The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
It’s Christmas morning, and you and the family have gathered around the tree to open presents.
Your youngest gets that certain something they have been dying for, and embraces it with the perfect “squeeeee!” expression.
And you got the shot with your smartphone. Excited, you want to share it with all your friends and family.
But you might want to think twice about sharing it on Instagram.
In the latest social media privacy and intellectual property kerfuffle, Instagram released new terms of service that have users up in arms because they effectively give it and parent company Facebook the right to use any images posted on the service in any way they please, including advertising.
The terms of service, set to be effective Jan. 16, say, “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
The professional photography world has been particularly outraged by this as photographers are used to being compensated for their images, particularly when working with commercial interests. The idea that a major company could just grab their picture, even one shot with a cellphone camera, and sell with no remuneration it is anathema to them.
The move even drew the ire of Facebook founder and owner Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding photographer, Noah Kalina, who tweeted, “pro or not if a company wants to use your photos for advertising they need to TELL you and PAY you.”But even a lot of casual shooters would expect some compensation if their picture was out there making money for someone else. And then there’s the privacy issue. You snapped that picture for your private use, and to show to your friends — though yes, we have been told over and over that nothing on the Internet is truly private. To have it show up in an ad would feel creepy at best.
Since this firestorm broke, there has been a calm-yourself crowd making points from Instagram’s policy may not hold up in court, though presumably it has been crafted by lawyers, to “no one’s going to buy pictures of your food.”
Just five years ago, if you were sitting at your campsite at the Ichthus Festival wondering, “What’s going on over there?” at the festival site, you’d have to get up and go see.
Now, you can whip out your smartphone or tablet, or just check your texts.
The annual Wilmore Christian music event’s social media strategy has been evolving continuously; it now incorporates Facebook and Twitter, apps for Apple and Android devices, a text messaging network and even an old-fashioned radio station.
Ichthus also has created more wireless Internet zones at the festival site and strengthened its cellular signal to keep the data flowing.
“The most exciting thing about social media is it gives us a direct connection to the people we serve in a public forum,” Ichthus director Mark Vermilion said.
Tim Gerst, the festival’s I-media coordinator, says, “We want social media to be our No. 1 marketing tool because, for the most part, it’s free.”
It is a network that has been building over time.
During the two weeks of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, my former colleague Heather Chapman and net pal Alison Kerr have been running a series of contests to raise money for Alltech’s Sustainable Haiti Fund at their respective blogs, The Mother Tongue and AliThinks. The endgames of the contests to see who could drum up the most donors have ranged from the poetic (odes written to one another) to the slapstick (pies in the face). But they are united in the goal to raise money for Alltech’s efforts to help in the desperately poor and unfortunate nation.
The last contest ends at 5 p.m. Friday (Oct. 8 ) and there could be WEG event tickets in it for you. Check out Heather’s post for the skinny.
We aren’t too in the business of posting a video just because here at le blog, but this little collage of YouTube users’ takes on Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” face is just so cool. I’ve looked at it a dozen times picking out the parts, and it’s a great testament to how artists captivate their fans and can inspire the audience’s creativity. BTW, we have more Grammys stuff coming up in the Herald-Leader and at LexGo.com this weekend, and I will be tweeting during the show at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS.
I got a lot of sympathy yesterday.
It was all in good fun, as I posted on my Facebook page and Twitter that I was reviewing the Jonas Brothers show at Rupp Arena last night.
“Ummm…sorry?” one local musician wrote, and my sister concurred.
Another friend wrote, “Some people will do ANYTHING for a buck…..hahaha ;-}”
Oh, when it comes to doing things for a buck, I have to say this is a pretty good gig. And if you have this gig, being the critic covering the biggest concert of the summer is where you want to be, so you will never hear me complain about having to go to see the Jonas Brothers or any other act.
Of course, it is usually Walter Tunis covering the big Rupp concerts with a sharp critical eye and years of experience. This one happened to fall to me because I have a daughter who just passed out of the the Jonas generation, so the Disney Channel tween culture is very familiar to me. I’ve watched the Jonas Brothers grow from guests on Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus’ show and tour to a marquee act in their own right, and was even vaguely familiar with their initial foray into Christian rock.
As a critic part of your job is to step back and see and appreciate things for what they are. The Jonas Brothers are the latest teen heartthrobs, backed by the entertainment empire of Disney, and they brought a show that pulled out all of the stops. I sat next to a 43-year-old musician and dad from Louisville and our jaws were dropped a few times by what the JoBros — or, to be acurate, their technical directors and designers — put on stage. I would have liked some more spontaneity and soul. There was little room here for the surprises or improvisations I have treasured in concerts by some of my favorite artists. But no doubt, many a teen and pre-teen girl walked out of Rupp last night thinking they had seen the greatest thing ever.
