Monthly Archives: January 2010

A Revolution of Mind

“Revolution by Doxology”

This post is for people who for one reason or another, can’t seem to find happiness again. It may be affecting your work, or your relationships, and it’s definitely not pleasant. I want to paint a picture in your mind that might help you sort out the truth.

You’re wading alone in the depths; cold; wet; dark; frustrated; paranoid. Wandering hopelessly, until finally you’ve just had enough. Anything is better than this, and this feeling provokes action. The idea comes to you to try to climb out. So you find a vine strong enough to hold, and you begin climbing. And you’re climbing, and climbing, and climbing in the dark, with no signs of progress made, but you keep climbing, and never give up. Until one day, seemingly out of nowhere, you see a glimpse of light over an edge, and then more, and then you are able to climb out, and you’re surrounded by magnificent beautiful landscapes all around you, and you have a feeling of deja vu. You’ve been here before…you’re home. You know this is where you belong, and you’re never going to go back to the depths, because you already know what’s there, and know it could never compare to this. There, it is only darkness and uncertainty, and here, being in the sun shines light on everything, and it is beautiful beyond wildest imagination. This is where you decide to live, and your life becomes beautiful; every single second of it, a masterpiece. And you realize, there is no need for dark thoughts. They are only the absence of light. The darkness is useless, and leaves people paranoid for the unknown. With light, everything becomes clear again, and you can plainly see there is nothing to fear; there is only beauty to love and enjoy.

If ever I get a negative thought in my head. I think of this story. It is a metaphor. If you think negatively you can be 100% percent certain that you’re not helping yourself get to where you want to be.

If you happen to find yourself in the depths, remember, keep climbing. Don’t give up. One day the sun WILL come, and you will realize the beauty in every second of your life, that was before begging you to be seen.

Take ownership of that beauty, and use it to show other people its true glory. The good is there for us to use. The bad, well, it’s not worth messing with, it’s useless.

This metaphor is based on an awesome reasoning I’ve liked for a while now, and it is that there is no Bad, only the absence of Good. In the dark, anything could be there, or not be there, but in the light, you not only see what is actually there, but you can use it, where in the dark, it’s hard to use, or do anything.

Only with light(good), is there progress. With dark(bad), there is no negative progress, just none positive. There is only progress or not. Only Good, or not. “Bad” is an illusion that the lack of progress eventually turns into a horrible reality, and we must not stand by and let that happen, to ourselves or to others. I hope this post helped if you’re feeling blue..

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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10 Sure as Sun Big Innovation Predictions for the next 20 Years in Tech

Click this picture for another awesome and interesting blog on Web 3.0!

Note: All predictions are based on a firm understanding of current technologies and the popular trends that seem to be prevalent. It is only by assuming that these trends will continue, that any actual predictions can be made. There are no real guarantees that anything will happen for certain, there are only conjectures.

I should also note that the following is in a particular order, and is meant to be viewed together, as separate pieces of one whole picture, assembled one at a time. Some of them need to be explained first in order to understand others.

1.Computer Imbedding– There will come a time, and I’m sure it’s not hard for you to imagine, where computer technology will become so flexible, that we will go crazy trying to figure out what we should integrate with it next.

Some probable solutions that I think will last will be the clear glass computers, such as in mirrors, shower walls, and cars. I suspect toilet will be a winner, and also probably even the walls of our homes, hopefully being merged with something like Rachel Armstrong’s Metabolic Materials.

Imagine waking up in the morning and watching your news while in the shower, or getting a jump on your emails, making a list, or putting in a coffee order down the street, all using much improved voice to text. Computers in everything? There may just be a point when we say “Why not?”

2. Free Streaming Content – This is a subject I talk a lot about. I know this is possible because I’ve designed a solution that creates an environment where the more users access and share the content, the more ad revenues the content creator gets. This is done using more creative ad model methods than the currently standard, annoying and obtrusive ad model used online. My model also includes a similarly reciprocal process of promotion, like an automated word of mouth between friends on a social network.

