Monday, 21 December 2009

Mindfields

Thinking more about the RATM #1 Single this week, I've realised that it actually says less about music than it does about the power of the internet. The fact is that this was initially nothing but a Facebook group and associated movement. Sure, the media gave it some publicity, but at that point it was already leading the chart battle.

Really, above all, the victory on Sunday was not for music, but for the idea of people being able to unite for a cause and take a stand against the system. There was no money behind the campaign, there was no large corporation running and advertising it. It was made by some guy and his wife, and it spread through the internet and through social circles and, importantly, it won. It showed that with a decent cause, a way to make your voice heard, and a bit of belief, it is really possible to achieve something.

I wasn't expecting it. If I'm honest, I was extremely sceptical. I saw the group initially and I figured it was a nice idea, but that it'd never succeed. I thought that the number of people who would join it would pale in comparison to the number of mindless idiots who would buy the X Factor single. If I'm honest, maybe if there'd been a better X Factor single, or if people hadn't started just jumping on the RATM/anti-Simon Cowell bandwagon, then the campaign would have failed. Still, I'm glad there were some people who weren't as sceptical as me and who put the money in to buy the single in the early stages, when things were completely unknown.

I had £2 on Amazon in mp3 vouchers, so I actually bought the single three times, but that was only late into the week, when it was already leading in the chart sales, and it seemed like it was a very realistic possibility that it would get to #1. So thanks for all the people who I originally thought were na├»ve fools. Thanks for those people who actually got the ball rolling instead of being sceptical, you guys are the ones who deserve the real credit.

It does annoy me a little that Killing in the Name was the song though. It's really some sour irony given how people have bought it basically just to be going with the crowd and to be on the bandwagon, just as it annoys me that so many people like the song just because of the "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" part, which goes against it's principles somewhat.

Thinking about the whole week though, this really does demonstrate the power of Facebook, and the power of the internet as a whole. This wouldn't have been possible ten, five, maybe even just one or two years ago. The spread of information now is so powerful, so rapid, that we basically managed to rig the UK Singles chart. Which is pretty cool.

It'd be nice if a similar thing could happen next year. Maybe a different song, maybe not. It'd be a nice tradition if we just had Killing in the Name as the Christmas #1 single every year. Heck, I think it'd be really cool if we could agree for Rage to give all the proceeds to charity, and have Killing in the Name as the #1 single every week. Just get a few hundred thousand people to agree to give £1 to charity every week by buying the single and we'd be there. It'd raise lots of money, and it'd be a cool stranglehold on the UK music industry.


In my life, today was the day I caught up on webcomics. Ten weeks of various webcomics that I'd not bothered keeping up with while I was at Uni. It was a pretty good day.
I also had a dentist appointment, which went about as well as it possible could. My teeth were fine, and I got put into an NHS slot instead of a private one, so it only cost me £16 for the check-up instead of £40.

Alex has just given me the beta link for Plain Sight. I'll give it some playtime and report back here.

For anyone else who is interested, it's here: http://gamma.plainsightgame.com/

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