Category Archives: social net

Data is the new Journal. (2 of 2)

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Social sharing sites like Facebook and Google+ are great for countless reasons. The discovery factor is amplified and quick. We have the ability to catch up and communicate with people easily and on-the-go.

Our social networks, paired alongside various algorithms, place everything in somewhat omnidirectional proportion to our personal interests. Some folks watch the stream of information passively while others can’t help but participate. Frequently. Like a habit that’s hard to break. But habits are usually created because there’s some sort of personal payoff involved. What’s in it here?

Do we participate out of boredom? For entertainment? Documentation? Self-declaration? All of the above?

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The Book of Faces

It’s not only a page, it’s a press release. It’s a virtual book with tabbed chapters, a self-edited personal timeline of one’s easily admitted yet mostly circumstantial behavior. It’s a flag waving, a manifest, a carefully constructed sliver of reality. It’s closely watched and admired often  – a new media mirror of the everyday famous.

It’s contents are aggregated. The unique yet somehow familiar fingerprints are only so until they’re bucketed and sold to curators of cultural identification.

The things that engage us are collected, chopped and categorized, and we collectively become a deep well of data. We become distilled statistics to be pored over by bespeckled analysts seeking truth in numbers.

And it comes around full circle. The originality we’re so eager to share with others, our clever, well-groomed and spotless identities are not owned by us. They’re fed to us. What we’re so eager to share is picked up with equal amounts of vigor for the sake of understanding how to construct a social relevance and therefore sell us more of it.

The waving flag is meandering and commonplace, the manifest a generic prescription for belonging.

The gun rang out years ago to commence the never ending and cyclical popularity contest, the slow burn of self-actualization, the self-aggrandizing addiction of junkyard thoughts and intentional moments of being.

We grasp and quickly dismiss advertising, no longer insulted by it’s targeting. We don’t mind conspicuous marketing ploys so long as it allows us to write in blood on the internet and perhaps enjoy an open bar.

Playlist Manifesting: What Makes a Great Mixtape?

Every single one of us can be a DJ . We each have the ability to be an influencer, a critic – a purveyor of fresh musical content for the masses.

From an accessibility standpoint, It’s becoming easier to queue up songs and create deep playlists based on the music we love. Between music blogs and social sites, we can preview tracks from established and brand-new artists. We can easily create playlists on the fly, spreading them far and wide to share our respective tastes and express our mood to the world.

Thanks to music blogs, we have the ability to hear upcoming singles at the same time (or even before) traditional musical tastemakers do. And we’re not restricted by FCC rules or political embargos.

The great news is that online music services are consistently getting better and the catalogues are becoming deeper.  We can share tracks, solicit feedback, re-share what our friends have liked and even collaborate with them.

We are eager to share and eager to please.

With all of this newfound access, content will still prevail. There’s still an art to crafting the perfect mixtape – a perfect rhythm and balance that tells a story and will make your friends hunt you down for more.

For what it’s worth (and so I’ll stop babbling to strangers about this at parties), I’ve sketched out a few thoughts on what I think creates great playlist. As a DJ and musical programmer with several years of community + college radio experience,  I feel that I may be able to speak semi-intelligently on the issue (ha).  And if I really have no clue what I’m talking about, please feel free to call me out in any way you see fit (a playlist battle, perhaps? double ha).

Without any further ramblings, here within please find 7 general tips for giving your best set ever.

#1 Grab ‘em from the get go.

Traditionally, a DJ mix starts slowly then builds to peak at about 3/4’ths of the way through. While this may work on a dancefloor, a digital mixtape has different needs. You’ll want to grab the ear of the listener right away. This is ‘specially important in an online world where users don’t stick around for long.

With that said, this doesn’t mean you should put all of your bangers up front. It’s not a tempo thing. Instead, think about starting with something that’s simply really, really good. A banger can be the equivalent of shouting “WAKE UPPP!!” Not many people like that.

You can open your mix in a very subtle way (for example, a classical piece or a clever acoustic cover). Whatever you think is comfortable yet arresting.

The goal here is two-fold. #1 get their attention, and #2 set the mood.

Whichever way you choose to go, the opening track should set the tone for the rest of the mix.

#2 Pick a variety of songs – but stay consistent to your theme.

I have a friend who works in music supervision. He loves trendy indie bands on the folksy, whimsical tip.  And while his mixtape selections are amazing – I always learn something new – in the end it sounds like one long record by the same band. Ultimately, unless he’s hitting fans within his niche directly he’s gonna lose people. The mix is too steady and listeners will easily get bored and go away.

Choose a variety of songs from different decades and genres. This opens up your work to a larger audience with a wider variety of taste.  Mixing it up also keeps listeners on their toes. It keeps it interesting.

The way to tie it all together is through your theme – whether it’s by mood, subject, or purpose.

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Digital Jukebox

Here are a few favorite artists of the moment.

I like seeing the anomalies, like Elvis Presley? Ok.

Sometimes these anomalies are embarrassing, like when you’re caught with Flo Rida as your #1 song!

I  e-mail a monthly mixtape to friends and family and will be posting it here soon. Each edition incorporates thematic elements with typically brand-new music.

Other places you can find me:

Last.fm

LaLa

Blip.fm

Soundcloud

Mixcloud

Pandora

Rhapsody

eMusic

iLike

Part 5: Getting to Know You

The other night was quite windy in here Santa Monica. It was 4am and I was wide awake and totally spooked.  I randomly posted how I was feeling to Twitter and noticed shortly thereafter that other west-siders were awake and acknowledging that they felt the same way.

This exchange comforted me somehow. It made me feel less neurotic about being freaked out by something so simple as wind.

It’s scary to think that everything I post is on record somewhere, but to participate I realize – like in a real world relationship – that it helps to open up.

I noticed that after posting more opinionated tweets or describing certain situations that my number of followers dramatically increased.  Offering up stuff I was working on, like  DJ mixes, helped too.

Make the experience personal and memorable and people will follow.

Just like the real world, the Twitterverse is full of amazing individuals who love to share their creations, thoughts and opinions.

Get to know your tweeples. Send them messages, read their blogs. You’ll become flattered by the types of people who follow you, and become inspired to offer more.  It makes participation more meaningful than communicating aimlessly in an anonymous online world.