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Users of an online music community

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Differs from file sharing and downloading sites because the users provide the content ... bull horn FX on the vocals was cool too....great lyrics too!.kudos.peace.Skip ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Users of an online music community


1
Users of an on-line music community
ACIDplanet
  • Trevor Pinch and Katherine Athanasiades, Cornell
    University

2
ACIDplanet is an on-line music community
  • Differs from file sharing and downloading sites
    because the users provide the content
  • Biggest such site with over 300,000 registered
    users worldwide
  • Membership is free
  • Growing rapidly (traffic doubled last year)

3
  • Dave Hollinden (former webmaster)
  • ACIDplanet is somewherewhere, you can just be
    an absolute hobbyist, or be fairly accomplished,
    or a power-user, or a real casual user, and
    stilljust come and upload and, you might find a
    place for yourself in the community that way.

4
ACIDplanet.com Home Page
5
ACIDplanet homepage contains
  • Banner ads to SONY products, especially ACID
    software and loops
  • Featured Artists, News and Results of latest
    Contests
  • Polls, Links
  • Top Ten songs
  • Weekly podcasts
  • Prozone

6
TIME LINE
  • 1991 Sonic Foundry of Madison formed
  • 1998 developed ACID software for turning
    computer into home recording studio
  • 1999 ACIDplanet 0.0 developed
  • 1999 ACIDplanet revised and released as
    ACIDplanet.com
  • 2003 Sonic Foundry bought out by Sony and
    ACIDplanet becomes a Sony website
    (unchanged)

7
USING ACIDplanet
  • Make a Profile (name, photo, brief description)
  • Upload own music
  • Download other users music
  • Download royalty-free loops provided by Sony
  • Review other members music
  • Enter Contests
  • Receive a Chart Position
  • Join chatroom and forums

8
Establishing a Profile
  • A profile establishes on-line identity
  • Name is important and is used to reflect musical
    identity, style or attitude
  • e.g. dj_doughy, Goth Family Singers, Danger Dude
  • Users can have multiple profiles (with same
    e-mail address or different ones)

9
Example of Multiple Profiles of Mike Andraski
  • HANK MOHASKI
  • The Zanzibar Cheap Band
  • DJ Zeus
  • Tape Jazz Massacre
  • Hankatron
  • The Special Jellies

10
User Profile
11
Information typically put on profiles
  • Photograph of artist or an artsy picture
  • Description
  • History
  • Group members
  • Styles
  • Influences
  • Equipment and software
  • Date joined, how many reviews, whether open to
    collaboration, e-mail link

12
Uploading
  • Upload as WMA File or MP3 File (20
    megabytes/song)
  • Brief description of song
  • Self rate for obscenity content G-R
  • Choose a genre (n 18), a subgenre (n 64)and
    sometimes a subsubgenre (n 46 for electronica)

13
GENRES
  • Blues
  • Cinematic/sound track
  • Classical
  • Comedy
  • Country
  • Easy Listening
  • Electronica
  • Experimental
  • Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Industrial
  • Jazz
  • Pop
  • Reggae
  • Rock
  • Spoken Word
  • Urban/RB
  • World/folk
  • Other

14
Down Loading
  • ACIDplanet has its own media player which makes
    it very easy to listen to any song

15
Reviewing
  • When song is uploaded other users can immediately
    post a review which is displayed by the song on
    the artists songs page
  • Reviewers can rate song from one star to ten
    stars
  • If ranking is less than five stars, review must
    be at least 25 words long

16
Stefanie Ks Rock Me
  • 10/10 ap diva 6.18.2005 _at_ 1032am pop queen
    unflinching nerves of steel just pumping hard on
    the billion dollar sacred cow of the american
    idol formula soft rock machine...great
    stuff...when do i get some of that sweet vox for
    my work?  waaaaaaaaaah!
  • From luckily77777 fenton, MO
  • 10/10 Your..... 6.18.2005 _at_ 1010am really
    starting to put a hump in your rump lately (lol)
      Edgier and heavier ......and we really like the
    direction your taking....Great Work!
  • From hard rain Cincinnati, OH
  • 10/10 Radio Ready! 6.18.2005 _at_ 947am Very
    Nice job by all....love the blues leads on the
    right....Love the placement of the backing vocals
    and the bull horn FX on the vocals was cool
    too....great lyrics too!...........kudos..........
    ..........peace.Skip
  • From www.skipmoore.net HOUSTON, TX

17
CHARTS
  • Immediate and continuously updated chart position
  • Top 25 songs listed on Home page
  • Charts for every genre
  • Chart position is based on number of stars a song
    receives over time (secret S formula)

18
CONTESTS
  • Contests often 4 or 5 at a time
  • Remixing the most common
  • e.g. this week remix t.a.T.u
  • Mash-ups splice two different songs together
    e.g.old school punk artist Nina Hagen with Cinema
    Strange and Blitzkid

19
Prizes
  • Winners of contests receive site publicity free
    software
  • Occasionally more exciting prizes offered, e.g.
    trip to the Bahamas, free Sony laptop
  • Just announced this week was winner of
    competition to score a section of upcoming TV
    animation show Dirk Derby Wonder Jockey. Prize
    may be to use music in actual show.

