Archive for the 'The Internet' Category


Monday, August 3rd, 2009

I made a little site to make it easy to find side projects of those in the so-called Favrd Crowd. Things like podcasts, web applications, real applications, themed blogs, etc.

I call it Projectrd. It’s nothing more than a single html page that lists every side project of all the Favrd and Tumblr users I could find in about an hour.

If you want to add your project to the site, send an email to with the name, a link to the site, and the Twitter or Tumblr accounts of the people involved and I’ll update the page. Use the same email if you want your project removed.

Projectrd is only a proof of concept. I’m probably not going to maintain it for very long. If you want to make a directory of your own let me know and I’ll link to it on the site. Hell, use the same name if you want (there’s a sleazy website using that domain though).

Also, I’m aware of the awfulness of the name. It’s worse if you pronounce ‘projectrd’ like Merlin Mann pronounces ‘Favrd.’

(reposted from…somewhere else)

Update: Projectrd has closed. All the links have been changed to an archive of the site and no longer works.

The trouble with finding new talent online

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


Awhile back I sorted through my YouTube descriptions and found a user that made unique and moderately-disturbing-but-in-a-good-way videos had recently uploaded two new videos.

The artist has really grown in skill since his earliest creations. Both videos were amazing in that they both had great video concepts and appealing music – but terrible lyrics. Bad enough that I won’t share the artist’s identity.

One track in particular sounded like a hit record complete with hooks and well-composed music, and the video had interesting special effects and a music video quality story line (quite an accomplishment for being entirely filmed in a finished basement). But the song: the song had a commendable subject, but the vocabulary of a fourteen year old boy (I’m not talking about swear words, but the word choices were limited). The artist is eighteen.

The extreme unevenness of the artist’s work presents a confusing situation for me. I enjoy finding new things and promoting them to others – it’s important to pass along new and interesting works of art because why carry the burden of not having given an idea or an artist the chance to flourish? The artist has huge potential – I can see him pulling off a full act of music, style, and vision in the same tradition as David Bowie, Madonna, and others who carefully constructed an iconic personality and style.

However the artist still needs time to develop. He needs to make more music and videos and work on his lyrics and his presentation. With a few years of work he could be as big of a cultural force as Lady GaGa currently commands.

Yet he’s out there on YouTube and MySpace (and even Twitter) distributing his work to others. Hundreds of thousands of people have been exposed to his half-baked work – when even ten years ago the exposure would be limited to small audiences at local establishments, limiting the impact of the poor work upon whatever he may create later in his career. The localized nature of the exposure limited the impact of any bad work, and it kept a larger audience from reacting negatively to works produced during the developmental phase of an artist’s development.

Perhaps this isn’t an issue at all.

History tends to remember the victors and forget the rest. When it comes to art and entertainment, this trend is reinforced by the relative high cost of production and distribution of works. A writer needed to get published by someone who has invested in a printing press and distribution methods to get any amount of exposure. Musicians needed a business to make, promote, and sell records; filmmakers still need financial backers and distributors to get their works seen. This is no longer a problem. With the internet, the barrier to entry is so low that anyone can publish their works online – this blog stands as an example.

Maybe it’s not too terrible to expose mediocre works to large audiences. The larger the feedback group, the greater chance to improve and become better. And if the artist starts out mediocre but develops into something worth keeping, the only audience for the lesser works would be hardcore fans and archivists.

This means that I can justify sharing with you the artist in question…but I won’t; if he gets better and no one still isn’t noticing, I may become his manager and profit off of my discovery! The real reason is that my tolerance for quality is not shared by many others, and my preference is to back a recommendation that I enjoy much more than the best work of this artist.

Here’s what I’ll do: if my ‘discovery’ makes something that doesn’t have any glaring deficiencies, he’ll get lots of free promotion from me. Persons who have the potential to create something great need just as much promotion as established artists – we aren’t starving for content, but there is a lack of substantial quality in today’s art and entertainment*.

*This is worth a separate post.

My Favorite Podcasts

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Nevermind about the podcast thing. All I want to say is that Lynchland is my favorite podcast – it’s the most imaginative and entertaining and unexpected. Oh, and that I really don’t like Web Drifter anymore – Martin Sargent is just too mean to the people he profiles, even if they are very very strange.

My Favorite Blogs

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Whoops, I forgot to post this yesterday!

Boing Boing – Boing Boing is only one of two blogs that I’ve continuously subscribed to since I began using newsfeeds in 2004 (the other feed is the very-awesome-but-not-top-five-for-me The team of bloggers that powers their posts is the best writing team on the web. While for the most part the blog covers the weird and the wonderful, it has healthy doses of politics, current events, important technology-related legal issues (thanks to Cory Doctorow), pictures of unicorns and furries (good going, Xeni Jardin) and a zillion other things. Boing Boing is certainly the center of the ‘blogosphere‘ – there’s no use linking to a post there because chances are if your blog has readers, they’re reading Boing Boing too!

Freakonomics – I’ve only been reading this blog for a few months since I read the book by the same name – and it’s indispensable for helping me to look at things from an economists’ perspective. As novel as the stories mentioned in the book are – they only show how the rationalization that an economic perspective. I was particularly moved by Steven Levitt’s vlog about voting from an economist’s perspective – that one vote isn’t worth the effort to actually cast it – which comes across as very counter-intuitive. But really, how much power does one person have against the masses? There’s always going to be blocks of people voting because they’re part of the political subculture (politics is it’s own subculture now, btw – most people don’t care about politics anymore and the hardcore ones who do have their own rules and slang. Anyway, Freakonomics is a must-have blog for anyone with an shred of interest in how society works.

TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) – I’m an unapologetic Mac nerd. And I need a constant feed of Apple-related news – which TUAW gives me with irreverency and an objective, if Apple-centric, perspective.

Lifehacker – “Self improvement is masturbation,” said Tyler Durden in my favorite movie. I personally think of it as applying to people who exercise and eat healthy foods because they think it will make them more beautiful – not those of us trying to live a more full life. Lifehacker, along with a dozen other websites (I’d mention them but they all really say the same things), is an excellent resource for tips on living happy, healthy, and getting things done.

Core77’s Design Blog – I like things that are well-designed and clever. And Core77 more than delivers.

I didn’t add it to my original top 5 blogs list because there was already an Apple-related blog, but John Gruber’s Daring Fireball, despite it’s somewhat limited niche (advanced level and above Mac users), is one of the best written and most thought out blogs currently being maintained. He’s thought out everything about his blog – from the logo to the page layout to the font used to the scope of Daring Fireball’s content. It’s an attention to detail I can only try to attain. Maybe when I have a better grasp of web development. This post was the one that got me to re-do Budaeli.

The next post will be on my favorite podcasts, I promise!

My top five favorite blogs and podcasts

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Top 5 Blogs

  1. Boing Boing
  2. Freakonomics
  3. TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog)
  4. Lifehacker
  5. Core77′s Design Blog

Top 5 Podcasts

(note: I like video podcasts more than audio-only podcasts, mainly because when I have time to listen to audio podcasts I really want to hear music.)

  1. Lynchland
  2. Mr. Diety
  3. Boing Boing TV
  4. Onion News Network
  5. Web Drifter

Runner-Up: Break a Leg (This is a runner-up because I saw the first two episodes a long time back and haven’t gotten up-to-date…yet. Once I catch up It may knock at least Web Drifter off the list.)

Tomorrow I’ll explain my rankings.