Saturday, October 07, 2006

Digg and the Arts

I recently "Dugg" an article about Digg and the lack of options for art articles on Digg. Unfortunately the article isn't around any more. I thought I'd write my thoughts.

Digg represents a tremendous opportunity to generate interest in content for providers. The problem I see, is that anything that is somewhat "artsy" is limited to mass media entertainment activities.

It would be great if Digg would add an Arts category. I could see critical analysis of art shows, theatre, and so forth being refered to.

While there is a video select, it doesn't

So Digg, what do you think? Can you add another category?

Friday, October 06, 2006

An Excellent List of Web 2.0 Apps

Web 2.0 offerings

This list is as close to comprehensive as I've ever come across. Check it out.

Open Standards, the Arts, and Participation

One of the beautiful aspects of many of the Web 2.0 services is the open standards that are available for users. APIs are available on Revver and Flickr to name two. When you are dealing with a system with an API it allows you to create new applications by combining other services. On your own site, you can install systems that draw content from any of these services. You can combine collections from Revver, YouTube, Flickr, and so forth to create new applications. Many of these services provide the mechanism for outputting RSS feeds allowing people to subscribe to your content. This content is predominantly the written word, video, images—ways of creating and describing art. Every person making use of these services is a defacto arts participant. They create work and share it. In some cases they also make money from that content. You can collaborate with other artists.

What does this all mean? We have a new participatory model unlike any other that has ever existed. New forms of expression are evolving and ANYBODY with a few tools can be part of it.

Can the arts community embrace and leverage what could become a brand new paradigm? Can the arts community engage this new community in a meaningful way to be relevant? I believe we can but it will mean taking risks.

A Short Video of Early Descent into BWI

I've been experimenting with using my Treo 650 as a compact method of taking video. The quality is pretty crude as is evidenced in an earlier post of the new Hamilton building in Denver. I wouldn't want to try and shoot a movie using this kind of technology. However, it does provide an immediate compact tool to take quick clips in good lighting conditions.

My latest attempt was taken early in descent to Baltimore International Airport, titles were added in iMovie, and then it was uploaded to Revver.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Flickr Pro

As I posted a few days ago, Revver paid me some ad revenue. Yesterday I used a portion of that to pay for a pro account on Flickr. Why did I want to go from a free account to paying for an account? First off, the free account only allows the latest 200 images you have uploaded. The paid account allows unlimited number of images and 2 gigs of transfer a month—for all intents and purposes unlimited transfers. This is for $25 a year. A steal if you ask me.

Over the last two days I have uploaded in excess of 2000 images which I now need to finish categorizing and determine which images will be public and which images I will keep private for friends and family. Flickr allows you to filter your images by allowing them to be public, allowing friends to see them, or allowing only family access. Using tagging and setting up virtual photo albums you can effectively develop an extremely powerful filing system. Using the free version only allows you to set up three virtual albums.

You can create shared spaces that will allow others to use similar tags to create a dynamic album of shared images.

Cool stuff.

Grant Panelists and Technology

One of the activities I engage in every day of my work at WESTAF is connected to grant making. Whether I am working on deploying a grant system for a client (WESTAF’s CultureGrants Online™ system allows for grants management from stem to stern) or engaged in grant making at WESTAF (the TourWest Program), at the end of the day, panel development and nurturing is key to the process as a whole.

Sometimes panels are purely internal—for very small grant awards for example. Sometimes the panels can be fairly large with a dozen or more participants. Regardless of the size, one of the challenges for any grants manager is finding panelists who are

1) Qualified
2) Erudite
3) Passionate.

Often a grant maker will use and reuse the same panelists over and over again. This isn’t a bad practice as long as the panelists reflect the values of your organization and fit the three points above. However, all panelists can be worn out.

Almost always, panelists are found via social networks. Traditional social networks work via word of mouth. However, in the world of Web 2.0, social networks are exponentially more powerful.

Using tools like LinkedIN, encouraging everybody you know to set up profiles, or Facebook searches for individuals within your own social network can facilitate finding the panelists that you need for the panel process.

The Internet based social network can help you achieve one huge goal—keeping in contact with your potential panel. This is a big deal because the panel represents a dear resource that needs to be nurtured and valued.

Two of the systems WESTAF has recently built, integrates a very specialised social network for finding panelists—the public can nominate panelists who then become part of a database of potential talent.

The point to this post is that to be successful in grant making you must NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Revver Revenues and Flickr

I had an unexpected treat today. Revver paid me quite a bit sooner than I expected--they have a policy of paying the first of the month after a 30 day review of clicks. I expected that, under this new policy, I would have to wait until November for a payment.

Well, I turned around and paid for a full membership on Flickr and am now busy uploading 900 photos.

Thanks for the cash Revver!

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Cricket Up Close and Personal

This cricket, for what ever reason, let me get very close with a video camera. Here is just about one minute of footage.

Arts and the Political Environment

The political environment has changed radically in the last 10-12 years. There tend to be hard lines between the Republicans and the Democrats which is odd as they are both fairly conservative parties by international standards. Money has siphoned away from education, health, the arts--all agendas that benefit the public good. Most recently multiple wars have further depleted the federal coffers.

Even so, the landscape has become bitterly polarized. The social agenda is so very different between the two parties with no middle ground seemingly in sight.

The next election seems to clearly show that the incumbents are going to do badly, and most of the incumbents are Republican. With the most recent scandal in Florida things look bad for the Republican party.

This presents an opportunity for the arts community. Brand new representation will possibly enter Congress. These men and women may or may not be more supportive of the arts, but they may be less inclined to dig in heels and not support what I believe is of value.

Some thoughts on this.

1) We SHOULDN'T care if members of Congress like or value the arts. We won't ever be able to convince those who are not already inclined to be supportive (or at least not opposed) of the arts to become supporters.
2) What we SHOULD want are the votes that support what we care about. These means horse trading. It means helping members of Congress get what they want.
3) We need to resonate with the constituent base. Not those who are elitists, but those who are regular/every day folks. These are the people who don't go to the orchestra but the ones that buy DVDs and iTunes songs. These are the people who sing in the church choir. They are people who knit, who read pulp fiction, who bake. We need to resonate with those who DON'T know that they are supporters of the arts.

So, we need to mobilize. We need to articulate to the constituency. We need to help our legislators get what they want. It is a time of great opportunity. Lets not blow it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New ZUNE ad

With additional announcements regarding ZUNE, it looks like they have a new ad on

Looks like they are trying to price head to head with the iPod with a few pretty flabby incentives.

Good luck!

What IS a Non-Profit or Not-For-Profit?

There is a mis-conception amongst the general population as to WHAT a non-profit is. Most people seem to think that the mission of a non-profit is to not make money. This simply isn't the case.

The basic track for an entity to become a non-profit runs something like this.

1) A group of people have an idea for a non-profit company
2) Articles of Incorporation are drafted by the group.
3) The newly formed company files for non-profit status with the IRS. There are many different kinds of non-profit entities with different purposes. But the long and short is if the organization is going to be educational or philanthropic, they can apply for non-profit status.

A non-profit must make money to survive. Just like any other company, if they can not pay the bills then they will fold. The difference between for-profit and non-profit is that in a for-profit venture share holders benefit from profit made by the company. In a non-profit, all profits go back into the company--sometimes re-distrubuted as grants, sometimes ending up in a cash reserve, and sometimes being used for re-investment in the company.

Non-profits are businesses and should not be maligned when they turn a profit. In fact, they should be applauded for being a success.

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