3. Open Browsers – The browsing experience online will be completely different. Everything will be super organized, and super custom. Since intellectual property will no longer be an issue, remixing and sharing of things like apps, whole websites, and of course any entertainment media, will be completely open to the public. The best content and apps will rise and get shared a lot, and the not so good ones won’t, kinda like a virtual Darwin evolution. People will be able to combine the pieces of their favorite sites into one site and be able to share their breakthroughs in efficiency, with better designs arriving all the time, and with the people doing the work getting rewarded justly for their efforts. Innovation, efficiency, and developing the most useful and valuable tools will be full time, self-employed jobs online, along with all aspects of entertainment, in the not so distant future.

4.3D Virtual Environment Integration – Once virtual technology advances a little bit further into the mainstream, you will see a huge shift in how our societies are structured. This is where you might really start feeling like you’re in the future. With 3D virtual environments, and something as simple as peripheral vision glasses with some sort of amazingly clear fractal image technology, interacting with the world will be completely re-defined.

Say hello to the Matrix, or Avatar meets Grand Theft Auto(without the gangs – course, you can’t die anyway). With amazingly real graphics, everyday tasks can be transformed. A person’s movements could be tracked (again maybe using Rachel Armstrong’s technology fuzed with wall censors) which could be cool for things like sports or other games. You almost can literally do anything you want. You can be on a roller coaster, while in your living room, or you could walk over the middle of the grand canyon looking down, if you had the guts. Almost anything is possible, including 3D social networks and teleportation or worm-hole graphic travel from website to website.

For practical purposes, Virtual 3D technology could put an end to retailers having to have actual stores. In addition to movement and touch, eventually even smells and tastes will come into play, and already have begun to. Store clerks & cashiers at the stores can still be real people, and they can simply oversee the transactions and help people with any specific questions.

One of the coolest possibilities is whole city maps that can be re-created in a virtual environment using pictures, building plans, maps, and infrastructure schematics. People can walk down the same streets, can gather for events in a city from ANYWHERE In the world, walk into the same stores, get the same experiences, but more efficiently. If this happened there would be no need for the sheer number of business related buildings.

Going green can mean going virtual for a company. It cuts down on overhead, cuts travel expenses, its makes the company look good, it’s more efficient and convenient for customers by a lot, and it expands access immensely. The result would be the land once occupied by business, to be occupied only by people and people dependent services like food, mail, doctors, ect. The land could be cleared of concrete and can open up space for much more nature, gardens, farms, protected lands, or recreational areas.

Traffic to high profile areas will be cut, thus less death due to travel, and less pollution. People would not need to walk home from work, or take a taxi, or really leave their houses other than to travel, meet with friends, eat out, enjoy life, ect. If the hour is bad for a run, the option to stay at home and do it safely is there. City crime will cut tremendously, also due to the surge in jobs online, which will also cut stress, and the greener landscapes will provide better scenery. “Inner Cities” will go from being claustrophobic, to completely out in the open. Also with this technology, you would see the true meaning of World Trade, as shopping in different countries becomes incredibly easier and more reassuring.

The home office will rule. You can go to work and even realistically interact with co-workers, all while at home. People already use second life for things like school and retail. This transformation to 3D Virtual worlds I believe will begin in the next 20 years, but let’s hope that when it does we don’t leave a bunch of empty skyscrapers sitting around rotting.

5.Same-Day Delivery Online Shopping – With everything now being purchased virtually, from food to clothes, it will all have to get delivered right to your house. The biggest problem right now is shipping time and cost. I suspect the solution to this lies in big warehouses. With retail businesses already not needing physical stores, warehouses are the only necessity. I visualize a model where local delivery services like FedEx or DHL start renting out stock room space and delivering to every street everyday, like regular mail. Imagine the time this could save. You could put in a grocery order from lunch at work, and have it at your house in time to get home and make dinner. You wouldn’t have to waste the time stopping by a store, waiting in line, and getting stuck for a second time in rush hour. This would also have a positive effect on the environment, leaving cars off of the road for longer, and it could cut down on accidents. The delivery vehicles could also be electric or some sort of hydrogen harnessing water powered vehicle. Another way the internet can literally save lives, and maybe even our planet.