And there is the point here where the critic needs to remind cynical adults that every generation has its teen idols, and some of them were even the Chairman of the Board, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Fab Four. Am I saying the Jonas Brothers are going to be the next Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley or Beatles? Hardly. The jury is still very early in deliberations on that, and in the long run, the fraternal trio will do well to be as enduring as The Monkees or Duran Duran. Time and the Jonas Brothers talent and public taste will tell the tale of how far they go. I do think they have musical and songwriting talent, and fairly winning stage presences. But the stigma of being someone’s favorite when they were 10 can be a tough thing to overcome. The daughter who familiarized me with the Jonas Brothers world has already moved on, had no interest in last night’s show, but really wants tickets to the Kings of Leon in October.
This is why any artist that makes most of his or her cash off the delirious excitement of girls who are too young to drive would be well advised to invest that money wisely, because the trip from arena stages to the where-are-they now category can be as quick as fashions change and those shoes become so five minutes ago.
And adults will always look at the flavor of the moment with some disdain. As one friend wrote, “If you can’t poke a little fun at teenage millionaires, who can you pick on…? : )”
Yet another evening of kvetching about the health care debate was winding to a close Tuesday night on The Rachel Maddow Show when guest Bill Maher made a great point about President Barack Obama’s inability to get his message across.
“Where are all Obama’s people to help him with this, by the way?” Maher asked. “You know, I mean, he is Michael Jordan on a very, very, very bad team. Where are all the people who were so enthused during the campaign? You know, that was the fun part, the election.
“Now comes the hard part. You know, where’s Oprah? Where are all of the people who were out there on the campaign trail? We need them now. This is the actual hard work of government.”
It’s a valid point.
Could it be the Obama administration just hasn’t stayed in touch?
Remember the summer of 2008? That was the campaign summer, when candidate Obama was the king of all media, particularly new media.
One of his flashiest tricks, though, fizzled: the attempt to alert supporters and anyone else who was interested of his choice for running mate via text message, before traditional media broke the news.
It was surprising to get word through — egads! — this newspaper in my driveway. The traditional media broke the story right before it was time to put the papers to bed and about three hours before the text announcing the choice of Joe Biden.
But it soon became clear what that ploy was all about: mobilizing supporters.
The Obama campaign had succeeded in getting scores of text and e-mail addresses, and they were going to use them.
During the Democratic National Convention, there were messages to make sure to tune in for speeches by Obama’s wife Michelle; Biden; and the man himself speaking in a football stadium. As the campaign went into the fall, there were more text and e-mail appeals to watch, to campaign and, of course, for money. In the final weeks, there were even geographically targeted appeals to get to our neighboring swing states, Indiana and Ohio, to help on the ground.
If you had signed up, whenever your text chime went off, you almost expected it to be the Obama campaign, and it was a safe bet there was something in the in-box, too.
When the campaign was over and Obama won, we were told that the e-mail and text addresses would be kept to help relay information and mobilize people to help support the administration’s initiatives.
But Barack and Joe don’t seem to write anymore.
The campaign that was built on a mastery of new media has taken a traditional approach to getting the message out.
Aug8Filed under: Music, radio, Social Media; Tagged as: Apl.de.ap, Black Eyed Peas, Boom Boom Pow, Brother Can You Spare a Dime, cash for clunkers, Def Leppard, facebook, Fergie, George Harrison, I've Gotta Feeling, Idlewild, Kings of Leon, Michael Jackson, Mikael Jorgensen, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Taboo, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, To Be Forgotten, Use Somebody, VeggieTales, Wilco, Wilco (the Album), Will.i.am, You Never Know, Twitter
Years from now, I can guarantee there are two songs that will zap me back to the summer of 2009 whenever I hear them.
First is a ubiquitous hit: the Black Eyed Peas’ comeback single Boom Boom Pow.
It has everything a summer song needs. It’s not terribly serious, basically a cooler-than-thou anthem with a memorable line to make the point: “I’m so 3008, you so two-thousand-and-late.”
It has that time-honored beat, and you can dance to it, plus it’s a little bit naughty. There are also some great passages, such as Fergie with one of the greatest band-member exhortations since Bruce used to call out Clarence: “Will.i.am drop the beat now!”
Silly, dancy, sweaty, it could exude summer sun in an ice storm.
The other has similar qualities but probably plays to a different crowd: Wilco’s You Never Know.
Granted, this George Harrison-esque track could pop you back to the 1970s if you’re not careful. But the Wilco track is so 2009, with the wistful chorus “I don’t care anymore” and a general message to let life happen without worry and pretension.
What could be more summer?
Also, in the fingertips of keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, the song has a propulsive rhythm that could drive your car down the highway all by itself – preferably a rural highway where you don’t have to take an exit to grab a pop at a country store.
Being a good driving song always adds to a summer song’s cachet.
Not every summer produces a great summer song. And in many ways, it is a personal thing.
For instance, Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me will always snap me back to summer 1988. It has a lot of those basic ingredients: catchy, fun, naughty.
It also was a great summer early in my college years, spent mostly at the beach with some of the best friends of my life. One friend, Dave, absolutely loved Sugar and would crank it up and sing along any time it came on the radio.
