Category Archives: Social Networks

Social Networks

Cloud B-Sides: The End Of The Album

Cloud B-Sides: The End Of The Album

Cloud B-Sides: The End Of The Album

cloud computing music

For most of the history of music, composers wrote long pieces of art, which were then consumed by discerning listeners in the manner in which they were intended…as one long stream of music consciousness. This is a concept that reaches back to Gregorian Chants, through Wagner’s Der Ring das Nibelungen, and as far forward as modern classics such as Radiohead’s OK Computer or Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. The work of art is the sum of its parts, as a painting is the result of hundreds and thousands of brush strokes or a book is simply a compilation of words on pages.

The album – the piece, the work in its entirety – is nearing its extinction. With the rise of digital music, and the subsequent fall of our attention spans, listeners developed new and previously unprecedented habits: skipping tracks. iTunes libraries are notoriously difficult to keep neat…unless you’re as obsessed as I am with a tidy collection full of only complete albums. The iTunes Store also encourages the purchase of singles, as do record labels, in an interest to cater to the quickest dollar. This is compounded by the fact that commercial radio has maintained its three-decade strangle hold on most of the country’s listening habits, and is still force-feeding single after single down our throats with no regard for decency, either human or musical.

Lo and behold! The end of the album as we know it. The icing on the cake is what has become of the digital music revolution…the “cloud.” Artists and listeners alike have taken to hosting their music on the internet in an effort to satisfy the demands of a public in constant need of instant gratification. The day a single comes out, it is streaming on SoundCloud, where it remains for all to access and listen to ad nauseum free of charge. This easy and unlimited access devalues songs and desensitizes listeners to such a point that the album itself becomes virtually irrelevant. Unless an artist can pump out a dozen songs like “Call Me Maybe” or “We Are Young,” there’s no hope of listeners paying attention long enough to recall the name of the band or song they just listened to. Before they can commit it to memory, they’re on to the next track.

If I sound somewhat cynical and bitter – even nostalgic – about this topic, it’s because I enjoy experiencing entire works of art so much. There is much to be said for the value of a good pop song. But without the challenge of a long, well-crafted album, that pop song just seems to have an unfair advantage in today’s digital world of instant cloud streaming and shortening attention spans.

By Jacob Hyman

The Cloud Eclipse Of MySpace

The Cloud Eclipse Of MySpace

I remember a time, not three years ago, when a band was measured and judged primarily by the number of views and – more importantly – plays that they had managed to amass on MySpace. This was after the time, of course, when bands were measured solely on the merits of their musical ability, but that’s neither here nor there. Way back in 2009, if a band had 1 million plays on MySpace, you could bet that that band would soon be scooped up by an indie label trying to find the industry’s next social-media-driven up-and-comer.

But MySpace has come and gone. There are new metrics for statistically judging a band’s reach, such as the nearly indecipherable Facebook “InSights” and Twitter “Analytics.” Neither Facebook nor Twitter, however, allows a band to easily host its music. Therefore, it is clear that what replaced the need for MySpace in terms of the music industry was not either of those immensely popular social networking sites, but rather the advent of streamable music via the cloud.

As of now, cloud-streaming services have all but eclipsed the former ubiquitous MySpace as the public’s main access to free streaming music online. Spotify and Pandora are the most obvious examples, but even sites like SoundCloud and HypeMachine offer listners a much more interesting experience than they could have ever hoped for on the sloppy, clunky, unmanageable MySpace. These new sites all offer users a way to interact in real time with other users and the streaming platform itself.

Where MySpace had only basic controls and a limited scope, Pandora offers users the ability to hear music they would not normally have sought out. Taking this one step further into the interactive realm, Spotify allows users to publicly post to their other social media in order to expose friends to the bands and songs that they are listening. And, with cloud services like SoundCloud and HypeMachine, users can interact with each other and artists by commenting and liking at points throughout each song, as well as posting publicly on social media.

It is no wonder MySpace has been unable to hold their reign as tastemakers. The service simply could not keep up with the ever-advancing industry that it helped pioneer. The only surprising part is that, while MySpace provided a platform for users to both listen to music and form a social network, no site since has been able to completely integrate those two ideas. Our social media and media consumption have become more compartmentalized since the days of MySpace, rather than more mainstreamed, which is the opposite of what one would expect given MySpace’s swift and certain decline.

