuture,andmaybeit’sawaytogeteveryoneonline,andit’skindoftheproductoftheinternet,ifyoulike.TheotherwaytolookatMySpace,frommypointofview,isthatit’saslightlytransitionarything.We’venowgottothisstagewhereyoucanbuildallthesetoolsintoit,andwebsitesarestillalittlebittoocomplicatedforeveryonetobebotheredtomake–thoughnoteveryonecanbearsedtositthereandmakeaMySpacepageeither!Butnoteveryonecanbearsedtositthereandcreateawebsitefromscratch.But,soonerorlater,andGooglearedoingitwithGooglepages;thesekindofthingsarehappeningandIthinkMySpaceistheearlypartofthecurvewhereeveryone’ssocialidentitymovesintoadigitalrealmwhereeveryonecancommunicatewitheachotheroneveryplatform.Sointhesamewaythatgamesconsolesarecreatingdigitalidentitiesforpeople,MySpaceisthefirstplacethatgenuinelycreatedadigitalidentityforpeopleinamoreconsummatefashion-betterthanFriendster,whichdidn’tquiteroundofftheedgesenoughforpeopletofeelliketherewasactuallysomeheartinit.”“Theydidn’tchangetherightsthattheydemanded.Theystilldemandthat‘yougranttoMySpaceanon-exclusive,royalty-freelicence’.Butwhattheydidwas,insteadofjustsayingthatitnowsays,‘ThelicenceyougranttoMySpaceisnon-exclusive(meaningyouarefreetolicenceyourcontenttoanyoneelseinadditiontoMySpace,fullypaidandroyaltyfree,meaningthatMySpaceisnotrequiredtopayyoufortheuseonMySpaceservicesofthecontentthatyoupost).So,they’veclarifieditandmadeitclearthatthey’renottalkingaboutowningtherightstodowhattheywanttodowithit.Butitbegins,andthisisthemostimportantthingIthink,‘MySpace.comdoesnotclaimanyownershiprightsinthetextfiles,images,blahblahblahblahblah,thatyoupostonMySpace.AfterpostingyourcontentonMySpaceyoucontinuetoownallownershiprightsofsuchcontent,andyouhavetherighttouseyourcontentanywayyouchoose.’”“They’vedoneareallygoodjobatsittingthemselvestherealongsidemusic–theirbrandisverymuchpartofthepuzzlewhereveryoulook;whetherit’sontouring,atfestivals,andthat’scertainlyincreasing.They’redoingthesesecretMySpaceshowsnow,there’salotofpotentialtherewithwhattheycandowiththatcontentcausethey’renowowningexclusivecontent.Iftheyhaveashowwhere,forexample,MyChemicalRomanceplay,thenIassumetheyownthatcontent,thatvideofootageorthataudiofootage,andthat’swhenyoucanstartlookingatmonetisingit.Thenyoucanofferthesubscriptionthingwhereifyoupayapremiumyouhaveaccesstoextramaterialorsomethinglikethat.”“Tobehonestwithyou,asmuchasRupertMurdochgetsabadtimeforwhateverreason,he’safairlyshrewdbusinessman,”saysnme.comeditorBenPerreau,“Iverymuchdoubtthathe’smadeabaddecisionwithMySpace.Iverymuchdoubtifhe’sgoingtoletitfalloverandgowrong.It’llbeinterestingtoseehowtheyengagewithit,causehisbuy-upofitcameonlysixmonthsafterweheardstorieslikehowTheSunwerenotgoingtopublishanyoftheirnewsonthewebsite;theyweregoingtomakeeveryonereadthepapertodoit.TheSunstillhasquiteaconservativepolicyonhowitpublishesontheweb.SoI’mnotreallynecessarilysurewhetherthewholestrategyisthere,asfarasNewsInternationalisconcerned.Itdoesn’tnecessarilyseemthatclear,especiallywhentheycanmovethatquicklyandalmostdoaU-turnontheirpolicy.ButIguessthat,attheveryleast,itwillbeanamazingwayforhimtopro-activelygetintouchwithpeopleaboutnewFoxprogramming,Skystuff,greatfeatureshe’sgotonsomeofthepeoplethatareinvolvedwiththeMySpacenetwork.Someofthestuffthat’sbeengoingdownwiththeBoratfilmhasbeenwellpromotedthroughMySpace,forexample.”“TomAndersonsawthatFriendsterkeptdeletingme;hesearchedmeoutandsaid,‘Well,whydon’tyoujoinMySpace?We’llneverkickyouoff,youcandowhateveryouwant.’Heprettymuchknowsalotofthemorepowerful,influentialMySpacersinreallife,becauseit’spartofhisbusiness.It’sgoodtoknowthesepeople,youknowwhatImean?Onewayoranother.IwassoupsetaboutFriendsterthatImass-emailed30,000peopletojoinMySpace.InitiallyIhadalreadystartedoffwithlikethirtythousandfriendsfrommyfanmailinglist,rightaway.”“Traditionally,bandstouredcitiesandplayedeveryvenuepossibletocreatebuzzabouttheirmusic,”saysSerenaWilsonofNile-OnPR,“ButwithMySpace,bandscanhostdemosoftheirsongs,announceshowsandconnectwithfanswithoutspendingweeksontheroad.SomebandsmakethemistakeofthinkingthattheycancreateaMySpacepageandjustbeinMySpace,inthisvirtualworld,whenactuallyit’sincreasinglymoreimportantasyourfanbaseandyourprofilegrowsonMySpacethatyourfanscanphysicallyhavecontactwithyouaswell.Andalotofartistsmakethemistakethatit’sjustgoingtobedowntoMySpaceingainingthosefans:butonceyou’vegainedthosefans,whatdoyoudowiththem?Theywanttoseeyouperform.”“Tuesdayusedtobemydayoffofcollege!Thereisonlyonethingtodowhenyouhavedaysofcollegeandafreehouse!GASH!!,”heshoutsratherbreathlesslyinmyear,allrubberylipsandflob,abitlikethatchefoffofthetelly,“IusedMySpaceasasortofcatalogue:haveabrowseonmyfriendslistandtheninvitethemround.Itwasmostlyasuccessfulplanbutsometimesitjustdidn’twork!IrecommendGASHDAYtoanymaleonMySpace.Itdidn’tjusthappenoutoftheblue,though,youhavetoputinsomegroundworkwiththegirls.Iusedthecharmandcheektechnique.Theylappedupthecharmandtheyloveabitofcheekiness.”“Wecamebacktoourlivesandjobs–IranInternationalRecordingsatMinistryOfSound,NickwasworkingwithinaspecialdepartmentinBBH,theadvertisingagency–thetimecamewhenwewerefreeofourjobsandwecertainlyhadtheopportunitytodosomethingelse.Sowesaid,‘We’vealwayswantedtodothis.’Therewasaparadigmshiftinthewaythattheinternetwasbeingperceivedanyway;thedotcombubblehadhappened,Googlewasgrowingandthingswerejuststartingtotakeshapealittlebitmore.”“Wefeltitwasareallygoodtimetogetintoit,sowesetupinNick’swarehousespaceinNorthLondonandwestartedtobuildamusiccommunity.WefirststartedwithanExcelspreadsheetandalotofemailaddresses,andwepopulatedmessageboardsandalltherestofit.Andwebuiltupadatabaseofpeoplewhowantedtogetinvolvedinpromotingbandsinahands-onway,inexchangeforgettingtheopportunitytoactuallymeetthebands,ormoney-can’t-buyincentives.Webuiltupfromthere.Wedevelopedapieceofproprietarysoftwarethatmanagesallthecommunicationswithourdatabase.WehaveanactivedatabasenowofaroundfortythousandpeopleacrosstheUK,whoareactiveinpromotingourbandsandlifestylecampaigns,andawiderdatabaseofaboutamillion.Wegetabouthalfamillionuniquevisitorstoourwebsiteamonth,probablyaroundfifteenthousandaday.WhichisaboutenoughtofillEarlsCourt!Sowehavethesetastemakersandearlyadoptersinteractingwithusonadailybasisinquitebignumbers;wesendtheminformationaboutartistsandbands,films,games,books:thingsthatfitintothatkindoflifestylespace.”“Wehadaforumonthevenue’sownwebsitewhichwasalwaysveryactive,butassoonastheMySpacepagewentuptheforumwasactiveeverydaywithpeoplefromoutsideNewcastlethathadcomein.Icouldseewhatitwasgoingtodojustfromavenuepointofview.It’sexactlythesametechniquethatIusewithbandsnow.Youwanttofindtherightpeopleanddotherightthings:it’sthesameprinciple.It’sdonethatfromthestartevenwhenitdidn’thaveallthefeaturesonit.”“Weputtheseparatemusicalpartsuponkill100.com,”continuesRowell,“Allowedpeoplefourtosixweekstoputtheirmixtogetherandsubmitit.Wehadathousandmixescomebackwhichwegotdowntoashortlistofthreehundredandthen108.”“We’renotcold-callinganyone,”continuesLucy,“Wehaveoverthirtythousandkidsonourmailinglist,whichisalotbecauseothercompaniesdon’tgoouttheretogigsandstandtherewithaclipboardaskingpeopletosignuptothemailinglist.Thewaytheygettheirdatabaseisjustreturningcustomers.Butwephysicallygooutandchattokidsandthenwegettheiremailaddressandwewritetothem.Wehaveaweeklynewsletterwhichisreallysuccessfulforus.Youcanseethepeakseveryweekwhenitgoesout.Butwetryandkeepitchatty,soratherthanjustsaying‘Buythis;thisT-shirtgoesnicelywiththispairofjeans,’we’realotmorechatty.We’resayingwhatgigswe’regoingtothisweekandwhatalbumswe’relisteningtointheoffice.We’vejuststartedathingwherepeoplefrombandsgiveustheirtopfive‘whatever’,andwe’reputtingthatinthenewsletter.Soagainit’ssomethingforthekidstoread,ratherthanjustseeingabitofmarketingthatisobviouslymarketing,whichtheythenforgetabout.Wewantittobesomethingthatpeopleexpect,andlookforwardto,andread,andremember–andmaybeevensendittooneoftheirfriends.”“We’rethefirstcommunitytotiechat,profilesandmessagingtogether,”continuesthemohawked-upsitefounder,“Therewerechatsitesbeforethen,andwebsiteswhereyoucoulduploadyourphotosbeforethen,buttherewasneveranywherethattieditalltogether.Itwasjustsuchaphenomenalsuccess,withoutanymarketingwegottosevenmillionmembers.We’vetriedveryhardtokeepitunderground,becauseassoonasparentsfindoutaboutsomethingit’sveryuncool.We’dhavethingslikeTrishaphoninguptogetouroldagonyaunt,GrimRita,onhershow,andwe’dbelike,‘No!Wedon’twantgrannieswatchingTrishaknowingaboutus,we’retryingtokeepunderground.’Andthatwaskindofthesecretofoursuccess.”“Websitesarebecomingwebapplications,andwiththeadventofIPTVwhichisamediumthatusesinternettechnology,anydevicethatspeaksIPcanspeaktoanyother.Soyou’regettingtothepointwhereyou’regettingtheseconsolidations.Communityisnolongeraboutpagesonthenet–they’reaboutotherwaystointegrate.LikeVOIP,SkypewitheBay–they’vegonefrombeingthisWeb2.0model,thiswholesoftwareapplication,towidercommunications.Andthat’sthenextstep.2Dwebpagesareonething,butbeingabletocallpeopledirectlyfromthemisanentirelydifferentthing,ondifferentdevices.”“Whathappenedwasthatitwasoneofthoseclassicsituationswherethestoryinitselfbecamethestory.Sowerealisedveryquicklythatwecouldgetonthenews,andgetabigpresspieceandgetawholethingaboutthealbumcomingoutandeverythingelsebydoingthis.Itgivesafocalpointinothermediaportsthatweweren’tabletodotraditionallybyjusthavingaNumberOnerecord.SoI’dliketosithereandsayitwasallpartofthemasterplan,anditwastoanextent,butwerodethewaveandwemanagedtosurfitandbreakitattherighttime,becausethesinglerelease,thedigitalreleasethephysicalreleaseandthevideoreleasewereallcontrolledtothepointwherewecouldmakeitintoastory.”“WhatIthinkaboutMySpace,”shesays,“Isthatit’sinyourhandsagain.It’sinthepeople’shands;it’snolongeraboutwhatsomeoneistellingyoutowear,ortoeat,ortolistento–it’saboutwhatyouwant.Andactually,gettingmusicinthetraditionalway–whichisthroughyourpeers.It’sveryrarethatsomeonewillgotoawebsiteandsearchforabandontheirown.Butyou’vegotallthesefriendsonlineandthey’relisteningtomusic,soyou’refindingoutaboutmusictraditionally.”“WhatI’mtryingtoavoid,”Braggconcludes,“Isnotonlypeoplegettingrippedoff,butalsotryingtomakesurethatpeoplecanutilisethefullpotentialofMySpace,whichIthinkisanincrediblepotential,withouthavingtositdownwithalawyereverytimetheywanttoputsomethingonthere.Thattomeistotallycontrarytothespiritoftheinternet,andtothespiritofMySpace.SoIamverypleasedwiththewaythey’vechangedthatnow.IthinkthechangetheymadereflectsmuchmorenowthespiritoftheInternet.WhichiswhatMySpacehasbuiltitselfon;now,whetheritstillfullyexpressesit,Idon’tknow.ButwhoeveritwasthatdecidedtochangeandrewritethatproprietaryrightsclauseIthinkstayedtruetothespiritofthefoundersofMySpace.Peoplerecognisethatthey’regettingafreeservicebutbythesametokentheydon’tdeservetoberippedoffontheirrightsandthat.Theclarificationsarereallygood,Ithink,becauseyounowunderstandwhatthey’redoing.Andwhytheyneedtheserights–andthatmakessense.”“Whatthey’vegoneoffthebackof,”agreesIPTVguruAlexCameron,“Isallthesedifferentdatingcommunitysiteslikematch.comwhosebusinessmodelischargingformessaging.TheclassicexampleofthisisJ-Date,theJewishdatingsite.Becauseeveryoneyouknow’sonMySpacethey’vegotthecriticalmassissueandofcourseyoudon’thavetopaytomessagepeopleonMySpace.Youcandoexactlywhatyoucanonalltheotherdatingsitesbutpeoplecandoitallcompletelyforfree.Completewithnobusinessmodel!Whichishilarious.”“WhenIstarted,labelsandartistswereso–notnegative–butsouninterestedintheinternet,andMySpace,”shecontinues,“TheMonkeyswasjustonecampaignthatchangedthat,andwasinstrumentalingettingpeopletotakenoteofthepossibilitiesofsiteslikeMySpace.I’vebeenworkinginonlinesince1999andit’stakenthislongtogettowhereweare.Theindependentlabelshavealwaysbeenmoreforthcomingwithideasandgivingawayfreemusic,buteventuallytheyhavetogetbolder.Itseemsclearthattheonlywayforthemajorstostayontopofthemusicindustryintothenextdecadeistotakemorerisks—bothtechnologicalandcreative—thantheyhavedoneforalongtime.Themajorshavebeenmuchslowerinembracingcertainaspectsoftheinternet.”“WhenIwas17,18yearsold,”shesays,“TherewerenichesiteslikeAsianavenue.comandBlackPlanetthatwerespecificallymadefortheAsiancommunityortheAfrican/Americancommunity.AndIwasoneverysinglewebsite!EverytimeIstartedaprofile,evenbackthenonallthosesitesIwasalwaysthemostpopulargirlonthesewebsites.Itwasweird-IthinkIwasbornintotheinternetzone!”“Whenshereadthemshethenemailedourofficetoaskmeifthiscouldbereal,”Braggsays,“Thatthey’reactuallyaskingforaworldwide,royalty-freelicence;andifitisreal,whatdoesitmean?Sotheofficethengotintouchwithmeandsaid,‘Um,MySpaceareclaimingaworldwide,royalty-freelicenceforeverythingthat’sonthere!’AndIsaid,‘Well,thatcan’tberight.Ican’thavethat.’CauseIownmyrights;Ionlyleasethemtorecordlabelsforthedurationofthedeal,soI’mprettystrictaboutwhogetsrightstomymaterial.Isaid,‘Thatcan’tberight’andtheofficecheckeditout,anditwas.Isaid,‘Well,wecan’thavestuffonthere;wehavetopullourstuffoffthen.’Sowepulledourstuffoff,pulledthemusicoffbutkeptthepresence,andjustleteverybodyknowwhywe’ddonethis.Andsaidweweresuspendingputtinganymusiconthereuntilthiswasresolved,orclarified.Igotasurprisingnumberofemailsfrompeoplesaying,‘Ididn’tthinkofthisbefore,Ihadn’treadtheTermsAndConditions,thisobviouslycan’tberight’.Andasthesethingsdoontheinternet,wordgotouttosomeoftheonlinemusicmagswhostartedaskingmeaboutit,anditeventuallypercolateditswaythroughtothemainstreammedia.Itblewupvery,veryfast,muchtomysurprisereally.”“Whenwestarted,therewasnoFriendster,noMySpaceyet,”musestheaffableGerman,“Theycamealongasweweredoingit,andthenatthatmomentwerealisedthatweactuallyhadasocialnetworkinourhands,becausewehadprofilepagesanduserpictures–andassoonasyouhavethat,you’remoreorlessasocialnetwork.Andwesawthatyourfavouritemusicfeaturesverystrongly;it’soneofthesethingsthatalmosteverybodyhasfilledoutincomparisontobooksandfilms.They’renotsopolarising;musicisvery,verypolarisingandweareofferingthisalsoasafeatureforourusers.Tograbyourlast.fmcharts,yourtopsongs,thetopartists,fromourwebsite–andputitontoyourblog,orontoyourwebsite,orintoyourMySpaceprofile.Soalotofpeoplehavebeendoingthisandit’soneofourmainagentsforgrowth.Peopleeventuallyusingoneofourassetsfortheirownwebpages,fortheirownblogs,andthingslikethis.”