Monthly Archives: May 2006

New media awards with social impact

It's a relief to know that (sometimes) there's more to awards ceremonies than glitz and revenue-driven one-upmanship.

The good people who recently brought us cyberpunk legend and net activist Bruce Sterling uncut in a pub in Belgravia (with podcast) are also running an awards event which you can nominate in – but this Wednesday 31st May is the deadline for nominations!

I'm talking about the New Statesman New Media Awards, and if you're quick you could still nip in there and make a nomination.

Innovation, usability & efficiency

According to their site:

"The theme of this year's awards is The Power of Ideas – with a special emphasis on innovation, usability and efficiency. New media can have a positive effect by pushing boundaries and making information widely accessible.

"We are seeking nominations for any UK digital, web or mobile technology project that is creating positive change. It’s free to nominate and you can nominate as many projects as you like! Simply fill out our short, online nomination form."

"The New Media Awards celebrate those UK new media projects that benefit society, government or democracy."

The nominations so far are pretty interesting, but maybe you have something to add…

Robbie Williams’ manager joins Beers & Innovation @ Content 2.0 line-up

News just in: Tim Clark, Director of i:e Music and manager of Robbie Williams will be speaking in the Beers & Innovation @ Content 2.0 session.

Tim is widely respected throughout the industry for his innovative approach to music management and his support of digital media.

Speaking at a MusicTank event I attended in September 2005, Tim said:

"By the 80's the most of the indies had no money left and were selling themselves off bit by bit. Then the new technology of the CD arrived but the artists themselves didn't do well out of it. It allowed the labels to sell artists they sold before all over again. Also, the labels reduced their royalties and increased packaging fees."

Technology, deal-making & royalties

"Artists started a battle over royalties which were almost 12% by the late 80's. By the 90's the majors – having bought up all the indies – were overloaded with dosh. Then another technology came along – downloads."

"Napster started it and labels are still weilding a big stick against P2P without offering any carrot. Why does the average artist only earn 3-4p per iTunes download?"

Tim said it was his mission to see that artists get more than this and that they get a fair deal

A career in music

ie:music was set up in 1994 by Tim Clark and David Enthoven to manage 'Voices Of Kwahn' and, later, Brian Eno. In 1995 Virgin asked them to advise Massive Attack's young manager, Marc Picken. They helped Marc to turn 3D, Daddy G and Mushroom into one of Europe's top live bands.

A former Managing Director of Island Records where he worked with artsits including Bob Marley, Free, Steve Winwood, Nick Drake, King Crimson, Roxy Music, and Cat Stevens, Tim now looks after a roster including Craig Armstong and upcoming artists Sia, Mike Rosenberg Band, The Casuals and The Sweet Chap, alongside the globally succesful Robbie Williams.

Tim will be in conversation with Factory Records maverick and In The City co-founder Anthony H. Wilson.

Entry to Beers & Innovation on 6th June is included in the ticket price for the Content 2.0 conference.

Here comes IPTV – the open 4th platform?

If you're prone to angst about the UK's performance in the global tech start-up marketplace, a glance at the IPTV sector is bound to lift your mood.

Behind the "woebetide the poor UK web start-up" debate, European activity in this sector is accelerating significantly, and the implications are no less profound.

In January 2006 a fantastic article titled IPTV: the Great Content Adventure by Digital TX director Alexander Cameron appeared on Netimperative.com that explained a hell of a lot and gave me that hairs-standing-up-on-back-of-my-neck sensation. In it Cameron argued:

"the newborn IPTV industry has inevitably thrown up a wild chaos that is the hallmark of new technological eras…. One of the most interesting dynamics is that of the so-called content aggregator – trusted third parties that manage the rights for many diverse content archives on behalf of their owners."

In a further article: IPTV: the Open 4th Platform, he went on to say:

"The differentiator for IPTV needs to be that it is an open platform that anyone can innovate around."

Upcoming platform for innovation & new business models

Comparing the closed networks of TV today with IPTV's uncharted terrain, he noted that:

"The contrast between those two vastly different worlds goes some way to explaining the difficulty technologists have had in adapting current business models for IPTV, or the confusion that comes with defining new ones. How do you reconcile a free, open platform with a closed, pay TV one?"

I mention this as, while normal Beers & Innovation events are in a lull, an upcoming NMK afternoon event is happening 1-5pm, this Thurdsay 25th May. We've organised it in association with Mike Butcher of mbites.com and one of the speakers he's booked is Mr Cameron (of IPTV not Tory fame). 😉

Other speakers include informitv.tv's Dr William Cooper, Tiscali's Head of Broadband Content Richard Ayres, Rob Walk of NovaRising, Bob Palmer from Hyp TV and Scott Gronmark of Scott Gronmark Associates.

