Facebook plans ethics board to monitor its brain-computer interface work
Facebook will assemble an independent Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) panel to oversee its development of a direct brain-to-computer typing interface it previewed today at its F8 conference. Facebook's R&D department Building 8's head …
Facebook Literally Wants to Read Your Thoughts
Facebook's plan to tap into your brain is strange, scary … and fantastic
Zuckerberg's absolutely mental: Brain sensors that read YOUR MIND at 100 words a minute
With another blockbuster fight just weeks away, Canelo Alvarez is on the prowl to end all debates as who is today’s best pound-for-pound fighter. The Mexican power puncher is ready to knock out all doubters and naysayers about becoming the undisputed middleweight king.
With power that can knock you into next year, speed faster than a Busta Rhymes rhyme scheme and a toughness that’s “built Ford tough”, Canelo Alvarez is living proof why he is regarded as the baddest fighter in the game today. The 26-year-old Mexican superstar is ranked as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter by BoxRec and the #8 overall fighter according to Ring Magazine. Canelo was able to score major career defining victories on boxing greats such as “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan. In addition, he held the WBC light middleweight title from 2011-2013 and the WBA and Ring Magazine light middleweight titles from 2015 to 2016. His only defeat in his career came against Floyd “Money”Mayweather Jr on Sept. 14, 2013 for his WBA Unified, WBC and Ring Magazine light middleweight titles. Ever since the crushing majority decision lost, Alvarez has been on a tear winning 5 straight fights while regaining his middleweight titles he lost roughly 3 years ago. Now the champ has another huge test on his hands. Here comes challenger Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., a well established veteran who continues to follow the world championship boxing path of his father’s footsteps in boxing legend and former six time world champion, Julio Caesar Chavez.
With a huge fight coming up on May 6, The Source Sports was able to catch up with Alvarez about his upcoming fight and his future plans.
The Source Sports: So Canelo, how do you feel about the upcoming fight against another well known veteran fighter like Julio Caesar Chavez Jr.?
Canelo: I feel very good about the upcoming bout. I’ve been training hard. I am very focus and I am confident that I will come victorious and still be middleweight champion.
The Source Sports: Now with the fight falling on the weekend of “Cinco De Mayo” in Las Vegas, how do you feel about the pressure of scoring a victory around the time of your home country’s most important day?
Canelo: I believe that there’s no pressure at all. I look at this as a regular fight and I’ve been prepping for it like it is a regular fight. It will be great if I do get the win but I would not make it such a big deal because of the day. I would look at it as a another win for my record and be on the look out for my next opponent.
The Source Sports: Now speaking on next opponent, it’s been rumors and talks saying that the winner of this bout may have the opportunity for a mega title fight with Triple G (Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin). Is there any pressure for the potential buildup for this bout? How do you feel about the critics and experts saying this?
Canelo: I’ve heard talks about it and I believe there’s no pressure of me winning my fight against Chavez to get to Triple G. I believe it’s the other way around. It’s Triple G trying to get to me and planning on getting me in the ring with him. But as far as the potential fight between myself and Triple G, I think it would be a great matchup but right now, I am just taking it one fight at a time. I’m solely focused on my current opponent which is Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and I would not overlook him whatsoever.
Fight fans and critics are just estatic of the state of middleweight boxing. With superstars such as Canelo Alvarez, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr, Triple G, Daniel Jacobs and Amir Khan, any fighter out of this small list can emerge as the middleweight king while give the fans their money worth. Make sure you mark on your calendar. May 6 is the day you should have a super duper fun fight party as Alvarez is on the prowl to go 51-1 and continue his dominance in the middleweight division.
Isaiah Thomas has had a pretty rough week with the Celtics being down 0-2 vs the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Playoffs and the tragic death of his 22 year old sister Chyna who died in a fatal car crash. The Celtic guard finally has broken his silence on the tragic event with a statement today.
“I never could have imagined a day my little sister, Chyna, wouldn’t be here. She and my family are everything to me, so the pain I am feeling right now is impossible to put into words. This has been without question the hardest week of my life. At the same time, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support that I have received and couldn’t be more thankful to my friends, family, fans, the city of Boston, Celtics organization, and NBA community. I truly appreciate all the support you’ve shown me over the past couple of days and thank you for respecting my privacy as I continue to grieve and heal with my loved ones at this time.”
The Celtics next match-up will be on Friday, as of now Thomas has left the team to be with his family for their two-day break. Prayers up for the PG.
The All-White Version is coming soon…
No worries for sneakerheads, looks like Nike will be releasing yet another colorway of the flaming Air uptempo, the signature shoe of the legendary Scottie Pippen. The shoe will be featured in all-white with subtle reflective accents on the laces. The shoe was once released with a gum sole but this release will focus a bit more on the all-white color scheme.
