Archive for November, 2007

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Innovate or Litigate

November 29, 2007

A recent post on Mashable raised my blood pressure. There is nothing I can’t stand more than businesses/people/anything that fights positive change. In this post we learn that the AP is attempting an elaborate movement on the internet to control the flow of news around the internet, so as to regain control of the information across the globe. Stop guys. Your embarrassing yourself.

Whether we are talking about a person or a business, this truth remains the same. Those that do not evolve get left behind. It seems the AP is doing what the music industry did (here I go again) in the early 2000’s. Instead of embracing the public’s demand for cheap/free music in digital format, it responded violently by waging lawsuits on it’s customers that had downloaded songs from p2p networks. Wow. What a ground breaking business strategy. Let’s SUE our customers!!! They will be more loyal than EVER! Johnathan Schwartz of SUN had a great post on this (from which I borrowed the title of this post).

The AP is attempting to do the same thing here. They are trying to beat the internet back into a box where they control the flow of information, and therefore, continue to make money through their current model. Anyone can see that there is zero chance of restricting the flow of information in todays world, so this just won’t work.

What they SHOULD do, is spend those resources on finding a way to evolve into an entity that THRIVES on the free flow of information. While I don’t know what that solution may be, I promise it’s out there. It just never ceases to amaze me that, when someone is presented with change, they respond by fighting progress.

Progress makers make the history books, progress fighters do not.

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Grooveshark is the greatest thing to hit music since napster

November 29, 2007

Ok, let me start this post off by disclosing that I am a proud alum of the University of Florida (GO GATORS!!!!! Reigning champs x 3) and the following product I am writing about is a product of fellow gators and based out of Gainesville. Now that I have said that…

The best things from Gainesville in the last 3 years are:

Urban Meyer/Billy D
<img src=”/images/23209-22116/floridax.jpg” border=”0″ width=”245″>

The 04’s (+ Lee Hump)
<img src=”/images/23209-22116/fab5.jpg” border=”0″ width=”434″>

Leak/Tebow
<img src=”/images/23209-22116/leak_and_tebow.jpg” border=”0″ width=”220″>

Grilled Wings at Gators Dockside
<img src=”/images/23209-22116/225_10933_SweMesWing.jpg” border=”0″ width=”225″>

and Grooveshark

<img src=”/images/23209-22116/grooveshark_logo.jpg” border=”0″ width=”150″>

I have to share how unbelievable grooveshark is.

First off… the technical: It’s a program you can download for free that works in conjunction with their website that allows you to listen to and purchase music.

The awesome part: you can stream music, make playlists… unlimited… FOR FREE. And.. if you want to download a song, it’s only $0.99… DRM free.

The awesome-er part: The site is set up as a p2p network where you will download songs from other users. The beauty of the setup is that, when you purchase a song, the user who uploaded the song gets paid, the artist gets paid, and the label gets paid. Hence their slogan… “everybody gets paid”. So you could, theoretically get paid for that massive catalog of Ben Folds tunes that you secretly blast when you think no one can hear ( I’m looking at you, Jason Rupert).

And what is best, they now have a Create Mix function that auto-generates a playlist based on a song (or songs) you like. Fantastic. It’s over, I’m a complete fanboy.

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Choosing a Domain Name

November 28, 2007

Recently, a few new projects have come our way that have required us to purchase a domain name. I always struggle with this part of the startup because so much is wrapped up in the name of your site. Mapping the web had a great post on this.

Generally, I shy away from anything but a dot com. Dot net’s are worthless, because generally, a person will automatically think your site is a dot com and go to <yoursitename>.com instead of .net. Remember, many people here domain names in passing, and it must stick in their mind.

Crazy spellings can work, but not too crazy. I know, I know…. we used an X in realtorclix… but that seems to work to me.

The craziest domain that I have ever seen work is del.icio.us. Whoever thought that up had to have told his partners, “It’s so crazy, it just might work”.