6.Flying Automated Cars – This will represent another huge breakthrough for our society. It would free up any time spent traveling for other, more productive things, and it also would mean faster speeds, faster arrivals, and more practical long distance trips. People would never really get lost, and accidents would be reduced dramatically. There’d be no rush hour or no traffic. The world really would be a less stressful place.

You’ve seen the Discovery Channel show.. Cars would all talk to each other and would be able to make sure they never come in contact with each other, like automated air traffic controlers. These technologies are already being realized. Rumor has it that the U.S. government has even already started designing air vehicle licenses, but who knows for sure. With this notch on our belts, I’d say we’d be pretty deep into future culture at this point.

7. Blogosphere Awakening – Basically this is an information revolution that begins by bloggers taking over as the main source for news worldwide. I believe this will happen as better technologies are developing in the fields of home production, film and sound recording. I see there being a trend more towards vlogging as time goes on. Having bloggers be the main source of news would just mean more sources. More choices and opinions represented, rather than the usual 2 or 3 that are represented on traditional news networks, and more information for which to base one’s own opinion.

The premise for the new model is simple. It’s like books on tape. Listening to a book is always faster than actually reading it. It’s no different with a blog. Blogs transformed into Vlogs would allow users to get through more information faster, and actually feel a relief from the overwhelming flows of information that they want desperately to absorb in a manner that will one day be referred to as “as old school as an actual book.”

Just right now I have about 16 tabs open in Chrome, all blogs that I want to read later. Imagine if I could press play, and all of them would play in the order I put them in, and I could be listening to them now as I type this, instead of having to read it all later, each on a different website. Trust me, this technology will be out sooner than you think 😉 (don’t be surprised if you see some vlogs coming from this blog in the future).

8. Wirelessly Charging Devices – There are rumors of Apple creating an iPhone that is powered by solar technology. This is truly the wave of the future. There are also some crazy technologies that supposedly allow you to get a charge from a WiFi connection somehow. And who knows, Tesla could have been up to something when he built those big towers to harness energy from the earth’s magnetic fields. This technology could prove to be so important, especially for emergency situations, that it’s my guess that we will gain significant ground in this area within the next 20 years, and the solutions are already beginning to emerge.

9. Global Wireless Internet Access – This is something that’s benefits are so tremendous, that 20 years from now, with all of our capabilities, we would be negligent not to do it. Especially with wireless devices charging from solar or magnetic fields, having a working device with global wireless not only would mean the TV show Lost wouldn’t have lasted more than a week, but even while they were waiting to be rescued, they would have been pretty well entertained. In addition to emergency situations, global WiFi could help connect a range of devices together to talk to one another, further the reach and expanse of knowledge and information all over, and especially transform areas mostly cut off, into areas with new opportunities and resources. It’s the World truly connected.

10. Wireless Everything– I’m sure you’ve all seen the TED video about Wireless Electricity. If not, give that a look. This technology really isn’t far off. It’s hard to think of now, but just take a look around the room. Look at all of the wires coiling and protruding from every corner. If you’re like me and are into music recording and production, you know, when you move a studio, or need to re-set one up, you’re literally up to your neck in cords. We don’t think about it now, but we really are in the dark ages still relatively speaking. 20 years from now they’re going to be looking at wires with looks as baffled as when we look at old telephone switchboards from the 50’s and 60’s, with the huge matrices of connections horribly branched out all over the place and the terrible inefficiency and complication. Wireless…is just a no brainer.

