Category Archives: Social Networks

Loving Music in a World of Shifting Business Models

I love music.

I probably listen to music 4-6 hours a day, much of it while I am working.

And I am not an expert on music, digital business models, digital technology, or the music business.  I am simply a humble, passionate user.

I am worried that the “market” for music is going to evolve away from what I want.  Is downloaded music over?  Is streaming dead? Or doomed to being a loss-leader for larger behemoths like cell phone carriers or Amazon?

Ever since digital music and downloading emerged, I have been happy to pay for music.  Most of my iTunes library was built from ripping my CDs.  And as the RIAA and its business allies screamed and shouted and whinged about illegal downloads in the era of Napster, I seethed that all those freeloaders were making life difficult for me by provoking various forms of DRM (digital rights management).  For example, I couldn’t copy music from a first generation iPod from the iPod to a second computer.  I paid for the music, and now this wall of property rights was inserted in MY TECHNOLOGY.

Models evolved.  Pandora came along and at first I loved it.  But then, I realized, I wanted to be able to play the song I wanted when I wanted.  Too many hours were spent trying to “trick” Pandora into the perfect mix of alternative, folk, americana, jazz, and bluegrass.

I tied to get off iTunes with a Songbird experiment.  But something happened and it mixed up meta data and then I had songs with the wrong titles.  I am still looking for an iTunes alternative, preferably one that folds lyrics in.

RDIO came along, and I happily signed up.  $10 a month for unlimited PC streaming of anything I wanted?  Yes, please.

I learned about emusic.  Which has been around for awhile, in turns out.  I can often get songs for $0.49 or $0.79!  The model also constrains my spending to $15 a month on new music.  I listen to music on RDIO.  When I hear something I like, I pop over to emusic.com and buy it.  If I want to make a mix cd for a friend, I go into iTunes.  It all works just fine.

But emusic changed its catalog to focus only on “indie artists and labels.”  Fine.  But, really, no Indigo Girls?  So, am I back to buying from Amazon or iTunes?  Are the artists even seeing anything fair in these purchases?  Spotify et al have big revenue streams, but most of that goes to the labels, not the creators of the music.

Rdio won’t make the details of its revenue public, but Spotify took in more than half a billion dollars last year. Nevertheless, its losses grew from from $60 million to $78 million. Spotify executives say 70 percent of its revenue went to paying licensing fees. (From NPR).

eMusic, through its editorial, magazine-like portal, Wondering Sound, is trying to make music discovery and curating a service you want.  That is fine, as far as it goes, but the link from listening to buying then becomes too convoluted.  I hear a song I like on Rdio, or through its pretty good social media features, and then I have to hunt for it on eMusic.com, and if not there, maybe Amazon?  Maybe iTunes?  But pay more?  And also feel like I am no longer supporting emusic’s love-of-music ethos?  It is like buying music from Wal-Mart instead of a record store.  I _LIKE_ hanging out in the record store.

One jazz music writer covers some of the emusic changes and what it means for his tastes.

Meanwhile, vinyl is making its little comeback, even in our house, led by my music-phile son, Elijah.  Music I love, like The National, or San Fermin, or Sharon Von Etten, I’d be willing to buy and own as vinyl for the audio quality.

Why are labels so powerful still?  Because they control the back catalogs?

Why can’t there be a stream-and-purchase model?  Emusic.com has a stream part, but you are capped at like ten hours a month.  Why wouldn’t musicians seek out a label-free distribution platform so they can record music and have it available to stream, download or hard copy purchase without going through a label?  A platform that also catalyzes concert-going and other revenue streams for them?

UPDATE:  Pandora seems to have some ideas along these lines, as here Fortune describes Customer Relationship Management for artists…

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Filed under Creativity, digital culture, Future of Technology, Information and Communication Technology, innovation, management, Media, music, Network Society, Social Networks, Uncategorized

Mixed Methods Social Networks Research Design And Applications | Research methods in sociology and criminology | Cambridge University Press

Mixed Methods Social Networks Research Design And Applications | Research methods in sociology and criminology | Cambridge University Press.

 

Looks like the book I wish I had when I was doing my dissertation!

Out in July.  Looking forward to getting my hands on it.

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Filed under Books, Networks, Social Networks

Network Data Collections

Thanks to a stocnet user, this list of useful network data repositories came along.

I added them to my Diigo list of sna and data.

http://moreno.ss.uci.edu/data.html
http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~snijders/siena/siena_datasets.htm
http://www.eelkeheemskerk.nl/networks/
http://konect.uni-koblenz.de/
http://snap.stanford.edu/data/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25906481@N07/sets/72157604724106153/
http://www.pfeffer.at/data/cshiring
http://www.gdeltproject.org/
http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/tools/data.php

 

 

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Filed under Network Dynamics, Research, Social Networks

Mapping Projects, poeple, and orgs: Software to map square and bimodal networks

Sent to Socnet.

