✖️ Acoustic Communities in late-19th Century mills and mines
And: Kickstarter goed crypto; Gamification done well; Travis Scott not legally liable for Astroworld; YouTube copyright transparency report; MODA DAO; European Covid winter
Something a little bit different from me this week. I’ve been having lots of conversations around community recently. What it is, how to create it, how to keep it strong, how to grow it, etc. I also had a chance to reflect on my PhD thesis and remembered how a large part of that research also focused on communities. Specifically, the communities built by workers in mills and mines in Britain and Germany in the late-19th century. As I tried to convince other historians they should start listening to history, I found that a good way to do this was by focusing on how people used sound to create a sense of togetherness in the face of often horrible working conditions. More importantly, they also listened to everything around them to create the space to interact with each other.
I started from the idea of acoustic communities, a concept coined by Barry Truax, a famous scholar of sound.
“One purpose of our model of the acoustic community is to define the environmental characteristics that promote effective communication within any environment of study” (Truax, Acoustic Communication, 2001: 70).
There’s a parable here to all the talk of community today. Creators need to bring communities of fans together and stand in the middle. We build the Web3 through communities. But often, as my research showed, we tend to think about communities without one of the most interactive elements: that of listening. So I pulled together various strands from my thesis to show how these workers in Manchester mills and Ruhr mines used their ears to create acoustic communities.
🎲 Rethinking “gamification” for DAOs (Cherie Hu)
“The thinking in the music industry sometimes goes along the lines of: “The gaming industry is making more money than the music industry. But we [the music industry] should be making just as much money as them, because culturally we're just as if not more valuable and influential. So, let’s adopt their UX and monetization strategies and ‘gamify’ everything — put everything on a leaderboard, and give everything a score.” In many cases, this line of thought turns what would otherwise be dynamic systems around music and culture into routines that are arbitrarily regimented and easily manipulable.”
🕸️ How startup MODA DAO is set to usher global music biz into Web3 (Christie Eliezer)
“I see the Web 3 ecosystem growing alongside streaming services, and eventually becoming more significant to the artists. This new world is creating new ways for artists to take ownership of their music, but it will take a while to scare the Spotify and Apple Musics of the world.”
🛴 The Future of Crowdfunding Creative Projects (Perry Chen & Aziz Hasan)
Interesting move from Kickstarter here. They’ll be building on Celo, which is a blockchain focused on mobile-first solutions.
“As a first step, we’re supporting the development of an open source protocol that will essentially create a decentralized version of Kickstarter’s core functionality. This will live on a public blockchain, and be available for collaborators, independent contributors, and even Kickstarter competitors, from all over the world to build upon, connect to, or use.”
🪟 Access for all, a balanced ecosystem, and powerful tools (the YouTube team)
“As the report notes, we see low levels of disputes relative to total claims, particularly within tools that use automatic detection. In the first half of 2021, fewer than 1% of all Content ID claims were disputed.”
Download the full report here.
🪞 Our Pseudonymous Selves: The Past, Present, and Future of Online Identity (Fadeke Adegbuyi)
“Online pseudonymity might appear niche and nascent, an opt-out reserved for identity-concealing artists and over-cautious internet citizens. But there’s a possibility that this is only the beginning of a more pseudonymous landscape, where average individuals have multiple fully-formed online personas that let them explore different facets of identity and move across the internet more freely.”
This is such an important read. Web1 allowed us to become whoever we want to be online, just set up a website and that’s who you are. Web2 then pushed people to present the best version of themselves. Authenticity gets praise, but nobody goes beyond the gloss. As with Rex Woodbury’s piece below, this is changing in the social Web2 as we speak. Now, Web3 and metaverse style developments make it easy to wear different hats in different situations. A nameless web.
⚖️ 275 Astroworld lawsuits could be consolidated (James Hanley)
“Lawsuits have been filed against Scott, promoters Live Nation and Scoremore, and other parties including venue manager ASM Global, in each of the 24 district courts in Harris County.”
However, Travis Scott is apparently not “legally liable.”
🇿 It's Gen Z's World, And We're Just Living In It (Rex Woodbury)
“Beyond commerce, Gen Z’s focus on sustainability will have ripple effects across corporate America. Younger workers are pressuring governments and companies to track and manage their carbon footprints … Gen Z cares about sustainability—in fashion, in capitalism, in crypto—and “climate-friendly” is becoming a mandate for success.”
🔔 “We See Ourselves As Being a Part of the Biggest Sync Team in the World” – Tom Stingemore Talks Hipgnosis Sync (Emma Griffiths)
“For the vast majority of our repertoire – regardless of who administers the song, Hipgnosis is the sole approval party for all sync requests. This has allowed us to comprehensively slash approval / response times on the world’s most iconic songs. Music Supervisors / Studios / Agencies are no longer being made to wait weeks-on-end for a ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘maybe’ response. We can’t promise you a ‘yes’, but what we can guarantee is that you’ll have a decision in your inbox before you’ve even entertained the thought of needing to find a back-up track.”
“From architecting new ways of owning work to community-supported funding, the music industry, both small and big, is building a new creative economy where the independent community can fully thrive.”
There’s more examples of the way community and interaction plays out through sound, and music specifically. One of these examples I had to think of recently is John Zorn’s Cobra. This improvisational game piece is a great illustration of how a DAO could interact: with a leader, but where everyone has the same ‘power’ to influence proceedings and the flow of the music.