Pandora to TED to UGCX to Pixar

11Feb09

Here are some of the great events that took place in the last week:  

COMMONWEALTH CLUB:  ROCK STAR REVOLUTION (Th 2/5, SOLD OUT!)
Last Thursday, got to schmooze with Tim Westergren, Founder, Pandora; Steve Jang, CMO, imeem; Nion McEvoy, CEO, Spin Magazine; and Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, Founder, CreateSpace at the Sheppard Mullin Digital Media Law Forum at the Commonwealth Club which I produced.  We traded tips on our favorite iPhone apps and I shared that I lost 2.5 lbs in just one week with the Lose It app, then we hit the stage.  Pandora, now at 22 million subscribers, talked about the traffic driving power of the iPhone stating that the majority of those downloading the Pandora iPhone app have never even been on the site.   Imeem also shared tales of great success with mobile as the #1 music app on Android.  The theme for the night was ease of content creation and distribution and the pathways to fame and fortune for the indie musician.  Did you know that any indie can submit their music for play on Pandora and imeem?  Pandora curates mail-ins and indexes the chosen ones into their music genome for play along with like songs.  So if you sound like Radiohead, likely you’ll play on the Radiohead channel.  With imeem, one only needs to register with Snocap and upload their songs.  As the songs plays, the artist shares in ad revenue.  CreateSpace monetizes the fan base by enabling artists to sell books, CDs, DVDs and downloads on Amazon within minutes of uploading.   And Spin, the tastemaker on the panel, talked about the storybook adventure of Vampire Weekend, an indie band who went from obscurity to the top of the Billboard charts, a cover by Peter Gabriel and a stint on Saturday Night Live within weeks of appearing on the cover of Spin.  Fame within reach of anyone who puts up a MySpace page, plays the festival circuit (SXSW, CMJ) and works the music blogs (Stereogum, brooklynvegan).   Between the Mac for content creation, CreateSpace, IODA, CDBaby, Tunecore for distribution, and Pandora, imeem and other online music sites for discovery, the long tail has never been more accessible.  The audio will play on KLIV 1590AM Th 3/19 7pm.  The video already has thousands of views on FORA.tv:  http://fora.tv/2009/02/05/The_Rock_Star_Revolution.   

TED (Tu 2/3 – Sa 2/7, SOLD OUT!) and ECONMUSIC (Th 2/5)
What else was happening that night? Too much.  TED was in full swing as well as EconMusic in LA.  TED has already started to post videos.  Check out this one from Elizabeth Gilbert and Bill Gates.  Here is Courtney Holt, MySpace on Mobile Music from EconMusic:  www.paidcontent.org/video

MEDIA BISTRO: UGCX (M 2/9 – Tu 2/10)
Media Bistro’s Tim Walsh came to town with his entourage of talent and delivered UGCX, 160 panelists over 2 days talking content, content, content.  Speakers included Activision, Current TV, Purple Violets, Heroes, Gaia, Raptr, istockphoto, Cafe Press, Craig Newmark, and Guy Kawasaki.  Interesting points made about the trend to bypass the computer with the phone (when was the last time you were on your computer?), the rise of game addiction with rewards (tricking your mind into thinking you’re accomplishing something when you’re not doing anything at all), and online tv show communities thriving under the illusion of affecting outcomes (eventhough the series is already in the can).   Activision talked a bit about GH World Tour Studio which sounds a lot like iLife 09’s GarageBand’s Artist Lessons but right now the tunes you create in studio can only be distributed to the GH community and not monetized.  Perhaps we will see Activision and Apple work together in the future. It was also interesting to hear istockphoto, now owned by Getty Images, proclaim you can never have enough bandwidth.  They go beta with istockaudio tomorrow.  Got to schmooze a bit with event list compadre Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist, who is a big fan of Kindle (having read 44 books on it), enjoys Jeff Jarvis (What Would Google Do, twitter.com/jeffjarvis) and tweeting himself (twitter.com/craignewmark).   I really enjoyed UGCX.  Some video of the conference up should be up soon and I’ll be sure to post it then.

COMMONWEALTH CLUB:  JERRY WEISSMAN (Tu 2/10)
Jerry Weissman, former CBS executive and Power Presentations guru stopped by the Commonwealth Club last night making his rounds about Silicon Valley promoting his latest book which is worth a read:  The Power Presenter.  Too bad it wasn’t recorded, his tips were like gold and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Of course, the Kellogg Auditorium of Silicon Valley Bank is space every event producer dreams of with dramatic staging and stadium seating.  What better place to deliver a message on making presentations.  Jerry’s tips?  Be conversant on stage, make eye connect, nod and reach out person by person in the audience, have a relaxed and open stance, and be expressive and animated with your face.  (Next stop: Churchill Club, F 2/13, SOLD OUT!). 

BAWIFT:  WOMEN OF PIXAR (W 2/11, SOLD OUT!)
And now tonight, BAWIFT presents the Women of Pixar.  Not sure if the downpour will scare off the 70+ on the waitlist but it’s expected to be an action packed night. Will blog later.

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