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Showing posts from August, 2007

Going gold at 65

Bob Lefsetz suggests that Paul McCartney should have given away his recent album, Memory Almost Full, because it's only going to sell about 550,000 copies in the U.S. There could be some good arguments to support that view, but Lefsetz constructs a bizarre case for giving songs away. He says McCartney fans found the price of the album too high and that "everybody" would listen to it if it was free. The knowledge that "all [his] fans" would be listening would have motivated McCartney to put out a great record.

Okay, even if it was free, there's no reason to think people would be tripping over themselves to download the new album. Neil Young gave away all of Living With War. What percentage of people who consider themselves to be Neil Young fans downloaded those songs? (And Living With War turned out to be a pretty good album.) Memory Almost Full is available from eMusic for $3.50-$4.30, depending on your subscription level. That's less than $1 in 1973 dol…

Maybe it really is Web 2.0

Apparently, it was more than 14 months since I posted anything on my blog. Between writing a bunch of proposals, position papers, and funding pitches last year, as well as having the Waterloo Tech Digest and my column in Rex Magazine, the last thing I wanted to do in my spare time was write anything. Okay, not really the last thing, but it never came close to the top of the list (although I did seem to find time for a few thousand Wikipedia edits before moving on).

I didn't even read any blogs in that time, at least not any personal ones. I kept track of updates to a few websites through their RSS feeds, but that was about it. I can see that RSS has come a long way over the last year. Not the technology, but its use. When I posted through my blog a backlog of 10 Waterloo Tech Digest issues from the past year, the traffic to my website jumped nearly 500% that day. Two days later, it was still up about 300%. The extra traffic was all generated because the content of the Tech Digest i…