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    Tuesday, October 30, 2007


    -banksy says it best



    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Oink Update: Shutdown

    Nearly 9 months ago, we reported on a ground breaking site called Oink. Well it seems all good things must come to an end. A special message greeted some of the estimated 180,000 paid members of music file-sharing Web site when they tried to access it on Tuesday: "This site has been closed as a result of a criminal investigation by IFPI [International Federation of the Phonographic Industry], BPI [British Phonographic Industry], Cleveland [U.K.] police and the Fiscal Investigation Unit of the Dutch police, into suspected illegal music distribution.

    The site —is apparently the world's biggest source of pirated pre-release albums — had been the subject of a two-year investigation overseen by Interpol and known as "Operation Ark Royal". The site relied on donations, but was apparently extremely lucrative. Over 60 major pre-release albums this year were released on it, prompting the shutdown.

    While Oink started as a place to share obscure music, it seems the promise of a being an illegal distribution center for pre-release albums was too great. I for one had believed a nice elite barter system was in place, and having not visited after the first day i signed up, was unaware of the rampant piracy. Its no surprise that a few would spoil it for the rest of us for the quickly shared spoils on the internet.

    I for one wonder what this means for legitimate bartering over the net. While certain sectors won't die, it seems that technology(especially music) is still figuring out what is acceptable and what isnt in the digital age. While another music site will pop up to download JT albums, im not sure something as communal and open will show anytime soon.

    At least i dont have to worry about membership requests.


    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Google's Disruptive Game Plan

    All this speak of branded utility these days, but this one missed a lot of mentions. Google's 411 service launched with not that much fanfare.
    Google started Goog-411 from Google Labs today which is a free telephone based information service aimed at again routing another service through the Google search parameters. TechCrunch states that "About 2.6 billion 411 calls are made in the U.S. each year, and it is a $7 billion/year market."

    The product is completely voice automated, leading to some efficiency problems but really a small price to pay considering the charges most people are hit up with when using a live operator. Of course it ties into Google Maps, making it somewhat irrelevant to those with a nearby internet connection and some type of mobile computing device.

    Microsoft recently purchased a pay-for-service 411 service as well, but it looks as if these freebie models will probably own share in a few years. Google has a great premise on their hands, furthering the democracy of information as it spirals to freeness. It seems data and information are destined to be open in the future, just look at the riot going on with the music industry. Services are being completely destroyed as the generators are choosing to directly sell or give away their content. In this case Google, disrupts the current phone system, albeit its for the better.

    My theory is that disruptive services such as this are actually easier to establish in a static market. Certainly makes standout communications including advertising's job easier. On the other hand, utilities and phone services in particular are somewhat resistant to change as a herd mentality is predominant. Should be interesting to see how long it takes for another service to be rewritten through the internet. Should be just a matter of time...Note this merits further conversation, but im trying to actually post on this space. So maybe another time and place..



    Thursday, October 18, 2007


    See previous article for recent theme..

    The best thing about strategic work/planning/imaginatively structured/anti-marketing thinking (whatever you want to call it these days) is the opportunity to shift your perspective.

    This made my day yesterday. Not too bad eh?


    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Working But Not Here

    So once again Lifefilter is on another hiatus. Not much to say other than hey I work a lot. Yes a lot, in a very worthwhile yet time-consuming and sleep-inducing profession. Someday hope to get the schedule a bit better sorted, but as of right now i'm full steam ahead.


    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Portal Flash

    How do you know when you have a success on your hands?

    When consumers are creating their own mini-games before the actual product's launch...

    Also you have to love the way Valve have branded their game as the "Orange Box" clearly defining it in a sea of games that usually try to blend in within their system. Personality really makes for nice value proposition.



    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Complementary Experiences - Music Fights Back

    Boing Boing had a really interesting tidbit about creating a streaming playlist of punk songs that go along with the current Spin magazine's October issue, "1977: The Year Punk Exploded!" While it supposdly "consists of handpicked songs representing the most influential punk music spanning three decades", it is designated as the musical counterpart to the punk rock articles.

    History lessons aside in great tunage, this is a great idea and one that seems to be emerging in the world of music. I believe music has really lost its sense of intimacy as we continue in this digital age. Everyone can download songs, and while that encourages diversity, it eliminated the dreamlike sequence we had when we listened to a CD from start to finish. Gone are the B-side tracks, and the (often-annoying) skits seemed to have lost their relevance as well. All of those though bite at the creative genius musicians used to harness, as well as how consumers immerse themselves in the music.

    Gareth has a nice thread going about Radiohead's new model system which lets people choose the scale of content you want. All of this circumvents the iTunes model as well.

    I'm very proud to see how the music industry is seeming to swing back with these creative marketing and alternative models. While sales are plummeting due to digital, its nice to see it not completely roll over. What really brings me in is how this plays into complementariness. (if thats even a word). I'm beginning to feel that brand experiences are truly multi-sensory or at least should be. I also think that different brands can carry conversations between each other of these sorts as well. Music is starting to play with things that capture consumers outside of the listening experience. The Slacker playlist brings music to a publication in a specific way that complements to create the full/ aka full experience(music publication + music for that publication =aural bliss). Thats what people are reading the magazine for anyways.

    Agencies keep wanting to look at what consumers doing and ideate off of that versus creative executions that often come off as a bit of announcements, shouting matches and never really in synch with consumer behavior in the first place. We need more things like this, that create fuller, richer, deeper experiences based on what current consumer behavior is doing. The Slacker/Spin playlist is an excellent idea because it incorporates a passion with a behavior in a complimentary way to create a total branded experience. Radiohead are using consumer involvement with a passion to create an experience as total (or minimal) as the consumer wants it. Brilliant use of consumer integration.

    Will more brands seek complementary ideas that create total experiences? Targeting the senses is certainly one way for a singular brand. Using passions and technology are another. Inter-branded is one of the more intriguing, and im hopeful we can see that in the future.

    Music is an interesting field which has been forced to really look at itself and undergo a revinvention of sorts with the digital dawn. Music is forever and I for one, am excited about Music 2.0.


    [Ed. Note] - The Seminal tackles this too, more eloquently


    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Moving - New Digs

    No not this page, but me literally. No internet except at work, which is a posting no-no so its lite-lifefilter till next week.




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