So that’s it; a great look at what our future holds in store for us if we continue down the roads that we are currently following. It’s a much safer, more in-tune, healthier, more efficient, and much more pleasant place to be. I for one cannot wait until all of these amazing technologies are truly recognized. I encourage everybody to do their part in supporting the growth and ongoing development of these technologies, and I hope to see you on the front lines leading the way. Until then, that’s where you can find me. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and please, offer your thoughts. Here’s to a great future.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

The Misconception and Over-Rating of Live Performances

Long have I sat quietly on expert panels or music forums when people are professing the dominance of the live performance in todays environment. The reason is you just can’t seem to convince people otherwise right now. “Then, Now, Always.” Seems to be the creed, and it is easy to see why people believe this..but I still disagree. When people talk about live performances they’re usually referring to concerts with big stages, lights, and huge crowds bursting with energy. Let’s analyze what live performance really means however.

It’s probably the longest standing tradition in music, having been around since long before recording was even possible. It’s the art of entertaining someone, and it has slowly evolved from small living room & bar room performances, to huge stadium filled spectacles with fireworks and 20 ft screens. You can thank the Beatles for the current format, which includes huge standing, screaming crowds. Before them, people usually sat down at concerts. Sometimes today performances are even coupled with advertisers and big events, like football half-time shows, or the X Games. In a sense, you could say that live performances have kind of sold out since the times of their modest roots.

Some people say that if you can’t perform live, then you shouldn’t have a career in music. Where did this crazy idea come from? First of all, if you perform amazingly on record, then you can do the same live. Think about it, a recording is a performance. Even legally speaking, when it comes to copyright law, songs played on the radio are referred to as performances. There are exceptions like if someone were amazing by themselves, but too nervous to perform on a live stage. But wait a minute, if a situation like this were to occur, is the live performance really so important that this person should give up all together? NO! and here’s why.

The live performance is a beautiful thing. It’s spontaneous and full of energy, and sometimes surprises. However let’s remember again what most people are referring to when they talk about live performances. Hint: It’s not mom playing the piano for the family. The number one reason people still go to see artists live is to get something they can’t get on an album. Some bands even perform better live, because there is way more improv. Why however, have the words Live Performance become synonymous with big stages and huge mobs? This isn’t what a live performance was “Then.” Sadly it is “Now,” but I pray it won’t be “Always.” I firmly believe that this aspect of live performances is going to be less and less important as the evolutionary process of music continues into the future.

The only thing that I believe can turn the live performance around, and back towards the direction of its early days, would be the internet penetrating deep enough into the picture to really change the perception. So why is changing the connotation of the term important? Why is it a good idea to go back to the roots of playing in one’s living room?

With the perception of a live performance being what it is, it’s no wonder that some people are scared to do it, especially those deeply sensitive enough to really make music that moves you. With a live, streaming, online concert, the spontaneity is still there, but there is more of an intimacy, leaving room for more of those vibes that leave chills down your arms. Another amazing reason is for the artists it also cuts overhead by…100%..there aren’t any insurance issues, and the artist can keep nearly 100% of the profit, while performing in the comfort of their home if they want.

Now this doesn’t mean that the show can’t still be put together with all the trimmings, like a stage and lights and pyros, and even a live crowd, but it does mean that this won’t be the only option for an artist, and in fact streaming traditional concerts as well could not only bring in more revenue for the artist, but it also has the potential to expand a band’s reach incredibly. Can’t make the show in Australia? No problem, I’ll just stream it on my phone while I’m in the car driving to see a friend across state. Favorite band not playing in your area for a year? No problem.

This makes the claim that live performances (referring to the traditional concert setting) are the most important thing an artist can do these days, completely false. The online presence is going to be the most important tool for an artist moving forward, simply because it incorporates promotion, distribution, merchandise sales, live performance, agent responsibilities, revenue management, ticket sales, and fan connectedness, all into one place manageable by one independent artist. For those of you who have heard the horrible advice by many to drop everything else and focus only on live performances, it’d be a good idea to un-hear that..and learn how to use a computer so you can leverage all of the opportunities soon to be coming your way via the internet.