“Whenyouownanewspaper,youownbricksandmortar,”agreesX-TasterfirebrandStuartKnight,“Andyouownabigworkforce,andyouownalltheseassets.ButifyouexaminewhatyouownwithMySpace,whatdoyouown?Adomainname,andsomesoftware,anditseemstobeveryeasytoreplicatethat;butyoudon’townthepeoplethatgiveitthevalue.Youdon’towntherealvalue,whichisthepeoplewhopopulateit.Ifeveryonepostedtheirmusiconanothersite,thenwhatwouldyouhave?”“Whenyou’vegotanabsolutelyunstoppableamountofdigitalmedia,anabsolutemessofit,it’simpossibletofindyourwayaround,”hedeclares,“That’stheproblemwithit;it’sincrediblydifficult.Andyoutendtofindthattheoldmediawayisthatyoupushthingsatpeople;whereasthenewmediawayisthatpeople–especiallyinIPTV,it’sanightmare–assumethatpeoplearegoingtosearchoractivelylookforcontent,whereastheoldmediaworldsaysthathumanbeingsarelazyandneedingthingspushedatthem.Whenyou’reoutsideatubestationapaperisthrustintoyourhand;ifyouwanttowatchfootballmatches,they’reonSkySports;youreadanadvertorreadsomethingajournalist’swritten.Basicallytheinformationisputtoyou,it’spushedatyou.AndifyoulookatwhatMySpacedoes,it’sveryclevercomparedtoeverythingontheothersites,theyupdateyouallthetime;they’realwayspushingthingsatyou.They’repushingeventmessages.Whenyou’vegotnewmessages,newblogsandthatkindofthing.They’recontinuallypushingnewnotificationsatyou,andgivingyouareason,pushingyoubacktothesite.Orpullingyouback,ifyoulike.”“Withinaweek,literally,ofthatappearinginMusicWeek,theymodifiedtheirT&CstowhatIthinktheystillarenow.Theirproprietaryrightsclause,whichisNumberSix,itnowbeginswithsomethinglike,‘Youaretheowneroftheworkthatyouputonhere.’”“Wordofmouthisthenewwordofmouth,”smilesSammyAndrews,“Advertshaven’tgotthesameimpact.Becausethey’veconditionedusovertheyears,there’ssomuchadvertisingnowthatweasagenerationhavelearnttoblockitout.Iknowthey’retryingtobanchildadvertisingontellybutweblockitoutnow.Andanykidthat’sbeenontheinternetoverayearknowstoblockpopups.ThatwassomethingveryearlyonwiththeinternetthatIhated,whereyougoonasiteandyou’rebombardedbyallthesepopupsandpeoplewerepayingafortunetohavethemplacedthere.It’spointless.Whenyouclickonthemaccidentallyyouhatethatyou’vespentfiveminutestryingtogetoutofit.It’snotthesamething.”“X-tasterandoursistercompany,360-x.com–whichisanurbaninterface–startedaboutthreeandahalfyearsagoaftermyselfandmybusinesspartner,NickDryden,spentsometimeinAmericaand–inourpreviousmusicindustryincarnations–lookedatthewaythatmusicwasbeingsoldtolifestylegroupsdefinedbymusicgenre.Forexample,rockkidswerebeingsoldmusicbybandslikeSlipknot,andLinkinParkwhowentontosellmillionsandmillionsofalbums,throughnon-traditionalmeans.Becausetheywerebeingdeniedaccesstomainstreamradio.RadiowasplayingHipHopintheheydayofHipHop,sorockmusic,particularlythosebands,wasbeingdeniedtoalargeextent.Soitwasallaboutwordofmouth,andbuzz,andonline,thatwholething.IreallythoughtthiswasfantasticandwantedtobringitbacknotjusttotheUKbuttoEurope.”“Youcouldseeitbuilding,”saysformergigpromoterandcurrenthot-propertyindigitalandviralmarketing,SammyAndrews,“Fromtheoff,thereweren’tthatmanybandsontherewhenitfirststarted.AndIdidtakethetimewhenpeoplewereaskingmetogetintoit.”“YouhadlabelslikePhillipsandPyewhowouldsignthesebands–andthey’veallgone.TheywerekilledoffbytheriseoftheIndielabel.Andthat’sverymuchwhatwe’reseeingnow,thatthere’sanareawithintheinternetthatallowsforindependentmusictoflourishwithoutbeingreliantonatraditionalmodel;andthat’swhat’sexciting.Theotherthing,ofcourse,isthatit’satwo-waystreet;it’snotanold-fashioned,lateSeventiesthingwhereyouwentandboughtsomethingphysically–there’saninteractionbetweentheartistand(thefan).Youclickontheartist’spage,andyou’vegotadirectlinetotheartist.It’snotlikewalkingintoHMVandtheygiveyoutheband’sphonenumber:youcansendanemail,youcandownloadthetourdates,andyoucanjointheirstreetteam.Youcandoawholehostofotherthings.Andit’sthefirsttimewe’veeverbeenthatclose.Nowyougotoagigandyoucandomeet‘n’greets,thebandsignthings.Thecitadelthatthemusicindustrysatbehindisnotthesameanymore,andIthinkthemajorsarefightingakindofrearguardactiontoprotectthatkindofrelationship.Andthey’regonnafail.”…sonaughtypeoplestartedtowhackupcopyrightcontentofpeoplewhoweregenuinelytalented.Badandnaughty,andwhollyunworkablebecauseHomeTapingIsKillingMusic,remember.Intheautumnof2006MySpaceannouncedtwomajorcollaborativedeals.Firstly,theywouldbeusingGracenotesoftwaretocrackdownontheunauthorizeduseofcopyrightcontent–aprogramthatlooksatthe‘musicalfingerprint’oftracksandcomparesitwithsongsalreadyinitsdatabase.Ifitmatches,andtheuserwhoposteditisnotthecopyrightowner,thetrackwillbetakendownandoffendingprofilesdeletedfromthesystem.1Smallshinystonesandpotatoes,mostlikely;anarchaicbartersystemusedwidelybeforecashasweknowitwasinventedin1955byDr.CraigCash.100Whohasjustearnedhimselfacurrytoo. 101Althoughontheotherhandthere’sSky+andTiVoalready,soy’know. 102Yes,theverysame.Greatinnit.(InNovember2006itwasalsoannouncedthatMyspaceusers–andthoseofothersimilarsites–couldaddtheindiestoreflashplayertotheirprofilestosellmusicthatway.)103AhfairdostoyathenGavin. 104Mixi.comfeaturesamazon.comrecommendation-basedlinkstopotentialpurchaseswithinitspages.105AndalsoownseverythingMetallicaeverrecorded. 106Whichconfusesme:howdidIendupwiththemisfitsI’vegot? 107BagsyJimMorrison,hesoBUFFLOLZ 108Alright,youdon’tHAVEtobenakedperse,buttitillationapparentlysellsbooksthesedays.ImagineI’mwritingthisinthebuffifthathelpsmatters.IlookalittlelikeLeslieGrantham,apparently.DidImentionmyshort-termmemory’snotsogoodthesedays?109And,presumably,soonthroughVOIP. 11http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=17498&hed=Friendster+Wins+Patent–retrievedNovember2006.Thepressreleasecanbesourcedfrom:http://images.friendster.com/images/friendster_07_06_06.pdfAppendixTwo:Acknowledgements110RecordCompaniesarealreadyhostinggigsinthere;Reutershaveanewsdeskthere;it’sinsane.AnditisthepastandthefuturemeldedintooneMatrix-typepackage.Ican’twaittodiveintoit.16AllhailPaulBaran:http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/baran.html-retrievedNovember2006. 2Thisisthesecondbestjokeinthebook. 20Muchinlinewiththeathlete’sproblemsoftenniselbowandgolfball,thisisapainfulinjurysustainedbytheunguardedaccidentaldroppingofsmallmintsweetsontoyournakedfeet.2006alsosawtheriseofScottishsinger/songwriterSandiThom.AlthoughSandi’staleisobliquelyrelatedtoMySpace,itiscertainlyworthlookingatbecauseithighlightsnotonlythewaythatonlinepromotionhasexploded,buthowthemedia–ifnottherecordbuyersthemselves–hasboughtintoit.21ThiswasachievedbythedesignandimplementationoftheInternetProtocolSuiteinthe1970s;theTransmissionControlandInternetProtocols–TCP/IP–basicallyarethetwomostimportantpartsofVintonCerf’sworkintointeroperabilityofnetworks;itisanalogouswithlinguisticsinthesensethattwoindividualscancommunicatetheirideasthroughacommonsharedlanguage,andcomputerprogramscancommunicatethroughsharedTCP/IP,thereforemakingthelinkingofverydifferentnetworkspossible.ThisiswheretheInternetreallycametolifeintermsofuniversalaccess.22InWesternterms,atleast.Lateststatisticssuggestthatonly16.7%oftheworld’spopulationhasaccesstotheinternet,althoughthisisgrowingexponentially:http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm(retrievedNov142006.)23Seeendnoteblog14.Inawaythisisasortofhyperlink,yaknow,intermsofinternalcross-navigationofadocumentinthesensepositedbyVannevarBushintheThirtiesandFortiesinhisspeculativeessayonthepossiblesharingofhumanknowledgebyhissearchableMemexsystem,‘AsWeMayThink’.TheconceptwasfurtherdevelopedbyTedNelsonin1955,andbegantobeprogrammedinearnestbyDouglasEnglebartandothersduringthe60s.Sothisisasortofhyperlink,albeitthatitdoesnotautomaticallyredirectyoutotheinformationinquestiontocreateatrailofnavigableinformation.Actually,thesecitationsaredynamiclinksifyou’veaworddocumentorapdfcopyofthisbook,whichyouhaven’t,sounlessIMPhaveinventeddynamicprintedpaperintheinterimbetweenthewritingandthereadingofthisbook,you’lljusthavetodothelinkingyourself,youbigcomputer,you.24Myspace.com/joeshooman 25Thisonlineservicechangeditsnamein1991toAmericaOnline,morecommonlyknownasAOL. 26Alright,youdon’tHAVEtobenakedperse,buttitillationapparentlysellsbooksthesedays.ImagineI’mwritingthisinthebuffifthathelpsmatters.IlookalittlelikeLeslieGrantham,apparently.27Seeendnoteblog14.Everythingyoucouldpossiblywanttoknowliveshere:http://vlib.iue.it/history/internet/and(albeitslightlyoutofdate)http://www.davesite.com/-retrievedNovember2006.Indispensablehereforafulloverview:WeavingTheWeb:TheOriginalDesignAndUltimateDestinyOfTheWorldWideWeb–Berners-Lee,Tim/Fischetti,Mark,HarperSanFransisco,1999ISBN:006251586127Whilst,quitepossibly,althoughobviouslynotatalltrue,beingfilmedbyJohnRobbEnterprisesinordertosubsequentlyearnhimafewbucksasatalkingheadonNoughtiesTVshowscalled‘Weren’tThe‘80sFookinBoss’andsimilar,causepeopleDRESSEDABITDIFFERENTLY,WATCHEDDIFFERENTCARTOONSandDRUNKDIFFERENTBEER,andsoforth.29Bringingtogetherexistingconceptsandimplementingthemwithdeftness,thewebisstill–giveortake–basedonthekeyprogrammingandimplementationconcepts:UniversalResourceIdentifiers(URL)tolookupwebpages;HypertextMarkupLanguage(HTML)togetthenettounderstandwhatthepagesareaboutandpresentstheminauser-friendlyway;HypertextTransferProtocolto,like,getcomputerstotalktoeachotherandfirethepagesabout,sorta(HTTP),allbasedonaclient-serversystemwhichbasicallyiswhathappenswhenyourcomputer(client)requestsinformationfromanetsource(hostedonaserversomewhere).3Ornot;arecentstudycommissionedbytheUSgovernmentfoundthatonly1%ofGoogleandMicrosoft’sindexesproducedsexuallyexplicitpages,havingfilteredoutnearlyalltherestonline.It’sjustwhateverybodylooksforfirst.http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/business/technology/16012389.htm-retrievedNovember2006.30This-i.e.myhungoverstumblingsandmessyslugthroughwhathassomehowbecomedescribedas‘acareer’-isthebestjokeinthebook,andarguablytheworld.31Amazon.comwasfoundedin1994,initiallyasanonlinebookstorebutquicklydevelopeditsstockintoacatch-all,onlinehypershoppingexperienceandmodelforcommerceontheweb.Averyfinetimelineofeventsishere:http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-corporateTimeline-retrievedNovember2006.Isupposeatthispointit’sworthmentioningTheLongTail:WhyTheFutureOfBusinessIsSellingLessOfMore-Anderson,Chris.HyperionBooks,July2006ISBN:140130237832No,Idon’tbuyiteither. 33Usuallythesewouldarriveinthesameday;ladyboyshadneverhaditsogood.AndIpromisedmymatewho’scurrentlyonholidayinThailandthatIwouldn’ttellanybodyabouthisexperiencesoverthere,sodon’tworryDD,Idefinitelywon’t.Yoursecretissafewithme.34Foramoredepthoverviewofspamandstatisticsyou’ddoworsethanheadhere:http://www.ftc.gov/spam/–retrievedNovember200635Thisisthethirdbestjokeinthebook.Arewehavingfunyet? 36Previouslyreservedforsoon-to-be-bankruptwritersofwildlyunsuccessfulsocialcommunicationbooks.37Mostlyfromthepeoplewho’dwrittenthebloginthefirstplace,causenowtheycouldwriteabouthowbloggingwaspopular,andGooglebloggingalldaybeforequotingeachother’sblogstowritenewblogsaboutit.Howverypostmodern.38It’sstilltherebutnolongerupdated;Mute’scurrentwebsiteiswww.mute.com 39Theacronymisfromtheresearcherswhodevelopedthecodec:MovingPictureExpertsGroup.ForthelastwordonMPEGencodinginahistoricalcontextheadtowards:http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/amm/techinf/layer3andeverythingwillbecomeclearer.Or,inmycase,muchmoreconfusing,eventhoughintheoryIshouldknowallaboutperceptuallossyencodingandcompression,becauseIsomehowmanagedtosqueezeadegreeoutofsomepeoplewhoreallyshouldhaveknownbetter.IhonestlythoughtthisprojectwasallgoingtobeaboutPlayboyGirlsOfMyspaceandthingslikethatwhenItookiton.Ohwell.Onwardandupward.4A‘book’inthissenseislikeadusty,hardcopyprintoutofanonlineencyclopaedia,exceptgenerallytheinformationinitisusuallywrittenbyproperpeoplewhoactuallybasetheirresearchontangibleknowledge,ratherthanrepeatingitinatwistedandutterlysuperficialformfromtheequivalentofAManInAPub.A‘novel’,ontheotherhand,isa‘book’whichhasastoryinitthatisentirelymadeupandNONEOFITACTUALLYHAPPENED.Bewary:everynovelisadamnedlie,andeveryauthorisadamnedliar.Whatyouarenowreadingisamixtureofbothapproaches,exceptlessfunny,lessinterestingandwildlylessinformative–buthappilyprintedonpaperthat’sveryabsorbent.40Whichyou’venickedfromWoolies,youthievingscoundrel. 41Napster’sassetswereboughtbyRoxioin2002andsubsequentlyrelaunchedasasubscriptiondistributionservicein2005.42ChristinaAguileraisnowmarried,sadly. 43http://www.baselinemag.com/print_article2/0,1217,a=182560,00.asphasalltheinsandoutsofhowallthisgubbinsworks.RetrievedNovember200644Wrappedupinmysterieswrappedupinenigmas. 45Moider(v);N.Walesgeneralstreet/housingestatecatch-alltermmeaning,variously,to'talknonsense';'tocornersomeoneandbattertheirheadwithwords';to[rap]www.urbandictionary.net–retrievedNovember2006.Thisshouldreallyendupbeingawikiinafairworld.46Ludicrous,isn’tit?http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3616136.stm–retrievedNovember2006 47Thismanshouldbeknighted,truly. 48http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/548_jonathan_abrams.htm,July2003–retrievedOctober200649‘MakingFriendstersInHighPlaces’–LeanderKahney,WiredMagazineJuly2003.http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,59650,00.html–retrievedNovember20065Anarchaicandsomewhatoddconcept–abuildingfullof‘books’wherepeoplegotoresearchthingsinthosedusty,paperdevices,orsimplytobetakenforamugbyreadingthemlyingbastardthingscalled‘novels’.Or,alternatively,aplacewhererecently-unemployedwritersgotoreadthepapers,dressedinsuits,everyday,toavoidhavingtotelltheirpartnersandfamiliesthatthey’vebeensackedforutterlyunacceptablework;somewheretoponderinthemargarinesilencejustwhereexactlyit’sallgonewrong,andtocrysilent,salttearsoffrustrationanddistressathowtheworld’sspinningshrugcaresnotforitsprotoplasmicflukes.50Saidtohavebeenintheregionof$30million. 51Ifyouwerethinkingaboutasiangrannies.com,shameonyou.Insertyourownjoke.Literally.Andnodouble-entendresaboutfacepartieseither,please.Mymummightreadthis.52BradGreenspan’sversionofeventsishere:http://freemyspace.com/history.htm 53http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/03/myspace_inside.html–retrievedNovember200654Onthewebyoucanfindseveralunscientificstudiesastoactiveaccounts,butthemethodologyandsamplegroupsarerathersuspect.Formoreonthistryhttp://www.webpronews.com/topnews/topnews/wpn-60-20060224TheMySpaceMirage.html–retrievedNovember200655http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?id=906–retrievedNovember2006 56Isn’ttheEnglishlanguagegreat?Youcanmakeupnewwordsallthetime.Iloveit. 