Category: Medialoper

Live From SXSWi 2009

Half the Loper team has trekked to Austin this week for SXSW Interactive. We’re braving unseasonably cold weather, extremely poor AT&T service, and record crowds, to bring you full coverage.

Follow @kirkbiglione and @booksquare on twitter for regular updates.

Medialoper’s 2008 Ducking The Shoe Awards

George Bush ducking the shoe.“Ducking the Shoe” is a phrase coined by Daniel Fienberg a couple of days ago on Twitter to mean “escaping even the most minor of punishments for extended errors or misdeeds.”

Well, yeah.

So in the spirit of George W. Bush’s ninja-like ability to duck a shoe thrown at him from point blank range, the following people and things spent 2008 getting away with shit that they really should have been busted on.

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Digital Content in an Ownership Society

I’ve been collecting media in one form or another since I was old enough to recognize Beatles ’65 at the White Front department store in Fresno, California. That was around 1966. I was three, and it was a very bad day for my mother.

In the years since, I watched my LP and 45 collection explode, only to be replaced by CDs, and finally to be morphed into a vast field of bits on a relatively small network storage device. Bits that I dutifully back up, maintain, and curate.

I spend more time fixing faulty ID3 tags than I care to admit. And I’m constantly annoyed when album art mysteriously goes missing (am I the only person having this problem with iTunes?).

There’s a point where it might just be easier to chuck it all and consider subscribing to one of those all-you-can-eat music services. That’s certainly what the RIAA would like me to do.

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Is Playing Music on the Radio A Form of Piracy?

Does playing someone’s music on the radio hurt them or help them? And is it a “form of piracy”?

I’m a lifelong radio listener. Not like I once was, of course, but I still listen, especially during my morning commute. A couple of weeks ago I happened to hear “The Step and The Walk” by The Duke Spirit on Indie 103.1, and fell instantly in love with it. So, is that a good thing or bad thing for The Duke Spirit?

A logical person would say that it’s a good thing for the artist. Right? I’d never heard of them, and now I have.

Of course, as we’ve seen many times before, the Recording Industry is not made up of logical persons. As a matter of fact, not only do they see no benefit in their artists being played on the radio, they want compensation.

Otherwise, “it’s a form of piracy,” and any argument that playing music is a form of promotion is a “red herring.”

Those aren’t my words, but rather the words of a spokesperson for a recording industry umbrella group with the hilarious name of musicFIRST.

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Will SXSW 2008 Be the Death of Twitter?

Twitter is down As digital media professionals from across the country and around the globe pack their bags for the annual trek to Austin, one question is emerging that will likely dominate the conversation at this year’s SXSW festival — can Twitter survive it’s own success?

Last year Twitter emerged as the runaway hit at an annual event that’s been described as spring break for geeks. At the time I speculated that something better would almost certainly come along within the next year. Surprisingly, a year later Twitter is still going strong. I say surprising, because Twitter is such a simple concept that it should have been easily usurped by something better.

In the past year Twitter has successfully resisted insurgencies from rival applications, including Jaiku, and to a lesser degree Pownce (which still lacks basic SMS support). That Twitter has succeeded where its competitors have failed is all the more amazing considering the downtime and performance issues the application has suffered.

Twitter’s performance problems have been blamed all manner of causes, including the service’s hosting environment, phenomenal user growth, the Rails platform, and the underlying application architecture. Regardless of the cause, the Twitter faithful continue to use the application, although they grumble mightily when the service fails.

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