English Wikipedia participation peaked ten years ago and is down about 20,000 active users a month from its high point. Three big factors often get cited: deletionism, poor mobile editing options, and a lost spirit of inclusiveness. Everipedia wants to address all three with the latest attempt at an encyclopedia of everything. I spoke with co-founder Sam Kazemian about the project, which often pops up as a top search result for college-related news and people. Can they crack the code of next-gen participation? Read the rest
Dana Cooper writes on behalf of They Might Be Giants: "They Might Be Giants is calling on fans across the globe to help create a music video for their new, bonus extended version of 'Alphabet of Nations,' and you can be part of the action! The band has asked fans from various countries to snap photos of their faces, their flags, and their culture, and post them to the band’s Tumblr or tag them with the hashtag #TMBGnation on Twitter. For full details, check out the band’s call-to-action video, and be sure to submit your photos by July 10th!" Read the rest
Copyfighting nerd rapper Dan Bull's latest track is "Bye Bye BPI." He created the video by asking his musician Facebook fans to submit photos of themselves holding messages to the British Phonographic Institute (the UK equivalent of the RIAA or IFPI). Here's Thomas "CommandLine" Gideon commenting on Bull's astonishing production process:
It is astonishing how fast he assembles these videos, from that first call to distributing the lines he wants each person to capture right on through to the finished product. In the case of the subjects this pair of videos cover the volunteer participation really drives the message home that much more, especially considering he got far more offers judging by the number of comments on the original post than he could possible use unless he did something like a single letter per person. The quotes he includes from Stephen Fry, Thom Yorke and Joss Stone, among others, don’t hurt either.
Dan Bull - Bye Bye BPI Read the rest
Copyfighting nerd rapper Dan Bull made an anti-SOPA video. He says:
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Regarding the video:
I first suggested the idea of collaborating on a SOPA track on Twitter a couple of days ago, asking for help with themes and lyrics. After I finished writing the song, I put a post on my Facebook wall asking people to take photographs of themselves presenting lines from the song. The response was phenomenal, and I ended up with far more volunteers than I could include in the video. People from all around the world wanted to share in the creative process, for free, and to me that demonstrates the best of what the internet is about.
As an internet geek, a musician, and a non-evil person, SOPA is abhorrent on three fronts.
Firstly, it threatens the future of the internet, which is something far more valuable both commercially and socially than the entertainment industry ever has been, or ever will be.
Secondly, creativity is all about interpreting and re-imagining what you see and hear around you. The idea that creativity exists in some kind of vacuum, and that you're not a real artist unless you can make something "completely original" is not only stupid, it contradicts the most fundamental axioms of how the universe works. Everything is influenced by something else. If we want a richer cultural landscape, we should embrace remixes, embrace mashups, and embrace sharing, not cling to ideas as pieces of property.
Thirdly, the internet is an amazing new forum for free speech and holding those in power us to account.