57ThisisprobablyAGoodThing,aslongaseveryoneinvolvedknowsthescore.Previously,sexlivesoverthenethadnotoriouslybeenstrictlyaone-waynon-interactive,one-in-a-bedrompingexperience,exceptwithbetterpicturesofcourse.Ormaybethat’sjustme.Ohwell.58It’sobviouslynothisrealname,Imadeitup.IfyouarereallycalledBobDeBildeIapologiseprofusely(stiflingchildishlaughterallthewhile),it’snotintendedtorepresentanypartofyourlifeinanyway.ButIwouldsaythis:Iaskedthisgeezerwhichpseudonymhewantedmetouseforthisandhisfirstreplywas,‘XXX10INCHESXXXUNCUTANDTHICK’.SoIthinkwegotoffalittlelightly.59Really,that’stotallynothisname.Idon’tevenknowwhathisnameis,causeamateofmineknewhimandtheinterviewwasentirelyconductedwithsaidmutualfriendasconduit,bashingquestionsbackandforththroughMyspace.IsposeI’masbadasanyoneelse.Again,ifyoureallyarecalledEddyZweibel,thisisn’tyou.Zweibelis,however,mysecondfavouriteGermanword,after‘Knoblauch’.Oh,thefunIhaveinBerlin’srestaurantsliterallyneverstartsends.6Noneofmyfriends,though,they’reallfuckingweirdos. 6Theironyofthisisnotlostontheauthoreither. 60EddyImean,notmyear.That’snotallrubberyandcoveredinflob;thoughthenightisyoungofcourse.62Forexample:http://www.profilescreener.com/press.php–retrievedNovember2006 63AlotofschoolsarenowbarringaccesstoMyspaceandothersocialsites;toomanytolistherebutwhackin‘SchoolbansMyspace’intoanysearchengineandclearafewhourstogetthroughthepagesitfinds.64http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/15/myspace_murder/-retrievedOctober2006 65See:http://www.bethelks.edu/collegian/archives/002396.php–retrievedOctober2006 66AndtherulesofRugbyUnion.IplayedforBangorUnder15safewtimesandIneverhadacluewhatwasgoingonatanystage.IthinkIjustlikedtacklingotherboysandpunchingpeoplewhentherefwasn’tlooking.UntilonelittlesodbitmyearoffinaruckandIretiredfromthesportinordertoconcentrateonmydrinkingcareer.67Iknowitdoesn’tmakemuchsensebutit’sanicesnappyphraseinnit.WonderwhoInickeditfrom? 68IdentitytheftisoneofthebanesofourmodernageandMyspaceisasmuchpronetoitasanywhereelse:http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=A0498C57-2632-40B8-8C69-E198A1D9AA2F–retrievedSeptember200669http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=397026&in_page_id=1879–retrieveOctober20067MyMyspacesaysIamsoImustbe. 70Totallyoutofthisbook’sremitbuthere’stheBBCoverview:http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A676424–retrievedSeptember200671TheUKHomeOfficeguidelinesfromthetaskforceonchildprotectionontheinternetisdownloadablefrom:http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-and-publications/publication/operational-policing/moderation-document-final.pdf72InOctober,2006,KevinPoulsenofWiredMagazinewrotesomecodedesignedtoscreenMyspaceprofilesforconvictedpaedophiles,thedataofwhichwaspassedontothepolice;aprocessheallegesinthearticlethatMyspacesecuritystaffhadpreviouslytoldhimwasunworkable:http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,71948-0.html–retrievedOctober200673OneoftheprogrammersontheinitialMyspaceproject,interestingly,sharedthesamesurname:ToanNguyen.74InJune2006,PlayboyMagazine,tappingintothezeitgeistasistheirwont,themedtheirissueas‘GirlsOfMyspace’;themodelschosenfromaspirantglamourpusseswhowererepresentedonthatsite.Manyothermagazineshavesincepublishedsimilarly-themedissues.75GotaproblemwithmewritingthisbitinWelsh?Oh.Ok.I’lledititbacktoEnglishlater,unlessIforget.76Nottheonewiththesheepskinjacket,butthisversiondoesownaridiculousamountoftrainers. 77Pitchfork’sgreatinterviewwithLilyAllenishere.Nopointmeparaphrasingit;Iassumeasyou’rereadingthisyouhaveAnInternetsoffyourhouse,like:http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/39534/Interview_Interview_Lily_Allen–retrievedNovember200678Wesharea(verytalented)mutualfriend,whoseexcellentmusiccanbefoundatmyspace.com/kayaherstad.IthinkIrememberoneparticularlydrunkennightinLIPA’scollegebarwhenIwassatwithsaidmutualfriend;aScottishlasscameandjoinedus,andIthinkIprettymuchfailedmiserablytoengageherinaconversationwhichwasalmostdefinitelyaboutwhatherfavouriteElvisPresleytrackwas.Thosekindofconversationsalwaysendupwithmeshoutingatpeoplefornotpicking‘PolkSaladAnnie’or‘DownInTheAlley’.Andthosekindofnightsalwaysendupwithmestaggeringhome-alone-inafoulmood,kebabfallingallovermyBangorCityreplicashirt.Ohwell.79Aslegendhasit,shewassignedbyCraigfromoutofBros.Coolorwot. 8Therearelies,damnedlies,statistics–andwikis.Thismeasurementis,orsoonwillbe,awiki.Putitonlineononeofthoseweb2.0-styleuser-generated‘paediasites,anditmagicallywillbecometheacceptedstandardofmeasurementforshitnessthroughviralrepetitionandrehashing.Thisistheworldwelivein,folks.80Seeendnote118in“Trivium:TheMarkOfPerseverance”(IMP,September2006)ISBN:0955282209 81Seethenot-quite-yet-forthcomingTVshow,“Weren’tTheNinetiesFookinBoss”,presentedbyJohnRobbandawholehostofotherpeoplewhoareapparently‘comedians’becausetheircaptionidentifiesthemassuch.ThisservestoimprintthesepeopleascomicswithinTV-landdespitetheevidencethata)youonlyeverseethesepeopleonthosekindoftalkinghead-typenostalgiaclipshows,andb)theyneveractuallysayanythingparticularlyfunny.Oh,andc)I’veneverbeenaskedtoappearonone.82PlusIjustthoughtofitandcan’tbearsedcheckingwhetherthenotionholdsanywaterwhatsoever. 83See,youthoughtallthatpreambleinPartOnewasjust‘pointlesswaffletogetthewordcountup’didn’tyou?84IfWeb2.0isbuiltonaperpetualbetaconcept,Idon’tseewhybooksshouldn’tbetoo.Sonyurks. 85Look,it’slate,OK?I’mleavingitin.Callmeatosserallyoulike,Iain’tchangingit. 86OraZune.Teehee. 87I’lltranslateitbackintoEnglishlater,unlessIforgetagain. 88TonyWilsonadds:“RadioOneplayedtheshitoutofitfortwomonthsbeforeitwasreleasedtodownload.”89LucyHughesexpands:“Basicallythere’saloserkids.comwhichistheUSversion,andthatwassetupbyTomDeLongeandMarkHoppus,,sellingclothesthattheylikedandtheycouldn’tgetanywhereelse.That’sbeengoingforovertenyearsnow,andthenfromthattheystartedAtticus,theirclothinglabel,andafterthat,Macbeth–whichistheshoes(company).LoserkidscamebeforeAtticusandMacbeth.We’retheEuropeanlicenseesofAtticusandMacbethandwiththatwealsoboughtLoserkidsUK.That’soursite–wetrytomirrortheUS,basically,buthaveaUKslantoneverything.”9Murdoch,notTheBear,butthetwistedpuninthesectiontitlewasreallythebestIcoulddoI’mafraid9SeeforthcomingIMPbook:‘MySecondLife’fortheflipsidetodigitalidentity. 90Well,it’snotnewreally;whenIgoandbuymyLambrini90%AbsinthfromWindsorWinesinToxteth,Iquiteoftenstopforalongol’chatwithmainmanKarl.Ifyouevergothere,askhimabouthisNewYorkstoryhewastellingmetheotherweek,it’sboss.92Obviouslynotliterally 93IthinkMr.Wilsonjustearnedhimselfabrandytogowiththatplannedcurry. 94NottheoneoutoftheA-Team 95AlthoughViceUKMagazineeditorAndyCapperrespondedtomyquestionaboutthiswithoneword:“Inevitable.”WhichisveryperceptiveIthink.96SeanalsolikesdrinkingAbsinthquitealot. 97Tobefair,therehavebeenanumberofbulletinspostedbyTomonMyspaceencouragingitsuserstovote,andtoshopresponsibly.98Yeah,lovethewayyouslippedthatonein,youswine.“IwasinMexicoCityonajob”indeed.Pfft. 99TennersaysthatTheProdigyre-release‘CharlySays’sometimeinthenextyearorsoforthe20thanniversaryofrave.A B C D EABriefHistoryOfComputers ABriefHistoryOfTheInternet ABriefHistoryOfTheWorldWideWeb AMajorRecordLabel'srepresentatives werefoundnakedin AMajorRecordLabel willendup theheadofamajorlabel Amassuser-migrationbegan,disillusionedex-Friendstersreunitinginagold-rushtooneparticularsitewhich,morethananyother,hasbecometheavatarforthenextphaseofwebcommunications.Ithasimpactednotonlyononlinesocialising,butisforcingchangesinattitudeandalteringworkingpracticeswithinthemusicandentertainmentsindustries.Ameetingplace,then,forcompatiblealternativetypes,butFaceparty’sfocusliesindeeperwaters;legendarypartiesorganisedbyBamforthandtheFacepartystaffprovidedanuniquereal-worldfocustothesite’scapabilities,whichwereincisiveandprescientfortheera,andaddressedtheproblemsthatthewebitselfhadpresentedincontactingandpossiblycollaboratingalongwithotherindividualswhohavethesamesongdancingintheirsouls.Moreofthatconceptlater;it’sanimportantone.Anewbreedofwebsitesbegantoemerge,sitesthatwouldseektowrapupandre-centralisecommunicationsfromthewide-eyedandconfusingmessthatthewebhadbecome.Andthenewbuzzbecame‘socialnetworking’.Apacketswitchingnetworkworksalittlelikethis.You’reinToxteth,right,andyouhaveinyourpossessionapairofrathernattyfur-linedzip-upslippersthatyouwouldquiteliketosendtoyourNaninAberdeen,becauseit’sherbirthdayandshehastoldyoumorethanoncethatooohisn’titterriblehowthewintersaregettingsocoldthesedays.Soyoupacktheslippersup,takingcaretosellotapeyourfingerstogetherafewtimes,eventuallymasterthisfiendishlytrickyconundrum,loseheraddress,phoneyourfolkstofindoutthepostcode,addressyourcompletedparcel,putfartoomanystampsonitbecauseit’srainingandyoucan’tbebotheredwalkingtothepostofficetoweighitproperly,andfinallywhackthislovelygiftinanypostbox–and,throughaseriesofmagicalevents,eventuallyattheotherend,theparcelofslipperswillbetakenbyahungoverpostietoherdoor.Avastnetworkofnetworksofcomputersconnectedthroughapacketswitchingsystemandcommunicatingthroughaseriesofstandard,sharedprotocols.Whenyouconnecttothenetwork–inotherwords,whenyougoonline-youcantalkinstantlytoanyoneanywhereintheworld,providingtheyarealsoconnectedtothenetworkandyouknowwheretofindthem.It’softenknown,innacurately,astheWorldWideWeb.Itis,essentially,aplacethatstoresshitloadsofpornography.Itcanbethoughtofasabig,massive,humungous,titillatingencyclopaediaofperversion,exceptthatthereareno‘pages’tospeakofastraditionaldefined.Asalltheinformationisonscreen,thusyou’vesuddenlygotabignewtellywhereyoucanchoosewhenandwhatyouwouldliketowatch,readorotherwiseenjoyandendure.Youwillnotbeholdingabookinyourhand.Whichobviouslyleaveshandsfreeforotherpurposes.Averygoodpointindeed.Butwheredoesthatallleaveus?PartSix:TheFutureInTheWordsOfThoseWhoAreAlreadyThereTheFutureAccordingToMyFavouriteAustrianEx-Ice-DancerActually,NewsCorp.boughtMySpace’sparentcompany,Intermix,midwaythroughthelastchapter,butIswerveditcauseit’djusthaveconfusedmatters.Giventhat,arguably,thebasisofthesuccessofMySpacecanbetracedbacktoitsperceivedcredibility,Murdoch’spurchaseshookthatallupmassively.Afterall,asGeigerexplainedtotheredoubtableMr.Wilson,it’sallaboutsex-andifpeoplewereusingthewebsitetomakethetwominutesofsquelchingnoiseshappen,it’shardlytheresponsibilityoftheserviceitself,nowisit?Bitharshthat.Thesearepeopletalkingtoeachother,remember?Againandagainhetriedafterthetemptingmorsel,butatlasthadtogiveitup,andwalkedawaywithhisnoseintheair,saying,“Iamsuretheyaresour.”AppendixFive:TheLastWordGoesTo…Ahyeah,kindaforgotaboutYoutube.Googleboughtitforloadsofmoneyrecently.Theend.ThisisabookaboutMySpace,notYoutube.IfyouwanttoreadaboutYoutubegoandwriteyourownbook.AboutYoutube.Youcouldcallit“YourTubeOrMine”ifyouwanted.Or“WhoseTubeIsItAnyway”.Somethinglikethat.Havefun.Aha!Sosomeoneactuallydoes… Ahem.Moreofthatlater. Althoughrevealingshedloadsofpersonalinformationwithinyouronlinedigitalidentitycanleadtoallmanneroflate-nightnaughtiness,thefactremainsthatonceyouputsomethinginyourprofilethat’ssomewhatindiscreet,everyonecanseeit-alltheyneedtodoissearchforyourMySpaceprofile.AndAlsoAccordingToAlexCameron,WhoKnowsLoadsOfStuffAboutTVOnTheNet AndHowThesePeoplePayForIt AndIpromisedI’dmentionalltheShoomansinthisonesotoMatthew,Ann,Harry,Molly,LouisandLily;Daniel,LouisaandMegan;BethanyandPhil;Mam&Dad,allofwhomIseefarlessthanisreasonable,hiyaaaa.AndI’vebeenabletotryanddomybestthankstoahostofpeoplewhogaveuptheirtimetobeinterviewedand/orchewthefatwithmeandignoremyhalf-arsed,dunderheadedideasandinterjectionsintopreviouslyveryreasonableconversations.Andifpeopleliketodoanything,theyliketotalk,andboy,m’boy,don’ttheyliketotalk.Alot. Andifyoudon’tgetthatfundamentalcockingconceptI’mnotgoingtobothertalkingtoyouanymore. Anditdoes,toapoint:thatsaid,theamountofsmokeandmirrorsabouttheperceivedpartthatMySpaceandsiteslikeithaveplayedinthecareer-buildingofbandsisstaggering,tiresomeandI’mgoingtostoptalkingaboutitafterthissentencefinishes,unlessIthinkofsomethingelseabitlaterinthebook,whichisentirelypossible.AndSoEndTheViagraYears Andsogrewanetworkofnetworksofcomputersgluedtogether–eventually,onaworldwidebasis-downphonelinesandabletoaccessinformationhostedeitheronthecomputersthemselvesorondesignatedcomputerswhichactasserversfortheinformation.AndsoJoeMottwroteaboutitinhisinfluentialHotcolumn.Theinternetgroundswellhadcrossedoverintothepopularpress,whichstillholdspowerofasort.Andsomanythanksit’ssillytoZoëwhoputsupwithmorethanmost,andtowhomIstillcan’texpressjusthowmuchIvaluethat.Andthanksalsotothosewhowereinstrumentalinsettingthingsup,whodidtheirbesttosetthingsup,orwhosuggestedpossiblepeopletochattoandofferedideas:JudeAdams;Beth@Bestest;DougieBruce;PaulBryan;KarenChristie@WarnerMusic;VivienneClore;StuartDavid;DuncanDick;SusieEmber;SiriGarber@PlatformPublicRelations;MikeHanson;LouiseKattenhorn;NeinkeKlop@AllPress;TonyLinkin@CoalitionPR;WillLuff@EMI;TimLusher;KasMercer;CharliMorgan,whoclearlydoesn’tlovemeanymore;BenMyers;DavePichilingi;JeanArmourPolly;GordonRoss;ElizabethSheahan;NickTesco;SandiThom;KarenWalter@NME;YoungKim.AndtheArcticMonkeysweren’tonthecoverofthatmagazineuntilafterthey’dhadaNumberOnerecord.Theworldhaschanged,andinsanelyso.Thepowermaybeinfilteredpeergrouprecommendation,butindicationssuggestthatMySpaceandGooglehavebasedalargechunkoftheirincomeontargetedadvertisingatthemoment;Googlesearchitselfisbasedondirectingtheusertootherpeople’scontent,andMySpace,essentially,doesthesame.Andnoteverybodyhasthetalentornoustoputupinterestingstuff…Andthisisthenextgenerationinpower.Lordhelpusall. Andthisiswhereitstartstocometogetherproperly.Last.fmisaveryviablemodelthatactsbothasagenuinepeer-filteredmusicsourceandaverifiablesourceforactualfiguresastohowpopularatrackmayormaynotbe.WhilstMySpaceplaycountsareatbestunreliable,andatworstopentomanipulation,last.fm’sareagenuineindicator.Itisanimpressiveconcept,andonethatholdswithinitsomecluesastowherewemaybeheaded,formusicatleast.Andtodealwiththisbriefly,let’scheckoutacoupleastoriesthatrelatetoMySpaceinthesensethattheyillustratethepotentialpowerofpeer-groupnetworkingandthehugeswaythatwordofmouthnowholds.And,ifyoudon’tmindmesayingso,youlooklovelyinthosesocksyouhaveontoday. Annoyingthings.Advertisingisthebaneofanyinsanecapitalistsystem.Andsoontherewereprogramslaunchingnewbeeping,blasting,bloodyannoyingbrowserwindowsallovertheplacewithonemisplacedclick.Y’know,like,sheeshguys,leavemealoneyousods.I’mtryingtosurfforpornthelatestnews.Conversely,however,webadvertisingalsomonetisessystemsthatotherwisewouldrequireusersubscriptionandrestrictaccesstopartsoftheweb.Inasense,it’sanecessaryevilthatallowsamodicumoffreedom.That’sthetheory,anyway.AnotherSphereIsBorn