I popped out quick Twitter and Facebook questions asking people what they thought was the song of this summer, and there definitely were some personal picks. One friend who has a trio of pre- and early elementary schoolchildren said the VeggieTales’ version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight has been in heavy rotation in her home. Another mentioned Brother, Can You Spare a Dime – not current, but a comment on our current situations.
Then, there’s personal taste: shouts to Idlewild’s To Be Forgotten and the Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody.
But I did feel like I had a proverbial finger on the pulse of the culture with numerous Boom Boom Pow responses along with the Peas’ current No. 1 single, I’ve Gotta Feeling. I also had a bunch of Wilco responses, though more about other fine tracks on the June release Wilco (the Album). That makes sense, as BEP is more of a singles band and Wilco is more album-oriented.
Consensus is another thing that helps cement a tune as a summer song.
A few years after the summer of ’88, I was back on the beach with a different assortment of friends reading a Washington Post Magazine article about Def Leppard as a guilty pleasure, and we got to talking about what a great summer song Pour Some Sugar on Me was.
And years from now, I suspect Boom Boom Pow and Wilco will be as summer of ’09 as Michael Jackson’s passing and “cash for clunkers.”
Jul18Filed under: Arts administration, Central Kentucky Arts News, Film, slide shows, Social Media, Television; Tagged as: Asbury College, Ben Jacobs, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Chad Gundersen, Jason Epperson, Jeff Day, Jessica Morgan, Lucky Day Studios, Michael Welch, On the Lot, Sarah Habel, Tom Lockridge, Twilight, Unrequited
They were going with the rain plan.
With just five days left to film, the cast and crew of Unrequited faced something they have not seen much of in the previous three weeks of filming the teen psychological thriller in Central Kentucky: precipitation. But that meant they could easily adjust to shoot a key interior scene between troubled Ben Jacobs and his ex-girlfriend Jessica Morgan.
This didn’t faze actors Michael Welch and Sarah Habel.
“We’ve got some important stuff to do today,” Habel, who just came downstairs in the secluded Scott County home where they have been filming, cheerfully saids to director Jason Epperson.
Unrequited is an important film to most everyone involved.
For Kentucky-based Lucky Day Studios, it will be the debut feature that they hope will show they are capable of making high quality films.
For Winchester native Epperson, it will be his debut feature after making a name for himself nationwide as the first runner up on the Fox film director series On the Lot.
For Welch, it’s a chance to take the lead after getting on many movie fans’ radars with his supporting role in Twilight, and fellow actors such as Habel also hope to turn heads with their performances in the gritty drama.
And for much of the Kentucky-based crew, its a chance to put their best feet forward as brand new tax incentives could potentially start attracting more film work to Kentucky.
“The crew senses this is something meaningful,” Epperson says. “We want to all be successful together.”
The video service Hulu, we are told in its advertising campaign, is “an evil plot to destroy the world.”
That might be — he says, having been sucked into hours of watching reruns of Saturday Night Live and WKRP in Cincinnati.
But to listen to some people, you’d think Twitter was the one pulling the planet apart, 140 characters at a time.
David Letterman was at least honest in his dressing-down of Twitter on his April 24 show: “When you don’t understand anything, and you’re frightened by things, then you make fun of it, you ridicule it, and that’s what I’m doing. I have no idea what it is, but I’ll tell you this: I don’t like it.”
Funny — and funnier if you saw Dave deliver it in his cranky-old-man fashion.
It’s more annoying when you hear clueless comments. For instance, on NPR’s Weekend Edition on April 26, This I Believe co-producer Jay Allison compared his series of essays about faith to several Internet upstarts: “I think that separates it from Twitter and blogging and Facebook. It’s not a chronicle of what’s happening in that moment. It’s something that’s gathered over the course of an entire life.”
Yes, but neither I nor anyone else I know of has ever equated jotting a quick note with writing a memoir.
Lumping Twitter with an essay, or even blogging and Facebook, shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what Twitter is — and of the curiosity to find out.
(By the way, NPR has a Twitter account, churning out headlines on a regular basis.)
It’s not that hard to learn what Twitter is. As Internet applications go, it is one of the easiest out there.
Since signing up for Facebook and Twitter last year, it’s been fascinating to watch how events can unfold across status updates, like this ice storm, which now appears to be giving Lexington the same treatment counties just south of here were getting earlier. How do I know? Lexington status updates like these:
. . . watching a gigantic pine tree tip towards her neighbor’s house. The neighbor is not concerned.
. . . neighbor a few streets away has lost power. Oh no!
. . . is trying not to feel wimpy about skipping the Alejandro Escovedo concert tonight.
. . . watching the lights flicker.
. . . If anyone knows my intern . . . tell her the LPO office is closed Wednesday! I can’t find her email.
. . . is listening to the first of the trees fall – this ain’t good.
. . . electricity just went out. Of course this happens on a good tv night!
. . . 32.4º! But still hearing limbs fall outside. And sirens.
and my favorite:
. . . started out with a block of ice and chisled it into a working automobile! OK, it was my car to begin with.
Sounds like we could have a long night, Lexington. I’ll be interested to read about it on Twitter and Facebook in the morning.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich