Links for September 2013

Hats off to Meg Pickard for a nice visualisation of how viral content spreads:

How viral content spreads - Meg Pickard

There’s a similar French one by Henry Michel but Meg’s wins for having the shark/cat on the Roomba.

Arts/digital links

Devon Smith asks how a whole slew of tech trends could apply to the arts, with bonus comments along the side. If a high words-to-concepts ratio is your kinda thing then this is the link for you.

Capacity Interactive – Performing Arts Digital Marketing Benchmark Survey Study:

We administered our survey during the spring and summer of 2013 and more than 50 organizations responded using data from calendar year 2012.  Respondents included ballet and modern dance companies, opera companies, orchestras, presenters, and theaters in the United States. Budget size ran the gamut from under $1 million to over $31 million. The data we collected, provides a strong indication of where the industry stands in terms of digital marketing efforts.

Oops, deadline’s past now (I meant to post these links earlier) but this was the Cultural sector digital development survey from Creative Scotland. It’s apparently part of a wider evaluation of Creative Scotland’s programme of support for digital development.

More from Scotland – check out SyncTank, a magazine aiming to stimulate discussion and encourage a wider interaction with new technologies in the arts. Also, take a look at the rather wonderful Creative Scotland Investments Quiz, based on a Culture Hack Scotland 2013 project by Yann Seznec and built by Gavin.

Speaking of hack days – something that’s turned out to be worth more than the usual 2mins attention is The Music Radiator. A decent music playlist-making thing.

Yet more Scottishness – Eve Nicol’s Edinburgh Furinge Reviews were ace.

Outlisten can (or will) sync multiple videos from a concert via waveform, turning the audience into the show’s cameramen. Which sounds clever.

I’m putting Devs Do Art in this section because it’s art, innit:

This site is a compilation of fine works composed by developers. There's a certain style and panache that simply cannot be recreated by conventional thinking. All works are scanned in from meeting notes and screen shots of place holder 'dev-inspired' prototype designs. This is where devs do art.

As the only one who ever takes a notebook along to meetings, I have loads of these.

I thought Sideshow Circus Magazine had an interesting statement of intent:

With the current version of the website (v. 6), the magazine will begin to (i) experiment with digital art, data journalism, online writing, interactive narrative, and interactive mapping, (ii) focus on developing greater international coverage, and (iii) act as a platform for a series of self-contained projects undertaken in partnership with other companies and organisations.

The five new appointments to the Arts Council’s national council include a tech VC, the guy that wrote the (mostly harmless) report 'Digital Giving in the Arts – Democratising Philanthropy', Universal Music's ex-CEO and a museum person.

A chap from Google’s done a very nice job of visualising Beach Boys harmonies:

Other links

Some interesting things about how the internet works:

What archaeology can teach us about agile web projects:

“It’s just like archaeology,” she said. “You don’t really know what the f*** is under the ground until you start digging.”

Here’s a post about a talk "highlighting the huge gulf between how companies talk about 'innovation', and their ambitions, and the sad reality that most companies trying to live this particular dream mostly experience."

In the big data corner, it’s well worth reading Cargo cult analytics:

If you want to make big data work, you have to be really specific about what you’re trying to achieve. With big data, mucking about doesn’t just mean wasted effort, it means hefty bills for computer clusters and for storing those terrabytes worth of data. And hefty bills without much to show for it is exactly what I fear might happen as more and more news organizations get on the “me too” train and experiment with these techniques.

Meanwhile, researchers turn unhappy tweets into a map of risky restaurants and I love the sound of Kartylytics:

As serious intellectuals often do, we spent hours discussing these questions, what data we would want to collect to answer them, and even how we might go about collecting it. It sounded like a fun project, so I wrote a program that takes video captures of our Mario Kart 64 sessions and picks out when each race starts, which character is in each box on the screen, the rank of each player as the race progresses, and finally when the race finishes. Then I built a web client that lets us upload videos, record who played which character in each race, and browse the aggregated stats. The result is called Kartlytics, and now contains videos of over 230 races from over the last year and change.

This is a very excellent notion.

You might think that Waterloo & City Line couldn’t even have a Myers-Briggs Type, being a tunnel in London with some trains in it, but you’d be wrong.

I might nick that for when I (finally) get back on the Arts Analytics posts.

Apps, services, etc


This is a just superb, heart-warming story, although the title didn’t bode all that well – The 2012 ticket-hunters whose help reduced athletes to tears

A bunch of strangers, desperately looking for London 2012 tickets, meet on Twitter. They search every possible avenue to find the tickets they want and then attend both Olympics and Paralympics. Becoming ticket-buying experts, they use their skills to help the friends and families of at least 25 athletes attend the Games; raise over £5,500 for Medecins Sans Frontiers; give away about 40 tickets to two youth charities; and help a young lad with leukaemia at Great Ormond Street Hospital go to Danny Boyle’s brilliant opening ceremony.

Published by Chris Unitt

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

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