AnotherVerbIsBorn Anyfurtherquestions? Anymoredoorstoblowoff?Formaneatline. AppendixFour:AFableFromAesop AppendixOne:Endnotes/Blogs ArcticMonkeys,SchmarcticSchmonkeys ArcticMonkeys’onlinePRishandledbySerenaWilsonofNile-On;there’snobodybettertosumitupthanshe.Asitturnsout,ofcourse,SandialreadywaswellonthewaytoinkingadealwithRCA;hermanagementhadalreadysetupapublishingdealwithWindswept,whoalsoboastBeyonceKnowlesasanartistontheirbooks.Amillione-flyershadbeensentoutviathewebandSandi’sownMySpacesite;theserverswereprovidedbyStreamingTank,acompanyspecialisinginbandwidth.Thatthemediaweretakeninbyagoodstoryisnothingnew.And,becauseMySpacewashottotrot,itwasanothereasymash-togetherfortomorrow’schipwrappers.Aswe’reonthismediamyth-bustingcrusade,whataboutLilyAllen?ShewasbrokenbyMySpace,wasn’tshe?Well,notreally;there’salittlemoretoitthanthat.Let’stalkLily.Or,morespecifically,let’sletJamieNelsontalkaboutLily.JamieisherA&Rmanageratherlabel,Parlophone.Heknowslotsofcoolstuff,whichyou’reabouttoreadafterthissentencefinishes.Asyouwere. ASCAP'srepresentatives arenegotiatingwith ASCAP inordertoestablish immediatedismissal Askanyonewho’sonthesite;they’llallhaveataleof‘howtheirfriendsarealwayspullingonthere’.Enterscalpel-sharpthinkerandIndielabelbossJohnBrainlove,who’sdeadsensibleandcleverandstuffand,entirelyincharacter,getsstraighttothecruxofthisoddbusiness.BeboAndFacebookAreKnockin’AtTheDoorCausePeopleTalkAboutThemLess Becausepeopleliketotalk.Andpeopleliketodiscover.Andpeopleliketobesoldto. Becausethewebneverstandsstill,andbecausepeopleliketotalk. Becauseyouneverknowwho’swhoonline,remember? BradGreenspan'srepresentatives havefoundthat BradGreenspan isguiltyof invasionofprivacy Broadband’sfastenoughtodothatthesedays;firingfilesaboutis,ofcourse,moreprevalentthaneverbefore,andthere’sagenerationwho’vegrownupknowinglittleelseinInternet-land.Sogettingahundredremixesforatrackwasfinallypossible;networkswithinnetworksallowedagroundswellofinteresttoform.Buildingconnections;buildingsocialnetworks. Buildingnetworks;buildingcredibility;buildingfriends. But‘New’IsNotTheSameAs‘Good’ Butforthedancemusicfraternity,thecommunity-buildingsideofMySpaceisutilisedveryefficientlytoo.It’sbeenperfectinkeepingincontactwithnewfriendsandold.We’vealldoneit;spendingallnightwithyourarmsroundstrangers,half-nakedandsweatyinrandomNorthernclubsthataredresseduplikeaVictorianboudoir,andvowingtearilyandwearilytostayintouchasthesuncomesup.Butthenyoulosetheirnumbersalongwithyourshort-termmemoryandthenyoulosetheirnumbers.Butithasnot. Butlet’ssticktothefactshere;ifyouwanthalf-truths,saysAesop,askthewilyfox. Butmaybethefutureisalreadyhere.And,hey,guesswhat?It’sexactlythesameasthepastwas. Butpeopleliketobesoldtoandnotsoldat.ThisuniqueuseoftheMySpacebulletinsandblogstocommunicatedirectlywithherfansisoneofthesite’smostinfluentialfeatures,andonewhichthemusicindustryhasbeenkeentomeshinwith.Butthat’snotwhytheymayyetconquertheworld. Butthensomethingstartedhappening.Theduo’strack,completewithcharminganimatedvideo,wasmadeavailableforstreamingfromtheirwebsite,jcbsong.com.Peoplestarteddownloadingitandsendingittoeachotherviaemail.TheJCBSongvideobegantobesharedbydisparatecharactersallovertheworld,oneofwhomwasJoeMottofnationalnewspaper,theDailyStar.ButtosaythisbandowesitssuccesspurelytoMySpace…well. Butyoudidn’tneedMySpaceforthat,didyou?Oreventhewebitself,ifyouextrapolateittothefullest.But,asTonyWilsonsays,“ThatbigmomentwhenBritishmediawentmadaboutittwomonthsagowaspurefuckingbollocks.”By1969,theconceptofapacketswitchingnetworkhadbeenimplemented. By1993theWWWwasmadeavailableunilaterallyasanopen-source,non-proprietaryprotocolsystem,anddesignedasaread/writeinterface:eventually,aslongasyouhadaccesstotheinternet,somewheretohostyourcontent,andthesoftwaretohand,youcouldputupyourownwebpage-completewithgraphicsandallthebellsandwhistlesyoucouldpossiblyenvisage,fromnastypinkbackgroundstoanimatedflyingdogs.Withhardwareandmemorycostsgoingdownasfastasprocessorandconnectionspeedsweregoingup,theriseofthehomecomputeraspartofmostwesternhouseholdscoupledwithBerners-Lee’sforesightusheredinwhatremainsthebiggestrevolutioninhumancommunicationandmemeticconsciousnesssincemylastbookwaspublished.Ortheinventionofcrustlessbread.Anywayhe’saSirthesedayssoshowhimlove.Bytheendoftheeighties,theinternetwas,like,allovertheplace. Castyourmindbacktwoorthreeyears–alifetimeinwebterms–andFriendsterwastheplacetobe.Everyonewasonthere.Everyone.Friendster,onitsweblaunchin2003,seemedtoofferitall;personalprofiles,messaging,connectionsbetweenpeoplethatblossomandstrengthentheinherentconceptbehindasocialnetworkingwebsite–themostinnovativebeingtheabilitytoleavetestimonialsontheprofilesofotherusers.Veryquickly,peopleenmasserushedtogetthemselvesonthere,spendinghouruponhourporingoverlistsofprivatelyconnectedusers,messagingeachother,andgenerallyslackingofffromtheworkinfrontofthemthatday.Itcouldhavebeenthekiller.Causeitbringstogetherallthecommunicationspossibilitiesintooneeasypackage,innit. ChrisAdamson'srepresentatives arecreatingtechnologieswhich ChrisAdamson saysshows abuse ChurchGroups'representatives aremarketinganewfeatureaimedat AChurchGroup whichensuresthat lovewilltearusapartagain Clever,too.Anditworked. Communicatingelectronicallymeansdevelopingwhatyoumightcalladigitalidentity;revealingthingsintextthatyou’dneverdreamoftalkingaboutinthefarragooftactilemessthatisknownas‘RealLife’.Itwasn’tallthatdifferenttoouronlinelivesnow;itjustlookedabitrubbish.Conceptually,however,alarge,clunkychunkofthediscussionspresentedherewithessentiallypredatetheinternet.ConcernedMothersAgainstFun'srepresentatives havekidnapped AConcernedMotherAgainstFun leadingto dancingthenightawaywithblatantdisregardforsafety.Orrhythm.ContentsWhat’sallthisaboutspaceandwhyisitsuddenlymine? ContrastingMySpaceWithTheSituationTenYearsAgoForFun CredibleBusinessModelsArePossible,Y’Know. Crucially,also,Abramsturneddownamulti-milliondollarofferfromGoogletobuyintoFriendster,preferringtobringinindependentinvestmentandkeepinternalcontrolofproceedings.Expansionintodifferentterritoriesandtheplannedadditionofadditionalfunctionalitypromisedabrightfuture;whyshouldtheyneedtocedecontrol?Crucially,perhaps,userscouldconnectwitheachotheronlythroughdirectfriendlinks–ratherthantheopen-to-searchfunctionalityofothersitesthathavesincesprintedpastFriendster.Friendster’scrack-downofanddeletionoffakeprofiles(‘Fakesters’)–thoseofcelebrities,pets,householdimplements–helpedfurtherdeflatethenascentenergeticsign-upthathadthrusttheprojecttotheforefrontofsocialnetworkingsites.Culturalvalue,ratherthanfinancial. Cutouteachsquare,puteachcolumn’ssquaresinthesamebagtilyouhavefivedifferentbags(A-E)andpickoutonesquarefromeachbagtoseeintothefuture…Cyberspace? DailyStarmusicjournalistJoeMottagrees.“I’llalwaysclickonandhavealook,”hesays,“AndifIlikeitI’llstick‘emonasamateandreadanythingelse,withinterest,thattheyposttome.Itdoesgiveyouthepotentialtohearalotofbandsandalotofmusicthatyouwouldn’thearnecessarily,evenifyouweregoingoutmoretraditionally,togigsofunsignedbands.Causeanyonecangetonthereyouwillhearalotmore–alotmoreofit’sshitaswell–butalotmorewillgetthroughthere,whichisIguesswhyalltheA&Rsareusingitsomuch.AsanA&Rtool.”DanceMusicIsAliveAndWell,ThankYouVeryMuch,StopGoingOnAboutItsDemisePlease Dancemusic,muchinlinewiththereasonsDaveBamforthsetupFacepartyinthefirstinstance,hasalwayshadthatsenseofclosenessaboutit;uniquely,there’sawideropennessatwork,whichmakestheconceptofacommunityaverydifferentonetothosewhichgatherround,andareevenmobilisedby,specificbands.Danger!Danger! Don’tbestupid.Butyeah.Thedepravedbitisfairlyaccurate. Don’tfuckwithme,I’maninja. Drawingbackafewpaces,hetookarunandajump,andjustmissedthebunch. Eaty’selffitter. Electronicmail–email–hasspeduphumancommunicationsconsiderably.It’ssomuchpartofourlivesthesedaysthatthere’sawholegenerationgrowingupintopositionsofpowerthathasneverworkedwithoutit.Andasmoreandmorepeoplecameonline,sothey–we–startedchuckingoutanotherverb–insteadofhandingoutphonenumbersafteranotherresolutelyunsuccessfuldate,JoeShoomanpeoplewouldbefobbedoffwithaswift‘emailme’.EnterThePop-Up Er,ok.But,y’know,erm.Whyhaven’tyougotatellyGavin?Isn’tthatabit…y’know? Er,yeah.What’saninternet? EverythingOnDemandintheworld,wetalkaboutIPTVbeingOnDemand;peoplemakeitout,withbighype,asthismassiverevolution.It’snot.We’vebeendoingeverythingondemandformillennia.Yougointoasupermarketandyoubuyaloafofbreadwhenyouwantto;it’sondemand.Schedulingbroadcasting,fromaTVperspective,isactuallyaveryunnaturalthing.Soalotofitssuccessisnotbecauseit’sanewtechnology,it’sjustautomating,insomeways,electronicallydoingthingsthatwedoinaverynaturalandfamiliarway.”ExclusiveContent+Credibility=Sales? Facepartymightjustwellbe,though.Thesitehadbeenestablishedwaybackin1997underthemightilyfineandequally-mightilyridiculousnameof‘CaptainMiracle’byoneDaveBamforth,whohadbeenalegendaryundergroundpartypromoterwiththespikyfreedomofmindthathadseenhimemergemoreorlessunscathedfromtheravesceneofthelateeighties.Faceparty’sadvancedfeaturesatthetimeofwriting–the‘CoolTools’thatbringamoreprecisecontroloverthecommunicationsabilitiesandgeneralfeelofthesitefortheindividualuser–requiredalevelofsubscription,butinthemain,thesiteisfreeanditsmainfeatureshavebecometheblueprintformanyotherofthesocialnetworkingsitesbandiedaroundinthepress.FACT'srepresentatives saythatterrorstoriesspreadby FACT isconsequentialof feelinggoddamnFUNKY Forgeneralsupportandencouragement,whichmayormaynotincludelatenightwhisky-fuelledplotting,pokergames,transatlanticshit-talkinganddodgyveggiepretend-meat-basedbutties:AndyDaley:RobbieDiebel;JonHall;RogerHill;PaulHunt;MikePoggione;RobWhiteley;KarlatWindsorWines;Woody-andalltherestofyouslotwhoalwayshammermeatTexasHold‘Em,niceone.ThoughrememberI’mstilltheonlyoneofustodrawastraightflush,sowatchout.FormostpeopleintheUKtheanswertothecontact-findingconundrumwaspresentedinMay2000withthelaunchofFriendsReunited,setupbyStevePankhurstinhisbackbedroomwhilstpregnantwifeJuliekeptmoideringonaboutwhatheroldfriendsmightbeupto.Freetosignup,FriendsReunitedisessentiallyacentraldatabasewheretheuserscanregisterwhichschoolandcollegestheywentto,setupapersonalprofileofcurrentinterests,uploadpicturesandsearchforotherpeoplewho’ddonethesame.Itsconsequentuser-generatedpersonalprofilecontentofone-upmanshipandvoyeurismreflectedboththegrowingcultofdigitalidentity-building,and,byassociation,historicallywiderhumantraits.Itwasaddictive,indeed.Free!Free!Free!Now!Now!Now!New!New!New! FriendsReunitedisverymuchasocialnetworkingsitebased(loosely)roundpreviousschoolin’nstuff,andremainswidelypopular,despitethefactthatthatthere’sa(negligible,butneverthelessextant)yearlychargetosendandreceiveunlimitedemailstherein.Itssuccesswassuchthatthesite’smembershipsnowballedfromaseriouslyrespectablethreethousandguysngalsinitsfirstyeartoacurrentuserbaseofoverfifteenmillion.Friendster Friendstermightyetconquertheworld;theiractivepopulationhassteadilybeenrisingoflatedueto,inpart,increasedfunctionality.Friendstershouldhavetakenovertheworld. FromthetranscriptoftheinterviewwithTilaTequila. Gah.You’renouse.IjustwantedtolearnaboutwhyIsuddenlyappeartoownsomespace.Ididn’tpayforit,andI’venoaccesstoarocketeither.GavinHerlihyistheFeaturesEditorofEurope’sbiggestdancemusicMagazine,Mixmag.He’salsoatechno-freak,tothepointthathedoesn’tevenownatelly!Whichisworrying,causetheonlyotherpersonIknowwhodoesn’townatelevisionspendsallhistimeplayingthepiano,andreadingbooks,andlearningthings,andcreatingart!Whichquitefranklyiscompletelyweirdobehaviourthatwethoughtwe’dstampedoutyearsago.Goodtoendthisbitonanicenote,causeI’mafraidtosaythatitallgetsabitdarkerforawhilehere,sorry.Don’tworry,theArcticMonkeysandloadsofcoolmusictypesappearintenpagesorso.PlusaPlayboymodel,soy’know.Karmaandallthat.Gootube GotAllThat? Gotcha.NiceworkBB. Habitatisagraphical,digitalsocialnetworkingtool. Habitatthereforeenablesanotherlevelofcommunicationwithinavirtualcommunitythatdevelopsitsowngovernmentalandsocialrulesdependentontheindividualusersandtheirreal-worldidentities.HelloMisterPrecedent Here’sacoupleofthose‘successstories’toldinthewordsofthosewhoknowwhatreallyhappened.AndmaybeabitofswearingifIcanshoehornitinsomewhere.Here’sMr.Wilsonagain:“SandiThom,‘thegirlthathaddoneherownwebcast,anditwasado-it-yourselfthing’–she’dsignedahugebloodypublishingdeal.Publishing’sthemostimportantaspectofamusicdeal,it’swherealltherealmoneyis–andherpublisherstheywerepayingforaproperwebsitewebcast.Sothereisalotofbollocksaboutit.”HomeTapingIsKillingMusic:CopyrightConundraAndImpendingDigitalDisasters Honestly.Justlookontheweb.Justlookattheweb.Thingschangesofastthesedays.Howcanyoueverseektopinaninherentlytransientmediumdowntoafixedpointintimeandspace?Likethedefinitionofmorality,theconceptofjusticeandthegameofrugbyunion,itisbynatureafutileexercisebestavoided.HowPeopleMakeTheSexOnTheseKindOfSites HowTheBubbleBurst,WithSplendidConsequences HowTheIndustryLearnedToStopWorryingAndLoveTheDownload HowTheMusickIndustryCanMakeMySpaceDoVeryInterestingStuff,AndThat HowTheMusickIndustryStartedGoing,‘Ere,Wot’sAllThisAboutThen’ HowToGetInTouchWithEveryoneYouHatedInSchool HowToGetToNumberOneWithoutSellingAnyRecords http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/ny_spyware.html–retrievedNovember2006 http://www.intermix.com/about_privacy.cfm–retrievedNovember2006 Ibelieveher,too. IDefinitelyThinkMeAndTilaHadADeepConnectionHere