By Jacob Hyman

Keeping It Safe In The Cloud

Is It Safe In The Cloud?

It would be wonderful to think we live in a safe, secure, world but unfortunately we don’t. In the world of computing, this is even more true. Our digital lives are important to us and take years to build, but only a matter of hours to destroy, if that.

Security is important to everyone. Especially when you have spent years of your life trying to get a film to the big screen and you don’t want anyone to steal it or tamper with it. Add on something which seems as esoteric as the cloud and cause for concern happens. But should it?

Whether you like it or not, the film industry is becoming even more reliant on cloud computing. This has brought numerous benefits, increased productivity and just made a very hard industry a lot easier. The benefits have not stopped worrying stories hitting the media lately about security breaches.

Mat Honan from Wired Magazine had the data on his MacBook, iPhone and iPad deleted after a group of hackers hacked into his Apple iCloud account. The hacker’s took advantage of the fact that the Apple iCloud does not have a two-factor authentication system, something that Apple might want to fix. The hackers accessed his account remotely and Honan lost childhood pictures of his daughter amongst other things. He investigated and wrote an amazing article on it which you can read here.

Honan even chatted to one of the hackers involved. Honan has lost things you cannot even put a price on. His amazing investigation also tells you how Gmail, Amazon, iCloud, and Twitter give determined hackers enough information to ruin your life.

And who can forget the Playstation Network (PSN) going down?

But, as Honan said: “In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together.” There are precautions you can take to keep your accounts safe.

How to stay safe

  • Multiple backups. Including an offsite one.
  • Research your cloud computing service. Make sure they take your security seriously. There are a lot of cloud services available so you have plenty of choice.
  • Don’t have one password for every account.
  • Don’t be over-trusting with your personal details. Make sure security is in place before you hand anything over.
  • Go for a cloud computing service which has a two-prong security service.
  • Choose proper, secure, passwords.
  • Keep your software up to date.
  • Have an antivirus, even if you have a Mac.

Safe clouding.

By Catherine Balavage

The New Age Cloud Storage: Pin Boards

The New Age Cloud Storage: Pin Boards

pinterest social cloud

You know it happens to you: You browse the Internet and find a great recipe, the perfect couch or a wreath you’d like to DIY for Christmas. The only issue is, now you have to bookmark that page and hope you remember

that it’s there when the time comes to take a look at it. Pinterest, the online pin board, eliminates the need to bookmark pages or scour the Internet for hours looking for that perfect picture to go along with an idea. This revolutionary cloud storage option combines traditional bookmarking, photo pinning and social media into one centralized location. In fact, it’s now one of the fastest growing social media cloud storage sites in the world.

Linking to Social Media

Unlike most cloud storage programs, Pinterest links directly to social media pages like Facebook. By doing so, friends and family can follow one another’s “pins” to see what others are looking at and pinning. This social media link helped Pinterest grow over 17 million users in just nine short months – unheard of for most cloud storage providers.

Pinterest and Amazon Web Services

Pinterest would not have been able to grow their cloud storage at the rate they did without the assistance of Amazon Web Services, or AWS. Since Pinterest did not have the funding or capability to create their own data center, they relied heavily on the data storage and cloud services of Amazon Web Services.


The more companies like Pinterest utilize Amazon, the more Amazon will have to expand. Amazon is already reporting a 30 percent annual growth, which has prompted Amazon officials to start scouting new locations and planning for additional data center storage space in the near future.

The Growing Cloud

The biggest concern among IT professionals is whether or not this new way of conducting business is more environmentally friendly than that of traditional business. Though companies like Pinterest are not using their own data center, they are operating through the services of a data center that relies heavily on electricity, water and cooling systems required to host Pinterest’s site.

Even so, with more cloud storage services and providers popping up, more companies are converting to a new way of business: one-hundred percent cloud storage. Internet technology companies operating solely through cloud storage are becoming more common, and Pinterest is only one example of those companies.

Pinterest has already proven that cloud storage does not have to be just about media files and document storage. Pinterest combines the world of cloud storage, bookmarking and social media to create a one-of-a-kind cloud computing service for sharing and storing ideas.

