Creating a More Conversational Online Landscape

As you may have read, I am very interested in improving the way we create, distribute and interact with content online &mdash especially pertaining to the content of ideas and concepts. So much of the effort during the blogging and Web2.0 explosion was focused on empowering the individual to create and share content. Just think of YouTube’s tagline, Broadcast Yourself. What excites me is that there are a plethora of startups focusing on the facilitation of creating rather than broadcasting of the created.

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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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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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