hat tip Gizmodo

While Big Content steadfastly refuses to take advantage of the opportunities that the internet is providing, there are a few using the internet to their advantage. For established musicians, Trent Reznor Nine Inch Nails is leading the way (see Mike Masnick's presentation on how Trent Reznor Represents the Future of the Music Business).

However, it's also possible for unknown artists to build a following, if you have a little talent and personality. Julia Nunes is a college student from Upstate New York who has created some great videos of herself performing cover songs and put them on YouTube. Through her YouTube videos she has generated enough of a following play in shows, open for Ben Folds and record two albums of her original songs.


Combine an infomercial, a video editor, some electronic music and Auto-Tune and you get Rap Chop.

hat tip TechDirt

Auto-Tune is an audio processor created to correct pitch problems in vocal performances. It was popularized as a vocal effect in Cher's Believe. To protect their trade secret the song's producers initially claimed they used a vocoder to achieve this effect. Auto-Tune was developed by Andy Hildebrand who re-purposed software he had developed for seismic data exploration.

New Yorker Auto-Tune article

Time magazine Auto-Tune article

In Clay Shirky's The Internet Runs on Love presentation he talks about the impact of new coordinating tools.

"With love alone you can get a birthday party together, add coordinating tools and you can write an operating system. In the past we would do little things for love, but big things, big things required money. Now we can do big things for love."

See also Clay Shirky's Web 2.0 Expo 2008 and TED 2005 presentations.

However, it's not just new coordinating tools, tools for creativity are becoming cheaper and more powerful. And so a bunch of people can get together and create something quite impressive... just for the love of it.

On May 3, 2009 the movie The Hunt for Gollum was released. It was created by volunteers and had a budget of £3,000.

View the trailer.

Click the link to watch The Hunt For Gollum.

hat tip TechDirt

Increasingly, technology is making it easier and cheaper for people to collaborate in new and interesting ways. What we have seen in the recent years is probably just the tip of the iceberg. I'm looking forward what the next 10-20 years will bring.

With the help of musicians from around the world, the guys at Playing For Change have made some great recordings. Check out these fantastic videos of Stand By Me and Don't Worry.

Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Playing For Change | Song Around the World "Don't Worry" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Watching these videos led me to want to find out more about Grandpa Elliot. Check out illegibleme and the NY Times for more information.

hat tip Ray Beckerman

photo credit Leo Reynolds