Wouldn’t it be nice, if you could not only save places, but also bookmark your favorite content simply by marking it with a star, like in Google Reader and GMail? And what about sharing? Having a RSS feed of your shared places and items, no uploading hassles, all automatic, perhaps with some more social features, like those you’re most probably adding to Google Reader right now – statistics of most shared/starred items with global tagging…
This year’s Bios party wasn’t (at least from the viewpoint of our psychedelic decorations crew Vytvarny Krouzek Ctverecek) as hectic and full of work as previous years, and so I used the time to prepare a slightly different kind of project.
The party was in the middle of beautiful woods, but most people tend to spend the whole day around the camp, drinking beer and socializing. Not that there’s something bad about it, I just thought they could like a change. So I prepared a game, a “treasure hunt”, like those played in summer camps for kids. The goal was to introduce a story, which would engage people a bit and give them a challenge, and take them for a walk. I also wanted the story to help with a proper set & setting for the night, so it’s in my favorite “psy-fi” (psychedelic fiction :) style.
Only a fragment of people went for the walk – I knew about 6 groups, but perhaps a few more went too. But this was expected, and I was curious whether someone would like the idea at all. The reactions were “OK” to “very good”, just one team complained that the “walk” was actually quite long (about 2 hours) and not trivial – however, that was the point, and it seems that I managed to strike the balance quite well – it wasn’t too easy, but it wasn’t hard either. Most of the game was about following colored-paper marks, and I was pleased when I was told that it was quite possible to use intuition to find the next mark.
The story itself was composed of two parts. First, there were messages and comments left by someone, who went ahead of the players. The second part was information, leaking from the “Information Artifact”, which advanced the story itself.
First comment was available in the camp, together with the key to first cypher, which was placed on a rock above the camp valley and contained first part of the actual story.
Those are the messages as you would meet them on the way. By the way, if anyone has photos from the game, please let me know.
As someone who spends considerable time in front of a computer screen (or two), I knew that there were two groups of people, supporting two text editing systems – Vi/Vim and Emacs. The relations between these two is like the relation between Windows and Linux – both are considered superior by their supporters. I knew that both are supposed to take text editing, particularly for coders, to the next level in speed and possibilities, and that both are supposedly harder to learn, because most people are used to “classic” style of working with text using arrows and ctrl-arrows, shift for selecting, home/end, etc.
I also knew that this style of text editing is very limited – getting the cursor to the right place on a page full of text takes numerous arrow- and ctrl-arrow key presses, or requires you to grab the mouse. For a large group of computer users, this is no problem. However, if you’re using your computer for programming, and are interested in seriously boosting your productivity (not to mention other advantages, like being able to switch between platforms), everyone who’s made the jump will tell you that it’s worth it.
This post is meant to provide a collection of resources and concepts and basic ideas about how the Internet can be used in music marketing. It is meant for musicians, producers, DJs and labels, hopefully without too many genre-specific things. However, the general ideas about Internet marketing mentioned and linked to in this article may be useful to people in other fields besides music too. Currently, it’s a draft, so if you encounter errors, or if you think we should expand on some sections, if you have any questions, or ideas, tips, links etc. which we didn’t mention, please tell us, or feel free to leave you’re note in the comments. If some of the points aren’t anything new for you, good – because there still seems to be a lot of artists and labels big and small, for whom most of this will be new. You don’t have to care about the bleeding edge of IT to be able to make use of the excellent (and often free) marketing opportunities of the Internet. However, this post is just for you if you do understand that there is a lot of potential in the Internet, but you could use some help finding out some inspiration and also practical tips about what can be done and how. We’ll offer you some general concepts of marketing on the Internet, and we’ll talk about how to make yourself present at the places where people could be looking for you and how to make the most of them. Read on…
fullmoon electronic music festival | 29.6.-1.7.2007 | Ostrovec, Loc: 49°25’56.1″N,14°8’1.39″E Another festival invitation? As if there was nothing else to write about… well, don’t worry, other posts are coming :) This post itself is just a stub anyway, I’ll prepare more detailed info. However, get ready for this festival – it’s going to be big. http://www.last.fm/event/220344 UPDATE: The party is behind us. Everything went almost unexpectedly well, and all who took part in organizing this event can now bathe in the overwhelmingly positive feedback. Particularly Prenatal did a pretty good job of steering all the involved people so that things got done. A big thumbs up also goes to Quix for great sound and overall professionality of their work. We managed to attract probably the largest amount of people on a Czech psytrance party yet, and had also success in bringing in several groups of foreigners (which is still a relatively uncommon thing), who were then asking about future parties. There was also a lot of people who didn’t come because of psytrance, and ended up enjoying it immensel – which is quite funny, since the music wasn’t too good most of the time. But I may have a kind of “professional deformation” towards what good psytrance means… I’ll upload some pics and videos, for now only photos by others: : Alef, Kussanda, techno.cz, Fill, Rodrixs
I’m probably not going to write much about the party. For me, it was everything I hoped it would be, and there are lots of (almost exclusively) positive reactions from other people. I didn’t participate in taking pictures or shooting vids this year, so I’ll just link to whatever I’ve seen passing through the forum… And oh, there’s another interesting event coming – check out the Kruh festival.
