Monday, 6 July 2009

Art *is* Advertising

Advertising for the artist. Or least that is how it should be seen. Following on from my last post on Digital Busking, it seems to me that if artists thought of their art as advertising for them, then they would think about the other side of art - community. Community is where the money is, it is the real fans of the artist that will pay to see them at a concert, or an exhibition of their works, and some of the better off fans may donate money directly to the artists (if the artist followed the concept of 'digital busking' and included a donate button on the home site of social networking page).

I wonder how many fans, you downloaded music illegally would turn around and 'donate' money?

I suppose we have some idea as to how it would play out like the stella NIN torrent downloads and Radiohead's half arsed attempt (least they tried), both pulled in some cash. I know some have said these are established bands and others would not be able to do this - missing the point that most new music comes up from the grassroots and P2P is the best soil.

If artists started to look as their art, not as a mere product, but as a way to engage a community: then the idea of art as advertising becomes more appealing. Instead of worrying about policing the P2P networks, they could concentrate on their fans, and one thing all fans have in common is they like to go to the source - the original creator.

The art becomes a first step in setting up an online community - forums, blogs, P2P downloads via magnet links, new web2 remix sites all run under Creative Commons licences. The artist can offer premium hard-copies for sale, and real fans (the ones who would by them in the first place) would be happy to pay. Other fans would love the community and donate to keep the community up and running. It may be an idea to offer fans the option to subscribe to the website, and make regular small payments, to keep it buoyant.

Fans are probably the greatest Ad-Men on the planet and P2P is the best way to distribute digital works (and with virtually no costs to the artist).

So artists, stop thinking of money first and remember why your got into art in the first place. The rules have changed, you do not have to go through business to reach your audience, and it's time to make these new rules work for you.

CC it. Share it. Create a community. Collect some cash.

It's a new day.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Busking in modern times.

I not talking about busking on street corners or the underground (UK ref) like in the old days but 'digital busking'. The serving up of digital art over the internet seems to make a lot of sense as you can reach a huge audience - unlike a pitch in the real world. The days of having to stand of a street corner and perform in real time are numbered, now you can busk via mp3 player, and distribution via P2P by magnet links posted on social networking sites. Anyone can do it, and not just music, pictures, movies anything you can digitise.

Yet busking sounds to many as almost being like 'begging' but is it?

Comparing busking to advertising and it's hard to tell them apart when you cast off preconceived idea and take a good long look. If you see an ad and like the look of what you see, you may go and buy the product. It you like the performance of a busker you give them some money.

Now you may think the two are not alike, but advertising is not always tied to a 'product'.

This of an advert for a charity - if you are moved by the advert you may give to the charity. This about that for a second and let it sink in, the charity is pretty much doing what a performer does when busking. This point of view has other implications.

Think of a political fund raiser ad - you like what you see and you may send in money. The politician has just 'busked' (and I bet they do not see it as 'begging'). You may also give them your support and vote for them (much the same you may support an artist).

Now think of music from an independent artists as an 'ad', served up over P2P and social networking sites - if you like it you send them money via online payments from anywhere in the world. Digital busking.

Busking seems to be a good model for art and music in this day and age. It opens up art to all, as all art would be served up via 'digital busking', copyright would be copyleft, and you could share the music and art your love with your friends and family, and even share it with people of other cultures. Art becomes a social enabler, the sharing of ideas and expression of common bonds.

More importantly the power of P2P would be unleashed!

Business would still be in the mix providing the ISPs, the net, commerce (payment collections). it not all revolution, just returning art back to the people and getting business doing what business does best (deals and exchange), and technology working at maximum efficiency (P2P vs streaming).

The only ones to suffer would be big media labels at first, but I'm sure they could come up with ways to make money (adverts), even cinema and movies could adapted (like timed hour ticket and you could walk out of one screening you do not like and go to another, and if you do not watch a whole movie you have credits left and you can come back - credits via the net).

Instead of seeing art as a 'product', it should be seen as an 'advert' for support. To free the artist to create new art, new project, without fear of censorship or compromise with executives...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

End of the Internet?

The big media companies start to move...

Hard to think of the net as a mere tv station/ tivo. The worst way to use the net (streaming media instead of p2p) will end up as begin the only way it's used - forced to conform to the old fashioned regular broadcast media model with central control.

Why do 'they' dislike people having freedom? The net is free and it's not the end of the world, and governments are just as much in control as they always were.

