Copyfight is getting comment-bombed again. I'm cleaning up as fast as I can, but things are sluggish. Apologies in advance.
Meanwhile, let me give you a couple of pointers to things I think are worth reading relative to the past week's stories.
Amanda Palmer wrote a guest post on techdirt about her successful Kickstarter, which is well on its way to being the biggest ever. As I mentioned last week, one of the few elements I see in common among all the new success models is relentless fan service and Amanda addresses that issue head-on. She talks about "all of that real human connecting" and how it has enabled her to do what she's doing now.
She's also emphatic about another point, which you can read on the Kickstarter site: we lead, the media follows. If you're going to be successful in the independent model of the early-21st century then you make the news yourself. You do it by networking, word of mouth, taking things viral, making info in easily accessible places, in easily reposted (unlocked!) forms, etc. One way to look at this is as a failure of traditional media; another way to look at it as an opportunity for new businesses. There should be people out there setting up companies that are devoted to helping people like Palmer do this because, really, you need some kind of management when your sponsor base is over 10,000 and growing.
I thought this bit was particularly apropos:
I've seen people complaining that this is easy for me to do because I got my start on a major label. It's totally true that the label helped me and my band get known. But after that, the future was up to me. It bought me nothing but a headstart, and I used it. I could have stopped working hard and connecting in 2009. If I'd done that, and then popped up out of nowhere in 2012 to kickstart a solo record in 2012, my album would probably get funded to the tune of $10k...if I was lucky. There are huge ex-major label artists (pointless to name names) who have tried the crowd-funding method and failed dramatically, mostly because they didn't have the online relationship with their fans to rely on.
Second, Cory Doctorow posted a piece in The Guardian on "Why the death of DRM would be good news for readers, writers and publishers." That's a real mouthful of a title but it serves its purpose: DRM is bad business and we need to get that message across much more widely and emphatically. Cory's column is reasoned and historical and it covers ground I expect most of my readers know.
I was sadly amused to revisit the column today in preparation for writing this piece and find on the page the notice that "Comments on this page are now closed." I'm trying to formulate a coherent response that is not laughing out loud at the foolishness and backward-thinking-ness of a site that would close comments on a column, let alone close comments on a column that's not even a week old.
Dear Guardian, comments are lifeblood. You want them. You need them. See above, where I spend my time weeding out spam comments? That's because I treasure the real feedback I get from readers. I love that my first tentative query about Createspace is one of the most commented-on pieces on this blog, over four years later. Do you think Amanda Palmer would ever close comments on something she posted? I think not.
Get with the program, Guardian. You're not doing yourselves, your readers, or your writers any favors here.