The stage is set for an in-depth discussion that will prise open the future of this sector and all the disruption and opportunity it will bring. If you want to come along you can book tickets on the NMK website eventpage.

TechCrunch Web 2.0 London event

News just in: TechCrunch is hosting a get-together this Monday 22nd May in London.

Billed as a chance for Web 2.0 entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to congregate and swap notes, it's also an opportunity to meet TechCrunch editor Mike Arrington who is over in London for a few days after attending the Innovate Europe '06 expo in Zaragosa, Spain.

While you can signal your attendance on Upcoming or on Mike's CrunchNotes blog, entry is open and no pre-registration is required.

[NOTE: two different venues are listed on Upcoming, and I've left a query about this, but Mike's blog says Pitcher & Piano, Dean St – familiar to 30th March and 27th April B&I attendees – so I guess it's that one!]

Should be an interesting evening.

Adobe Flex & wine meet-up

The estimable Mr James Governor is hosting a "micro-event" this Thursday (25th May) evening that will be of interest to some folks.

Ben Watson, Adobe Flex Product Manager is in town, and James has arranged a meet-up with Ben in a bodega near Liverpool St for folks to mingle and chat over some fine wines about European innovation and Web 2.0 stuff…

James mentioned to me that he's particularly interested in getting developers with AJAX skills along.

If you fancy it, contact James for the venue and timings: jgovernor(AT)redmonk.com And of course, check out his blog.

Micro-events are popping up all over the place. I went to a great one last night – a SW London Web 2.0 barbeque. Congrats to oneafrikan – who I first met at SXSW Interactive in March – for putting it on!

Beers & Innovation @ Content 2.0

Beers & Innovation is having it's next outing as part of the Content 2.0 conference on 6th June 2006.

This time, Anthony H. Wilson will be taking on chairing duties for the night. Anthony who?

Well, it's the same Tony Wilson who set up Factory Records (Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays…) and who is the co-founder of the UK's annual music conference and convention In The City. He was seen most recently playing himself in the film adaptation of Tristram Shandy directed by Michael Winterbottom – A Cock & Bull Story.

Joining him will be Stephanie Newman from Amnesty International. The human rights campaigning organisation launched a music-led global campaign Make Some Noise in December 2005.

User-created content & human rights activism

Having been granted exclusive rights by Yoko Ono to a number of classic John Lennon tracks, Amnesty have collaborated with a number of international artists – including Snow Patrol, Black-Eyed Peas, and The Cure – to re-record the songs for sale with all profits going to Make Some Noise

Amnesty are now looking to integrate user-generated content into the campaign and Stephanie will be talking to Tony about this new approach.

Entry is included in ticket price for Content 2.0.

The daytime schedule runs to 5pm at the RSA, while Beers & Innovation @ Content 2.0 kicks-off 10 minutes walk down the road in the airy surroundings of Albannach, 66 Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DS at 5.30pm.

The event will run 17.30 – 19.15, with the chance, as per usual, to stay on for further drinks and mingling afterwards.

For more details check out the full conference programme

My Content 2.0 blog – a full confession

Okay, time to come clean. Websites and blogs seem to attach themselves to me like lost puppies.

But – I must confess – I have not perfected my own cloning technique to date, so don't be surprised if postings here scale back for a little while.

Why? Becuase I've got two other websites to tend – www.nmk.co.uk and www.content2point0.com – and now the latter has gone and delivered me a fresh new blog to care for – http://www.content2point0.com/2006/blog/2 – another little blogette if you like 😉

As the subject matter of my other blog is not at all disimilar from the doings talked about here, you shouldn't be too ticked-off if I occassionally point out what's over there in the coming weeks. Perhaps you'll even be curious.

The Content 2.0 conference is only a month away now and we want to connect it with the broader debates going on about these topics – the future of marketing, brands, search, recommendation, and folksonomy and tagging. There's little point to conferences that operate in a vacuum and keep their discussions to themselves. I've been to too many of those. Forget about it.

Get in on the Content 2.0 action

So for an overview, check out the Content 2.0 Conference Schedule and the Speakers Page. Many of our speakers like Bradley Horowitz, Shel Isreal and Alex Barnett are coming over from the States, so I'm really excited about meeting them!

And whether or not you can make it to Content 2.0 on 6th June in London, feel free to put in your comments and questions for the speakers and panelists on either my Content 2.0 blog or that of my colleague Zoe Black.

Gotta go now cos' it's late and the other blog's crying for my attention. Cheers!