Music

Goodbye musical instruments and recording studio

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I used to play in a band. We played two concerts. One with Psychic TV in Berlin and one with Laibach in Copenhagen. We disbanded soon after.

It was in the eighties. I put my instruments and home recording studio in storage. It has been there ever since.

Today, it will be picked up by a dear old friend of mine, who has his own professional recording studio in Copenhagen. What the studio can’t use will be put up for sale.

Here are some of the vintage equipment as Instagrams:

Contact me if you want a copy of the full equipment list.

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Digital

What’s going on with Google Plus?

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The New York Times had a Q&A with Larry Page after the Google I/O keynote, where many people – myself included – were surprised that Google Plus was not mentioned.

Apparently, it is now a part of the Chromecast campaign.

Also, unlike what the Apple-powered press writes, Google is more committed to social than ever.

With Amazon, Apple and Microsoft out of the social game, Facebook and Google will – along with Twitter – remain the big three for a long time coming.

Here is the segment, where Larry Page reflects on Google Plus:


Q.
What’s going on with Google Plus?

A.
Mr. Page: I think there’s a lot of things going on with Google Plus. I’m a very excited user of it. You saw some demos showing how it works with Chromecast — that’s one of the things I’ve been excited about. The service has been growing tremendously. People are always like, “Oh, what’s going on?” But for us, we’re superexcited about it because it’s a big service, growing continuously, since we launched it, at a high rate, and we’re making it better and better every day.

Q.
Is “social” as important to you now as it was two years ago?

A.
Mr. Page: Yes, if anything, probably more important. We have a very excited, dedicated community. People forget we’re able to make our services better by understanding your relationships, making sharing work and understanding identity. These are deep and important things for us as a company. When people ask about Google Plus they think about it as, “I’m going to the stream.” For us, Google Play reviews are part of Google Plus, too. We see all those things growing and being important for us.

Here is an excerpt from Wired, that talks to I-want-to-be-Google-CEO Sundar Pichai, who is a little more vague in his answer.

WIRED: A couple of years ago the message was that Google + was the company core. These days it seems that Google Now is driving the company.

Pichai: Google is all about information. So the notion of using and presenting information in the right point at the right time to users is what in essence describes Google.

Also, read Bradley Horowitz (VP of Product af Google+) 3-year birthday greeting here.

On a final note: look at the huge differences in numbers between Facebook and Google Plus at three years old:

Simple Comparison MAUs

UPDATE! This infographic was just released:

happy-third-birthday-google-plus

You can follow me on Google+ here and on Twitter here.

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Digital

Internet servers and Internet cables in the Nordic region have become more geo-political after the Snowden revelations

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The cool air, renewable energy and available real estate have made the Nordic region attractive for data centers, that rely heavily on natural cooling and cheap energy. Both Facebook and Google have placed strategic server hubs there. However, this relocation of server farms to remote areas requires more cabling and the arrival of the cloud, the Internet of Things and more demand for online access and speed in general add to the demand of power cabling.

But after the Snowden revelations, countries are now more aware of the threat that the U.S. is listening in on them, and local governments are now routing the cables with a geo-political approach to avoid U.S. interference. This decision also involves bypassing U.S. friendly countries such as Sweden and Denmark. Finland just decided to install a cable directly from the land of the midnight sun and the thousand lakes to the privacy conscious Germany. They did not want to pass through Sweden on their way. (Remember that Sweden is the de facto Embassy for the U.S. in North Korea and that Sweden also is controversially implicated in the Julian Assange affair).

Incidentally, Iceland is offering server farms in former NATO bases with a security policy that is seemingly more U.S. critic than Sweden. The EU has made a plan with Brazil to run an underwater sea cable between the European and the South American continents without the reach of the U.S. And the Ukraine crisis is not only about gas pipes. Internet cable structure is also a part of the complex political pathwork there.

And don’t get me started on the Bitcoin backbone. When the cryptocurrency goes mainstream and first mover countries in North Europe begin to adopt the block chain platform, the demand for cool data centers and secure international cabling will be even more critical. Already now, the availability of high speed Internet access is one of the most important parameters for a successful, modern society. Now, the demand for cheap and cool data centers for cloud computing is another important aspect. In the future, which is now, secure connections will be an integral part of that package for both governments, consumers, organizations and businesses.