A release date has not been announced for the pair but expect the shoe to release very soon, the predicted date is scheduled for May. Giants wideout Odell Beckham has been seen rocking a pair of the shoes already.
Update: The shoe will release on May 26. Check out images below.
Social media is an integral part of our waking lives, and just as each platform has its own distinct attributes, each one represents an opportunity for a band or musician to draw attention to themselves and their work. That said, there are certain basic practices that apply universally across all the different platforms.
Let’s face it: social media permeates the waking lives of people of all ages, demographics, interests, communities, and more. There are distinctive features that allow various popular platforms to stand out. Likewise, there are specific ways musicians can use each outlet to draw attention to both themselves and their music.
Whether you’re a new band stepping into the world of social media or a seasoned player just looking to tighten up your band’s digital presence, there are certain basic practices that help maximize your audience, both on and off the internet.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of using different sites, here are a few general principals that are important to keep in mind.
Decide on a Username… and Stick with It
Following the same protocol as after you’ve named your band, when setting up each account, make the username easy to remember and identical on every platform by testing for name availability on every site before signing up.
If your band or stage name is somewhat common and taken in most or all places, consider adding terms like “music,” “band,” or the abbreviation of your home state and using that configuration everywhere.
+ Read more on Flypaper: “Social Media Made Easier: Content Planning for Musicians”
Don’t Make It All About You
We’ve talked about the value of self-promotion and how musicians shouldn’t brush it off or regard it as selfish behavior. But even though you should feel comfortable promoting your artistic brand, when working to build a social media following, try not to make everything about yourself or your band.
Everyone’s competing for the attention of online fan communities. To gain an edge, think of social media as a two-way street. Remember, it’s called social media.
Think about attending a large party. If someone spent his or her entire night only talking about him- or herself, not acknowledging what others are saying, it’s possible that everyone else would perceive that person as self-absorbed.
On social media, follow people who can relate to what you’re doing and contribute to their conversations. It’ll encourage them to do the same for you in return.
+ Learn more on Soundfly: Find out how to target your superfans and create conversation through a crowdfunding project in Crowdfunding for Musicians, taught by direct-to-fan guru Jay Coyle!
Like exercising reciprocity on social media, it’s also important to speak with sincerity. We get it: it can be easy to forget that the people reading posts are actually real. Thumbnail headshots and text boxes don’t scream “humanity.” I always tell artists to think of anything typed out as a message as something said out loud, like at a show for example. Does it sound natural, or does the message read like radio static?
Even for short-and-sweet news announcements, like a big headlining show or a recent magazine feature, a little adjustment in phrasing (e.g., “We’re so excited to play at beautiful Webster Hall with X band!” versus, “Come to our show with X band.”) can make your social messaging feel less automated. It communicates to your fans and followers that your updates are more than just a plugged-in chore.
Make Little Changes for a Big Difference
Armed with the intent to mutually share and connect with the world, it’s time to get posting! Every platform operates differently, though many features are universal these days. Whether or not your content is seen and read largely depends on how effectively you apply the platform’s built-in features, as well as how cognizant you are of the general flow of internet traffic.
Here are a few elements to be aware of:
Page and Person Tags
Include a person or page’s official username in a tag instead of just typing out a name in plain text. Doing so notifies that person that you’ve mentioned or posted something relevant to them. This encourages their commentary, sharing, and maybe even new “likes” for your band’s accounts.
While this feature used to be Twitter’s signature, it has since spread to Instagram and Facebook, and its discovery functionality generally works the same for all three outlets. Its impact, however, is still much greater on Twitter and Instagram than elsewhere.
The first few tweets from any band’s account are liable to never really be seen without hashtags because the account might not have a following yet. Essentially, think of hashtags like universally visible keywords. Everyone on the platform has the potential to see something you’ve posted publicly if they search by hashtag, so it’s a key way to expose your account to fresh eyes and ears. Think of it like forcing your way into a global conversation. Take a look at how and when your favorite artists use hashtags in their posts.
Tagging people or brands in photos is another cross-platform feature offered by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Remembering to tag other musicians or venues is particularly important as they will often share posts with their own fans.
Twitter’s character limit can be challenging, so instead of using up valuable space mentioning people, consider tagging them on a relevant photo (e.g., a promo flyer). You can tag up to 10 other users who will be notified of the tweet.
About Section and Bio
Make sure to update your about and biography sections to coincide with any major announcements and tour dates, and consider including a short link if applicable (e.g., the link to buy tickets, the link to your newest release, or in quieter times, the URL to your website or store). Similar to your username, stay consistent with this information as much as possible. If space is a factor, develop a shorter bio and tagline to put in their corresponding places.
