Killing RSS and The Music Biz

Jeff laid down a very interesting perspective yesterday on how RSS is being buried by the more conversational medium which we all know as twitter.

This of course is something I have gravitated towards over the last few months. Now that I found that TweetDeck actually makes sense and organizes the conversation stream, I’ve switched things up in my routine. Before reading my overstuffed Google Reader, I now just open up TweetDeck to figure out what is “news” and what is “hype“.

Yesterday, being April 1st, I didn’t even make any attempts to write anything here. I only posted a quick funny video on my personal blog. The news yesterday was funny at times, and absurd at other times. I’m glad that Jeff wrote something that seems to be already gaining a lot of positive views this morning.

Something interesting happened along the way, Twitter achieved critical mass and bloggers and mainstream media alike adopted it to promote content. Every post I write is automatically tweeted out with the post title and link to source, not unlike what other sites do, and over the last year I have noticed a steady increase in referral traffic from Twitter as my followers grew and links to my posts were clicked on

Now with the above information in hand, you could say that it’s still a one way conversation only. But while the one way blog post plugins that people use are very one way, it’s the conversation that starts either via the comments thread, FriendFeed, or even via the simple “@” or DM via twitter. Conversational Tool is what twitter is becoming. Some disagree with me, but like the next part of this, others will agree and disagree with me – that’s the best part of having all these forums of conversational outlet – FriendFeed, Twitter, Disqus comments, etc.

The music biz or proper, the music business as a whole is a big mysterious machine that ruled for decades. Of course once someone figured out how to turn it digital and figured out the internet was the best distribution channel, it finally freed the musician from being slaves. It was like the emancipation proclamation for musicians worldwide.

Where does twitter figure into this? Apparently it does via the band Moonalice!

A live album release performance at Slim’s in San Francisco this Friday where — in what might be the closest thing yet to live music on Twitter.

Moonalice’s sound team will digitize each song once it has been performed, then send a link out on Twitter so fans can download the track. Follow @moonalice to get the music as it’s released.

Eric covered it well over here, but the main point is that even the twitter head honcho @ev is endorsing this event.

“We are amazed by all the new ways people are using Twitter, and what Moonalice is doing exemplifies this to the core,” he’s quoted saying in a press release about the event. “Twittering a live show is a new and profoundly cool way for a band to reach its fan base and beyond and we hope to see more of this as bands see the value of connecting to their audience in new ways.”

Truth be told, while Moonalice isn’t exactly what I term serious rock n’ roll, more like jam band meets Tom Petty with some Dylan thrown in for good measure, it’s a good time I’m sure. Not only that, they do support a great cause via the Rex Foundation. While the music stylings aren’t exactly something I would listen too on a daily basis, it’s still worth checking out and seeing if they can move the music biz further away from what it was via this twitter live show.

Burnett’s innovative new XOΔE (CODE in Greek letters) mastering technology. XOΔE enables a fully detailed recording that rises far above the flat, industry standard “radio mix.” In addition to the CD, the XOΔE-enhanced DVD-V is packed with a high-resolution stereo version (24-bit/96 kHz)

Now the part about the revolutionary mastering process, I’m going to have to wait to hear it. I’m quite certain that a huge band tried this once, and it didn’t work out too well. It was a sonic fiasco if I remember correctly. That band was Rush and the album in question was Roll The Bones. Now my memory could be seriously faded, but I recall that CD was trying something very similar, and what I heard and saw visually was such a squashed waveform on import of one of their tracks, there was no breathing room at all.

Hey I could be wrong about the above part about Rush, and the entire post here is just my angle. So if you agree or disagree, the only way I will know is if you leave a comment or ping me with an “@via twitter! In other words, your opinion is just as important as the writers here on the ‘Angle. We want to hear them!

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9 Comments

  1. Jeff knows what he is talking about on this. My angle is Yes and No. Twitter is killing the clumsy user interface of RSS and bringing in a personal element to real time. RSS is fantastic protocol for syndication and won't die in that regard. What we will see is the emergence of Pub – Sub real time capabilities “under the wire” to enhance and enable new user benefits such as apps and new “agent” technologies.

    Can't wait to share some of the things we are doing in the R&D lab at Silicon Angle (Silicon Angle Labs)

  2. RSS as a technology brand never really grabbed hold of the average internet user. Enough people did to help companies like feedburner build companies and realize nice exits but the average person doesn't know what it means.

    Branding is as key as technology when it comes to your everyday internet company. Twitter's value is in its brand and the verbage “to tweet” much like you Google something even though you are using Yahoo! or Live Search.

    Twitter has taken the conversational aspects of IM and the syndication/feed aspects from RSS and slapped a brand on top.

  3. I heard some rumblings of the Silicon Angle Labs, I hope to hear more soon!

  4. Twitter is a good lesson that every student of business should learn. How to market your product effectively even if you have nothing special about it coming out of the box. They kept to the main point of simple, and it worked fine. Even when there was a major fail, they had fun with it, and kept conversation ALIVE.

    RSS I do like a lot, but looking at my Google Reader is at times overwhelming, and as I stated already back on Jeff's comment thread – being able to open up tweetdeck and find all the latest things I am concerned about – now that simply rocks! :)

  5. Here's my problem with Twitter – and don't get me wrong, I love it. I enjoy interacting Twitter and using both as a medium for promoting myself and finding other's promoted items.

    If you're a publisher, though, and you bank on using Twitter to promote your work, you're potentially cutting yourself off at your knees. Twitter, in the end, is a garden with fences that could easily at any point be turned into walls. Twitter has shown no compunctions with raising walls here and there, even if it means the utter destruction of many of their partners.

    I don't have a specific scenario in mind, and I can certainly see the attraction to Twitter – it's much easier to gain followers on Twitter than it is to get RSS subscribers.

    Unfortunately, the click through rate is much lower than the read rate of RSS, and even the click-thru rate of RSS.

    Yes, Twitter might be undercutting RSS, but it's at the cost of deeper engagement, and the risk of total loss of their audiences.

  6. I simply can't use Twitter the same way you describe, Rex, without going to obscure third party tools that are generally only useful when there's a major event going on (like SxSW).

    With my RSS, it's much more highly organized – and I can generally only use Twitter as a stream of conversation and information to occasionally dip into.

  7. Good points, and to your earlier – my RSS system is just too overwhelming at times. I find twitter much more enjoyable and still seem to find out just as much news. Maybe it's who you follow that makes twitter useful or not useful. That is the hardest part, just like RSS – cutting out the noise.

  8. It's not necessarily a matter of cutting RSS feeds down – I still monitor
    hundreds of feeds on a daily basis. It's more of a matter of categorizing
    them in a way that makes sense. I have them organized topically in Google
    Reader, and then sub-categorized by priority of signal to noise. If I find
    more useful information in a feed than usual, it may get promoted to a
    higher priority category so it gets read more often.
    that way, when I have an unmanagemable unread count, I don't feel bad about
    marking a certain category as “mark all as read.” I know that I'm probably
    not missing anything important in there, so I simply just mark all as read.

  9. Well with twitter – the grouping function isn't perfected yet, as I would follow many more, but I don't. But I see what you are saying about RSS. It is all a matter of how you utilize what you use – RSS or Twitter and make the most of it.

    Wow, we just gave the readers a nice little point / counter-point session! :)

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