Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts Album is About MUCH More Than Music.

If you have been reading this blog for even a moderate length of time, you are most likely aware of the unusually high amount of Nine Inch Nails articles on this site (seen here and here to name a few). Considering the general theme of this blog, I could see how this could be seen as strange to many. Still, I tend to write a lot about how digital media (which design-technology intersects with) is changing not only mainstream media, but the society which consumes it – which in turn impacts how we do our work. For the past two years, Nine Inch Nails has really been on the frontlines of pushing media away from the consolidated, copyright-heavy, corporate-run model to a distributed, grassroots, artist-run model.

Last night, Nine Inch Nails released Ghosts I-IV, an independently-produced album that is available for download for the price of $5. There are 36 songs in this album, so that $5 looks even more reasonable than ever. For those of you into the tangible, CDs can be purchased as well. Additionally, 9 songs are available completely for free – no questions asked. While this is distribution model is new, it is not new – we have seen it with In Rainbows and Niggy Tardust, each with their own little tweaks on it. However, make no mistake, Ghosts is unlike any other album distribution we have seen.
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Nine Inch Nails 'Year Zero' Album Available for Listening – Trent Reznor Gets What the RIAA Does Not

Trent is at it again. Just like what was done for With_Teeth, Nine Inch Nails released Year Zero for listening before the April 17th release date. Listen away.

As if the RIAA did not look bad enough as it is, when you have high profile musical artists that does something this progressive, the organization looks even worse. With a very forward-thinking marketing campaign, allowing the public to freely listen to the album before its release, not to mention absolutely amazing music, Trent Reznor is basically showing the rest of the music industry how things should be done. Year Zero has easily been the biggest music-related event on the internet this year – for good reason. I myself have already listened to the album and have pre-ordered the album and I suggest you do too.

Daily Delicious – Google Getting Into TV Ads?

I have been quite vocal on my lack of regard for online advertising and have even spent some time writing about how I think it could be improved. While it may not be in the online world, it is good to see some companies trying to improve the advertising we are exposed to. Our good friends at Google are interested in making TV advertising “useful” for its viewers. I assume this model will be loosely based on their highly successful Adsense program. After spending my youth watching TV and subsequently ridding my life of TV after living on my own, I can understand how some people think TV advertising could get a little smarter…

According to this article, Google is planning on making $11 billion in ad sales – not too shabby. It is not a secret that Adsense is a success from many different standpoints. I would definitely like to see online advertising go even further in its usefulness and site-by-site basis, but I recognize how large of a leap Adsense made to online advertising. Old media advertising could definitely use a shot in the arm at this point – and who better to go it than one of the best success-stories in new media. Still, it will be interesting if new media ideas still work in a different medium. Old media definitely will be eventually making the slow transition to new media – perhaps that evolution will take care of the problem on its own. link

Improving Online Advertising (For Everyone)

In my first of three articles discussing online advertising, I wrote about what I consider is wrong with advertising. In this article, I will attempt to lay out my thoughts on how advertising online could be improved. One of the issues that I see as a problem of the current online advertising model is the emphasis on money and/or click-throughs. This current article talks about how the almighty click-through reigns supreme, no matter how much it damages the reputation of the site or the product that is being advertised. In addition, site creators seem to just fall in line and accept the one-sided relationship advertisers have laid out for them. Advertisers and site creators need to think smarter by thinking smaller. My thought is to put less money on the table and create more effective advertising partnerships with a smaller group of sites. In addition, the banner needs to finally be put to rest. A site’s real-estate is no match for its author’s thoughts, content and the trust it has garnered with its audience. Lastly, the site creator’s content, in conjunction with the trust from the audience, are not resources to exploit, but are potential partners in a sustainable revenue model. Continue reading “Improving Online Advertising (For Everyone)”

Daily Delicious – Nine Inch Nails New Album Spawns Abstract Web Sites

Here I was, just about to write about microformats, when this came along…

A new Nine Inch Nails album is coming out in April. Thanks to our good friend Kellie, and her great link comment, I learned about a series of abstract websites pertaining to the theme and (from the rumors) storyline of the new album. To say the new album is political is like saying the sun is warm – just a warning to those of you that do not enjoy politics. Yes, I know, this has been done before. Yes, I know, this is a form of marketing. Still, the tone and the way it comes off just seems different than other viral marketing campaigns.

A lot of people are not big fans of viral marketing. I, however, see a great beauty to it. Most viral marketing I have been exposed to is quite creative and engages the user’s imagination. On top of it, it is much less money-driven than traditional advertising methods. With viral marketing, success is dependent on the individual to appreciate it enough to want to share it. Traffic and buzz can be artificially generated, but I have noticed that method tends to fizzle out very quickly if there is not a genuine interest from the public. I rather like the idea of marketing that is depends on the public’s interest rather than cash. I see how this project can turn people off. Still, for myself, I find it absolutely fascinating.

UPDATENew Nine Inch Nails song found on a usb drive in a bathroom in portugal. This is getting cooler and cooler by the minute. In case the URLs hosting the MP3 die, you can download it from Some Random Dude (sorry, this is absolutely killing my bandwidth). link

The Sorry State of Online Advertising

For many, the internet symbolizes innovation, creativity and unique expression. Why then is internet advertising so unoriginal, uninspired and uninterested in the people it is targeting? Online advertising symbolizes all that is wrong with the current state of the web. The basic model of advertising bombardment and sensory overload can ruin a site’s reputation while rarely giving the financial return expected. Why have site creators and online advertisers settled for such an unbecoming system? For many site creators, the allure of making income from their site outweighs the needs of their audience. This approach can ultimately cause much more bad than good.

Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about online advertising. This article will focus on what is currently wrong with the most common advertising model used online, the second will discuss my opinions on a better alternative and the third will flush out those ideas into pragmatic examples.

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