Wondering what the hell these opportunities may be? Check out our Beat-Play Beta Overview and see if there’s really nothing to get excited about with the internet.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Loss of Internet Syndrome

I’ve  officially been diagnosed after a faulty modem crapped out on me yesterday. The situation is still not resolved. I’m writing this from my iphone. I appologize for the wait. I am still writing but wont be able to post until I can atleast get to my buddy’s house. Thank you for being patient. Sorry again and wish me luck!

Should Bloggers be Paid?

I think this is a great question to ask, and it is also the subject of some debate. I guess the answer would depend on what the context is. Some bloggers are paid, but usually by some company to churn out news for that company or about a product, much like the way many popular newspapers, magazines or news programs operate.

In my opinion, I don’t think if you get hired by one of these companies you should be able to call yourself a blogger anymore..you’re then a journalist :). I do however think bloggers should get paid, and still keep their title. It really has to do with HOW they get paid.

I will get to what I mean by that in a minute, but first we need to examine the situation a little bit to realize why paying bloggers is a good idea.

I was at my buddy’s cabin this weekend and I don’t know if it was the peace and quiet, or the beer, but for some reason a thought popped into my head: What makes a good blog any different than a good song, or a good movie, or TV show? Why don’t bloggers directly charge their readers before reading their content? Even the best bloggers..why don’t they charge?

It’s because blogs were born on the internet, and the internet is about sharing information openly, and for no other reason than because people want to. Movies, Music and TV were born in a completely different place, where big companies controlled the content and did their best to put a lock on it, unless they were payed. But alas, the internet has found a way for even this content to be unlocked and shared with the world for free, and the big companies aren’t even getting paid anymore. There has to be a better solution for ALL intellectual property in this internet injected world…and there is.

Why has there been no blog platform like a WordPress or Blogger, that offers their most popular bloggers a percentage of ads placed. I’m not talking about ugly AdSense ads that only pay on a click-through or a purchase point click-through basis.

I’m talking about the website posting non-conficting, unobtrusive ads on a bloggers webpage, and having the bloggers get paid based on impressions(page views). One of the theories that makes this work is the ads being small, and them being placed in the corner of a function of a site, not a side bar.

In this case the function would be a blog article. The ads are not only placed where a user can’t really ignore it, but they are allowing the readers to get the content for free, while they are supporting their favorite authors, who would have more time to devote to writing good news. The icons could also expand to reveal more information. There are of course a few more crucial pieces of the puzzle, but I gave you as much information about it as I can right now.

This would create a blogosphere full of bloggers who suddenly have more time for things like research, fact checking, interviewing, travel, and other crucial aspects of what makes a good blogger a good news source.

This would essentially be a revolution of information, and the independent blogger community formed may even prove to be a contender for mainstream news networks, being more accessible, more updated as a whole, and with a much wider selection of sources on any particular topic.

The future of blogging looks bright, and pretty soon the hobby, or even secret double-life blogger, may be able to finally drop the act and introduce themselves to world again; this time as full time, self-made, “Professional Bloggers,” in the true sense of the phrase. It has a good ring to it..and being your own boss has an amazing amount of benefits as well, including working in your boxers, and also sometimes eliminating any sneaky or devious hidden motives behind article content. Oh how the world will change..Til then though, why not take up blogging? It might just eventually pay off..

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

It’s Fractal Friday – Get Your Dose!

I have been fascinated with fractals since I first discovered them a couple years ago. What fascinated me was the patterns at first, but then I saw this documentary called Colors of Infinity, that actually described what I was seeing. When I understood what I was actually looking at I was blown away.

