Claire Ryan's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the keep-calm-and-carreon dept

Hello there, dear Techdirt readers! Gather 'round, and let me tell you of my favorite posts on this fine day.

There's nothing like starting the week off with a marketing disaster of truly epic proportions. Charles Carreon once again steps up and delivers, in a way that only the namesake of the Carreon Effect can, by filing more pointless paperwork to get back at Matthew Inman and The Oatmeal's BearLove Good Cancer Bad charity campaign, then dismissing it and declaring victory. At this stage, you really have to wonder what exactly is going on in dear Charles' head. Is there a customer base out there for his services who don't know of his status as the laughing stock of the entire Internet (or, a more depressing possibility, who actually know but take it as a point in his favor).

He seems to think so, according to Ars Technica. When a man persists in digging himself into a hole at this speed, all one can really do is sit back with some popcorn and watch the dirt fly.

Sometimes it's quite interesting to see how online marketing works in unexpected ways. Ginger Wildheart's recent album success is a case in point, where loyal fans, crowd-funding, and word-of-mouth have catapulted his music onto the charts ahead of other, much bigger, label artists. It's certainly a testament to the new paradigm of advertising and marketing, where being real and accessible to fans is far more powerful than a billboard every hundred feet, and it simply wouldn't be possible without the Internet making communication effortless.

The naysayers will jump on the story and declare that crowd-funding can't make everyone a success. To me, that's always sounded a bit like complaining about how people climb a mountain. Some strap on the snowshoes and walk, some wait in line for a ski lift to become available, and some lucky ones catch a passing helicopter and get there in minutes. How they do it, though, isn't as important as just reaching the top at all, and at least they have options now.

Speaking of music, Tim Cushing makes a great point in this article about its history -- that it's been largely about participation, not about being paid.

Many argue that today's world will be the death of any form of artistic expression that can be converted to ones and zeroes, but what they're really saying is that the very brief moment when art and commerce merged successfully is over.

It's interesting to see how things have essentially come full circle. Before modern technology stepped in, playing and singing was just something people did as a natural byproduct of being human, like dancing or complaining about the weather. Then it could be recorded and sold, and the technology to make this happen needed experts, and the infrastructure to distribute it needed money, and the modern recording industry rose up to handle all of it. But music never stopped being something that people just did, and now that technology has progressed to the point where no experts are needed and the infrastructure is free, we're left the curious case of the musical tradition of thousands of years being in direct competition with an industry that's about one hundred years old.

My money is on the thousand year old tradition, by the way, in that particular fight.

I'm usually astonished and amused in equal measure by the actions of the various entertainment companies reported on Techdirt, but for once I got my giggles from someone other than them in an article about Netflix. Industry analyst Todd Juenger delivered a report that the big media giants should divert kids from Netflix to more long-term profitable avenues such as... traditional TV. Yeah, go ahead and try selling the idea of serial, static programming to a generation who have grown up with Youtube videos and BitTorrent. Let me know how that works out for you.

Go look at the original article, though. The analyst firm based all this on focus groups they conducted with more than a DOZEN parents. Wow, you guys! That's like... more than TWELVE! Can you imagine the kind of calculations they had to do to extrapolate the opinions of over TWELVE parents to an entire demographic of millions? Personally, I am in awe of their analytical prowess.

Finally, the news that Matthew Inman may have lost his ability to form complete sentences with proper grammar and spelling is truly shocking. Let this be a warning to anyone who launches major charity campaigns after being sent frivolous legal threats.

This has been your weekly dose of the best of Techdirt, according to my rather vague definition of 'best'. I shall now retire to the comments, and enjoy this brief moment of having the blue author box around my inane ramblings - I mean, my clever and insightful witticisms.


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  1. identicon
    Lurker Keith, 8 Jul 2012 @ 6:11pm

    Side show while we wait for Carreon's next move?

    Popehat has a story of a Carreon-esk move by an cartoonist going after Something Awful for daring to post & critique her single-panel comics (the thread was spificially discussing "bad cartoons"), something that has been spelt out as Fair Use. They can't agree if she's gone "full Carreon", as there's no lawsuit as yet, but they beleive she's at least at a 4.

    It's come up that she's sent such notices out in the past, but this appears to be the first time the Streisand Effect kicked in. She's also posted comics to critique herself, making her a hypocrite.

    Anyway, she got into a number of arguemnts on Twitter, ultimately memory-holed much of her web presense (according to the Popehat commenters tracking the breakdown in real time), & seems to have set her Twitter to private (Popehatters have gotten some screen captures, however). & here's where it ties into Carreon: one of the commenters baited her & sent her to the parody Carreon site. lol (note, she commented that she had seen the name, & asked if he was a real lawyer... so, she has no excuse for not expecting this) It appears she bought it for a bit. There's a question of if she will actually call the real Carreon (the commenter feigned ignorance & said the other site was a typo, & gave the real link).

    Further down, Popehat commenters started talking about the possiblity she may go after 4chan... & that it looked like she may have mixed up 4chan w/ Channel 4 (I think she may be a Brit). lol If true, that would be disasterous.

    Her situation parallels what we saw w/ The Oatmeal, just w/o a lawsuit, so far. Popehat has not missed this little fact.

    Oh, & when talk of 4Chan came up, they also started talking about the possibility of her going after imgur, & how that was likely to tick-off Reddit.

    One comment I want to post from the thread about Carreon, this woman, & them possibly going after 4Chan:
    by Dave on Popehat

    Wow, if she really gets Charles Carreon to sue SA and 4Chan I think the internet will finally gain critical mass, and become self aware. Then in the immortal words of Private Hudson "Game over, man, game over."

    Nearly forgot. She's been complaining about deformation, since much of the critism has been about the apparent racist aspect of much of her work, & when Ken Tweeted asking for evidence of deformation, she blocked him immediately. Later, she called him, & didn't appear to like what he had to say... It seems she doesn't realize Popehat is ran by an actual attorney.

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