Announcing the Peter Gabriel edition of Play With Your Music

You may have noticed a lot of writing about Peter Gabriel on the blog lately. This is because I’ve been hard at work with Alex Ruthmann, the NYU MusEDLab, and the crack team at Peer To Peer University on a brand new online class that uses some of Peter’s eighties classics to teach audio production. We’re delighted to announce that the class is finished and ready to launch.

Play With Your Music - Peter Gabriel edition

Here’s Alex’s video introduction:

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Who should you follow to keep up to date on digital music trends?

Here are some recommended people to follow on Twitter. Most of them have blogs of various kinds which you can access via their Twitter profiles.

For hip-hop, sampling and everything related:

For technology:

For the highbrow and avant-garde:

Just generally:

Happy reading.

Original question on Quora

Why do people watch music videos, especially tweens and teenagers?

I have a bunch of teenaged cousins, and they do the majority of their music listening on YouTube. They even DJ parties with it using playlists. Anytime they have a choice, they’ll always prefer music with some kind of video accompanying it, even if it’s just a still of the album cover.

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My top five SoundCloud tracks

The internet has spoken! These are the tracks of mine that you like the best, in order of listens. It comes as no surprise to me that three of them involve Michael Jackson, and two involve the Beatles.

Wanna Be Startin’ Something megamix by ethanhein

Bitter Sweet Symphony Megamix by ethanhein

Human Nature Megamix by ethanhein

Prudence Never Can Say Goodbye by ethanhein

Na Na Na Na by ethanhein

What are some possible innovations for Delicious going forward?

This is a melancholy topic for me. There was a time when my Delicious network feed was the first site I looked at in the morning, my favorite source of news and serendipitous new knowledge, and the primary repository for my short-form writing. Now I barely ever use it.

I started out using Delicious for its intended purpose, bookmarking. Then I discovered that between the tags and the notes field, it was a spectacular notetaking tool. Over time, I built up a network of around a hundred other people. My Delicious use became 10% archiving and annotating links I planned to refer to later, and 90% social linkblogging. The experience became almost Quora-like.

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Facebook and multiple identites

Here’s an alarming Mark Zuckerberg quote from The Facebook Effect by David Kirpatrick:

You have one identity… The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly… Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.

How nice for Mark Zuckerberg that he doesn’t feel the need to keep any part of himself private. Zuckerberg doesn’t have an identity outside of his work, which is common enough in Silicon Valley startup culture but is neither possible nor desirable for most of us. When family members have illnesses, or friends are feeling down, or I’m thinking or feeling something that doesn’t reflect well on me in that moment, how is that any of my coworkers’ business? Zuckerberg understands human psychology very well within the context of college and startup culture, but Facebook is an increasingly poor fit for the complexities of my social life.

Nexus white

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The Facebook Effect

Last night I caught a lecture by David Kirkpatrick on his book The Facebook Effect. This post is going to be about Kirkpatrick’s discussion of the book, not the book itself, since I just got it last night and haven’t started reading it yet. But his talk certainly conveyed the flavor.

Kirkpatrick had one significant advantage over the makers of The Social Network: participation by Mark Zuckerburg. Kirkpatrick loves Facebook and reveres Zuckerburg, so his book isn’t exactly a hard-hitting expose. Techcrunch accompanies their review of the book with this image:

I don’t think Kirkpatrick is wrong; Facebook is an undeniable phenomenon and Zuck is a remarkable guy. I just don’t love FB as unreservedly as Kirkpatrick does.

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Promoting music through social media

As part of New York Social Media Week, I attended a panel entitled “The Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy of Social Media as Music’s Savior.” It was first thing in the morning, which really asks a lot from the music hipsters. I would normally have just live-tweeted this thing, but the wi-fi in the place was too weak, and besides, I figured it deserved a blog post. So here’s the more coherent, edited version of what I planned to post on Twitter. Since the event was dominated by Kanye West from the title on down, I’ll be featuring Twitter-centric pictures of him.

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The Delicious debacle

It’s been an emotional week for me and my fellow Delicious lovers. The hysteria began with a slide leaked from an internal presentation at Yahoo, Delicious’ corporate parent, saying the service was among the ones slated to be “sunsetted.”

After Techcrunch published the slide, the web lit up with the rumor that Delicious would be shut down. It took Yahoo a full twenty-four hours to respond, an eternity in internet time, and when their official statement did finally come, it didn’t exactly put anyone’s mind at ease. They’re keeping Delicious live for the time being, but they plan to… do what? Sell it? The language is vague.

I’ve loved Delicious since I started using it — here’s my full-length rhapsody on why it’s so valuable to me. Watching Yahoo neglect it has been painful, since there’s a lot of untapped potential. For example, two months before Twitter launched, Delicious rolled its Network feature, which lets you subscribe to other users’ bookmarks. It’s basically a more tightly curated and better annotated version of Twitter. I started going back through my bookmarks to see who else was saving them and following everyone who was coming up with interesting tags and notes. The result is my list of a hundred or so Delicious users who consistently post interesting, useful and entertaining links. I look at my Delicious network feed first thing in the morning, before any news site, or Twitter or anything, because its signal to noise ratio is superb. Yahoo had an opportunity to create a robust social network around the Network feature, and they blew it.

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