+ Read more on Flypaper: “It’s About the Relationship: How I Got to 1.5 Million YouTube Followers”
Time Your Posts
A great social post nails all the essentials: a genuine voice, tags, a few good hashtags, and even a snappy photo to catch a few new eyes. Post that content at 3:30am, however, and you’re doing yourself a major disservice.
Some social media gurus out there suggest varying which hours of the day you post in order to reach different audience segments. I advise doing this until you find one or two times that really work for your band. Three things to consider are:
- where the majority of your audience is located
- what time it is in the part of the country or world you’re targeting (for a local show or a regionally relevant piece of news)
- the key demographics of your audience
From one hour to the next, timing of posts can definitely impact visibility, especially when you consider that the average life of an unboosted* post lasts only about 15 minutes. Try to keep track of what posts are getting the most attention, and if a time-related pattern emerges, you’ll know what works best for your specific audience and fanbase.
Quantity isn’t everything, and a non-stop flow of talk, even if it’s supportive and engaging, won’t lead to a corresponding large following. Similar to figuring out what time of day resonates with your followers, figure out what’s realistically manageable in terms of frequency, and do your best to stick with that.
Posting once a month, of course, isn’t liable to drum up many followers, but don’t start by posting multiple times a day if that’s not something you’re able to maintain because, yet again, consistency matters. Find a reasonable balance between what’s doable for you and engaging for your followers.
Social media success isn’t easy to define. There isn’t a singular, magic formula or set table of data every band can use to get a booming social following. The ideas might be standard fundamentals, but the thing to remember is that just like steadily building an audience of people that physically comes to your shows, social media involves steadily building an audience of people that will start to connect digitally to see what you do or say next.
Sadly, there’s no button to push to get an instant flood of followers, but don’t get discouraged! One of the best aspects of social media is how easy it is to reach people all over the world. Someone 8,000 miles away could see something you post and stream your song at any time! That’s enough to make acing these basics totally worth it.
*A boosted post refers to a paid post on Facebook for which you can set an amount and timeframe to capture more visibility through algorithmic targeting.
Jamendo is a worldwide community of independent music. 40,000 artists have uploaded more than 500,000 tracks to stream and download for free. Jamendo generates fair revenue for them by licensing their songs for commercial use (film, TV, advertising, in-store background music) through its marketplace Jamendo Licensing.
For those wanting to license music, the company offers a “one-click purchase” of cleared, perpetual rights on every work. Jamendo also offers low cost background music stations for retailers.
International clients include Mercedes-Benz, Benetton, Burger King, Greenpeace, ING Direct and Valentino.
“The real strength of Jamendo Licensing lies in its comprehensive offer: a great diversity of high-quality music provided by a dedicated worldwide community of composers in a time and cost-effective way, benefiting both artists and customers,” says General Manager Emmanuel Donati.
New super-sized Earth may be close enough to detect signs of life
Scientists have found a planet the size of a jumbo Earth circling a nearby star, meaning it is one of the handful of worlds where astronomers' sensors might be powerful enough to detect signs of life. The new planet, known as LHS 1140b, receives enough …
Newfound Alien Planet Is Best Place Yet to Search for Life
Another nearby planet found that may be just right for life
A rocky 'super-Earth' with the potential for liquid water is found 39 light-years away
Direct-to-fan subscription services like Patreon can be an excellent and fulfilling way for artists to make a living of their music, but when done incorrectly can also be a potentially career ruining disaster. Here we look the top ten best ways to insure you get what you want out of Patreon.
Guest post from Matthew Ebel
I’m posting this piece today in honor of my good buddy Pepper Coyote and his shiny new Patreon. It’s about time! Are you thinking of jumping on Patreon or Bandcamp or some other straight-to-fans subscription system? Righteous. It’s exciting and fulfilling, but could also kill your career entirely. (Paying attention now? Good.)
I’ve been doing this since 2008… FIVE YEARS before Patreon was even a thing.
Most people don’t know who the fuck I am, but that’s okay… In the Big Music Business World™ I’m nobody, but I’m still paying my bills the same way I have been since 2008: a straight-to-fan subscription system. Yeah, five years before Patreon was even a thing. If you want to keep your fans happy without burning yourself out or pissing people off, I’ve got ten tips to consider before you start taking people’s money:
1. DON’T BE A SUPERHERO.
When I started Matthew Ebel dot net back in ’08, I thought I could write, produce, and release two new songs and a live concert recording every month until the end of time. With that kind of release cycle, how the hell was I supposed to book shows, do road trips, promote my act, sleep, have a social life, and create EVEN MORE content for my non-subscribing fans? What happens when I get the flu? Nobody has that kind of time or energy unless they’re Prince (he’s still writing new tunes daily, I guarantee it). The resulting burnout nearly ruined my interest in music entirely. So…
