Archive for the 'co creation' Category

Radiohead Shows the Potential of User Participation

September 27, 2008

There was always a lot of speculation about the success of the Radiohead strategy around their In Rainbows album. Well…

Today I received this newsletter email:

To coincide with asking radio stations to think about playing Reckoner we are breaking up the tune into pieces for you to remix. After the insane response we got from the Nude remix stems and the site that was dedicated to your remixes…

Unique visitors: 6,193,776, Page Views: 29,090,134, Hits: 58,340,512, Bandwidth: 10.666 Terabytes, Number of mixes: 2,252, Number of votes: 461,090, Number of track listens: 1,745,304

…we thought it only fair to do the same with a tune that at least is in 4/4. You can get the stems (the different instruments/elements) from here

These numbers are insane… we are talking about a band website…  Not a big “YouTube whatever platform”.


Cognitive Surplus Of Society

September 13, 2008

An amazing speech by Clay Shirky at the Web 2.0 Expo conference in April this year. He talked about the enormous potential society has nowadays with the opportunities of the new media technology.

Below is a short section of the transcript. Read the full transcript here. Or watch the video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Starting with the Second World War a whole series of things happened—rising GDP per capita, rising educational attainment, rising life expectancy and, critically, a rising number of people who were working five-day work weeks. For the first time, society forced onto an enormous number of its citizens the requirement to manage something they had never had to manage before—free time.

And what did we do with that free time? Well, mostly we spent it watching TV. We did that for decades.


People asking, “Where do they find the time?” when they’re looking at things like Wikipedia don’t understand how tiny that entire project is, as a carve-out of  the cognitive surplus that’s finally being dragged into what Tim O’Reilly calls an architecture of participation.

Now, the interesting thing about a surplus like that is that society doesn’t know what to do with it at first—hence the gin, hence the sitcoms. Because if people knew what to do with a surplus with reference to the existing social institutions, it wouldn’t be a surplus, would it? It’s precisely when no one has any idea how to deploy something that people have to start experimenting with it, in order for the surplus to get integrated, and the course of that integration can transform society.


This is something that people in the media world don’t understand. Media in the 20th century was run as a single race—consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume? Can we produce more and you’ll consume more? And the answer to that question has generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it ‘s three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.

And what’s astonished people who were committed to the structure of the previous society, prior to trying to take this surplus and do something interesting, is that they’re discovering that when you offer people the opportunity to produce and to share, they’ll take you up on that offer. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never sit around mindlessly watching Scrubs on the couch. It just means we’ll do it less.

And this is the other thing about the size of the cognitive surplus we’re talking about. It’s so large that even a small change could have huge ramifications. Let’s say that everything stays 99 percent the same, that people watch 99 percent as much television as they used to, but 1 percent of that is carved out for producing and for sharing. The Internet-connected population watches roughly a trillion hours of TV a year. That’s about five times the size of the annual U.S. consumption. One per cent of that is 98 Wikipedia projects per year worth of participation. I think that’s going to be a big deal. Don’t you?”

Transmedia Storytelling

April 17, 2008

I think it´s a big thing in the future. Everybody has been talking about crossmedia campaigns in the ad industry for years… but what about the entertainment industry… what about telling stories crossmedia, transmedia. A story plot not just in one medium… cinema or TV…. a big chance especially for TV series`… with complex and long story plots. Why not tell an additional story plot or part of the story exclusive on another distribution medium than just video/tv episode —e.g. mobisodes, comic books, games etc… or why not even develope interactive story elements… for example with a ARG – Alternate Reality Game –

Engagement television … give the viewers more chances for talking at the watercooler, at the chat rooms, the social networks… let them be part of the story.

I can´t wait to see the first real great concept.

The new technologies of digitalisation give writers and producers more opportunities…

Series like Heroes and Lost were a first step in this new storytelling…

But more than just a new viewer/user experience it can be a great business opportunity to capitalise a brand – content concept in more ways, in new ways, in ways that don’t have to “compete with the illegal free options”…

In November last year there was a great panel discussion at the MIT organized by the MIT Communications Forum titled:

NBC’s Heroes: Appointment TV to Engagement TV

The discussion was moderated by Henry Jenkins (Director of Comparative Media Studies Program).
He talked with Jesse Alexander: Co-Executive Producer and Writer, Heroes NBC (Alexander on the Heroes wiki)
and Mark Warshaw: Writer, Producer, Director, Heroes, NBC (Warshaw on the Heroes wiki)

about transmedia strategies for Heroes.

“Jesse Alexander helped usher in this transformation. He says Heroes was “conceived to take advantage of every possible media platform to tell stories, to make the brand viable and important in the world.” Nowadays, to generate such “AAA franchise content,” creators must incorporate “transmedia into the DNA of (their) concept.” With Heroes, this has meant spinning off DVDs, greeting cards, comic books and webisodes with distinct narrative threads, and providing spaces online where core enthusiasts can opine on plot and character.”

The video (Real Player) is a bit long (1:58:29)… but worth watching… especially for fans of Heroes…

Taste Sharing is Driving and Democratizing Culture

December 11, 2007


Recommendation systems are since Amazons first moves, now more than ten years ago, nothing really new . But recommendation systems are getting better and better. What companies like LastFm and Pandora doing right now, is phenomenal. Their collaborative filters are already on a very high level.
I found last weekend a short report from Gartner and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (published 2005, so careful: old figures) on consumer taste sharing in the music industry.
The report shows that not only passive recommendation systems, via collaborative filtering, but also the “direct”/”active” taste sharing is very important for the user and has a high impact. Instead of primarily Charts, Djs and music videos shaping how we hear and view music, we have a greater opportunity to hear from each other — creating and posting playlists, commenting on an artists, showing your profile on Last.Fm or MySpace et cetera… These tools allow people to play a greater role in shaping culture, which, in a way perhaps also shapes themselves. Music or taste as a social currency, as a kind of self expression. The report predicts that by 2010 25% of online music store transactions will be driven by consumer to consumer taste sharing. (No idea, how they get this figures)

Again we are just talking about music, but this systems can also work and get as important for video content, news, print content…

What´s the impact on the media industry?

On the one hand it`s nothing more than the good old word of mouth, but more “professional organised” and more effective. On the other hand it`s a kind of democratizing culture. Recommendation systems may diminish the control that traditional tastemakers have had on how we engage music or content.

And everybody in the mass media industry who says “no worries, there always will be some need for a lean backward service”, a tastemaker, is maybe right, but maybe it will not be his mass media content service, it will be perhaps a recommendation system.

Recommendation systems a new kind of media channel?

What does that mean for mass media companies? Radios, TV-stations, music labels?
Are recommendation systems really just a promotion tool? or a challenge? an opponent? a threat?

How important can they get?

A Revolution for the Local Newspaper Market?

August 16, 2007

A great article at Wired about a possible change of local newspapers in the US. Gannett newspaper division (in the United States, the company publishes 85 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and nearly 1,000 non-daily publications.) started to make your local newspaper to a local online platform and motivate you to write yourself. Great and simple user generated content idea! I am looking forward for the first projects here in Germany.
Citizens are desperate to broadcast their message to their communities, especially in small towns.