IloveMySpace.Truly,Ido.Ithinkit’sgreat;I’malwaysonthereandwhenthisprojectcameupIjumpedattheopportunitytospendevenmoretimesurfingaroundandmessingabout,exceptthistimeitwas‘work’.ThereareguidestoMySpaceavailableelsewhereandifyouneedone,youshouldn’tbeonthesite.Conversely,ifyou’reonthesitealready,youprettymuchdon’tneedone.Sothisisn’tone.WhatbecameveryclearlyobviousveryquicklywasthattotryandtalkaboutMySpacewithouttalkingaboutmusic,theweb,theinternet,sociology,economics,culture,linguistics,technologyandbasicallyhumansthemselveswasafutileexercise.ButI’vedonemybesttoatleastgivemysubjectiveviewsonamassivesubjectwhichchangeseverydamnedday.Ilovethatman,andifheletsme,I’mgoingtotakehimdownRusholmewayandbuyhimthebestcurryintheworld.IThinkITriedToChatSandiUpOnce,NowIComeToThinkOfIt IThinkThisManHasHitTheNailOnTheHeadHereSoI’mGoingToShutUpAndLetHimTalkToYouInsteadIthinkyoukindaknowwherewe’regoingnext,sohere’sablankpagetogiveusbothsomethinkingtime;inaminutewe’llseeifwebothcometothesameconclusionastowhichsitewe’reonabout.PartThree:Space,TheFinalFrontBottomEarIToldYouThisBookWasAlreadyObsolete,ButYouDidn’tListenDidYou? I’dputitabovebothof‘em,meself,like.ButIaminmanywaysasoullessandincoherentman,Iguess.Butyoucannowpostyourlast.fmchartsinyoursocialnetworksiteofchoice,too,convergingthingsevenfurther.IfBebodoesanything,itallowsayoungergenerationtobecomeinvolvedwithsocialnetworkingonthewebinaself-selectedagegroupdemographic.Theunderlyingprinciplestoallthesesites,however,aresimilarindeed.Inordertooperateone,presumingyouhadseveralmillionquid-orwhatevertheyusedtouseascashwhentheworldwasall,like,blackandwhiteandscratchy,andeveryonewalkedarounddeadfast,dressedinbowlerhatsandpenguinsuitsandlookedlikeCharlieChaplin-youhadtodonawhitecoatandgoalmostentirelybald,andperchedonyourheadwouldbeapairofblack,bakeliteNHSglasseswithlensessothickyou’dhavetonickstainedglassfromthelocalchurchtoreplacethem.Andyou’ddefinitelyneedaclipboard.Youhadtobe,basically,DenisNorden.Inotherwords,GnarlsBarkleyalreadyhadcredibility:therecordwouldhaveclimbedthechartsregardlessofthedeliveryformat.Becausepeopleliketolistentomusic,andiftheylikethemusictheywillbuyit.Inshort,thisishowthelatteryearsoftheNinetieswent: Intheoldendays,computersweremassive.Huge;humungous;ofanenormousvastnessunimaginabletomoderneyes.Theyweresobig,infact,thattoownoneyou’dneedawholefloorofanofficebuildingspare.Theseoldcomputersweresomind-meltinglybigthatyoucouldwalkaroundinsidethem.Theyranonspit,string,vacuumtubesandmillionsofmegawattsofelectricity,andsometimestheycouldprocessdifficultsumssofastthatyouwouldonlyhavetowaitaroundeighteenhourstofindtheanswertoacomplexproblemsuchas“Whatdoyougetifyoumultiplysixbynine?”Theywere,astoday’s‘kids’wouldsay,“OMG,like,totallymega-cool?Theytotally,like,pwn?LOLercopter”Intruth,fundamentallythisisnotaMySpace-createdphenomenonbyanydefinition;neithercanitbeputdowntoanyofthesocialnetworkingsites,thewebitselforanykindoftechnologyextantoryettobeinvented.ThefactsarethatMySpacethemselveshaveheldmanymeetingswithconcernedparentsinordertodiscussthisproblem,whichisnothingtodowithenablingtechnologies,andeverythingtodowiththedarkerandmoredistressingfacetsofpersonalhumanmorality.Andthatisaproblemthathasbesettheworldsincethefirstdaysofsocialinteraction.PartFour:ProfessionalisingAndMonetisingAllThisStuffWe’reOnAbout“Thetimethe14-25yearoldspendsturningthepagesofmagazineshasmassivelyreducedoverthelasttenyearscomparedtothetimetheyspendclickingamouse.Whereaspeoplemyagewouldsitintheirbedroomslisteningtomusic,andreadingmagazines,we’renowonline.Andit’sevenworsefortheyoungerpeople,soconsequentlyyouhavetobeinthatspaceinordertogetyourmessagesacross,andsecondlyyou’vegottoutilisethatspaceinordertocreateanexperienceoffline.It’snotenoughanymoretotryandadvertisewithjustflat,twodimensionalprintadverts.Thatkindofmediajustseemstobedyingadeathrattle”Indeedtheyare.AndinthecaseofSheffieldbandArcticMonkeys,2006sawtheirstarfirmlyintheascendant.Thepopularreadingofthetalegoessomethinglikethis:bandstarts.BandstartsMySpacepage.Bandsuddenlymagicallyhassixtyfivethousandfriendsandmillionsofpageviews.Bandgetsdeadfamousandtourstopackedcrowdsathugevenues.Andit’salldowntoMySpace.com!Inevitably,thefreedomengenderedbytheopeningupofcyberspacetoallandsundrywasswiftlyswoopeduponbythecommercialsector:onethingthatyoucanbesureofinlifeisthatwherepeoplecongregate,sotherewillbehawkers,hustlersandsubsequentlyamarketplaceforanythingandeverythingyoucanenvisage.Theearlyyearsoftheweb,themid-to-latenineties,werenoexception.Themoney-lenderswerefirmlyinthetemple,andtheyweren’tformovin,nosirreebucko.Intriguing… Isalwaysfun. Isit? Itdoesindeed.Sorted.Getit? Itfulfilsaveryspecificcorerole,anddoesitwell–but,arguably,it’sjustnotperceivedasbeingascoolassomeoftheotheronesoutthere.Anditsureashellain’tthekillerwebapplicationthat’spermeatedeverypartofageneration’ssociallivesneither.Itis1986.YouownaCommodore64.YousubscribetoQuantumLinkandareconnectedtotheInternet.Q-Link’sonlinefeaturesincludeelectronicmail;participatorymessageboards,news,instantmessagingandallmannerofpeople-connectionchatty-chattytools.Itis2006.YouownaPCoraMac,orboth.YousubscribetooneISPoranotherandareconnectedtotheInternet.Yoursocialnetworkingsiteorwebportalofchoiceoffersonlinefeaturesincludeelectronicmail;participatorymessageboards,news,instantmessagingandallmannerofpeople-connectionchatty-chattytools.Itwasanadmirable,butfundamentallyflawed,strategy;inshootingforthetwintwinklingstarsofexpansionandexplosion,somewheredownthelinethetechnicalsidewasoverlooked:thesitewasnotoriouslyoftenbesetbyserverdowntimeandoverload,unabletocopeeffectivelywiththeexplosionofconcurrentactivelogged-inusers;profilesatthatstageweren’tcustomisable;finally,therebuffedGoogleinsteadputtheirinvestmentintotheirownaffiliatedsocialnetworkingsite,Orkut.Itwasn’tanewconcept;Usenetusershadbeenfiringthingsateachotherbeforethewebhadeverbeeninvented,andofcourseHomeTapinghadbeenKillingMusicformanyyearsbeforethat(plusithadthecoolestlogoofanyanti-piracycampaignever,withthattotallyawesometape‘n’crossbonesthinggoin’on).Thiswasmostprominently,butnotexclusively,takingplaceonNapster,anMP3file-sharingprograminvented,codedandimplementedbyShawnFanningin1999andquicklyjumpeduponbypeoplenaughtilysharingcopyrightmaterialwhentheyshouldn’thavebeen.Theconceptofmusicbeingfreelyavailableappealedgreatlytothenewgeneration;notsothemajorlabels,whocouldseerevenuestreamscrumblingawaybeforetheireyes.Mostfamously,bighittersincludingLarsUlrichofMetallica,Dr.DreandMadonnaflippedoutaboutit,andNapsterwassubsequentlyforcedintobankruptcy.Lawsuitsagainstmusicusersbegantokickin,butthegeniehadbeenletoutofthebottleandtheinevitableconsequenceofNapster’sdemisewasmerelythatintothevacuumleftbythatparticularpieceofsoftwareweresuckedawholehostofnewfile-sharingprogramswhoseusers,moreoftenthannot,werecontinuingthecompellingpracticeofswappingallmannerofmaterialinwhichtheydidnotholdcopyright.Thelabelswho’dreleasedthemusicweren’tgettin’nocash,dude,andneitherwerethemusiciansgettingtheirrecoupable-advanced,tour-supportless,packaging-deductioneddirtycoppercoinmicro-percentagesasaresult.Badnewsallround:but,hey,thisistheweb,remember.TheWildWest.Andeveryonewantedmonetarycontrolofit.It’sallverywelltogoonaboutsomebravenewworldofrobo-flipfullofcheekycomputerscommunicatingwitheachother,buttheunavoidablefactisthatbehindeachcomputerterminalisanoperator.Aperson.It’snotamagicbullettotheoldin-out,however. It’s…okay,fairenough,let’srewind…thisconversationisgettingusnowhere.Ithinkwe’llhavetogobackintimetothe‘book’configurationtosortthisallout.Don’tworry.It’sgotsomenice,reassuringpicturesinit,andlaterithastheword‘boffin’atregularintervals.JacCodiBaw JoeMott:“Ofcourseit’sacompletepublicitystunt,but–sowhat?I’vegotnoproblemwiththat.Again,itwasbeingusedasatool;isitanyworsethan,say,spendingaloadofmoneytotakejournalistssomewhereflash,andgivingthemagreatlightshow,orsomething,youknow?Or–andIlikeher–pouringaloadofmoneyintopromotingAmyWinehouse’salbumtomakesureitsells300,000.Imean,ifyoulookatLilyAllen,forexample,heralbum’ssellingfor£4.99/£6inVirgin.They’renotmakinganymoneyonthatalbum.SoIdon’tseeanyharminusingtheinternet,orMySpace,orwhatevertheyareclaimingitisforSandiThom.It’sanothertooloutthere,it’shot,solet’sjustcopyit.It’sfreetodo,andifmugginsjournalistswillbuyitandwriteaboutit,well–whynot?”JoeMott:“Peopleseemtoforgetthattheyweredoingthegigs,andtheyhadtheloyalfanbasealready.Theyhad,asfarasIcantell,afanbaseasbigasBabyshambleshad,beforetheygotpickedupbythetabloidsandbecameimmense–butthenthatfanbasetookittothenetaswell.Whichhelpeditspread:butthey’dalreadydonethehardgraft.Iftheydidn’thavethefanbasethenitwouldn’thavematteredwhethertheywereontheinternet.Idon’tactuallybelievethatthere’sbeenabandthat’sbeenmadeontheinternetyet.”JoeShooman JoeShooman,November2006AppendixThree:SoundtrackToABook JoeShooman'srepresentatives havebeensuedby JoeShooman alleging copyrightinfringement JonThorntonissomeonetowhomIowemorethanIcanwriteherewithoutsoundinglikearightdingler,andthoughhisfascinatinginsights,ideas,guidanceandall-roundgeniusmaynothavemadeitintothefinaltext,theywereabsolutelyvitalingettingmyremainingbraincellsworkingatall.SammyAndrewsandDavidRowellbothwentwaybeyondthecallofdutyinhelpingwithcontactsandbeingsohonest-andI’mgoingtobuythemboththebestcurryintheworldifthey’llletme.JS:Hi!Youwerejustabouttotellmetheanswertothefutureandeverything,andthemeaningoflife. JS:Ifyou’dhavebeenborntenyearsearlier,whatwouldyouhavedone?You’dhavebeenarockstar,Ithink.JS:It’scalled“WhoseSpaceIsItAnyway?” JS:Prettygoodaccent,actually!I’minLiverpoolasithappens. JS:Welldone!Youneedsomebiscuitstogowiththat.Orateacake.Andanapkin,ofcourse.AndapictureoftheQueentosalutewhenyou’redrinkingit.JS:Well,thankyouverymuchfortalkingtome.Ireallyappreciateit. JS:Yeah!Youshoulddothat–butyouhavetogivemybookaplugaswell! Kinda.Yousortofneedtofindpeoplewhoareatallarsedaboutyourrandommusingsonboysyoufancy,half-bakeddiariesofhowyourlandlordhasboughtyouanewfridge,andquarter-bakedlibelsscattergunnedatallandsundry.Therearemorewhoshoutthanmorewholisten;andsobegananoddperiodwherepersonaldiarieswerechuckedonthewebwilly-nillyforeveryonetosee.Theblogospherewasborn.Rejoicingfollowed.KordaMarshall,HeadOfWarnerUK:“SandiThomdidn’thaveaserverbigenoughtodealwithallthe125,000peoplewhodownloadedhervideo.Soit’snotalldoneoutofabedroominStockwellorCamden,it’sdonewiththebackupandthefullservicesofamajorcorporationwithallthefacilitiesandISP,andallthedigitalknow-howthatyouneedtomakethatwork.”KordaMarshall:“It’salreadybeenmonetised;it’sjustthatthemoney’snotcomingtothepeoplewhoarecreatingtheart.Thetelecomscompaniesaremakingafortuneoutofit.Itcostsalottobuyacomputerandgetitupandthemouseandeverythingelsearoundit,andthemonthlypaymentsforyourbroadband;that’snotcheapmusic,that’snotfreemusic–that’squiteexpensive.”Last.fmAndCollaborativeFilteringMadeSimpleThroughComplexMeans Lawyers'representatives and ALawyer witha bustmeasurementof36E Let’sblowthebloodydoorsoffonthisone,onceandforall.Asocialcommunityisnotaremotelynewidea,norhasanyparticularwebsiteorbusinessmodelsuddenlycreatedthenotionthatpeopleliketotalktoeachother.Solet’sblowthebloodydoorsoff.Let’sTryAgain. LilyAllen Look,it’snotspaceinaJamesKirksense,nomatterhowregularhisbowelsarethesedayscauseofthecerealsheeats.It’scyberspace.Itdoesn’treallyexist.It’slikevirtualreality,exceptaboutelvisly-twelvetythousandbilliontimesmoreshitthanTheLawnmowerManwouldhaveyoubelieve.Makingsenseofthemassiveamountofinformationonthewebwastakenanotherlogicalstepfurtherbyoneofthefewcompaniestohaveactuallybasedtheirdot.comactivitiesonbothsoundandunconventionalbusinessideas,andthereforenotonlysurvive,butblastin’wellthrive.Google’sinnovativePageRankingsystemmadethemthemostelegantsearchengineoutthere;italso–eventually-raisedrathersignificantamountsofcashbysellingadvertisingspacetargetedtoandbythesearchthroughtheirAdWordstechnology.Anetprojectthathadliterallybeguninthegarageofastudenthadbecomethelastwordonwebsearch,andamajorplayerinthiswholekaboodle.AdWordswasalsoaboonforthoserarebloggerswhosereadershipwasregisteringhightraffic,andpeopleactuallymakecashthiswaythesedays.Mad,isn’tit.MarkSutherland:“Isawthemlive,earlyon,andtheirgigwaspackedwithpeoplesingingalongtoeverywordofsongsthathadn’tbeenreleased,andtheywereprobablythebigsensationsofReadingFestival2005,playingatinytentandyoucouldn’tgetanywherenearthetentifyouturnedupafterthey’dcomeonbecausethereweresomanythousandpeoplewho’dcometoseethem.Andyetnoneoftheirmediacoveragereallykickedinuntilthey’dhadanumberonerecord.”MarkSutherland:“LilyAllenhadarecorddealbeforeshehadaMySpacesite.Sosomebodyhadalreadyspottedherpotentialasanartist.Soit’sgreatifyou’reaPR.Butit’sgreatifyou’reajournalist,ifsomebodysays,‘thisbandhavegotthismanyfriends’thenyouthinkthat’satleastadegreeofpopularity.You’renotsomuchtakingashotinthedarkasperhapsyouwouldhavebeenintheolddayswhenyouwouldhavetotakeagambleonaband.Getbehindthemandsupportthemintermsofpresscoverage.Thiswayatleastyouthinkpeopleareinterestedalready.InawayIthinkthat’skindofremovedtheA&Rfunctionofmusicjournalismabit,whichisashame.Butitmeansthey’retakinglessrisks.”Microsoft'srepresentatives workingonbehalfof Microsoft isresponsiblefor akillerrobotwhichleftuncheckedwilldestroylifeasweknowitMillionsofusersoftheweb=millionsofuserswithcash=millionsofpoundsbeingspentbyventurecapitalistsandstockmarketspeculatorsonhalf-bakedweb‘businesses’thatwouldneverreturnontheirmoney=millionsofdogsbought=bigstockmarketcrash.MobileIsKing MoreKnightFeverFromTheManHimself Moresinisterly,thedatatrailhasseriousrepercussions:unlessyousetyourprofiletoprivate,you’reindangerofnotbeingconsideredforjobopportunities;suchisthegrowingtrendofemployerstotakeadvantageoftheopenaccesstooftendeeply-personalinformation.Inshort,whenyoucreateyourprofileandareintheprocessofwritingupyoursocialnetworkingbookblogyoumaywellbesat,naked,inthedark,smokingCamberwellCarrotsinfrontofyourpersonalcomputer–buteverywordyouwriteandsubsequentlypublishforalltoseeisapotentialblackmarkagainstyourname.Moralityonthenetisasmuchbuiltonshiftingsandsastheconceptofhonesty.Peopleliketotalk.Toyou,butalsoaboutyou.Inthedigitalworld,everythingisatriskofbecomingpublicdomain,whetherthatbecopyrightcontentsuchasmusicoryourownsexualadventures:thenetdoesnotdiscriminate.ToMisterInterwebit’salljustaseriesofzeroesandonesandthiskindathingjustcomeswiththeterritory,buckeroo.Freedomain’tallshinystonesandsettinguprumpypumpy;freedomisnotdowntointerpretation.Therevolutionwillnotbedigitized.Mostofthestuffinherewasoutofdateagesago. Muchbetter. MuchlikeFriendsReunited,theideabehindFriendster’sgenesislayinaparticularlyhumanexperience:founderJonathanAbramswasaprogrammerinSiliconValley,workingonvariousapplications,includingNetscape–theforerunner,inatypicallycomplex‘net-typepathway,totheopensourceFirefoxbrowser.Thestory,whichispossiblyapocryphal,andcertainlydeniedbyAbramshimself,runssomethinglikethis:frustratedatthelackofopportunitiesforhimselfandhisfriendstohookupwithpotentialdates,someonewiththetechnicalnoussetsupawebsitethatwouldenableonlinecommunicationeasierandbuildupanetworktomakenewconnections.MySpace MySpacecertainlyoffersmoreuser-interactivitythaneverbefore;theproliferationof‘PimpMyMySpace’-typesitesonthewebistestamenttothat.Whilstintheearlydaysoftheweb,thevisionaryboffinsenvisagedeveryonebeingabletodesignandpublishtheirownpages,therealitywasthatevenHTMLwastoofiddlyandtoomuchlikeanewlanguageforanyonewhowasn’tDennisNordentoactuallybeabletoabsorbandimplement.AftertenyearsofbeingpeddledandinfectedbyViagraSpam,alliedtothesubsumationofdigitallifeintodaytodayexistence,however,anewgenerationisgrowingupmorecomputer,webandtechnology-savvythaneverbefore.MySpaceappearstopresentitsuserswithasmorgasbordofhangaroundability:frombulletinstosendroundyourfriendstoinstantmessaging,powerfulsearchesandforums,comedy,booksandmusic,embeddedvideoandaudiocontentandthatever-compellingcustomisableprofile.Thesitehasverynearlybecomewhatyoumightthinkofasagatewaywebbrowser–aself-containedmicrocosmofallthatthekidswouldwantontheweb.Itis,asDailyStarmusicjournalistJoeMottputsit,‘theinternetmadeeasy,’aswellasatoolthat,inthewordsofFaceparty’sDaveBamforth,shouts,‘LookAtMe!’MySpaceitself,associalsoftware,hasbasedalotofitssuccessonthefactthatsign-upiseasyandfree.It’saimedatthoseoffourteenandover,withprofilesofitsuserswhoareundersixteenautomaticallysettoprivate.Allveryadmirable,butheadovertothe‘personalinformation’sectionand–whammo.Youcanchangeyourdateofbirthtoanythingyouchoose.Whilstthisinitselfisanotherlayerofinteraction,italsomeansthatonthesiteit’spossiblethatpeoplearenotquitewhattheyseem.MySpaceMakesThingsHappenForBands MySpaceSponsorCoolStagesAtFestivalsAndHaveARecordLabelToo MySpace.com/1upband MySpace.com/28costumes MySpace.com/apatt MySpace.com/billyenglanduk MySpace.com/bloodyhellitsthelungs MySpace.com/christinamalley MySpace.com/connanandthemockasins MySpace.com/doctorspock MySpace.com/fflaps MySpace.com/flamingo50 MySpace.com/formermissamerica MySpace.com/gofasterband MySpace.com/izaboband MySpace.com/jacksharp MySpace.com/joeandthebs MySpace.com/johnacousticsmith MySpace.com/kayaherstad MySpace.com/lyonsandtigers MySpace.com/maplebee MySpace.com/ruthcullen MySpace.com/sexeducationband MySpace.com/silvinightsuperstar MySpace.com/skinflickx MySpace.com/trepenna MySpace.com/vaffancoulo MySpace.com/voorock MySpace.com/zombinaandtheskeletones NapsterAndp2pThreatensToDestroyTheWorldAsWeKnowIt NewspaperssuchasTheDailyMailhavehighlightedandcitedcasesofpaedophilestrawlingthesitetogroomvictims,onereporterposingasafifteenyear-oldgirlandquicklygarneringunwelcomeattentiononline.Andalthoughthemediaispronetoknee-jerkreactionaryreporting,satirisedbeautifullyandmostnotoriouslybyChrisMorrisin2001inanepisodeoftheprovocativeChannel4TVshow,BrassEye,thefactthatyoucanneverbequitesureifpeople’sdigitalidentitiesareaccurateorevenhonestisoneoftheconceptualquandariesofourage.Ninjas'representatives urgethat ANinja hascheatedby pissingintheofficecoffeeurn NizlopiareaduofromWarwickshirewithanattylineinpoppy-personalditties.InJune2005theyreleasedaparticularlysilly,butserious,dittyallaboutJCBs,dyslexiaandbullying,andcunninglytitled‘TheJCBSong’.Itstiffedatnumber160intheUKcharts.NMEeditorConorMcNicholas’viewisthat,“They’veboughtawholeloadofservers,abrandname,somegoodbrains,andakindofmarketingfootprint.Whichisonlyasrelevantandworthwhileaslongasit’sactuallythere.Andthejobnow–likeanymediacompany–istomakesurethattheyactuallykeepthemthere,andstayonestepaheadoftheconsumerstomakesurethatthey’veactuallygotwhattheconsumerswant.It’satoughjob–butit’sthesamethingthatwealldo.”Notleastforthebands;themassivesurgeofnewmusicavailableonthesiteduring2005and2006reallydidprovideamorelevelplayingfieldforactsseekingtobreakthroughsomeofthebarriersthatexistedbetweentheirmusicandtheA&Rdepartmentsofrecordlabels.ThisalsoappliedtoreachingouttoRadioOneDJsincludingHuwStephens,whoseinfluentialshowonthatstationisentirelydependentonfirstdiscoveringandsubsequentlyplayingrecordsbynew,unknownbands.Notsurprisingly,allthepeopleinthisbitherewouldonlysharetheirexperiencesiftheycoulddoitunderfalsenames.But,handonheart,Ipromisethatnoneofthemareme,whichI’malittlebitupsetabouttobehonest.Anyways,theinstantmessagingandincognitosearchabilityofprofilesthatMySpaceoffershasleddirectlytosomeseriousshagginginreallife.Now,you’dthinkthatonesectionofthecommunitythathavenoneedforsuchaidsarethoseoddpeopleknownas‘students’,whatwiththeiryard-of-alcopop,skool-disko,orgiasticone-hour-of-work-a-weeklifestyles.But,ofcourse,they’lluseanyexcuse,assomeonewhosenameisdefinitelynotEddyZweibelexplains.Ofcourse,‘theinternet’isabuzzyandinpartmeaninglesstermwhichbasicallydescribesanumberofnetworksnetworkedtogetherornotasthecasemaybe.It’sonlyinretrospectthatwecanidentifythevariousproprietaryprotocolsasasomewhatchaotic,butnonethelessconceptuallyunified,whole–itisaWideAreaNetwork.Sothat’swhatwe’lldo:theprincipleofunifyingthevaryinghardwareandsoftwaresystemstogetthemtospeaktoeachotherinalanguagethattheyallunderstandiswhatwe’reonabouthere,andifyouwantittogetmoretechythanthatyou’lljusthavetotalktosomeonewithabalderheadthanme,whowearsbigNHSglassesandawhitecoat,asdiscussedinthewiki‘ABriefHistoryOfComputers’onthepreviouspage.OhChrist,let’snotgetintomobilecontent;thatisawholeotherkettleofpots.Butyeah,that’swherethemoney’sheaded.Soifyou’resmartyou’lltrackwhatMySpaceareplanninginthatregard.Thenyoucanwriteabookaboutit,called“WhoseMobileIsItAnyway?”Or“MyBileOrYours”.Havefun.Ilookforwardtoreadingit.Onehotsummer'sdayafoxwasstrollingthroughanorchardtillhecametoabunchofgrapesjustripeningonavinewhichhadbeentrainedoveraloftybranch.OneofthebuzzwordsofallthisWeb2.0nonsense,whichisprettymuchwhatwe’reonabouttobehonest,issomethingknownas‘citizenjournalism’.Thejustificationgoessomethinglikethis:‘aseveryonehasaccesstotheweb,everyonecannotonlyreadtheinformationupthere,butalsotheycanwriteanythingtheylikeaboutanythingtheylike’.Thisismeant,onpaper,toindicatealevellingoftheplayingfieldandanultimatedemocratisationofthemedia–‘nolonger,’goestheargument,‘willpeoplehavetorelyonthetraditionalmediaoutletstopresenttheminformation.No,no,no:noweverybodycanbeajournalist,acommentator,acolumnistandawriter.Allyouneedisaweblogandtheworldwilllisten!’Oneofthehugefallaciesabouttheconceptofmusicbeingavailableonlineisthatitiskillingtherecordindustry:itisn’t.It’sstrengtheningit,ifanything,andthanktheLordthatthecustomersarebeingabletoauditionandchoosemusicthatistotheirtastemorethaneverbefore.MySpaceitselfisanavatarforthenewpowershiftinthemarket,anenablingprogramonthewebthatisausefultoolforA&R,PR,Labels,FansandRadioprofessionalsalike.Ifphysicalsalesareweakening,it’smerelyasignthatthemarketwantstoconsumeitsmusicinamoreflexibleway:handsupifyouownaniPod,chaps.OneofthemostsuccessfulonlinemarketplacesandgatheringgroundsforkidswhowanttobesoldtoisLoserkids.com,theUKversionofwhichemploysLucyHughes.Theyalso,ofcourse,haveamassiveandactivepresenceonMySpace.OneoftheproblemsisthatthegenerationthathasgrownupwithMySpaceandsiteslikeithavealsogrownupwithafewkeyconceptsthatsitessuchasNapsterhighlighted.OneoftheworriesforMySpaceusersmaybethat,whentheysignedupforaMySpaceaccount,ithadamischievous,anarchicfeeltoit.Willtheinvolvementofahugecorporationdentthatundergroundvibe?OneofthesecleverbodswasKingBoffin,TimBerners-Lee,who–toallintentsandpurposes-inventedtheWorldWideWeb.Wedon’tneedtogointoitmuchhere,butsufficeittosaythataftertheusualdaftnessoftrying,andfailing,toconvincepeoplethattheideaofdevelopingandstandardisinghypertext,inordertoindexandcross-referencethebodyofinformationavailableontheinternetwasintrinsicallysound,heonlywentandwrotetheblimminthinghimself–aneasytousebrowsersystemthatbasicallymadesomesenseoftheinformationpreviouslyonline,andbyitscunningnaturethereforeenabledeveryusertogeneratetheirowncontenttopiggybackontheinternet.Oneoftheseistheideathatsharingmusicshouldbeunregulated:onceit’supthereasyourprofiletrackonMySpace,forinstance,everyonecanhearthattrackwhentheysurftoyourpage.Musicbeingthesocialforceitis,thetracksyouchooseasapersonalsignatureareaspowerfulastatementofyourowntasteasmuchasthe‘AboutMe’sectionoryourblogcouldeverarticulate.Clearly,however,thisdigitalversionofplaygroundtape-swappingissomethingthatworriesalotofpeoplewhocreatedthatcontent.Someonehadtopayforrecordingandreleasingthesesongs.Whithertheirrecompense?Anddoesthehugeturnoverofbandsfuelledbythisnewinstantculturelenditselftolastingcareers?Oops.Busted!Sorrychaps,justpretendyouhaven’treadthatlastbitbecausey’know,myshorttermmemoryain’tsogoodthesedaysandneitherismyshorttermmemory.Originally,inthosepeskyTermsAndConditionsthatnobodyeverreadsbecausethey’retookeentoclickthroughallthewarningpagesontheirwaytopornmainsitecontent,section6ofMySpace’sT&Cswassetupasatimebombthatsubsequentlycausedabitofaflap.Outofchaoscomesorder(andcash,accordingtoMalcolmMcLaren);thegrowingnoiseofinformationonthevisiblewebonthenetneededpeopletomakesenseofit.And,asever,itwasthemoreindependent-mindedamongstthemusicindustrythatledtheway.Overtheyears,computersgotsmaller,andcheaper,withchiptechnologyenablingexponentialminaturisationandthereforeleadingtomass-producedeconomiesofscale,culturalubiquityandtheconsequentincreasesinprocessingabilityandpowerthatgowithanadoptercurveintechnologicalculturalterms,untileventuallyeveryonehadacomputerontheirlaps.PartFive:WhatTheWebDidNext PartOne:ComputersGetSmallAndTheWebGetsBig PartTwo:SocialNetworkingSites PeerToPeersoftwareessentially,simplistically,bypassesthewebclient-serverprotocol,andconnectscomputersdirectlyoverthenet.Thismeansthatfilescanbetransferredintheol’hush-hushwithoutMisterInterwebeverknowingadeuceaboutit.It’sabitlikemeetingupwithyourNaninatransportcafésomewhereinbetweenToxtethandAberdeen,andpassingherapairoffurryslippersinabrownbagunderthetable,forwhichshemightexchangeapacketofboiledsweetsallfusedtogetherandcoveredinunidentifiableflufffromGodknowswhere.Peopledon’tliketobesoldat,buttheydostillwanttobesoldto. Peoplehavebeenbuyingandsellinggoodssincetimeimmemorial;thatthisnewcongregationspacehappenedtobeavirtualoneonlinewasmerelyanewforumforfinancialtransaction.Thequestion,however–then,asnow–washowtofindthemostelegantandcost-effectivewaytoconnectthecustomerswiththethingsthey’rekeenonbuying.And,becausethewebbrowsingexperience,incontrasttoatraditionalstore-basedbuyingexperience,didn’trequireaphysicallocation,onlinestoresexplodedandexpandedveryquickly;amazon.comleadingthewaywithaninnovativetechnologyadd-onthatalloweduserreviewsandmatchedthecustomerwithpossibleothergoodsthey’dlikebasedontheirbuyinghistory.Thefreedomtosurfthewebwasthefreedomtobuy;thefreedomtobuywasthefreedomtobe;thedatatrailpeopleleft,however,wasanentirelydifferentmatter.Peoplepostedquestionsandmessagestoeachotherthroughdiscussiongroups,instantrelaychatandmessageboardsaboutthepossibilitythatonedayRovermayyetevolveintoasoaringbarker;theytalkedthroughelectronicmail;theychatteredandtheycried;theytoldbadjokesandtheyblustered;theyspammedandtheyspoke;theymadedatesandplanneddastardlydeeds;theysharedtalesoftrustandtruth.Peoplestillare,toanextent:NewsCorporation’spurchaseofthesiteraisedeyebrowsallovertheplace.Butwhatexactlyhadtheybought?Ifthesiteisdefinedbyitsusers,thenthecontentistoo.Peopletalkingtoeachother. Perhapsgeneratingandexploitingexclusivecontentisindeedthewayforward.Butthat’snotexactlythisWeb2.0utopiawekeephearingabout,nowisit?PeterCroxsonisinchargeofFeeder’sonlinestreetteamingandwebpromotion.Amassivefanoftheband,hesoonbecamedirectlyinvolvedinspreadingthewordaboutFeederthroughtheirwebsite,whichinacunningstuntiscalledFeederweb.Intheoldendays,gettingthedigitalwordoutwasalittlemoreofapalaver.PlayingGamesWithStrangersNakedInTheDark Plusamassivepileofnewreleasesofvaryingqualityandtheconstantinternalthrumpandthudofthedrippingawayofsanity,soulandsense.ButIdolovealotofbandsincludingAlabama3,TheBeatles,DeadKennedys,IronMaiden,IrmaThomas,RanceAllenandMotörhead,andthesepeoplehavehelpedmethroughsomeveryinterestingtimes.PooroldJeeves,nobodyaskshimanythinganymore. Possiblythefirst,andcertainlythemost-referenced,successstoryofMySpaceisthespeedyriseofmodelandmusicianTilaTequila.BorninSingaporein1981asTilaNguyen,beforerelocatingtofirstTexasandthenLA,Tila’scareer–andherlifeingeneral-hasbenefitedgreatlyfromsocialnetworkingsites,being,asshefirmlyis,partofthenet-savvygeneration.ProperConvergenceIsComing,AccordingToSammyAndrews,Oh,AndByTheWay,EmailIsDead Q-Linkalsohostsgames.OneofthesegamesisLucasfilm’sHabitat.Habitatisavirtual,multi-user,graphicallyinterfacedimmersionenvironmentinwhichyourcharacter–youravatar–canwalkaroundthevirtualworldinteractingwithotheravatars,questing,molestingandgenerallybeinginteresting.Youmeeteachotherinthisvirtualworldandtalktoeachotherbyenteringtextonyourkeyboard.And,becausetherearenoneofthoserestrictivemulti-choiceparametersthatbesetthetraditionalmodelofadventuregames,youcanthereforesayanythingyoulike.RebrandingasFacepartyin2000,Bamforth’sintentwastoprovide,“Awaytomeetpeoplefromravesonline,ifyoulike.Itkindagrewaccidentallyintosomethingcompletelydifferentbutverysuccessful.”Regardlessofallthatgubbins,FriendsReunitedremainsastrongplayerinitsniche;thebrandwasboughtbyITVin2005andoffersarangeofserviceshavingbranchedoutintojobs,dating,genealogyandaseriesofnostalgia-musicCDreleases.RememberthosehomevideoclipshowsthatwereseeminglycommissionedbyTVguysincahootswiththemajorbreweries,thatmadeyouwanttoscreamandrundowntoyourlocalpubalittlebitearlierthanyou’doriginallyplannedeverySaturdaynights?User-generatedcontent,y’see.Butafteryou’veseenfourvideosofcatslookingalittlebitlikeHitler,andsevenbabiesfallingasleepintheirmushybowlsofradioactive-lookingalphabettispaghetti,itgetsabitfuckingtiresome.)RememberwhatTonyWilsonsaidapageortwoback?Ifyou’veforgotten,justhitthe‘back’buttononyourbrowseruseyour‘fingers’to‘turnoverthepages’.Researchers'representatives arecensoring AResearcher becauseoftheincreasein globalwarming Rumourhasitthatthereisalsootherinformationavailableonline.Asyet,thisissomewhatunproven. RupertBaresHisTeethAndPutsHisMoneyWhereHisMouthIs RupertMurdoch'srepresentatives releasedastatementthataccuses RupertMurdoch withvioiating prioruse SamSparrow,headofdigitalatWarners,takesupthebaton. SammyAndrews,theUK’sleadingDigital/ViralConsultant,wasaveryearlyuserofthesite.“Itwasreallysmall,”shemuses,“Thereweren’tallthemaddesignsofthepages,oradvertsandtherestofit.SomeoftheMySpacedesignsnowaresogarishthatithurtsmyeyestolookatthem!Itwasverymuchasocialsite;whenIfirstsawitIthoughtitjustlookedlikeFaceparty.Itdidn’thavethevideosfeature;thesongplayerwasn’tveryreliable.TheinitialthingformewastouseittokeepincontactwithsomeoneinAmerica;wecouldspeakeverydayandseewheneachotherwereonline.”Sandi’sstorygoesalittlelikethis:unknown,pertguitaristandsingerisbroke.SheisbasedinLondonandspendingallhertimeandcashtravellingroundinabashed-upol’motor-chugga,playingheraccessibledittiesinpubsandclubsallovertheUK.Butsheisbroke.SoshegetstheideaoftouringtheUKwithoutleavingherTootingbasement.Shesetsupawebcamandperformsamongstthespidersandtheslimetwentyonenightsinsuccession,makingthe‘virtualgigs’accessibleonthewebandpromotingthemthroughMySpace.Thefirstperformancegarnersfourhundredviewers;thetwenty-firstisseenbyoverahundredthousand.Sandithenreleasesherbreakthroughsingle,whichgetstoNumberOneinthePopCharts.Andit’salldowntoMySpace!SeanAdamsrunsDrownedInSoundRecords,oneofthemostexcitingindielabelstohaverisenoverthelastfewyears.Assitefounderoftheincrediblypopularonlinemusicmagazine,drownedinsound.com,heknowsathingortwoaboutdigitalmedia.ButhedoesnotseethefutureasbrightforMySpace.SecondLife(AndHabboHotel,WhichIsKindaTheSameInALoadOfWays) SecondLifeAndHabboHotelaregraphical,digitalsocialnetworkingtools. SecondLifeAndHabboHotelthereforeenableanotherlevelofcommunicationwithinavirtualcommunitythatdevelopsitsowngovernmentalandsocialrulesdependentontheindividualusersandtheirreal-worldidentities.Theyhavetheirowneconomiesandtheirmonetaryvalueshaveremarkablycrossedfromthevirtualworldtotherealworld.Secondly,MySpaceteamedupwithSnocap,asoftwarewhichwillenableartiststosetuptheirowndownloadshopstoselltracksthroughtheirMySpacepage.SnocapsoftwarewasinventedandprogrammedbyShawnFanning.SelfSelectingCommunities SerenaWilson:“ArcticMonkeyswereplayingeverysmalldivethattherewas,andgivingdemosawayattheirgigs,whichkidsthenwentbackhomeanduploadedontoMySpace.Andthat’sthewaythattheirmusicgotaround–itwasn’tjustabouttheirMySpacepagealthoughtheyweregivinglotsofmusicaway.Theywerehappywiththekidstohavethemusic,todowhattheywantedandtopassthemusicaroundamongstthemselves.Theyalsohadsomuchinteractionwiththefans;ataveryearlystagetheywereintherechattingtotheirfans.Traditionally,thatwasneverpossible;theabilitytoconnectdirectlywithartistsisjustpartoftheattractionofMySpace,theclosestyoucouldgettoanartistinthepastwasameetandgreetorstoodatastagedoorhopingforaglimpse.Basicallyitwasn’tsoeasyforfanstohavethatinteractionwiththeiridols,ifyoulike.MySpacehasreallybroughttotheforefronthowimportantthatis.”Serversonthewebnetworkofyourchoicehostgames.OneofthesegamesisSecondLife,andanotherisHabboHotel.BothHabboHotelandSecondLifearevirtual,multi-user,graphicallyinterfacedimmersionenvironmentsinwhichyourcharacter–youravatar–canwalkaroundthevirtualworldinteractingwithotheravatars,questing,molestingandgenerallybeinginteresting.Youmeeteachotherinthisvirtualworldandtalktoeachotherbyenteringtextonyourkeyboard.And,becausetherearenoneofthoserestrictivemulti-choiceparametersthatbesetthetraditionalmodelofadventuregames,youcanthereforesayanythingyoulike.Sheesh.Socialnetworking? Sign‘Ere,Mate;NoNeedToReadThatStuff Siteswouldtry,withvaryingdegreesofsuccess,topullinallthenewconversationalcommunicationspossibilitiestooneeasypackage,ridingnewbrowsersonthebackofthefragmentedandconfusingmessthatthewebhadbecome.Offeringsomeorallofthecapabilitiesofinternalemails,instantmessaging,profileandpicturehosting,messageboards,groups,classifiedads,jobs,music,videoandblogging,thenewwaveofthewebwasbasedonproprietarysiteswiththeirownindividualdesignanddemographicfocus,butthistimeratherthantheinformationbeinghostedonserversfarandwide–ifnottheclientcomputersthemselves–thedigitalidentitystoragewasbroughtintoacentralserversystem,theinterfaceofwhicheverybodycouldunderstandasitwasgenerallyasimpleandaccessible,fixeddesignratherthantheindividually-built,andoftenconfusing,bespokewebsitesthatspideredandsprungthefindesiècleweb.Networkswithinnetworks,webswithinwebsandcommunitieswithincommunities.Thismoveawayfromhomeharddrivestorageofindividuals’personalinformation,morethananythingelse,isanindicatorastotheattitudeshiftthatthestill-vagueandratherdisingenuousterm,‘Web2.0’isperhaps,inpartatleast,basedon.Butmoreofthatlater.Asthenewmillenniumbeguntogainmomentum,severalofthesenewly-focusedsitesbegantostruggleforprimesurfingpositionattheforefrontofthenew‘netwave.SoathousandLindenDollarsgotoMartinRoachforthesupportandtheridiculousdeadlines(andallthefranticworkonmakingsurethiswasabletohappenatall,whichwasinratheralotofdoubtatvariousstagesoftheprocessforvariousreasons);DaveHanleyforworkinghisballsoffbehindthescenesworkandindulgingmeinnumerousdaftlate-nightMSNplans;AlexandraJackson,whosebrilliantillustrationsdeservemany,manybooksoftheirown,whichundoubtedlytheywillget.Andthanks,bytheway,Alexformakingmelookbetterthanthephotos.Sofar,sogood:anicewaytogetyourmusicouttopeopleandlet‘emknowwhatyou’reupto.Butthefireworkswereabouttobegin.Soletmegetthisstraight.IthinkIgotthebitaboutporn;thatsoundsprettycool.Wheredothespiderscomein?Andwhydotheyswitchpackets?Soundsdepravedalready.Soratherthanone,monstrous,catch-allsite,perhapsnichecommunitieswillform;MySpaceallowsyoutopickandchooseyourownbespokecommunitybasedroundfriends,films,Playboymodelsandmusicianswithwhomyouidentify.Butthat’snodifferenttolinkingtoothertraditionalwebsitesinyourownwebpage.MySpaceactsasanotherbrowser.Aneasy-to-navigateone,butit’snotareplacementfortheweb–unlessallthetechnologiesmakethemselvesintrinsicallycompatible,aslast.fmhas.SothemediareallyshouldhavebeendrawingparallelsbetweendancemusicandMySpace,ratherthantryingtobolttogetherMonkeysandMySpace,but,hey,accordingtosectionsofthepopularpress,danceisdead,right?Ha.Regardless,thedancesceneturnsupsomesurprisingpeoplelivinginMySpace,too.Sothemodelcouldwork;itis,largely,aboutcredibilityasmuchasitisaboutfunctionality.LogintoFacepartyandyouwalkintoanopen-armedworldwhere,nomatteryourbackgroundorpredilection,youcanhookupwithpeoplejustlikeyourself.Therave–punk-attitude,itseems,isaliveandwell.Andthatisacauseforrejoicing.Sowemayaswellcrackonwithitfornowandseehowitgoes. So. Socialcommentator,folkrocker,independentspiritandall-roundtopgeezerBillyBraggwasthepersonwhobroughtthistricksypieceoflegalesetotheworld’sattention.SomeOfTheMusicIndustryStartsToThink,“HeyNow,What’sAllThisAbout?” Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,AndChips SpecialthankstoAndyInglis. Startingpointsforsurfing: Steadyonmate,there’sanotherhundredpagestogo,youswine.Isposeyoucouldjustlookatthepicturesfromhereonin,they’rethebestbitbymiles.Suchwasthesuccessofthisold-friend-findingthatbabieshavebeenploppingoutallovertheshopthankstothewebsiteinitiallyfacilitatingthecontactthatledtobringinglustyol’flamesbacktogether(thefirstFRsprogletdulyarrivedin2002),and,conversely,suchisthesuccessofthesitethatpeoplehavebeenratherunguardedaboutsomeoftheliaisonsthey’vesetupthroughthesite:during2004thepaperswentcrazy-nuts,offeringFriendsReunitedasapossiblecausalfactorintherisingdivorcerate.Ofcourse,itwasn’t;enablingtechnologiesarealwaysblamedforthissortofthing,beithomevideotapingandsubsequentdistributionofporncopyright-controlledcontentornaughtiesusingp2psoftwaretosendeachotherpornpre-releaseroughmixesofnewRadioheadtracks.T[Englishaccent]I’mlikethisblaadywaankaarfromLaandannn…!! T:Heyy…myphonedied. T:I’mactuallydrinkingtearightnow. T:Oh,it’sdefinitelymine! T:Oh,ofcourseIwill! T:Thankyouverymuch.What’syourbookgoingtobecalled? T:Well,Imean,(I’mgoingtobe)justextremelysuccessful!BecauseIdonotknowwhat‘failure’means.WithorwithoutMySpace–regardless.IwillachievewhatIsetouttodoinmylife.Onceyou’vegottenthisfar,andworkedthishard,there’sjustnoturningback,youknow?T:Youknowwhat,you’vejustgavemeanidea–I’mgonnapostablogrightnowandaskfortestimoniesfromfansbackthenandsay,‘Heyguys,doyouremembermeonAsianAvenue?HowpopularIwasonthosesites?’SoI’mgonnacollecteverybody’scommentsandthat’sgonnabecooltohave,youknow?Iwanttoshowpeoplelike,‘Youknowwhat?MySpacecan’ttakeallthecreditforeverything!’Causethesefanshavefollowedmefrombackthen,andIwannashowpeoplethat!Setanewlight,youknow?Techo-futurists'representatives predictthatby2008 ATecho-futurist effectivelyenforcing stashingsuitcasesofusedfiversunderthebed Thankstoallofthepeoplewhoagreedtogiveuptheirtimeandoffertheirthoughtsforinputand/orinterviewsforthebook–whethertheymadeittothefinaldraftornot,Ireallyappreciateit.Soinalphabeticalorder,raisedglassesto:SeanAdams;MissAMP;DaveBamforth;DarylBamonte;Boypolar;BillyBragg;JohnBrainlove;AlexanderCameron;AndyCapper;StuartClarke;PeterCroxson;Dassie;StuartDavid;MatFlynn;EliFritsche;Geoff;GavinHerlihy;JoshuaHolmes;LucyHughes;StuartKnight;KordaMarshall;ConorMcNicholas;JoeMott;JamieNelson;TilaNguyen;BenPerreau;PaulRafferty;MalcolmRamazotti;RaziqRauf;ColinRoberts;SamSparrow;HuwStephens;MartinStiksel;SusieStubbs;MarkSutherland;JenThomas;Travis(GymClassHeroes);LorenWilliams;AnthonyH.Wilson;SerenaWilson;DarrinWoodford.ThatthereTheInterwebhaschanged:MySpace,Bebo,Friendster,Facepartyandothershavebroughtanewconceptofsocialnetworkingtowebsitesontheinternet,withinwhichanyonewhohasacomputercansignup,usuallyforfree,tosharethoughts,dreams,discovernewmusicandwriteallmannerofnonsenseintheirblog.Thatthirtythousandveryquicklyblossomedintoitscurrent1.5million;it’simportanttohighlightherethatthesearepeoplewhoarenotjustdrawntowardtheracypicturesorhermusic,butalsototheideaofTilaherself.Heropennessinpostingoccasionallyintimateblogsandmissivesaboutherpersonallifeenableamuchmoreroundedinsightintoherlife,loveandcareer;inshort,thefansfeeltheyarecommunicatingdirectlywiththeirheroine–andpal.That’sbasicallyit. TheArcticMonkeysweren’tremotelybroken,then,byMySpace.Perhapsithadapartinabiggerpicture,andcertainlythesiteisuser-friendlyinthesensethatitseasynavigationandrelativelystraightforwardmusicplayermakeitsimpletocheckoutbands–andifyoulikewhatyouhear,addthemasafriend.Thisself-propagatingnetworkbuildingisthebasisofMySpace’ssuccess,anditsexplosionintotheworld’spopularconsciousness.Theconceptofblurringtheboundariesbetweenfan,remixer,band,retailerandrecordcompanyis,withoutadoubt,oneofthefundamentalbuildingblocksofWeb2.0.MySpaceisatoolinthewholeprocess,butcannot–andshouldnot–bethoughtofasaone-stopsolution.Asinthecasesoutlinedhere,bandsstillneedtogetoutthereandsellrecords;theystillneedtohitradioandprintmedia,andtheystillneedtogatherfanstocomeandseethematgigs.There’sastrongcasetobemadethatmerchandisesaleswillprovidebandswiththefinancelostfromother,moretraditionalrevenuestreams,butit’sbeyondtheremitofthisbook.Theconclusionsyoumayormaynotdrawfromyoursurfingareentirelyuptoyou.Andwhatwewillfirmlystateatthispointistotakecareinyourinferences;thewebisnotoriousforitsaccesstododgydata.Thefactthateveryonewasprettymuchonthewebbythisperiodwasonething;howtocontactthemamuchmoredifficultproposition.Sure,youknowtheirnames,butwhichIParetheyusing?Whichserver?Whichclient?Morespecifically,howdoyoufindthatlasswhofirstinducedpriapicgleeintheol’fuzzydownbelowsbehindthebikesheds?TheFBI'srepresentatives againstadvicefrom AnofficeroftheFBI islayingclaimto sevenminutesofsleepanight TheGovernment'srepresentatives havebeenslowtoreactto AGovernmentofficial statementconcerning sinkingimmediatelyininternationalwaters TheincreasingaffordabilityofhomestudiosoftwaresuchasCubase,ProToolsandLogicwasalsofurtheropeningthingsup;moremusicwasbeingrecorded,cheaperthaneverbefore.Thedifferencethistimewasthattherewasalsoawaytofireitroundtheworldvery,veryquickly;notonlywashomebandwidthgettingfasterandbigger,thesongfilesthemselvescouldbecompressedtoalowerquality-butmuchsmaller,andstillperceptuallyreasonably-acceptable-MP3file,whichledtofirecrackersgoingoffallovertheplace.Fileswerestartingtobesharedatafasterratethaneverbefore:astheNinetiesdrewtowardtheirendthisworldwideequivalentofplaygroundcassette-tapeswappingreachedepidemicproportions.Theinitialuptakewasmassive;bytheautumnof2003ithadthreemillionactiveusers.Themediainterestwascommensuratewiththisrise;peoplewereevensellingaccesstonetworksofmusiciansand‘coolcommunitylinks’onwebauctionsite,eBay.Aversionofcontemporarycommercehadcrept,possiblyforthefirsttime,intothestrangerealmsofreal-lifetransactionsbasedonpurelydigitalsocialnetworkingcontent.ThemainLoserkidswebsiteisanonlineshop,anewsletter,aforum,andaswirlingpartyofregisteredsubscribers.ThesearepeoplewhoidentifywiththelifestylethatLoserkidsoffers,asocialnetworkbasedfirmlyaroundmusic.ThemassiveuptakeofsiteslikeMySpaceduetotheirconvergentimplementationofcommunicativetechnologiesinoneeasy-to-navigatepackagehasalsobroughtwithitanotherlayerofimpact,andonethathasbroughtthebigboysin.WhenMySpaceintroducedtheabilitytosignupasaband,andtoaddfavouritesongstoyourprofile,itfurtherenrichenedtheexperienceofitsusers.There’sgoodandbadsidestoallthis,andcurrentlyeveryone’sscurryingmadlyabouttomakesenseofit.TherehavecertainlybeencareerslaunchedandenhancedthroughMySpaceanditsnetworks,someofwhichtalesaregenuinelytrue,andquiteafewofwhichareproductsofhalf-truthsandhypefromaworldanditsmediaseekingquicklytomeshinwiththenewmediarevolutionit’sbrought.TheMeaningOfLifeExplainedOnceAndForAll TheMoneyIsAlreadyInTheSystem Themusicindustrywoulddowelltolookdeeplyatlast.fm.Thisinformation,thisuser-data,thismusic-listening-data,isbasedonconsumption-notassumption.TheMySpaceFutureNewsStoryGenerator ThePolice'srepresentatives aresearchingfor ThePolice survivingby eatingratswhilstRomeburned Theproblemwiththisisthatonceyouremailaddressisflyingaroundthenetthenanyonecanaccessit.Beforelong,thatpristineinboxinwhichyou’dlovinglyarrangeandrearrangethesecuriouscommunicationswasfilledwithadvertisementsforViagraandlovely,thoughtfulofferstoKeepItUpAllNight!ErectileDysfunctionClickHere!BreastEnlargementsTwentyDollars!Moresinisterly,attachmentsbegantoappearintheseemailswhich,onclicking,wouldinfectyourcomputerwithallmannerofnastyspyprogramsdesignedeithertonickyourbankdetails,takecontrolofyourcomputerremotelyinordertoturnitintoazombiehosttosendoutyetmorespam,or,justforthehellofit,buggeruptheharddiskentirely.Thescamps.Regardlessofitsintent,‘spam’cametomeansomethingentirelydifferentthanthestuffyouseeintheshops.Theprolificwriterbeganspeakingto–andwritingin–themusicmedia. Therealpower,ofcourse,liesintheusers;notquite‘thehopeliesintheproles’,butneverthelessthemessagewritstrongwasthis:TheRussianslaunchedasatellitein1957whichhadadoginit.TheAmericanswereabitputoutbythis,sotheirAdvancedResearchProjectsAgencyhookedupwithanotherbunchofAmericanboffinswho’dpreviouslygluedtogetheralltheradarsystemsintheLandOfPlenty.ThegeezerinchargeofARPA’sprojectaboutallthis–specificallyworkingthroughandwiththeIPTO-thoughtit’dbeawizardwheezetogluealltheircomputerstogetherbyphoneleadssotheirscientistscouldshareinformationaboutflyingdogsanddiscusshowthisnewbreedofairbornecaninecouldleadtotheprosecutionofmoreCommunists.HisnamewasJ.C.R.Licklider,whichisabrilliantnameandalmostcertainlyoneofthemorecompellingreasonswhyhewaspickedforthejobinthefirstplace.Thetrackwasre-releasedinDecember2005,butthistimeitreachedNumberOneintheUKcharts;theviralnatureofitstake-upwaspurelydowntofile-sharing,andinterestinglyitshowedthatifthemarketwasonboardwithsomethingtheygenuinelyliked,theywouldstillpayforthephysicalproduct.TheUKchartsarestillsomewhatinastateofflux,butthenewwaveofdigitaldeliveryhasimpactedheavilyontheirinclusionrules.Afterafewmonthsofbandsreleasingtinycirculationsofphysicalsinglesinorderthattheirdownloadedtrackswouldbecomecharteligible,theruleschangedagaintoallowsongstochartpurelyondownloadsales.ThefirsttracktoreachNumberOneondownloadsalonewas‘Crazy’byGnarlsBarkley.TheWeb2.0Myth Thewebhadcomeofage,ofsorts;anewdigitalcommunicationhadfirmlyplanteditselfintheworkandpersonallivesofageneration.Emails,instantmessages,powerfulsearchenginesforimages,textandagrowingnumberofonlinemusic,entertainmentandeducationalsites;astheMillenniumbugsstartedcrawlingabout,thedigitalworldwasbuzzingandalive.ThereareevencompaniesdedicatedtoscreeningthroughFriendsterandMySpaceprofilesforsalacious,unwiseorincriminatingevidence;thishasbeenfamouslyusedbyemployers,parents,thepolice,schoolsandpartnersalike–theclearmessageis,ofcourse,ratherobvious:don’tputanythingonlinethatyoudon’twantpeopletofindoutabout.Becausetheyblimminwellgoldurnwillfinditout.OneofthemostfamousonlinespatsoflateisthemessybrawlbetweenTravisBarkerandnowex-wife,ShannaMoakler:shethrewadivorceparty,towhichherespondedinaMySpaceblog.Thestorywhizzedroundtheworldinminutes.Evenworse,therehavebeenreportsofjiltedwivessearchingfortheirexes’newflames,tothepointofoneHeatherKane,whostandsaccusedofhiringundercoverrozzersposingasheaviesandhandingovercashtotheminordertowipeoutthenewgirlfriend.ThereismuchanecdotaldebateovertheprecisehistoryofMySpace;oneofthesymptomsoftheinsanelyfastturnoveroftheweb–plusitsconstantrevisionism–isoftenalackofreliablearchivingofnewscontent–andanywebsearchfor‘MySpacehistory’willreturnsomeintriguing,ifunverifiable,spinsandcounterspinsonthepasthistoryofthesite,itsfoundersandtheirpreviouscompanies.Thereis,inotherwords,apowershift:ratherthanhavingmusicandculturalcuespushedatusbytraditionalmediaandrecordcompanies,theMySpacegenerationwillchoosetheirownchannels;theirownmusicalheroes,andultimatelytheirowncontent.It’snottheinformationsuperhighwayanymore,it’smorelikeano-holds-barredstockcarsmash-upintheNevadadesert,exceptwithfewerrulesandhundredsofmillionsofever-fastercars.Hmm,doesthatwork?YeahIthinkitdoes.YouknowwhatImeananyway.Therewasstillasuspicionaboutthewebfrommanyquartersatthisstage,notleastfromthetraditionalprintmedia;therevolutionhadbarelybegun.ContrastthiswiththeNewMusicalExpress,whosecurrentwebsiteeditorBenPerreauisthankfulfortheforesightofhispredecessors.There’salsothedeepconnectionthatthefansfeelwiththeartiststhatcertainlyisengenderedbythesocialnetworkingaspectofMySpace.JoeMottpertinentlypointsoutthat,“there’salwaysthathopethatifyouclickonLilyAllen’sMySpacepageandask‘CanIbeyourfriend’,everytimeyougobacktoyourMySpaceyou’vethathope:‘Isshegoingtoacceptit?’.Canyouimaginethebuzzifshedid,ifyou’rereallyintoherandit’syourthingasa14/15/16/17yearoldkid?CauseIknowI’dbesattherethinking“Well,Lilydidthat,IknowitwasLily:shesawmyname,shesawmything,shecheckedoutmyMySpaceandsaid,‘Yeah.I’mgonnabehismate.’Andthataddsawholeotherlevelofcontactwiththeceleb/artist/bandthatyou’reafanof.AnditcertainlybeatsasignedCDoranautographifyou’vealiveconnectionthatsays‘YES!I’mgonnaacceptyouasafriend!’AndIthinkthewordingisimportantaswell:‘soandsohasputinafriendrequest,doyouaccept?’–‘yes,Iacceptyouasmyfriend’.Itmeansalot,certainlytoateenager.”There’snothingtoreadherereally,it’sjusthowtheever-affableDarylBamontereferstothefirstfewyearsofthewebandIthoughtitwasagoodwaytosumitupbeforewegetontoPartTwo.Seeyouafterthisblankpage.Thesedays,emailisanecessaryevil;forthemoment.Butwe’llgettothatlater.Inpartthankstothespammers,andinpartcausekidsarebasicallyanimpatientbunchofmonkeys,soonenoughtheconceptofinstantrelaychatwasdugupandinstantmessagingprogramssuchasMSNMessenger,ShoomanMessenger™,Yahoo!Messengerandsoonslidthemselvesintothecommunicationstangle.Theyalsodevelopedashorthandlanguageofnonsensethatisstillinusetoday.HackerSlanghasbeenoneofthedrivingforcesinthecontinuingfluxofEnglishlanguage.Anynouncanbemadeintoaverb,saysEnglish,moreorless,largelybecauseEnglishisanidioticmongrellanguagethatmakesverylittlerationaletymologicalsense,andhasrandomfloatingsyntaxrulesseeminglyinventedbyateamofblind-drunkBonobosafteranightontheabsinth.HackerSlangembracesthisvagueprinciple,andsaysthatwherepossibleanounshouldbemadeintoaverb.Theymatchyoureyes. TheymayyetconquertheworldbecauseonJune27,2006JonathanAbrams,asinventor,andFriendsterInc.,asassignee,weregrantedUSPatentNumber7069308.Theytalked. Thisbookisalreadyobsolete. Thisisimportantbecausethedot.combubble’sburstingin2000-2001filteredoutalotofthesharksandshysterswhowereshoulderingeachotheroutofthewayinadesperatescrambletotryandmonopolisethemarketplace.Notthefirsttimethishashappenedinthewesternworld,andcertainlynotthelasttime,neither.It’scalledcapitalism.Thisistheabstractofthesuccessfulpatent.Whichtheynowown. Thisnewwayofgeneratingincomethroughdirectcommunicationbetweenthebrandandtheconsumer(orthebandandthefan)isoneofthekeyelementsinthesuccessofLoserkidsandsiteslikeit;itworks,saysHughes,becauseratherthanbeingafacelessmulti-nationalcorporationpushing‘coolgoods’atadisinterestedteenager,thereisareal-worlddirectcontactandrespectinvolved.ThiswastheARPANET,anditwasgenerallyheldupasoneofthoserareAmericanconceptsthatyoucouldquitehappilyrefertoasAGoodIdea.Somuchsothatby1981similarnetworkshadsprunguptocovernotjustAmerica,butCanada,theUK,HongKongandAustralia.Subsequently,theinternetasweknowanddon’tunderstanditwasbornonJanuary1,1983whentheNationalScienceFoundationsortedoutalinkbetweenalltheUSuniversities.So,duringthe1980sloadsofothernetworkscameonlineandpeoplestartedtalkinginpubsabout‘AnInternets’andhoweasyitnowwastotalktosomeoneontheothersideoftheworldaboutthelatestdevelopmentsinC5technologyinstantly,withouthavingtoevengetupfromyourZX81andusethetelephone.Alsoin1983ayoungMatthewBroderickhackedintotheNORADsystemandalmoststartedWorldWarIII,whichwasonlypreventedbyaswiftgameofTic-TacToe.ThisWebsiteIs,Like,WayCool.TOTTALIY Thussweepingaway,ofcourse,TheViagraYears. TilaTequila'srepresentatives kissed TilaTequila whilstdenyingknowledgeof illiteracy,alcoholismandthewearingofwoolenjumpersontopofcollaredshirtsTila’searlyfocus,likemanyothers,wasonbuildinganetworkonFriendsterbothforprofessionalandpersonalreasons.Itwasn’tasatisfyingexperience.“Iwasalwaysonthere,”sighsthePlayboymodel,“Butforsomereason–Idon’tknowwhy–theykeptkickingmeoff;therewasafivehundredfriendlimitandIhadallthesefanswhokeptwantingtobemyfriend.”TomAnderson'srepresentatives werephotographedkneelingdowninfrontof TomAnderson isproneto anti-trustlaws TomCruise'srepresentatives havedeniedallegationsmadeby TomCruise underanarchaiclawthatconcerns everyhome TurnbacktothatTonyWilsonquote. Turningroundagainwitha‘One,Two,Three’,hejumpedup,butwithnogreatersuccess. Veryintriguing…maybeit’stimetogocrusadingagain,then. WeAreAllLosers Wearetalkingaboutmomentumhere:findinglike-mindedpeople–peergroups-andgivingthemaforuminwhichtocongregate;initiallydigitallythroughasocialnetworkingsite,andsubsequentlyatgigsinreallife.Ifthere’sonethingthatbringspeopletogethermorethananythingelse,it’sasharedloveofmusic.AndasMySpacebecameahouseholdwordinthemorningtabloids,severalbands’seeminglyovernightrisestofamehavebeeninextricablylinkedwiththeriseofthesiteitself.Wewillindeed. Web2.0is-accordingtosomevaguetechno-utopianGuardian-readingwooly-jumperedfolkfansIjustcompletelystereotyped-somekindoffree,open,idealisticnewdigitalworldwhereprogramsonlyexisttoallowitsuserstogeneratetheirowncontent.Anetworkwithinwhichanyonecanpostwhatevertheylike,listentowhattheylikeandwatchwhatevertheylike–whenevertheylike.Apullratherthanapush;user-generatedcontentandon-demandanti-scheduledtime-shiftedcontent.Itallsoundsveryfamiliardoesn’tit?Andinasense,that’saccurateenough;inanothersenseitbringswithitonewholebunchofotherquestions,whicharefundamentallydowntomonetisationofthatcontent,aswellthecredibilityofthecuesyouchoosetotake.Welldone. Well,hereitis:MySpaceisasocialnetworkingsiteandthereismoneytobemadefromanaudienceanduserbaseofanyreasonablesize.Amazon.comandiTunesaretestamenttothat.Contemporarybusinessmodelsmustadhere,then,totheunderlyingissuewhichisthatpeergroupcredibilityisthekeytosustainableincomestreams.WhatASocialCommunityReallyIs WhatAllTheLitigationThat’sGoingOnAtTheMomentIsReallyAbout Whathappensinbetweengoessomethingalongthelinesofthis:apostmaninToxtethpicksuptheparcel,andsendsitviaanyofthepostofficesoftheUKanywhereinbetween,takinganyroutebetweensaidpostoffices,beforetheAberdeenpostiepicksitupattheotherendtotaketoyourNan,whosefeetarenowatroughlythetemperatureofthecoreofthesunbecausethirteenofhergrandchildrenhavetakennoteofhermultifariousandheavyhintsoverthelastyear.Asallboughtherpairsofniftyfur-lined,zip-upslippersfromthesamemanufacturersforherbirthday,nowshe’swearingthirteenpairsatoncesoasnottooffendanybody,sosheisconsequentlyroughlyninefoottall.Thepostofficesinthemiddleofthisslipper-sendingsystemarethenodesofthenetwork.Andaseveryoneknows,ifyouhavenonodesyouarenotonlyinalotofstrife,butyoualsosmellawful.Whatisnotindoubt,however,isthefactthatsinceits2003launch,MySpacehasexplodedintothedailylivesofagenerationinawaythatFriendsterthreatenedtodobutneverquitemanagedtoachieve.MySpacecurrentlyboaststhemostaccountsofanysocialnetworkingsitecurrentlyactiveontheinternet;atthetimeofwritingnumbersexceeded120million.Notethatthisisthenumberofregisteredaccounts–figuresfortheamountofactiveusersaremoredebatable,althoughofcourseyoucouldapplythatlogictoanyofthesitesdiscussedinthisbook.InternetanalystsComscore,however,registeredtheamountofuniquevisitorstoMySpaceduringMay2006as51.4million.Whicheverwayyoulookatit,that’soneheckofalotofinterestedpeople;thedatafortheamountofactiveaccountsinsomewaysissecondarytothekillerfactthatyoudon’tneedtobeloggedintothesystem–orevensigneduptoMySpace-inordertobrowsethroughitspagesviaanyofthesearchenginescurrentlyavailable.ThisisoneofMySpace’sgreatestandmostcompellingfeatures–itsstickabilityandreferenceabilitiesoffsite.WhatMySpaceIs WhatPeopleDidOnAnInternetsInTheOldenDaysAndHowTheyLearntHowToTalkBadlyOnPurposeWhatPeopleUsedTheWebForInTheOldDays What’sacomputer? Whichbringsusnattilyontothisbithere,whichyou’dalreadybereadingifthissentencewasn’tquitesostretched-outandpointlessasitisindangerofbecomingbecauseI’mhungoverandmyfingersandbrainappeartobemovingoftheirownaccordatthemoment;I’msorryaboutthatbutit’sbeenastrangeandwonderfultimeoflateandIthinkI’mlosingthelastofwhateverremainingpieceofmindIonceallowedtofightandflaywithfreedomandoccasionallove.Whichisaveryeffectivesocialnetworkingtool,andaself-perpetuatingone. Whichisnice. Whilstageneration,dressedinlegwarmersanddeelyboppers,groovedondowntothesoundofLevel42whilstwatchingKidsfromFAMEandsimultaneouslymessingaboutwith2DsimulationsofreallifeontheirCommodore64s,deadcleverpeopleweresatindarkcellarsmessingaboutwithcomputercodes.Whowanttobesoldto. WhoseSpaceIsItAnyway? WhyFriendsterMayYetConquerTheWorld,BecauseIPromisedEarlierAndIfIDon’tSayThisNowWe’llRunOutOfBookWhynotindeed?Themarketingofactsthroughthewebhasbecomeanintegralpartofanyband’scareer;contrastingthiswiththesituationtenyearsagoisfun,solet’sdothatforabit.WhyPlayingGamesWithStrangersNakedInTheDarkIsAlwaysFun Willneverbeexpressedhere.I’mnotthatstupid. Withoutlabouringthepointinabookthat’ssupposedtobeonthelightersideoflife,thefactthatthewebissupposedlyopentoeveryonemeansthateveryoneisentitledtouseitinanywaytheyseefit;geographicalboundariesanddifferentlawsacrosscountriesmakethewebagreyareainmanywaysatthebestoftimes.Thewebexistsineverycountry,butisboundtonone.Yeah,it’sabitliketalkingtoloadsofstrangersyou’dneveractuallywanttomeetinreallife,exceptbecauseeachandeveryoneofyouisonlinefromyourownhouse,college,orlibrarythenyoucanpretendtobeathousandtimesmoreinteresting,sexyandknowledgeablethanyoureallyare.Intheoldendayspeoplehadtorelyonactuallyknowingeachotherandfoundoutthingsabouteachotherby‘talking’withtheirmouths,ratherthanwiththeirfingers.Youshouldtryitsometime.Youalwayshavebeenabletochooseyourfriends;theonlythingthat’schangedisthatyoucanchoosewhereyoufindthemandwhereyousubsequentlycongregate.Youcanhaveaconversation.Andhumansliketotalk. Youcanhaveaconversation.Andhumansliketotalk. YoucanspeaktopeoplewithoutleavingyourCommodore64. YoucanspeaktopeoplewithoutleavingyourPCorMac. Youdon’tevenhavetogetdressed. Youdon’tevenhavetogetdressed. Youdon’thavetoturnthelightson. Youdon’thavetoturnthelightson. You’rejustgettingaggressivenow. Youtube'srepresentatives areaccusedofpostingpicturesof Youtube thereforeinheritingtheproblemsof outerspace