Of Inconvenient Experiences and Web-scale potential

I’m pretty loyal to WordPress; it’s the only blogging platform I’ve ever used, and I even wear the T-shirt (the red one). And one of the loyal things I do is to read what they have to say under “Other WordPress News” every now and then.

Today, while doing just that, I came across this story about the $10,000 Blogging Scholarship,  went to Paul Stamatiou’s blog as a result, found that quite interesting, and meandered from there (via an interesting post called The Future of DRM) to another fascinating blog called Fistfulayen. It’s the personal blog of Ian C. Rogers, who came to fame some years ago as the college kid who ran the Beastie Boys web presence. [Boy does that age me, I have a son who is a very keen Beastie Boys fan!].

Ian has an enthralling post headlined Convenience Wins, Hubris Loses And Content Versus Context, A Presentation for Some Music Industry Friends.

I recommend you read the whole post. Wonderful. Here’s a taster:

But now, eight years later, Amazon’s finally done what was clearly the right solution in 1999. Music in the format that people actually want it in, with a Web-based experience that’s simple and works with any device. I bought tracks from Amazon (Kevin Drew and No Age), downloaded them, sync’d them to my new iPod Nano, and had them playing in my home audio system (Control 4) in less than five minutes. PRAISE JESUS. It only took 8 years.

8 years. How much opportunity have we lost in those 8 years? How much naivety and hubris did we have when we said, “if we build it they will come”? What did we spend? And what did we gain? We certainly didn’t gain mass user adoption or trust, two prerequisites to success on the Internet.

Inconvenient experiences don’t have Web-scale potential, and platforms which monetize the gigantic scale of the Web is the only way to compete with the control you’ve lost, the only way to reclaim value in the music industry. If your consultants are telling you anything else, they are wrong.

 Inconvenient experiences don’t have Web-scale potential. I think I shall bottle that, and save it for a later date. Something to savour. Great stuff, Ian. And thank you, Paul.

Let me know what you think

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