Posts Tagged social networking

The Changing Face of the Music Business

I am going to Chicago this weekend to play guitar in my dad’s band as we lead some of the worship at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share our songs and unique sound. Before I depart this morning, I wanted to share a few things that I’ve been thinking this week about the way the music business is changing. First, you can check out this blog, The Future of Music, which gives you a good picture of what sort changes I’m talking about. The biggest changes have to do with how people hear new music, interact with other fans, interact with artists, and how they consume music and other media. If you  have Netflix, you can relate to the idea that a change in technology can change the entire way that you get connected to entertainment

You might remember me writing a few weeks back about the website, lala.com. As read more about lala, I learned that it’s actually made a big deal with google so that every time you do a search on an artist or song, it puts the lala link at the top pf the search where you can click to listen to the song.

This week, my friend Tanya introduced me to another site called, grooveshark.com. Grooveshark is a throw back to the old days of the big, bad “illegal” version of Napster. The difference is that grooveshark streams music instead of doing downloads. Their site claims that they have deals with all the major record companies, but if you google grooveshark you find a bunch of news stories about all the companies that have filled lawsuits against the site. The point is that it gives you free access to listen to any song that another user might upload. This gives the power to control who listens to the music to users and disconnects the control of the music from the record companies or from the artist.

This week, I was also introduced to a site created by a fellow Presbyterian musician, Derek Webb, called Noise Trade. This site restores the interaction between fans and artists. With Noise Trade, artists can trade a download for an email, give fans an easy way to virally share their favorite artist with their social networks, and it also includes a “tip jar” which gives fans the opportunity to give back to the artist. I am definintly going to sign up for this when I get back from the windy city.

I’m kind of rambling, but the point is that our ways of selling, consuming, and sharing music is changing to be more free and more instant.

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Lala.com – new potential addiction

Every few years I hear about a site that becomes an obsession for a few months. A few examples would be facebook, pandora, blogger, wordpress. I think that lala might be my new addiction. It’s a little like a mash-up of facebook and pandora. Share songs, listen to new music, interact with other users. Listen to any song once for free, then they offer downloads for $.89 and you can add it to your “online collection” for $.10. I guess that means that you can come back to lala and get unlimited listens to the tunes in your online collection. I like the combination of free content with the option to purchase. It’s a good model for the future of music distribution.

By the way, happy new year from worship in the city! Worship in the City will be 5 years old in about 2 weeks. Let me know if you have any ideas for how to celebrate such a milestone, and how I can say thank you to all the faithful readers.

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Are blogs/facebook/twitter relevant to the poor?

I want to toss out a question that I’m wrestling with. I don’t have an answer, so I need some help.

Are blogs/facebook/twitter relevant to the poor?


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Of course my first thought is that social networking websites are only for people above the poverty line. These websites are free services, but it’s only useful if the users have a computer in their home and can afford to maintain a high speed internet connection. I have interacted with folks who don’t have these luxuries. They have an email address, but they have to go to the library to get online. A phone call, “snail-mail”, or a face-to-face meeting is the best way to communicate with them.

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However, it’s becoming much cheaper to own a computer. Maybe in the near future, people will save up to buy a computer before they buy a TV or even a car. Also, free WiFi is become more and more available with even some cities trying to make their entire downtown into a “hot spot”. There’s also the growing availability of internet on cell phones. My brother in law, Eric, has covered this topic extensively on his blog, White African. Apparently, in the poorest parts of the world you can find people logging on to the internet with cell phones.

The reason that I’m asking this question is that the way we do church is evolving according to what the media is telling us. They are telling us that social networking is the wave of the future. I have already done a lot to embrace this change. Obviously, this blog is part of that. One reason the I created this blog was that I wanted to create a forum for people in our church to discuss ideas, share experiences, and to process our worship together as a community. But, my concern is that if I want to talk about worship in the city and the poor are excluded from participating in the discussion, then am I a really big fat hypocrite?

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