Links for 3 October 2011

I read an awful lot online and have a few places where I stash notable things – Instapaper, Delicious, Google Reader starred items, YouTube favourites and a particularly link-heavy Twitter account (not my personal one). Once a month I’m going to pull out some of those items and link to them from here. So here we go…

I’ll start with Ben Hammersley’s speech to the IAAC, in which he set out a few facts (Moore’s law, the Internet as the dominant platform for C21 life and technology changing our expectations of each other), explaining why older members of the establishment might be “so deeply confused by the present”.

Then there was Adrian Short’s post, ‘It’s the end of the web as we know it‘:

You can turn your back on the social networks that matter in your field and be free and independent running your own site on your own domain. But increasingly that freedom is just the freedom to be ignored, the freedom to starve

‘Spreadable media’ is a topic we may be hearing more about over the next little while. It’s a theory that describes the potential for media to move around a networked society. It’s:

an emerging hybrid model, where a mix of top-down and bottom-up forces determine how material is shared across and among cultures in far more participatory (and messier) ways

Backing up the theory, see Paulo Coelho in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Arts/digital links

We found out which projects have been awarded funding from the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture. Some look interesting, some not so much, although we don’t know too much about the projects yet. Congrats to all who were successful.

Devon Smith wrote up some notes from a session that brought Gary Vaynerchuck and representatives of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare to address arts organisations. From Gary Vee:

Social media isn’t a concept, it’s the deciding factor between whether you’re still going to be in business or not five years from now

Devon’s post on arts incubator schemes is worth a read too. As is John Coburn’s contribution to the MuseumNext blog, Understanding Compelling Collections, in which he talks about whihc museum collections are best suited to online sharing and conversation.

Kasabi (an information marketplace from Talis) organised a culture hack day and Unthinkable Consulting have blogged lots of good links from a session called ‘Delivering Great Digital Experiences’ that they ran for the BBC.

Three posts about the Internet’s effect on traditional business models:

  • The books business: Great digital expectations | The Economist – A standard-ish ‘state of the book market’ affair, but I hadn’t considered this (and wonder how much of a problem it really is): “Perhaps the biggest problem, though, is the gradual disappearance of the shop window. Brian Murray, chief executive of HarperCollins, points out that a film may be released with more than $100m of marketing behind it. Music singles often receive radio promotion. Publishers, on the other hand, rely heavily on bookstores to bring new releases to customers’ attention and to steer them to books that they might not have considered buying”
  • Frieze Magazine – Down the Line – “A second reason for the slow response is that, unlike other industries, such as music and publishing, the art world wasn’t forced to react to cultural shifts wrought by the Internet because its economic model wasn’t devastated by them. […] The principles that keep the visual arts economy running – scarcity, objecthood and value conferred by authority figures such as curators and critics – make it less vulnerable to piracy and democratized media
  • Are digital movies pushing smaller theaters and drive-ins to the brink? – Good piece on how smaller cinemas are being affected by massive savings in digital distribution

Other links:

Some apps and services


Hennessy Youngman gave a talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and was interesting, thoughtful and entertaining. Museum conference organisers take note.

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.