I will not try to explain what they are because I would probably mess it up, but first I’ll show you a clip from the documentary that explains how they can be used practically, and why they are important, then we will get to what they actually are. Featured in the documentary is Arthur C. Clark and also Benoît Mandelbrot himself, the founder of the first fractal, rightfully called the Mandelbrot set(shown above).
Infinite Scalability will play a huge roll in the future of the internet, by allowing a 3 dimensional plane to be introduced to the browsing experience. Suddenly the space on the screen will get a lot bigger..well, deeper..and users will eventually be able to create their own hidden spaces within virtual environments, zooming down into the corner of a room to eventually reveal a hidden locked door.

The popular website Photosynth uses fractal geometry to add infinite scalability to it’s functionality. Try it out and explore the Pyramids from home. Zoom in and get incredible detail! It is so fun zooming using 2 fingers with the Macbook touch pad too if you have one: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=7ccf8edb-cbf2-4a79-83cd-f33be90fd1aa

Okay so if you’re wondering what the heck these things actually are, this part of the documentary explains the logistics of how they get these images and their origins.
Truly amazing stuff. I just thought I would share my love of fractals with everyone because I think this is something everybody should know about. It really is one of the great wonders of our world, and its resemblance to nature is something that can’t be overstated.
Happy Friday Everyone!
Try to Keep Your Eyes Focused on One Point

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play,LLC

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How Can Music Help Haiti?

Recently MusicForRelief.org started a program entitled “Download To Donate for Haiti.” The creators of the site, Linkin Park, organized a small group of ten artists to sell their music and have the money go toward helping Haiti in their relief. To promote the idea and gain public interests, they include widgets on the site along with a banner in which people can embed the HTML code on their own sites for their followers to participate.

This is an excellent idea that Linkin Park has offered to the public because they allow the user to easily share this fund to friends on other sites. One thing like this will not solve the crisis at hand. People prefer to get together for a cause rather than filling out a brochure and mailing away their money. We need to establish large concerts for fans and artists to donate. Venues in the past such as Live Aid, are a very big success because it opened up wide from an international standpoint.

Written By: Mark G. Valente | Director of Operations | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play

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Streams vs. .mp3’s: Why Streams Own

Streams will become the new mp3’s for 4 simple reasons.

Reason #1: The only reason to really download music anymore is to put it on a mobile mp3 player like an iPod or a Zune.

Reason #2: Streaming Recommendation sites like Grooveshark, last.fm and Pandora have become extremely popular, and these sites have begun making apps for a range of mobile smart phones and mobile computers, which can easily take the place of simple mp3 players.

Reason #3: Streaming eliminates the need to store all that data on a phone or computer, which leaves room for more cool apps, and you don’t have to worry about back ups, or losing it all!

Reason #4: No fear of lawsuits, and actually a way for artists to get paid via advertising revenues. The streaming method happens to be trackable thanks to it’s marriage with the internet. This can provide artists with better information about how and when their music is shared or played, and could allow artists to get paid ANYTIME their music is played, if the switch is made from downloads to streams.

From an artist’s perspective it’s the perfect solution, and from a fan’s perspective it’s the perfect solution too, because if the artist gets paid from ads while streaming, then the music should be free for the fans!

Problems Holding Streaming Back:

1. The lack of proliferation of web-connected mobile devices. Once the price of these things comes down a little, and they figure out better ways to hook them up to your car stereo, streaming will easily be a top choice.

2. The ads associated with the streaming sites are often annoying and obtrusive, with audio interruptions and flashy oversized banners. The solution here is a switch to small, unobtrusive logo icons that just sit there quietly in the corner of the player, but are very appreciated for allowing the fans to get the music for free.

It will be interesting to see what new innovations in this field emerge in the next couple years. My prediction: Streams will be the big adoption of this decade, due to accessibility, sharability, and simple practicality.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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The Right Way to Tag Online

Tagging is an important aspect of web use these days. It not only filters the content for people looking for specifics, but it helps people broaden the reach of their own content.

