Yes, yet another blogger weighs in on Steve Job’s Thoughts on Music, published online yesterday. In a word, brilliant.
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat…
Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.
No, I’m not claiming brilliance for the familiar and stunningly obvious point that DRM hurts consumers without stopping pirates. I’m claiming it for the spin. Jobs is the good guy, on the side of the consumer and of openness, and DRM is the big four’s fault.
Apple can afford to take this stance given iPod’s dominance and profit margins. DRM gets in the way of acquiring music, and hence restricts demand for players. I’m not sure that Jobs is a good guy (nor am I sure that he’s a bad guy), but I am sure that his coming out against DRM is a good thing.
Wal-Mart’s new video download service got a lot of criticism on blogs yesterday. For example:
These blogosnobs are missing the point. The fact that Wal*Mart’s video download page doesn’t work in Firefox is irrelevant to 90% of web users, and to at least that percentage of Wal*Mart customers. They get their browser from Micro*Soft*Mart. This majority doesn’t whine when some obscure option doesn’t work, unlike the above-quoted opinionated outposts of openness.
I just added a Creative Commons license to the sidebar, and hence to the content, of this blog. It was tougher than it should have been.
Creative Commons provides a guide to licensing your work, and the guide includes code generation. The WordPress.com FAQ on Creative Commons gives instructions about stripping out some of the code generated. Even so, it took me longer than it should have to get the linked image into a sidebar text widget, since WordPress.com kept on taking a dislike to the code and stripping out some of it.
There is a Creative Commons widget for WordPress. Nathan Yergler, who wrote the widget, also wrote the following:
Now if only WordPress.com would support WpLicense for their hosted blogs, even more happy WordPress users could be happy contributors to the Commons.
My thanks and support go to Nathan.
I use this button to indicate that:
- I do not accept money in return for advertising space on this blog.
- To do so would be against WordPress.com policy, and hence against the agreement I made when I created this blog.
- I think it’s a really cool icon.
If you follow the owl in the image, you’ll see a three-item list with some overlap with my three-item list. I’m not as implacably opposed to ads on blogs as is Laura, the owl artist and ad-free activist.
In fact, I’d like this blog to be a little more commercial than it is now. I miss the WP-Amazon plugin I used elsewhere. It’s not because I made much money as an Amazon affiliate. It’s because I think that product-related posts can be enhanced with an image and a link to specifications and reviews. Consider, for example, this review of a book on blogging.
WordPress Multi-User (WPMU) allows multiple blogs to run off a single install of the software. Hence WPMU differs from what we might call WordPress Classic, under which each blog needs its own install of the software.
WordPress.com is a WPMU site. It is by far the biggest such site, currently hosting over half a million blogs. January 2007 saw the addition of 89,000 of these blogs, as well as 126 million pageviews.
You can see a list of other WPMU sites in the sidebar of How Do You MU? HDYM is another of my blogs, and is itself a WPMU blog. It is hosted at edublogs.org.
James Farmer, Mr Edublogs, has just announced a premium service for educational customers who want their own hosted WPMU site. I can recommend James, and hence Edublogs Premium, most highly.
Many things are indexed by Jessica Hagy. Much linkage ensues, but not, until now, from me. But I love this pairing-off of the seven deadly sins. My favorite is: Greed + Envy = Advertising.
M Ward is one of those critically acclaimed folk-musicky types I tend to like. But I couldn’t get into Transistor Radio, his 2005 album.
I really like his 2006 album, Post-War. Having got into PW, I went back to listen to TR again, and was wondering how it left me cold, while I warmed so quickly to PW. I seems as though I need to listen more to both albums, and to his earlier work.
I also like:
- I Am the Resurrection, the John Fahey tribute album MW worked on.
- Being able to link to Amazon pages for CDs, books, etc. But it doesn’t seem easy to do this here. But more of WordPress.com, and the pleasure and pain thereof, in a future post.
- The ease of embedding YouTube video here. For example, here’s the video for MW’s “Chinese Translation.”
Brian Oberkirch provides such a typology, and Shel Israel provides a link to it.
As I read Brian’s post, I decided that:
- Of the types of corporate blogger he identifies, I find “Company Evangelist” the most interesting. I agree with Brian that the best example is, or was, Microsoft-era Robert Scoble. My favorite current example is also from Microsoft: Don Dodge.
- I’ll draw Brian’s post to the attention of the students in the Blogging and Business course I’m currently teaching.
We don’t have landline phone dialtone right now. But we do have DSL, even though it comes over the phone lines. But my wife is on the phone, via the cellphone. If the battery runs down, there’s always Skype or Gizmo.
Most of the time, I don’t like phone calls. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t answer the phone unless I knew who it was, and really wanted to talk with them at that moment. If it’s important, they’ll leave a voicemail.
Come to think of it, I like having DSL and no dialtone. I certainly prefer it to having dialtone without DSL.
By the way, we get (or don’t get) dialtone and DSL from Verizon.
One of the things I gave up in moving from WordPress classic to WordPress.com is theme editing. My previous blog had its own theme, or rather, user-switchable family of themes.
I’ve started off here with the Simpla theme. I’ve customized the CSS a little; for example, I’ve floated images at the right of posts. I’ve used widgets to build a different sidebar.
Lovely though Simpla is, I think I’ll be using a certain different theme before too long. The Sandbox is a theme for themers.