20
Our Study
  • Began June 2005
  • Interviewed 21 ACIDplanet users (20 men, one
    woman webmaster, web developer, and three other
    Sony employees
  • Most interviews in NE of the US (but 3 in Korea)
  • Interviews semi-structured, tape recorded, last
    one to two hours.

21
OUR PROFILE
22
Other Data
  • Our study has received attention in AE forum and
    in newsletters (Indian Rock Records)
  • Also our own profile generates credibility
  • We regularly surf AP chatrooms and forums

23
Goals of Study
  • Understand how this new technology shapes musical
    practices
  • How the new media is in turn shaped by user
    practices
  • We focus on user practices in particular huge
    interest in users and technology in STS
  • How identities and norms are constructed within
    this new form of community

24
ACIDplanet as a user-driven site
  • Dave Hollinden (Webmaster)
  • We listen to everything the users say, and we
    try and weighwhat makes the most sense andwhat
    theyre asking for, to a large extent. Andthere
    was another site that Sony had, where they wanted
    a place forconsumers to put what they made with
    Sony products. And that was Screenblast. But
    they went at it from the point of view of what
    Sony thought it should be.They had a huge
    staff, and they put together a very nice-looking
    site.It didnt work out. And I think a lot of
    the reason for that, compared to us, who is just
    two people, basically working on a daily basis,
    is that its very user-driven, for our site, and
    Screenblast didnt turn out to be as much of a
    user-feedback-oriented site.

25
  • AP includes specialized Feedback Form, Polls.
  • Webmasters and Web Developers are also occasional
    participants
  • Jim Spitznagel
  • the users being the musicians, were really
    involvedAnd it just sparked what I did, uh,
    immensely, it was just like boom!...Wow!
    Theres all these other people, that I can
    contact any time, who are trying to do the same
    thing Im doing. which is pretty nice when
    youre workingespecially in a place like Ithaca,
    where, small population

26
How Users Perceive Reviewing RR
  • Feedback from reviews (even critical) is one of
    the most valuable experiences for AP users.
  • Reviews provide critique and/or encouragement
  • Review ratings linked to chart placement
  • Users often expect extremely positive rating or
    none at all. People expect RR

27
Proliferation of Reviews
  • Tendency is to do many and positive reviews.
  • what do I need to do to get these people to
    listen? Well I review them. And they go, Oh,
    this guy named Spitznagel reviewed me, Im gonna
    check out his music. Jim (2,781 reviews and
    regular chart success)

28
  • Writing so many positive reviews without actually
    copying and pasting from your own reviews can be
    difficult. Jim
  • If I feel that Ive written a lot, the same
    thing, Ill get the dictionary out and change a
    few words. Hahahahaha. And I just, say, Ill
    change creative to inventive. Oh, thats
    good! Ill change, you know, cool to groovy.
    Oh, thats good, you know!

29
Reviews diluted
  • Reviews potential for honest, useful criticism
    lost
  • you do have a lot of people that are just,
    Cool tune man! You know, when you get a chance,
    check me out, hit me up. RR. Its just, its
    all meaningless. You know? You dont get
    anything useful out of the review.

30
HATERS
  • A very small sub-set of people (haters) post
    extremely negative reviews. (drive by
    shootings). These reviews often attached to
    blank profiles with no songs for reciprocation.
  • The webmaster can remove obviously malicious
    reviews but is not empowered to remove others
    that a user thinks are overly harsh.

31
Future of Reviews?
  • This is a field where the reviewing norms are
    still in flux.
  • The webmasters are contemplating solutions such
    as introducing a new expert review system which
    might rank reviews and reviewers depending on
    their experience and positive feedback a reviewer
    has received.
  • The danger, as the webmasters see it, is that
    APs simple interface may become too complicated
    and discourage users.

