Archive for the ‘P2P’ Category

A day in the life of IM

Michael Dales picked up on the Meebo IM map that I blogged and created a nice stop-frame video from the Meebo maps.


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Full text available (pdf) here. I was struck by this passage:

Suddenly, in the past few years, the trend toward concentration has reversed – and the tide is now running strongly in the other direction. Partly this is due to a remarkable decline in the cost of high-quality digital recording equipment. In 1980, the equipment necessary to make a high-quality album cost aprx. $50,000; today, a laptop and less than $1000 of software can do better. Partly it is due to the malleability of those digital recordings, enabling them to be modified, edited, recombined. And partly it is due to the increased availability of software (like Final Cut Pro) that enables such modifications, and the declining amounts of skills necessary to operate that software.The net effect has been extraordinary. A rich stew of examples may be found in Henry Jenkins’ forthcoming book, Convergence Culture. Here are a few: Last year Shane Faleux, along with over 100 unpaid collaborators, produced an amateur 40-minute film, Star Wars Revelations. (To be honest, in my judgment the acting is so-so, but the special effects are very impressive.) Released for free on the web, more than 1 million people downloaded it. During the first week in which they were available on Amazon, DVDs of the extremely low-budget amateur parody, George Lucas in Love, outsold those of The Phantom Menace. A 2003 Star Wars Fan Film Contest, run by AtomFilms, attracted 250 entries. Hundreds of amateur filmmakers are now using Fisher-Price Pixelvision cameras to make avant-guard movies, making a virtue of their grainy images. Other examples are explicated in Yochai Benkler’s, The Wealth of Networks. He describes, for instance, the increasingly rich art form known as “machinima,” in which characters and stories are created within computer games, recorded, and then distributed on the Internet as short films. Many more examples can be found in the music industry. For instance, thousands of amateur musical webcasts are now available through Live365.com, offering an enormous variety of both mainstream and esoteric fare. The data from the 2005 Pew survey that John Horrigan summarized in his presentation here today is consistent with these anecdotes. One of the central findings of the Pew Study, for those of you who could not attend, is that broadband Internet users produce and share content at a high rate, not merely consume it.

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