Music streaming killed the three minute radio song

Thursday, 4 May, 2017

Music tracks may become shorter than the current kind-of-standard of three minute duration, as musicians find that broadcast by streaming opens up the way for them to change the way they write and compose music.

Frank Ocean isn’t the only artist finding the conventional three minute song structure increasingly superfluous. With traditional radio being replaced by online streaming as the dominant source of music, new artists are discovering that many of the old rules don’t apply.

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The software application as an artist, and an artist’s representative

Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

While artists’ representatives may fear for their jobs as digital technologies and artificial intelligence ascend, I’d have thought artists themselves would be quite safe.

It looks like I was wrong. Here’s news about a software application, a kind of robot I guess you could say, that creates an artwork, and then attempts to sell it.

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Giles Clarke, winner of the 2017 Mobile Photography Awards

Monday, 10 April, 2017

Photo by Giles Clarke

New York City based photojournalist Giles Clarke has taken first place in this year’s Mobile Photography Awards, with this image taken in Iraq, of a soldier with the Peshmerga, the Iraqi Kurdistan military.

The work of winners in the awards’ other categories can be seen here.

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Jon West, Vancouver based video producer and drone pilot

Thursday, 6 April, 2017

Photo by Jon West

Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? That’s the thought that keeps crossing my mind as I look at the work of East Vancouver video producer, Jon West.

I’ve seen a few photographers working with drones taking some great aerial images, but in these works there’s a certain darkness. The result? Photos that are alluring, captivating, and intriguing.

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Is the like button forcing bloggers to write content they dislike?

Wednesday, 5 April, 2017

Online publishers talk about engagement. They want to know how many people are reacting to the content they post. The option for readers to “interact” with content, be it an article, photo, or video, through simply clicking a like button, offers publishers such an insight.

But is clicking a button really engaging with the content, or the publisher? In the days before the like button, readers might have to make a comment, or start a discussion about something they’d seen in a forum, or even write a response on their own website, which was almost the only option in the late 1990s.

Has the ability to simply say you like something, before you hurry along to like something else, in fact reduced engagement? Is conversation no longer the preferred method of engagement? Further, is the desire to gain likes, influencing the sort of content people are producing?

Once other people start telling you what they like via Like buttons, you inevitably start hewing to their idea of what’s good. And since “people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests,” the stuff you publish will start looking a lot like the stuff that everybody else publishes, because everybody sort of likes the same thing and everybody is fishing for Likes.

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Steve Whitaker, Halifax based landscape photographer

Monday, 3 April, 2017

Photo by Steve Whitaker

Steve Whitaker is a landscape photographer, based in Halifax, England. He is also a drone pilot, a handy skill for people in his line of work. For instance, this photo of the snow coated Yorkshire Dales may not have been quite so easy to take, had an aircraft of some sort been needed.

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Imagining if Snapchat had been an integral part of the early web

Monday, 3 April, 2017

If photo sharing app Snapchat had been around during the late 1990s, this is what it might have looked like, and how it might have worked. I’m certain if Snapchat had come along twenty years ago, we’d still be using it today.

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Litbaits, a clickbait like ploy to encourage people to read more books

Monday, 20 March, 2017

With online publishers playing a part in the demise of printed books, and bookshops, The Wild Detectives, an indie bookstore located in Dallas, Texas, is finding a way to fight back, by playing online publishers at their own game.

Enter Litbaits, a campaign designed to encourage people to read books, by enticing them with clickbait style copy. For instance, the title “Teenage girl tricked boyfriend into killing himself”, takes anyone clicking the link, to a webpage containing the full version of Romeo and Juliet.

So far only classic, out of copyright, books can be accessed, but it will be interesting to see how Litbaits plays out.

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Jamison Alexander Gish, art inspired by nature, and technology

Friday, 17 March, 2017

Artwork by Jamison Alexander Gish

The works of US visual artist Jamison Alexander Gish, are inspired by nature, and influenced by technology. He also draws on the words of Christopher Potter, a British writer and philosopher, who said, “Humans never were part of nature. We were always part of technology.”

How’s that for a thought?

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What is the most significant fad of all time? Or were there a few?

Friday, 17 March, 2017

What is the most significant fad, or craze, of all time? Or, more the point, fads, and crazes? The Atlantic invited a panel of those in the know to offer their ideas. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cigarettes
  • Rock and roll
  • The selfie
  • Demin
  • Miniskirts
  • Video games (of the 70s and 80s)

Some are still with us, decades after their arrival. Fad seems like a misnomer in that case.

Video games from the 70s may not be so popular today, though I’m sure a fair few people still partake of them, but they may have played a major part in the rise of computing, or at least getting more people interested in computers.

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