“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know?” – Steve Jobs, in an interview with Fortune magazine this month. Great words from a great man.
You have to give credit to Matthew Mullenweg, not only is he the force majeur behind WordPress – the most sensible and elegant blog tool in the word – he also realised that he could buy Ma.tt as his domain before anyone else did… Clever chap.
As a bit of background, ‘tt’ is the top level domain (TLD) for Trinidad and Tobago, based on the sensible logic of using two letter country ISO codes for each country’s domains. This works sensibly around the world everywhere except the U of K, where for some reason we’re stuck with ‘co.uk’, ‘org.uk’ and other various third level domains only. Thanks British domain regulator – you sc.uk.
Anyhoo, in the meantime, you can buy your own .tt domain – but would you want to? There are actually very few words that end with ‘tt’ that aren’t mis-spellings, and ‘bu.tt’ is the only one anyone would really want. There’s also another catch. If you live outside of Trinidad and Tobago then owning such a domain will set you back $1,000 for the first two years, then $1,000 every five after that. A bit too rich for my blood.
Ps, Matt, I apologise for this post still being on Blogger… I promise I’ll move this blog over to WordPress as soon as I get a spare mo.
It’s official, today is ‘No Music Day’. Well, on Radio Scotland anyway.
Bill Drummond, musical genius, artist and one part of the trancendent KLF, is hosting his third yearly ‘No Music Day‘ on Radio Scotland today. There can be chat, discussion and many other things, but not music. His rationale is simple; there’s just too much of it these days, and it’s hard to appreciate what there is without taking a break. Too true.
Unfortunately I’d already started the day listening to music, so maybe next year I’ll join in. Although maybe by then I’ll have my own, personal day of abstinence in place – No Internet Day – which will be the day I get most work done I’m sure.
A week or so ago, Radiohead announced they were selling their new album ‘in Rainbows‘ online. Doesn’t sound like anything new, until you hear that they are asking you, the customer, to say how much you want to pay for the download. Sound too good to be true? Well it was for the website, which crashed under the volume of Radiohead fans wanting to get their hands on the latest effort.
The other day I pre-ordered the album, and today (or soon I hope) my download link will turn up, although I’d imagine the site is spreading out these emails to prevent another overload. The in Rainbows website is intense to look at, and minimal in terms of information and fields. Normal trust indicators (Verisign, PayPal and the like) are visibly absent. Instead, you get to choose between a ‘meat space’ box set at a fixed price of £40, or the download at whatever price you choose. Yes, really. You can say you want it free, or pay them up to £99.99 (plus 45 pence processing charge with credit card). One wonders why the super-rich Radiohead fans can’t pay them more than £100, but there we go – they’ll just have to order multiple downloads for their friends and family or offer to pay Radiohead to play at their birthday party or some such thing.
This is an another genius move from one of the world’s outstanding bands. Radiohead album releases have always been widely anticipated, and even without this ‘gimmick’ it would have flown off the shelves. But is it a gimmick? Radiohead recently completed their contract with their record company and now can do whatever they like with their music. So instead of doing what most other artists do, and negotiate bigger payouts for themselves, they’ve innovated in a way that only Radiohead can, in a way that I’m sure everyone in the record industry is watching with half fascination, half impending doom for their livelihood.
What would be really fascinating is to know the stats on what people paid. Surely some people have paid nothing, but I’m sure many have paid a considered, reasonable amount. In reality at a minimum you have to pay the processing fee of 45p, so they will be getting your credit card details at the very least. Also when you pay they ask for a lot of personal information, including mobile/cell phone, so there is an inherent value in that as well – which makes me wonder what deal the processing company is on. But is the distribution of prices exponentially towards 0p, tailing off towards £100? Or is it normally distributed around some value that is akin to current CD prices – baring in mind that in the UK a CD normally retails at £12+ whereas in the US it’s $12+ (or £6 at current exchange rate)? This is all fascinating, and I suspect we’ll never find out. Radiohead are innovative but are they that innovative as to give away the album, and the store?
And no, I’m not telling you how much I chose to pay – other than it was between 1p and £99.99…