Hi,
I sketched on a napkin the other day a “map” of social innovaiton at my campus.
On it I had as “nodes”
  • – Projects
  • – Actors (like students, faculty, centers)
  • – Amorphous constituencies like “faculty” from which actors could come, or whcih projects could serve or interest.
I drew some ties for relations like
  • – created
  • – fund
  • – are interested in
I was thinking, I could make a “figure” of this, but any new data would involve manual additions.
Is there a software tool anyone recommends?
In mu ind, it is like a hybrid of a square matrix, like all the actors to the actors, and a bimodal network, actors or constituencies to projects.
Plus, I was thinking of differing relations which could be visualized.  So, maybe behind the visualization are different matrices that can be added or removed from the visualization.
Finally, I was thinking of this evolving over time.
I realize some of this relationships may not theoretically make sense with some kinds of lay out algorithims.  For example, I am not sure what it would mean to try to find the most central node when there are both actor-actor and actor-object (bimodal) relations, but at the moment, I was more looking for a tool to visualize these relations and dynamically update data to create newer visualizations.
I added a picture if that helps…
IMG_20140212_113043_381
 

 

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Filed under Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), Social Networks

Ideas for Questions and Themes for Arianna Huffington

Today, as part of the tech/no Forum series at Bucknell, we are hosting Arianna Huffington.  I had imagine I would do some deep research on her background, her role as founder of HuffingtonPost, her role as CEO of the merged AOL-Huffington company  her ideas on the relationship between media, democracy, and profit, the death (?) of the newspaper, and so on.

Well, that didn’t happen.

Instead, I’ll have to generate some from what I have in my head (as opposed to research-based).

If you are coming to the afternoon session, feel free to read these, use these, modify these, and so on.

Business and Technology

* Is the content-for-eyeballs formula of the Internet dying?  Are advertisers not willing to pay?

* Are we at the end of an innovation burst as the Internet and mobile platforms are merging?  Is the heady period of “social media” and its rapid expansion done?

* Who are HP’s or AOL’s competitors?

Media and Profit

* Is it the responsibility of the media company to provide what “customers” want or what they need?  Does a media/news company create its own demand and then project that onto the audience.  “See, they want _____________ (tits, blood, murders, horse-race politics)?” Continue reading

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Filed under Business, economics, Future of Technology, higher education, Information and Communication Technology, innovation, Media, Network Society, Politics, Power, Activism, Social Networks, sociology, technology, Technology history

Great Poster of Online Communities

I love this!

See if you can find Second Life!

Can you finnd second life?

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Filed under blogging, higher education, Social Networks, technology, virtual worlds, visualization

SOCNET discussion on miltary and ethics (2 polls)

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Filed under ethics, higher education, Military, Research, Scholars, Social Networks

Ethics and Information on Listservs (SOCNET)

Over at Socnet, the listserv (what is a listserv, anyway?  A-ha.) that has been so valuable for me over the years as I found networks and worked through how to do something productive with them, a debate has been unfolding over the posting of a research position with a military agency that would involve using social network tools and insights to do intelligence type work in counter-insurgency.

Some objected to the very position, some to the use of the listserv to distribute information, some to the initial objectors, and some to the politicization of the listserv.

I pondered whether or not to add anything.  Part of me , like may others, felt like I could not add anything that would advance the discussion, and I would be simply adding chatter and emails to our already clogged information pathways and in boxes.  Part of me also felt like there are real ethical conundrums around the issue and also the scope and use of the listserv itself which still anchors much of the network research network (or community if you prefer.  So, maybe against my better judgment, I tried to be constructive.

According to the INSNA website, the purpose of the listserv is:

“The purpose of SOCNET is to allow network researchers worldwide to discuss research and professional issues, make announcements, and request help from each other.”

What exactly constitutes “professional issues” may be up for debate, but the ethics of the tools and theories we develop and use seems to me entirely consistent with a discussion of the professional issues.  I write this without implying that there is one correct answer to the recent debate over the posting of a position at CORE for a post-doc to which several people have made comments.

I think two issues have been raised which may be conflated and can usefully be separated.

1)      Is it ethical to accept the position at CORE?

2)      Is it ethical to post the information on this list serv?

I am not sure what I think of the first question (accepting the position).

I do think it is acceptable to post the position(#2) and also to have others raise concerns and discuss the implications of the professional ethics of our specialized tools and knowledge.  How can we discuss professional issues unless we know about them?  Plus, I favor information transparency whenever possible, as opposed to banning or moderating heavily.  I am not sure how we could even formally execute such an intention.  We rely on more informal norms.

I suggest that this listserv is a kind of commons, as discussed by David Weinberger in this Berkman Center podcast.  Thus, participating includes a certain tolerance for internal dissent and working through the common expectations of how to use the commonly held and valued resource.

Hopefully, I have been succinct and constructive, if not conclusive.

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Filed under activism, Social Networks

Graph your Facebook friends

Bernie Hogan is my new hero.  He has written  a lovely little app that allows you to extract your Facebook network in a format that you can use in GUESS or UCINET.

My Online Network.

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Filed under Social Network Sites, Social Networks, technology

Indian Attacks Carried Out by Armed Teams

Armed Teams Sowed Chaos With Precision – NYTimes.com
But from interviews with witnesses and survivors, it seems clear that the men on the boat were joining a larger terrorist force, which included some attackers who, unconfirmed local news reports say, had embedded themselves in Mumbai days before the attacks. Their synchronized assaults suggested a high level of training and preparation.

So I have a paper under review that argues that to understand terrorism as an organization, we have to see them as a blend of formal organization, social movement, and network.  This is an argument I want to refine.  The above passage about today’s tragic attacks captures the need to consider terrorism the result of formal organization and network.  A formal organization is necessary to deliver the training and operational sophistication of these attacks; a network allows them to move in and out of Mumbai, to recruit informants or new members.  To the extent that we discover that these terrorists are from an organization supported by the Pakistani intelligence agency, then the network lens helps us to see how nodes become activated on an as-needed basis allowing for loose elements to coalesce for momentary action.

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Filed under organization studies, organization theory, Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), Social Networks, Terrorism