This is why tagging should be done thoughtfully and with care. Tagging also usually doesn’t have to be just one word either, at least if the website is run properly. It is important to keep in mind the way that tagging produces results. Usually content is filtered by tags when a search is done. It may be trivial to say that, but think about it when tagging. It is important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the people who may be looking for your content, and try to almost guess what they would be looking for. Some important questions to ask when tagging something are:

“Who do I want to find this?”

“Who can this content help?”

“What is my preferred reaction to this content?”

“Why is this content important?”

Let’s start with the first question: “Who do I want to find this?” It is always good to include tags of the kinds of people who would be interested, but do it in a way that would appeal to them. For example, if I want hackers to see my post, for some reason, I may put something like “Hacker’s Guide,” “Hacker Help” or “Hacker Update.” Be specific. People often include their interests in their searches, which usually gives away what kinds of things they enjoy. It’s a good idea to try to anticipate what your targets would be interested in when entering tags.

Moving on. “Who can this content help?” This goes along the lines of the first one, but with a little twist. Maybe this content is an awesome music video you just did. Including some tags like “cure for sadness” or “brighten my day” would be a good idea, if it was that kind of video. Remember, people usually search in phrases, not just words.

“What is my preferred reaction to this content?” It is always good to classify the content by how it makes you feel, or how you would like it to make others feel. This will help you find the people who are looking just for that remedy.

“Why is this content important?” Asking this is a great way to attract interest to your content. Make claims about it like “Best Music Non-Proffit Ever,” “The cure for the mondays” or “The Key to Solving (enter problem)” Of course, if your content does not actually do what you claim it does, people will get pretty pissed and eventually catch on, so it is always important to stay honest.

Eventually tagging won’t just be done by the content creator, but by the viewers as well, as it’s already begun to happen in some places. It’s best to be up front from the start, to avoid people giving you bad tags in the future due to misleading them.

Tagging will have a bigger role in content distribution and discovery in the upcoming years, as it is a more natural, more social way of classifying and discovering content, that can not only adapt and evolve over time, but that can actually capture abstract variables like what the content means to people, instead of just what it directly includes.

I hope this post helped you understand the importance in tagging, and left you with a better sense of how to go about it effectively. Happy Tagging!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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How to Promote Your Music Without Spamming!

What I’m not going to do in this post is give you a list of 10 things you can do today that you probably already know about, or that aren’t going to help you stand out at all. What I am going to do is give you a reality check.

So you have 2 choices to start out with:

1. Start from the beginning and learn the background information needed to take a well-measured, strategic approach to the problem

or

2. Take the shortcut and go straight to THE ANSWER, a little further down on the page.

The Beginning

The state of the current mainstream music industry is horrible. It’s a sinking ship that even the rich guys wish they could jump off of…but they can’t. However this does not spell the end of the music industry, just the “mainstream” one.

It turns out there’s a whole other living, breathing, and relatively healthy independent music industry that runs parallel to the mainstream, but is hugely overshadowed, even though is have substantially more artists than the mainstream one.

So how do you stay on the ship that’s not sinking while getting noticed? Well remember, the overshadowing ship is sinking, and it’ll eventually go down.

But waiting sucks! And then once the mainstream goes down, how is the independent music industry going to be organized enough to stay afloat?

The answer comes with some patience, and the abilitity to make the right move at the right time..but there is more to it than that.

What people don’t see is what’s actually making the mighty giants fall. Guess what? It’s called the Internet. The wait won’t be so long after all, because while this force pushes the mainstream down, this same force is lifting the independents up. There’s something to be hopeful about here.

The current problems with music online still involve promotion, and of course piracy. But I’m proud to probably be the first to tell you that these two problems can be completely solved, if we use the Internet the right way. It doesn’t mean the solutions are in place right now, but it does mean that they exist…I’ll show you in a minute.

However, solutions like these don’t just happen. Whenever there’s masses of people demanding change, it usually takes some sort of inside organization or committee to actually go through the process of orcheastrating and implementing that change for the rest of the masses. There has to be a representative of the people to structure the new rules. But who will delegate this committee for the independents? Will there be a vote or what?

