An interview withBeck in Wired about the future of the album captured my attention and won't let go. The article describes how fans could have heard the album "Guero" as an unfinished mix leaked online, the official release, the deluxe CD/DVD with bonus features and interactive components, or as "Guerolito," a companion piece with remixes by other artists.
Beck is quoted: "There are so many dimensions to what a record can be these days. Artists can and should approach making an album as an opportunity to do a series of releases--one that's visual, one that has alternate versions, and one that's something the listener can participate in or arrange and change. It's time for the album to embrace the technology."
The media channels are multiplying and it is difficult to keep pace. Rolling Stone, to continue on this rock 'n' roll thread, used to publish a magazine. Now, in addition, there are newsletters, podcasts, RSS feeds, desktop alerts and threaded discussions along with the Web site.
As Marshall McLuhan wrote, "the personal and social consequences of any medium--that is, of any extension of ourselves--result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology."
Today the scale is both expanding, in terms of reach, and shrinking, as interaction with the medium becomes personal and controllable.
Are marketers truly embracing technology? Or have we decided that with Web sites, e-mail and maybe even RSS, enough is enough!
It's difficult just to keep abreast of all these new avenues, much less develop programs for them. But it's always important to be open to new ideas, new technology, new media. Because, as McLuhan also wrote, "Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force." And although McLuhan had loftier societal goals in mind, there is wisdom in that message.
If you want to be a rock star in your company, you would do well to heed it.
The E-mail Diva