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The New Model of Music

November 20, 2007

I was talking to my friend the other day who was telling me about how
his band broke up recently. It was sad, as I had always thought he was
an excellent musician. When I asked him why they split, he said that
his “rock and roll” band mates told him he treated the band too much
like…. a business. This certainly shows that his former band mates
don’t get it.

Times have changed and with it, so has the music
industry. One of my college heroes, Shawn Fanning, fired the shot
heard round the world when he launched Napster,
the file sharing software that changed everything. The record labels,
as well as many bands and acts, have failed to see that the revolution
of easier access to music is not going away…ever.

Delusional rock and roll wanna be’s
grew up watching bands like Nirvana and Guns n Roses who partied hard,
were discovered, and became rich and famous, all the while keeping the
party alive while other people handled the business aspect for them.
Those days are dead.

Oh sure, it still happens from time to
time. But it was a 1 in a million chance in the early 90’s and it’s
even slimmer today. Anytime someone wants to make a living at music,
then it is a business. Plain and simple. Now that file sharing has
taken a hair band size bite out of profits, record labels are much more
reluctant to swoop in and do all of the business leg work while you sit
around with groupies, binge drink, and write what you think are hits.

Things
are different today. If you are in a band, you must be one part
showman, one part entrepreneur. That is why some of the most
successful local acts I have seen have a very entrepreneurial quality
when you look behind the scenes. Two examples: the Zac Brown Band’s front man Zac owned a business in Georgia, a bar called Zac’s place. Within Reason,
a successful band from here in Birmingham, has a front man who is just
as dynamic a salesman as he is a lead singer. You just can’t survive
these days without keeping your eye on the bookings, marketing,
recording, printing…. all of the business aspects of music.

The good news is that there are more tools at your disposal than ever before as an aspiring artist. Myspace,
online radio, and home recording studios give you access to tools and
exposure that used to cost thousands of dollars. Now every band can
come correct. There is no excuse for a half cocked attempt at band
promotion anymore. And since there are fewer dollars to spread around
in the record industry, labels only want to find artists who already
have a following. So if you’re in a band, put down that fifth of Jack,
and pick up a book on promotion and marketing. In today’s music scene,
the stars aren’t drunk losers anymore. They are savvy mavericks.

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Techs, Plugs, and Rock and Roll

November 7, 2007

Les and I had a change to take in TechMixer 4.0 in downtown Birmingham last night. Again, another great event put on by the TechBirmingham crowd. Good food, and a great location at Innovation Depot. We even got to speak with our friend Devon Laney, vice president of Client Services at the Depot, who apparently is in a rock band. Good times.

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TechBham and a Soapbox

November 2, 2007

I’d like to take a moment to tip my cap to TechBirmingham’s Curtis Palmer. Curtis is leaving his post at the topic of that organization, and has done some good things for the tech community here in Birmingham. I am not sure why he left, but I am willing to bet this won’t be the last we see of Curtis. Hopefully the tech community doesn’t suffer without him at the helm. I know we at Slamwire are looking forward to TechMixer 4.0, coming next week.

I’m also excited about our newest feature on realtorclix, called our SOAPBOX issue. We will be featuring our first issue next week for real estate agents and professionals to weigh in on via blogs, message board posts, and video podcasting. And (you’re hearing it here first), our first topic will be:

“How is a slow housing market effecting your business, and what do you do to overcome it?”

Discussion will begin next week. Be sure to drop us a line if you have any comments about the site!

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One Clix and a wedding

November 2, 2007

Hello folks.. time for an update…

Since it’s launch, realtorclix.com has done well and has seen membership continue on a steady climb. I am also excited about the newest development to come: our realtorclix soapbox issue. Each month, we will feature a site-wide discussion topic that will include video responses from experts in the real estate field. Have a suggestion for a soapbox topic? Let me know!

Also, an early congrats to my buddies Amanda and Lance, who are getting married this weekend, and on who’s dime I will be eating and drinking Saturday evening. And, oh yeah, Go Gators… Beat the Dawgs in Jax this weekend!