Just as everyone is getting their groove on and having some fun, and making friends, and linking arms across the globe, and realising people who are different aren't so different, the government gets funny ... oh yeah, I get;

If everyone is being friendly and it's hard to 'divide and conquer' if the masses are all friendly.

No more power games?

The world would be so much better with net neutrality; humanity would be so much better off. More ideas, more innovation more opportunity, and more inspiration!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

P2P doesn't clog up the network

It seems that ISP who throttle P2P are not doing it because it clogs up their network; but for other, perhaps nefarious, reasons?

P2P does not harm networks
Bell’s Own Data Shatters P2P Red Herring

Everyone knew (well 'everyone' who knew people who deals with networks) that this anti-P2P position was nonsense, but this type of data is rarely seen in public, and it should be an eye opener to many. It's not a case that networks suffer under heavy load, the ISPs claim it so they are able to 'legitimately' throttle one type of traffic, which circumvents net neutrality. If P2P was really a problem then streaming media would be far worse and that is not throttled.

Big business does not like P2P as they are uncreative and unable to see money in it for them. Whereas they love streaming media, which is resource heavy (as every watch is a new download in real time) yet big business loves it. The network would be far better managed and efficient with P2P supplying media than it would be if all media was supplied by streaming it.

With streaming media it's like the big media companies are trying to turn the web into a broadcast system (like tv and radio), whereas the web is far better suited to being what it is; a 'web', than an imitation of something it is not. Perhaps the big media companies can not see beyond there nose and are trying to turn the web into something they recognise.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


A new project to create a striped down P2P app specifically designed to exploit the power of magnetlinks in all their glory (may even get .magma too!). GnuGet is based on (real) Shareaza and will used the G2 network ;)
Quote: (Source: What is Gnuget?)
GnuGet is a lightweight download manager style P2P application. Here are some of the things that make GnuGet Unique:
    1. It is extremely small
    2. It is OS independent (written in Java)
    3. It uses a whitelist to pro-actively fight piracy and encourage the sharing of open source software
    4. It uses magnet links on official sites instead of a search function so you can be sure you are downloading official files.
    5.Stops users downloading spam, misnamed files, corrupt files, or infected files.
    6.Helps to clean up the G2 network because bad magnet links are removed, and without the magnet link the bad files are in limbo.
    7. Allows charities and open source projects offset download/ bandwidth costs while ensuring their specified files are downloaded via P2P.

For more info check out
If this works out it will be the P2P app of choice for Artists Unchained!

Discussion over on the (real) Shareaza Forums: GnuGet Forum

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Perfect little art server?

While browsing my fav tech webbie (the Inquirer) I saw the MSI Titan 700, a small PC about the size of a can of coke. What really caught my eye was that it is based on the VIA C7 CPU which is very easy going on the power (60W) and quiet. I have been looking for a small PC based on the C7 to play about with for while but never found one that really hit the spot.

The Titan 700 which goes for about £230 would make an ideal 'art server' for an artist (or seriously dedicated fan) to continuously run P2P software day and night distributing files via the AUS. Drop on a Linux distro and run Phex (G1 network) and you have a good cost effective solution.

Hooking up a small LCD monitor or a second port on your monitor (should you have one) and this whole system can be part of your home network (with net access) and tucked away in a corner and forgotten about. It would be nice if there was a web browser based access solution (like many routers) to manage the little art server over the home network.

As a side note the C7 have hardware support for SHA-1 and SHA-256 hashing and I always wondered if a P2P software developer would take advantage of such a feature.

Dodgy files

Dodgy files on P2P networks are become such a huge problem that even the BBC has noticed: Fake media file snares PC users.

This reinforces the position adopted by Artists Unchained that magnet links are an ideal way to fight back against the growing tide of spam, virus/ Trojan infected files and incorrectly named files proliferating on P2P networks.

It seems that using the search function within P2P software exposes users to undue risks of downloading copyright infringing media or worse.

With magnet links hosted on the participating artist's official website their fans are assured that they will receive the correct file. Not only does this protect the fan for downloading dodgy files but saves them time, and more effectively uses the net's resources by not wasting bandwidth. It also ensures that there is only one version of a file and not hundreds of different versions of the same file with similar quality.

We are currently looking for a light P2P application that uses standard P2P networks such as G1 or G2, can fully handle magnet links but does not have a search function at all! If you know of one please get in touch.