And with the advent of the block chain to the masses, next generation Internet technology wil take a whole new meaning altogether.

Photography: Google promotional photo.

You can follow me on Google+ here and on Twitter here.

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Movies

The film industry distrupted by crowdfunding, digital distribution and social media

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By Ronnie Rocket

The movie industry is going through the same disruptive process as the music industry did a few years ago. The end result, or at least the new scenario, will likely reflect their audio counterpart. Fans will become producers through crowdfunding (they already are in large numbers), digital distribution will mean immediate access and more niche products and social media will change the marketing structure fundamentally.

Hopefully, the future will mean more people in the movie theaters as we have seen the live music scene boom as a side effect of digitalization. On one hand, we will have acccess to all movies all the time. On the other hand, going to the movies will be an extraordinary, social event that will be more valuable in our hectic lives.

“I learned from working closely with filmmakers like Banksy that core fans want a more direct connection to films and filmmakers. Filmmakers are now realizing, as musicians did years ago, that the key to their success lies in having a direct communication with their community year round rather than ‘film by film’.” – Marc Schiller, BOND/360

The New York based promotion agency BOND/360 just released a ‘dynamic whitepaper’ on Medium with some eyepopping findings based on big data. (My new best friend on Facebook, director/writer genius Paul Schrader, shared it on Facebook.)

Through their marketing works with movies like Senna, they have analyzed their experiences from working with independent films and published seven substantial trends:

1. Revenues from traditional marketplaces falling rapidly – self service platforms rising rapidly
2. Niche content is the new mainstream – high revenue for ‘speciality’ films
3. International sales agents in steep recline – self serving platforms released globally
4. Free marketing on Facebook is over – but Facebook is a good place to spend money
5. Social media is getting more visual – Instagram, Pinterest and and Vine on the rise
6. Crowdfunding is community building – Kickstarter and IndieGoGo more social than Facebook and Twitter
7. PR does not sell movies anymore – social sharing does

My personal notes to these findings are based on a similar attitude to not only the movie business, but to business in general.

Obviously, with digital distribution, the marketplace will be instantly global. But this will also make the local movie theater, especially art houses and state-of-the-art theaters even more valuable as social destinations. This is the storytelling that the stakeholders must use as their starting point. It is no longer the access to the specific product. It’s the social value of finding the movie, getting the tickets, watching the movie, eating the popcorn, discussing the movie afterwards. Kissing, if you’re lucky.

This is the big chance for independent films. Low cost production and low cost distrubution will trigger a punk rock effect in the movie industry. This trend began with cheap HD videocameras and will continue with cheap marketing and distribution. Awesome talent will be discovered. Not only people with access to money will make movies.

The sales process of selling anything is undergoing dramatic changes, too. The old days of doing sales at conferences and major festivals will continue but there will be a huge market and tons of deals made at new gatherings with a more technological approach. Culture and tech markets will merge with a hunger for content and platforms coming together.

The movie industry have relied too much on a free ride with promotion on Facebook, and, to a lesser extent, IMDb (the movie database owned by Amazon). They have overlooked people powered platforms like Wikipedia and Reddit. The smart marketeers will look to these services and also discover the hidden gem that is Facebook Groups (still free and uncensored).

The movie industry should know this. A picture says a thousand words. Imagine what a 20 second video clip or a gif animation can do. The curators and editors will have to take a more visual approach and the design part will be more and more important. Not only for aestethics and usability, but also for basic wow effect and marketing punch.

Along with Wikipedia and YouTube, Kickstarter is the most important thing that have happened to the Internet. Crowdfunding projects are not only changing the dynamics of the funding of ideas. They are also creating social communities that are powerful marketing orchestras.

The days are over when people will read a review in the newspaper and flock to the theater. Blog articles written by soulmates and tips shared by friends will be decisive when people choose what to do with their precious free time. There is not an industry that is not in disruption these days.

Soon, we will book our tickets on Twitter and pay with Bitcoin. But we will still hold hands after watching Love Story or Last Tango In Paris (yeah, I like 70’s movies). And the kiss will feel just as good as in the old days.

Photo: Babylon, an arthouse movie theather in Berlin-Mitte.

You can follow me on Google+ here and on Twitter here.

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