Perplex – http://www.psytrance.cz/clanek.php?ret=in&pos=1&id=1005
Rodrixxs – http://rapidshare.com/files/32735672/BIOS_01.zip.html – http://rapidshare.com/files/32738620/BIOS_02.zip.html
Boti – http://vitos.tv/bios.zip
Dude – http://dude.rajce.idnes.cz/BIOS/
Kussanda – http://kussanda.rajce.idnes.cz/Bios_07/
Neuro – http://flickr.com/photos/8064739@N05/sets/72157600234340172/
Ambra/Hacecko – http://hacecko.rajce.idnes.cz/BIOS_O7/
Zahrada – http://www.mysticalwaves.com/photos07-3.htm
Youtube playlist – http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=7A5BB877625B0095
Just a little tip for your next Google Earth visit. Besides the normal Google Earth navigation mode (Ctrl-T) there’s a “flight mode”, which can be turned on by pressing Ctrl-Alt-A or just Ctrl-A to start from current position.
You can control your plane using arrows, but usually you’ll need more precision. In flight simulator mode, when you click the left mouse button, your mouse cursor will take the shape of a cross, and every mouse movement now controls the plane. Another left click will switch the control mode off – the cursor will be an arrow again.
It takes a while to get hold of the controls, because even with the mouse everything is really sensitive, and you have to count with certain inertia. Basically, first you’ll want to make your plane fly straight. Using Ctrl-A to start from a flat angle, and then levelling the plane using just up and down arrows is a safe way to start, although in order not to loose height you might also want to increase throttle (using Page Up), close flaps (using Shift-F), and retract landing gear (using G). You can then use Ctrl and arrows to just look around instead of changing direction.
Use Ctrl-H to reach the complete help for GE flight simulator. There you can find more help and all the keyboard shortcuts. Enjoy!
UPDATE: With the release of Google Earth browser plugin, more interesting “simulators” are available – for example, you can visit http://www.paraglidingearth.com/ for a worldwide directory of paragliding sites, and use Google Earth as a paragliding simulator by clicking on “Fly this site”!
Another interesting use of the GE browser plugin, not a simulator, but a rather interesting visualization of various statistics, can be found at http://www.earthatlas.info/
Last weekend, as I visited my parents’ house in Brno, I asked my brother, if he has heard a recent mix by Scratch Pervertz. He didn’t have it, so I went on the net to find it. Before I even typed in the name, I realized that there should be an easier solution. I connected to my computer in Prague with VNC, in ten minutes I had set up my Apache server so that it allowed access to my music directories, and we could listen to the mix in question. However, I thought, perhaps there will be some better solution. Something that would go beyond simply accessing files as they are – something that would for example convert them to different bitrates, so that it would be possible to listen to them on mobile phones. And what about videos? It would definitely be nice, if it would work with videos too – I could use the same approach, simply use a HTTP server to access my files, but that is even more impractical then accessing music, because of the need for bandwidth. I googled up one or two solutions for Windows, but I didn’t find one that would be powerful and yet simple enough. And as I already had access to my music that night, I didn’t pursue this matter further. Next morning however, a new post was out on Lifehacker, covering exactly this topic. And there it was – Orb. A service, that allows you to access media on your computer from anywhere, and when I installed it on my home computer, I found out that it is actually better then I would have hoped. It allows you to browse your media, catalogue them, tag them, create playlists, etc. It can also convert and resample your media to several format and bandwidths. And it allows you to access not only music files and movies, but also pictures and documents. And it works – not only can I listen to music and watch anything I have on my home computer at work (where it works flawlessly even behind a very restrictive, port 80 through SOCKS proxy), but practically anywhere where I can get a decent GSM connection on my Nokia N70. And while the movies don’t look like much, for the small mobile display it is actually pretty good, and in places where the mobile bandwidth is less occupied, there is no problem increasing the quality. Now this is something I didn’t know I wanted until a few days ago, and I’m already wondering how did I manage to live before that :) Not that I would need to fill my head with “media” all the time, but in the times when I do want some entertainment, this is very comfortable. There’s no need to recode movies, if I want to watch them “on the road”, there’s no need to copy stuff, or carry it with myself… and it just works. Great. You need to have a decent upstream on your home computer, of course, and it needs to be running, but mine is running most of the time anyway and my connection is 1.5 Mbps, so no problem there. Actually, I could see something like this replacing portable players in the future. I mean, I’m already used to having net access everywhere I go, and even though it is just Opera on a small mobile phone screen, it is still better then nothing when you need information, or when you want to catch up with reading some blog posts you starred with Google Reader. So why should you settle for carrying a few gigabytes of media on yet another gadget, if you can have access to all that is on your computer and on the net? There are limits, of course, the mobile bandwidth often isn’t good enough, and you will also probably reach the FUP data limits (10 gigs on my phone), but still…
The evaluation of my Senior Project (Influence of Web 2.0 on Business) has arrived some time ago, and although I’ve received a C+, the evaluation mentions its because of finishing half a year after the deadline. On the other hand, I believe it was worth it -the paper may not be perfect, but the reviewer obviously liked it :)
Mr. Matysek chose to do his final paper on “The Influence of the Internet on the Business Community”. His topic examined how the Internet has changed the landscape of business and what current trends seem to be indicated for the future. A major focus of the paper discussed how the Internet has grown in its use as a marketing tool and the future growth expected in this area. The sources in support of his topic were gathered from current literature and the internet and were documented appropriately throughout her presentation. He included several supportive grafts and charts which nicely depicted certain elements of the presentation. The final presentation reflected a carefully written presentation that was not only informative but also well organized and developed. He gave good examples and illustrations, describing the history of current practices and what circumstances exist today that have brought about the proposed changes. Overall, he provided a good objective analysis the strength and potential of the internet and its influence on the business community. The major deterrent was the lateness in which it was submitted.
Bios (in previous years Biolest, Bioles, Bioples, Bioplex, Plexus Solaris) is an exceptional event, an open air music festival in its sixth year. Although it is largely about being able to enjoy some good music, there are other ingredients, that are at least just as important – venue in nature, nice people… After party update – photos, videos… As I said, Bios is not as much a party as it is an event. It has that specific “somehow started happening almost all by itself” feeling, dragging all the people who take care of preparations with itself. It somehow has to happen. Which I guess tells more about Bio- and its spirit then explaining what a great party it has always been. But I’ll explain anyway – it is not just another party or music happening. In its previous incarnations it was exceptional and quite significant. The most intense year was probably Bioplex – the venue was on a small peninsula in a lake. The whole time there was magical, and what the fog did in the morning, after it boiled and slithered on the surface of water for most of the night, was just indescribable beauty – how it rose in shapes, then fell down, sun shining at it all the time, and still it had enough power to, after a few hours of theatrical show, rise over and creep through the whole peninsula. Well, that was great, but it’s been great every single time, so I guess it will be pretty good once again. Update: There will be more interesting stuff. A collaborative collage will be available, so bring some magazines with pictures/photos, and perhaps also scissors – although there will be some equipment available. Last time we did this, it was quite unexpected how much fun it actually provides, even for people, who at first didn’t want to join. Moreover, I’m preparing a game for Saturday. It should be something like a classic summer camp game “treasure hunt”, groups of people following a lead of clues, walking around for a while, solving some puzzles and other tasks, and although I’m not sure yet what the “treasure” will be, it should definitely be pretty psychedelic :) Update 2: Short vids from preparations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvBI73hUhgQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcydQeIkjSM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VryOPhEd1g Photos from previous years:
– Bioples 2004 [archive] – Bioles 2005 [archive] – Biolest 2006 [archive] Youtube playlist of videos from last year http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5021E229585DA959 It doesn’t matter at all whether you know the “psychedelic trance” (psytrance) kind of electronic dance music or not, whether you already like it, hate it or don’t care about it at all. As long as you stumble upon a decent DJ on just the right occasion, you can come from any musical background and you’ll enjoy it. Moreover, even if this musical enjoyment doesn’t come on your first psychedelic trance party, the possibility that you’ll meet new people you’ll like is high above average, whatever that is for you. Of course, you could ask, what is meant by “the right occassion”. I’m simply counting on the fact here that there will be significantly-better-then-decent DJs aplenty at Bios, so this part of the party enjoyment formula is taken care of. Otherwise the right occassion depends on how the whole party works out. Bio- series of festivals is held at a beautiful forest valley for the third year, which has all the infrastructure and comfort you could want. Also, most of the people who come regularly are quite openminded – you’ll probably meet friendly smiles unless you do things like shooting heroin and passing out cold, or bothering people with clenched jaws and dish-sized pupils. Actually, we don’t like to see this kind of people at parties like this, and luckily, they almost don’t visit, so you can feel safe – you can even bring children. So in short, Bios will be at the same place as last two years, again there will be some twists, making it not your usual, 4×4-bouncing-all-day-and-night party – perhaps some band(s), or even theater, and more musical variation later during the day. If you want to experience a psychedelic trance event with a truly psychedelic potential, one of the few bigger parties in CZ, meet friendly people and so on, you’re welcome. 18.-20.5.2007, camp Tišina near Kožlany, Rakovník (1.5 hour from Prague) Czech Republic ( 50°0’21.07″N, 13°33’17.37″E)