32
CHART WHORING
  • The charts are addictive (akin to the sales
    ranking on Amazon.com)
  • Topping the charts on ACIDplanet the first time
    is an experience users never forget
  • You know something? My head was like, out to
    here demonstrates head being very large with
    arms. PianoPlayer (Frank Grasso) on being
    number one for a week on the soft rock charts

33
  • Users who top the charts often send e-mails to
    friends, family and colleagues with a link
    inviting them to share in the momentary fame
  • But if good reviews lead to chart success then
    the system can be gamed by soliciting positive
    reviews and even reviewing your own song by
    creating bogus profiles this is known as Chart
    Whoring

34
Identity and Community
  • Unlike other on-line music sites where users just
    down-load or file share or promote their music,
    AP builds a genuine new form of on-line
    community.
  • Your profile, music, reviews and reviewing are
    all components of this identity.
  • This can be seen at particular moments such as
    when engaging in one of APs most interesting
    features - collaborations

35
The AP Band
  • Some users seek active collaborations with
    other users on particular songs to form a band.
  • I was like, wow, theres just, so many people,
    talented people, unknown people, that are its
    like having a whole band. You know, because
    like, if you need a guitar player, drummer..
    Yeah, you could find people to collaborate-
    Stefanie K
  • Files are passed along and different instruments
    and treatments are added to the song by other
    users.

36
Being in touch through reviews
  • But meeting someone on AP is not quite the same
    as meeting your band buddies in the physical
    world. Building a good working relationship draws
    on all the different components of the AP
    community (profile reviews, previous songs).
  • For instance, Sonic Epiphany, is looking for a
    vocalist on AP. He has found a female vocalist,
    iNFaReDHaZe, by listening to her songs which have
    charted. Now he contemplates the next stage
  • Ive only been in touch with her through a
    couple reviews and stuff, so I really dont know
    her that well.

37
  • AP users carefully construct their self-contained
    identities over time.
  • Such identities carry consequences and are not
    like the anomic, anonymous identities on other
    websites. Such identities shape the community and
    at the same time the community shapes these
    identities.

38
  • Thus when the webmaster (Dave) recently retired
    he posted a goodbye letter and a song.
  • He had won the respect of many users and the
    reviews of his song expressed affection and
    respect although they had never met him in the
    non-virtual world.
  • Dave saw himself as working for the users, making
    ACIDplanet a better and lasting place for
    everyone involved.

39
Other Uses of ACIDplanet
  • Like technologies in general this computer
    mediated music site is used in unexpected ways by
    users.
  • American user in Korea posts his songs there for
    ex-band members and family back in the US.
  • One user likes to try out a song on AP before
    releasing on a CD
  • Another user will try out a song on AP before
    performing it live at a gig.

40
Two Case studies Stefanie K and Jim Spitznagel
  • Stefanie K is an ex-stock trader who had learnt
    piano from her dad at age five gave up at age
    fifteen - but returned to music after the death
    of friend on 9-11.
  • She is one of the small number of women users.
  • AP is predominantly male and woman users can be
    given a hard time (until they prove themselves to
    their male peers)

41
Sexism on AP
  • As Hank Mohaski notes
  • If she puts a song up and, and then you go
    back and read the reviews for that song, youll
    see the stuff percolating up,,, Are you
    hot?And then theres other stuff where its
    this out-and-out, like, sexism.. Oh youre a
    girl and you suck and, you can never be you
    know, youll never make it.Ive known a couple
    female artists that have left the site,
    specifically because of thateither they werent
    taken seriously as an artist, or because they
    were basically being sexually harassed.

42
  • Stefanie K started to write songs I write lyrics
    everywhere, I have pieces of paper in every bag I
    have with lyrics scribbled.
  • She meets an AP user, is drawn in, and begins
    active reviewing (she now has left 1,839
    reviews).
  • I was obsessed for a while. My husband got a
    little pissed off

43
  • She used the website when her kids were at
    school, sometimes all night.
  • She doesnt use ACID software but has a
    homestudio in her basement with, mic. Keyboard,
    mixer (which records)
  • She is now one of best-known artists on AP and
    her song Rock Me charts at 14 on all time hits.

44
JIM SPITZNAGEL
  • Jim Spiztnagel has had a life in and out of
    music, played in a high school and professional
    band, owned a record store, promoted Blondie,
    Talking heads and other new wave bands. Now owns
    his own independent record label and makes music
    as a house husband he uses AP as a way of
    promoting his own CDs
  • His music is well respected and he has had
    several chart-topping hits on AP

45
Conclusion ACIDplanet has evolved a unique
community.
  • Users participate in this music culture in a
    solitary manner (even when collaborating).
  • Users can take on and experiment with more than
    one musical identity.
  • Users, although individuated by space and
    identity are located within a larger,
    technologically mediated community which offers
    success, failure, discrimination and empowerment.
  • This community is more organic than other
    file-sharing systems, because
  • norms are and have been developing
  • identities gain reputation
  • social bonds are created

46
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