Thursday, 17 April 2014

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

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