Songs take on lives of their own

But although much of the world makes sense now to Perry, she still can’t explain something like the recent death of Toronto’s Olivia Wise at 16 from inoperable brain cancer.

“I don’t have the answer for that,” she says, her eyes welling up over the girl who recorded Perry’s “Roar” in her dying weeks.

“I feel so bad for her family, but she inspired so many people by what she did, singing with what little strength she had left this song about self-strength. She was an inspiration to me.

“Sometimes these songs take on lives of their own. I write them and get goosebumps on my arms. But then other people, like Olivia, take them and they become bigger than I had ever dreamed.”

The Viral Power of Fan Communication: A Case Study On Fleet??Foxes – MTT – Music Think Tank

It’s always exhilarating finding cases like this that validate the lessons we so often, teach, learn, and debate here on MTT. This story in particular, highlights the power of conscientious direct-to-fan (D2F) communication on the part of Fleet Foxes’ front man, Robin Pecknold.

If Grammy awards were given to artists DIY-ing it each year, Pecknold would win the award for “Outstanding Performance In D2F Communication”. Pecknold’s proclivity for treating fans like friends recently went viral when a fan of his enthusiastically wrote the following post on reddit:

From Young Adult Book Fans to Wizards of Change –

Perhaps the most effective practitioner of fan-fueled social change is Andrew Slack, the 32-year-old founder of The Harry Potter Alliance and the force behind Imagine Better. Since Slack, who started out as a comedian, founded the Harry Potter Alliance, he has motivated Potterphiles to send five cargo planes with $123,000 worth of relief supplies to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, donate more than 88,000 books across the world, raise awareness about net neutrality and genocide and make forays into politics, taking on Maine’s 2009 ballot initiative that sought to repeal same sex marriage.

Fan Friction – How The Internet is Failing Artists by Adam Bernard – MTT – Music Think Tank

The way things are set up now with Facebook and Twitter, very few artists have fans. Artists have plenty of “likes” and “followers,” but they don’t have the artist-fan relationship that’s needed to be as big as the acts of previous generations. Fans buy albums, concert tickets and t-shirts. Fans tell their friends about artists. The person who “liked” a Facebook page, who are they in relation to the artist? Are they really a fan?

The internet has a million ways to communicate, and a million ways to sell things, but it’s failing when it comes to creating fans. The reason for this is that there are very few fan experiences on the internet. There’s no waiting in line at midnight at the record store for the latest release from your favorite artist when you’re downloading it on iTunes. There’s no gathering all your friends up into your car and going to a concert when you’re watching a live stream of the show on YouTube. There’s no anticipating your favorite artist appearing on your favorite music video show when you have access to them 24/7.

These are the fan experiences the internet hasn’t been able to, and probably will never be able to, replicate, and they’re exactly what artists, and labels, need if they’re going to reach their previous heights. | How to Win & Engage Fans on Facebook – SXSW Presentation

I was invited to give a presentation on Best Practices for Musicians on Facebook last week at SXSW and thought it would be helpful to share my slides from the talk and some audio excerpts that were posted online for those who couldn’t make it to the conference.

I tried to tailor this talk toward practical things that you can do today. In particular, I spent a bit of time on how to optimize your page using the new Timeline view, now that Facebook is changing all Band/Musician pages to this format on 3/31/2012. I also spoke about the three voices you can use in your status updates to keep things interesting, and some strategies you can use to grow your fanbase both in the realworld at Gigs and using Facebook advertising.

Carl Jacobson from Nimbet’s slide deck.|The subpolitics of online piracy

The subpolitics of online piracy

 just published my article The Subpolitics of Online Piracy: A Swedish Case Study which was co-authored with Jessica Linde. Our presentation of this research at ISA2010 in Gothenburg is available here [slides+audio]. The article will go into an issue of Convergence later this year, but the OnlineFirst edition can be found here. For the copyright-free final draft version go here.

ABSTRACT “Pirates”and “anti-pirates” have become common concepts in the cultural political debate, as the file-sharing phenomenon is a delicate and disputed subject. The fact that people organize in networks to share data with each other has led film and music companies from all over the world to initiate a number of anti-piracy organizations, assigned to protect the property rights to culture and information. In Sweden, the industrial organization The Swedish Bureau of Anti-Piracy on the one side, and the network The Bureau of Piracy together with The Pirate Party, on the other, play important parts in the prevailing conflict. The purpose of this article is to apply a sociological perspective on the collective act of file sharing. By focusing on the distinctly organized part of file sharing activities as well as on the everyday practices of users, the goal is to describe how the collective action and the production of knowledge, taking place in relation to online piracy, can be understood.