There will be no vote..just a group of independent artists who want to see these problem solved, and who won’t wait for other people to do it for them. It will be someone who just decides to take charge for everyone, because they realize someone has to. So who will this group of people be? Well, it’s nice to meet you, my names Dante, and I’m the leader of the Beat-Play team.

THE ANSWER

So there are two major problems here. One is piracy, and one is online promotion/distribution without spamming. It turns out, the solution to both of these problems comes from the same, simple tool.

See the reason these problems still exist is because indie artists don’t have the right tools to take advantage of the golden opportunity sitting right in front of them(Read above to see what this is). As a fed up independent artist, I’ve spend the last 3 years designing these tools that can take independents to the next level, and now they’re ridiculously close to hitting the web.

The solution starts with a social network..but not just any social network. It’s got to involve the WHOLE independent artist community, and then spread to the fans. Once this network is set up, the end(or irrelevance) of piracy, and promotion without spamming, can occur.

Here’s where the tools come in. Imagine on this social network, you have a radio player that follows you everywhere, similar to thesixtyone.com. On here though, you can follow people with similar tastes in music as you, (your friends, favorite artists, ect) and any music saved in their playlists will automatically get sent to your radio when you press play, either completely randomized, or by your control. You can put filters on genres, tags, moods, playlists, new or old content, and there’ll be many other options eventually. If you like a song enough, you will put it in one of your playlists, and then anyone following you will automatically get introduced to it. What this does for the independent artists, is create a completely viral system of automated word of mouth. If the music is good enough, it will get passed on. If it isn’t good, it won’t go any further.

This could completely take the place of traditional promotional methods today, and not just with music, but it could apply to almost anything. There..simple. Now that the promotional problem is solved, let’s take a look at the piracy issue.

Say I’m a really great musician, and now thousands of people are listening to my music thanks to this new promotional tool. Well, it’s still safe to say that if I sell my music, people will still somehow get it for free. So the other logical option is for me to give it away for free directly. Then I can track whenever someone safely downloads my music, plays it, shares it, views my profile, my videos, my merchandise store, my streaming concerts, or whatever other cool stuff comes to be supported on this platform. What I do with these numbers is submit them to the social network platform, who will give me ad revenues based on the numbers of people I’m attracting to my content. There will be different brackets of artists, each worth a specific amount for advertisers. The most popular artists will get the highest percentage back.

What makes this beautiful is that the ads don’t cost more to implement for the social network, but the advertisers will get charged more for the popular artists, leaving that increase to go straight to the source: the artists. It is also worth noting that the ads do not have to be big, obtrusive, flashy banners. They can simply be little icons in the corner of a radio player that serve a very important purpose: allowing people to get your music for free! With these tools in place, making money from your music will be as simple as uploading it and giving it away, as long as you have a decent size network to help the start of your music’s spread.

Everyone is connected to everyone. Your friends know people you don’t know, and you know people they don’t. The chain is continuous; it never stops, just goes full circle. Taking advantage of this fact online is not as hard as you would think, and this could spell real change for independent artists. The internet is itself, a tool. It’s this tool that has enabled it’s users to dislodge and divert traditional mainstream methods, and it’s this tool that creates the opportunity for the other tools necessary in order to build newer, lasting structures. These tools WILL give independents the upper hand, once people learn to use them.

The strategy for now..stay patient! Don’t sign with a label! Don’t even sign up for ASCAP or one of those rip offs. Streaming is the future, and ad revenues can always be tied to a stream. As for this social network, and these tools, they’re coming! They’re in development right now, and they will be in beta by the spring of this year, 2010! Remember, we need the whole independent community to get behind this in order for it to work. So spread the message, spread the ideas, and spread this post. The future of music is a lot brighter than people may think.

Contact the Beat-Play Team for more information.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC