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Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Google and Other Thoughts

Jango Listener Profile
Your Google Profile

What your Google profile says about you: (click here) as described in arstechnica.

My profile tells Google this about me:

Search interests are Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Music Equipment & Technology - Samples & Sound Libraries Computers & Electronics - Software - Multimedia Software - Desktop Publishing
Shopping in World Localities: North America (USA) - Mid-Atlantic (USA) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA)

Not much to get steamed up about in terms of privacy - every item here is on this blog or one of the related blogs.

What's interesting is how little else it really knows about me: Age: 35-44 (Wrong) Gender: Male (Correct).

That's basically it.

Really Big File Systems

When you read this blog you are likely using something called GFS (Google File System).  This, like S3 from Amazon and Hadoop (Facebook), is the backbone of today's internet - be it social media, movies, video, you name it.
Petabytes (thousands of terabytes, millions of gigabytes) of data across thousands of servers.

If you're interested in how these work see this article.

Semi Autonomous Road Trains 

I found this article about chaining together collections of vehicles on the highway.

The idea is that with advanced technology you can link the control systems of modern vehicles (braking, steering, etc.) though a local WiFi.  This allows the leader to pull along trailing vehicles.  The "trailers" can follow very closely because the lead vehicle handles all of the braking and steering for them.
Personally I don't see lawyers letting this happen - too much could go wrong.

I have always been interested in this kind of linked-vehicle technology.  I "invented" an infra-red technology years ago that you could use on "convoys" of semis.  Each semi would have a infra-red transmit/receive on its front and back at a standard height.  When semi's became a convoy they could switch of their CB radios and instead talk on the infra-red channel to prevent others from overhearing what they were saying.
Each truck would relay the audio to any trucks in the convoy.

I never built one but I spend a lot of time on the design.

Jango and Marketing to the Cloud

A few months ago I purchased an account on  Jango is a kind of world-wide internet radio station.  You can pay money to have your songs injected into play-lists so people will hear your music.

This is exactly the opposite of VDP and highly targeted email and PURL marketing.  I thought I would explore this because I have zero experience in mass marketing and I figured it would be good to learn something about it, especially considering that I will need this research and knowledge for my work with Synthodeon (

No one knows who you are and you have to induce them to listen based on the quality of your content and the cleverness of working with Jango.  Jango works by having you indicate what artists your music is similar to and then when people listen to "stations" with those artists your music is inserted into the play-list.

So the first step is to figure out what your music is like, i.e., who you are marketing to.  Then you use their interface to add those artists to your profile.  When that's completed you purchase "plays" which cause your songs to be inserted into the play-lists as I described above.

Basically the only real measure of success is by monitoring "Organic Plays" which are how often people listen to your music when its on in rotation on play-lists.

I've spent a couple of hundred dollars over the last several months experimenting with this and come up with what, at least for me, are counter-intuitive results.

For one, people seem to listen more to your songs if they listen to a lot of songs in general.  That means that even if I mix my music into play-lists of artists who have a similar type of music I won't do as well as if I put my music into play-lists with very popular artists, e.g., Adele.

Volume is king, I suppose.

Secondly, Jango allows you to have "fans" - people that have explicitly gone out of their way to say "I like your music."  My biggest listeners are younger women (18-34 -see the graphic above). I suspect this is because younger women listen a lot to Jango in general but there is no way to tell.

Again, volume is king.

So the bottom line in non-targeted marketing - with which I have zero experience - is getting a lot of people to get the message - the more the better.

Initially I was thinking that the genre of music mattered more, i.e., geezers would listen to certain types of music and younger people different types.  Apparently this is not true and Hip Hop listeners, at least those who listen to a lot of music, will become fans of music outside their genre.

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