2. DO MAKE UP A MENU.
Obviously your number one asset’s going to be new original singles, but what else can you offer the kind of superhuman fans who’d sign up for monthly payments? Live recordings? Private webcasts? Postcards? An annual members-only bacchanal in your backyard? Write down anything you can think of. Now write down how frequently you think you can deliver each of those goods. Which leads me to…
3. DO TEST THIS SHIT OUT PRIVATELY.
Seriously, you need to practice the routine of delivering goods that other people would actually pay for on a monthly basis. Do it for six months to a year at least, see what kind of output you’re capable of before you embarrass yourself (listen to the voice of experience here). Here’s an idea: Plan an album release for sometime next year, then spend the next 12 months writing and recording a new song every month with whatever other cool goodies you’ve got on your menu. See what you can actually keep up with, then use all those goods as perks for your album pre-order packages next year.
4. DON’T OVERESTIMATE YOUR FANS.
The sales geeks know that 1% is considered a good conversion rate for an email list (meaning if you’ve got 1,000 people on your list, 10 fans are actually going to buy the new album). For something that’s not just a sale but a commitment, don’t be surprised if it’s more like .1% of your fans that actually get on board. It’s okay, the rest of ‘em still love you, but come on… we’re all afraid of commitment. Set your expectations so you’re pleasantly surprised, not rudely disillusioned.
5. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR FANS.
Since 2008 I have been consistently surprised by the dedication of some of my super-fans. I’ve had people drive from Florida to Boston just to have beers with me at my annual Beer Bash. Some of my supporters have spent literally thousands of dollars on me over the years because something I did in the studio touched them in a meaningful way. It won’t take you long to figure out who’s just supporting you and who’s a born-again believer. So with that in mind…
6. DO KEEP THE BELIEVERS HAPPY.
Once you’ve made the commitment, your sole purpose is to keep those super-fans happy enough not to unsubscribe. Fortunately, though most of us artists are total shit in the analytics and marketing departments, a subscription makes it crystal clear who your top customers are. What are you doing to make them feel special? When’s the last time you started a conversation with them that wasn’t just a comment thread on your blog?
7. DON’T FORGET THE REST OF YOUR FANS.
One of the things that nearly killed me was exclusivity. Think about it… if I’m releasing two songs per month for paying subscribers only, that means I have to create even more songs to share with people who have never heard of me before. Hiding all the best goods behind a pay-wall may make the subscribers feel special, but you’ll never grow your fan base like that. For example, one of my perks was a members-only after-party after shows. By changing it to a members-get-in-FREE after-party, the non-members end up paying for all the beer while they hang out with my most ardent evangelists for a few hours. Win-win.
8. DO SOME DAMN ACCOUNTING.
Sure, most of your goods are likely to be digital these days, but even those cost money. You’re obviously paying a percentage to the credit card processor and Patreon, but what about band members and the mixing engineer? Then there’s the physical goods like postcards, shirts, and even the beer at the after-parties. Postage may seem easy, but how many of your fans are in Germany or South Africa? At the end of the day, you have to make a profit, so make sure you’re pricing your subscriptions with enough breathing room to pay for the goods and your rent. Make some coffee and a spreadsheet and work this shit out before you sign anyone up.
9. DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT.
Use your devoted disciples to your advantage. By sending my Officer’s Club new songs a few months before I share them with the rest of the world, I get all kinds of feedback on mixes, arrangement, and even lyrics. Those that pay for the annual goodie bag have helped me decide which shirt designs I should bring to live shows and which should stay exclusive (or just should have stayed on the drawing board). Most fans I’ve met are thrilled to be a part of the great music laboratory, even knowing they’re the guinea pigs. Be honest with them and they’ll give you the most usable feedback you’ll ever get.
10. DO THINGS THAT AREN’T MUSICAL.
Like I said in #5, I hold an annual Beer Bash for my top-tier supporters. Why? Because I love making beer. It has nothing to do with my albums or stories, but it’s something I can share with my fans. Think about it… have you ever tried Dave Grohl’s homebrew? I haven’t either, but it would be fucking awesome. I’d pay for that privilege. Maybe you’ve got a sense of style that could turn into monthly fashion/makeup tips, or you make cool trinkets with an Arduino and LED’s that could turn into a monthly how-to video. I’m betting you’re good at something besides music, so start using all your talents.
Now Do It.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, great! If you’re still scared, don’t worry… there are plenty of us around to help you. Just ask! Now get started with Patreon!
Dope new visual from P-Lo.
Rich Chigga is adding to his minimal music catalogue with a new release.