By KoriLynn Johnston

Social Cloud: Oracle Continues To Expand In The Cloud

Oracle Continues To Expand: Buys Involver

Buzz Buzz

We have gone through the massive cloud computing crazy rather unharmed by everything. Cloud computing is the rage when it comes to just about every aspect of business. From the personal level cloud computing has been more of just giant storage for your typical at home user. To help change this view and to expend into everyone’s living room around the globe and they have been doing this by merging cloud computing with Social media. Today’s new buzz word fraise, social cloud networking. Oracle has really jumped in feet first in this new approach to cloud computing.

Eating them up

Last week, Oracle just bought into and acquired Involver. Involver creates front end applications that let users control or have more control of their branding pages over social networks. Oracle has now bought and taken over three cloud computing or cloud computing related companies and they move deeper and deeper into the fray of cloud computing. Back in June Oracle bought Collective intellect which is on the marketing end of cloud computing. Collective Intellect helps companies respond to customers on social media websites. (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) All the way back into October of 2011 Oracle jumped on the bargain priced Rightnow Technologies for 1.5 billion. Rightnow Technologies markets services to cloud customers and deals with support applications. These bold moves by Oracle are pushing them closer to the top of the cloud computing food chain.

Why Social Media

Business is business and there is a sharp divide between the have and have not’s in the business world. But business will never work without the employees to do the job and the customers that buy the goods or services. There is a vast market out there and Social Media has become a stepping stone for customers to voice their complaints, wants and needed over that same Social Media. No one likes sitting on hold, and waiting for an email to show up, but Social media has taken part of the waiting game out of the equation. Customers can quickly connect with other end users that may be having the same issues or looking for answers for the same questions, combine that with a smart company that responds back to customer comments and you now have a design for near perfect customer’s service. Think of it this way, people are already on places like Facebook, why not come to them instead of them coming to you.

Next round of buzzing

As Oracle climbs up the cloud computing food chain do not think they are the only one. IBM has blitzed the market with new ad campaigns, and midsized companies like Dropbox are increasing their size that they offer and not the prices they charge. All in attempts to either keep or gain control of bigger market shares. As the economy stables out and people find themselves venturing back into the job markets businesses are going to expand and cloud computing is going to be there to catch them when they do. The time is hot for any company looking to increase their customer base in the cloud computing fields.

By Emma Joseph

How The Salesforce Social Enterprise Cloud Bridged The Gap Between Activision And Its Gamers

How The Salesforce Social Enterprise Cloud Bridged The Gap Between Activision And Its Gamers

Social enterprise clouds enable organizations to collaborate, share information and, most of all, give people the tools to do this in an easy and approachable way. What social means for big companies is how they connect with their customers, and, more importantly, how the company listens to the customer. What social creates for the company is a huge amount of feedback, and it is then extremely important that the company communicates back to the customers in order to give the consumers a feeling that the company is listening and acknowledging whatever they have to say.

What affects customers the most is the language a company uses. Activision recognized that it had been using a distant tone, which made gamers think there was a gap between them and the company; there had been a lot of “Activision says,” instead of “I say, and I am here to help you”. If a company wants to have social as a channel, it has to spread it consistently across all its channels. Alongside 24/7 support, the aspect which is especially crucial for an enterprise is that the employee interacting with the customer needs to have the right level of skill.

With the vast volume of data in the social channel, it was critical that Activision sought the help of a social marketing cloud – Radian6. Salesforce came up with Radian6, which has completely revolutionized enterprises’ experience with their customers. This social marketing cloud gathers all the information together for Activision, and tells the listeners what the real-time experience of a gamer is. Arriving at solutions in a proactive way rather than a reactive way is the deal here.

Just like most big enterprises, Activision loves to engage with its customers, and the need to operationalize the whole experience of customer feedback and get to see what the customers categorically want from a certain game allows this enterprise to reach greater heights.

Salesforce allowed Activision to interact with gamers in a way that worked for them; whether that be through Twitter, Facebook or email. The swarming aspect for expansion is helping Activision solve problems faster and in a user-friendly way. By being a social enterprise and having greater insights into its individual customers, Activision is now able to tailor specific games for its users. Without the cloud, these things would never have been imagined, let alone possible. Technology truly has made us change the perception of the world around us!

By Haris Smith

Movie Cloud: Will It Democratise The Film Industry?

Movie Cloud: Will It Democratise The Film Industry?

Movie Cloud: Will It Democratise The Film Industry?

The first thing to really change independent film was the DSLR. Personally I have made a movie on a Canon 60D. It is a stills camera that shoots HD, cinema-quality film. The independent film route is a hard and brutal road which has practically no money in it. Or is it?

cloud movie

Hollywood legend Dov Simens has launched the Movie Cloud with Derek Christopher (president of TV/Film Seminars). But what is it? Simens says it will revolutionize the way independent films are produced, distributed, and consumed.

Simens and Christopher consider Hollywood to be a monopoly. Only 200 of the world’s 50,000 independent films that are made get released every year. Movie Cloud want to make sure people see the other 49,800.

Movie Cloud has three main components and 15 sub-components

1. Movie Studio (Millions of virtual production offices and theatres for writers, filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, movie fans and more)

2. Movie Bank ($175 Million in potential production funds)

3. Movie Theater (50,000 independent films/year)

Anyone with a DSLR, a laptop, some editing software and some friends can make a movie. It is getting it seen and making sure it is good which is hard. Anything that helps you do that is worth shelling out for in my opinion. Simens also has a brilliant reputation in Hollywood as a teacher. I know as a film-maker that having a database and software all integrated together in a movie cloud is an invaluable resource. I am making a film at the moment called Prose & Cons and my film making partner, Steve McAleavy, lives in Doncaster and I live in London. Separations of hundreds of miles are what cloud computing is made for. You don’t even need an office.

In an interview Simens said: “You even get your office. You do not need a brick and mortar office anymore…you pay $3-4 per month… You don’t have to come to Hollywood anymore”. If the Movie Cloud really takes off then there will be a new word in the film industry: democracy.

Getting your film seen is an uphill battle and offers an audience for your film. Moviecloud consumers can watch your film, and you can network with other filmmakers all over the world.

I personally think is brilliant and I reckon I will be joining. If I do any downsides I will report in a future article.

What is your take?

By Catherine Balavage

Almost 50% Of World Data To Be On The Cloud – Gartner

Almost 50% Of World Data To Be On The Cloud – Gartner

IT research and advisory firm Gartner recently released a statement predicting that roughly a third of the world’s digital content will be stored on the cloud by 2016. This is based on users’ desire to share and access content on multiple devices, without the need to manually transfer and synchronize data. In 2011 alone, Gartner states that 7 percent of worldwide consumer data is already stored on the cloud, and the figures are likely to grow to 36 percent within five years.

Cloud computing is starting to gain a lot of support from both SMEs and large enterprise users these days. The cloud allows them to use software, apps and certain services on a pay-per-use basis, whereas in the past they were required to set up their own IT infrastructure in order to host the apps and services on their own.

In addition to the constant increase in the adoption of tablet PCs, smartphones and other portable computing devices, users are now able to gather huge amounts of data, particularly photos and videos. Sooner rather than later, they’ll find that they will need far more storage than their device and its expansion capabilities can provide.

According to Gartner’s prediction, the consumer digital storage needs of the world will increase from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016, based on digital content stored on PCs, smartphones, tablets, HDDs, NAS and cloud repositories.

Gartner principal research analyst, Shalini Verma, states that while consumers have traditionally stored content on their personal computers, we are now entering a post-PC era. Consumers are using various interconnected devices, which will lead to a huge and sudden increase in user-generated content needing storage. The emergence of personal clouds gives the growing consumer digital content a chance to quickly become disaggregated from their devices.

There are now several well-established providers of personal cloud services, such as Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s SkyDrive, and Dropbox (which uses cloud storage backed by Amazon).

Gartner also posits that social media sites will step in and do their part in providing cloud storage by hosting photos and videos from users who want to share their content. This will result in average storage per household increasing to 3.3 terabytes in 2016, from the mere 464 gigabytes figures of 2011.

Gartner believes that the rapid increase in cloud storage needs will include users who have become increasingly dependent on camera-equipped devices. This includes tablet PCs, smartphones, and portable gaming consoles, at the forefront. This is because consumers are first trying out basic, free cloud services provided by companies, only to sign up for paid accounts once they realize they have a need for premium services.

While local storage will remain the primary means of hosting consumer digital content, Gartner predicts that it will progressively drop in share by 2016, dropping sharply from 93 percent in 2011 to 64 percent in 2016.

Gartner also predicts that the majority of the growth in cloud storage will come from Western Europe and North America, while Japan and South Korea will be showing the highest growth in the Asia–Pacific Region.

By Kaamil Nakhasi

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