Competition with a day job.

User Generated Content changed everything. Suddenly, the corporations lost their control. No longer could they spoon feed us propaganda.

At one time filming your life for the world to see was considered voyeurism. Now it's entertainment. We all can be stars.

The loudest voice comes from those who understand the medium rather than those with the most money and resources.

Now we can talk to each other and that's dangerous.

The next person you meet could be your last.
You don't know them. You only think you do.

You meet them anyway.
Fortunately today isn't the end it's a beginning.

People getting together, collaborating. That's dangerous.

Corporations now have new competition.
Competition that isn't driven by profit.

Competition with a day job.

User generated content changed everything. We all can be stars.

Copyright Laws - Time to Evolve!

There is a real need for copyright laws to evolve and move with the times. At the very least there needs to be a new kind of licensing arrangement that encourages free use of copyrighted material but still taps into a share of revenue earnings should such free use begin to generate a substantial level of income.

The obvious case in point is the user generated content medium, online viral video. Many backyard video creators could have far greater earning potential with access to their favorite artist's latest music tracks.

Imagine being able to create your own music video clip for your favorite artist's latest single. For arguments sake, say you produce a clip that is better than the artist's original video clip. It goes 'viral' when you post it on a video site that pays, such as Revver or Metacafe. In the space of a day it's had 50,000 views with no sign of slowing down.

Suddenly you've earned a great deal of money by combining your talent with your favorite artist's music. It's at this point your work comes to the attention of the artist and, quite rightly, they want their share of the profits.

In today's market the artist usually demands you remove the clip from the internet and may even sue you for breach of copyright plus a slice of whatever income you've made but what if there was another option?

What if there was a licensing arrangement where you could use any kind of copyrighted material free of charge but make an agreement to pay the creator a negotiated royalty from any income generated over a specified amount (so as not waste everyone's time on trying to distribute minuscule amounts). How much more could everyone earn (and save in court fees) with this type of licensing? How much wider audience could a professional artist reach by allowing this kind of creative freedom with their work?

Admittedly it would be very hard to keep track of when content begins to earn substantial amounts of money but the sites that pay for user generated content must keep some kind of record of who has earned what in order to pay their creators. Logically it should be these sites that act as a go between and assist with artists being paid a royalty for the use of their music on user generated content.

For example, the video sharing site, YouTube, currently has a policy of not removing copyrighted content until the owner of that material makes a complaint and demands it be removed. What if a similar policy was adopted where by the owner of the copyright could claim their right to a percentage of the earnings?

It's all a bit messy I know but then the present copyright laws are messy too. However these laws need to evolve. It is currently impossible to keep track of how copyrighted material is used. It would be impossible to ensure that everyone who used copyrighted material signed a licensing agreement prior. There needs to be a middle ground.

Consumers are demanding the use of copyrighted material for their own creations. The owners of that material should be compensated if their work assists in generating substantial revenue.

User generated content is the future and it's here now. Copyright laws and professional creators need to embrace amateur creativity whilst still protecting income streams for all content creators whether they be amateur or professional.

Meez is TET.

If you're one of the many people who use Photobucket regularly to share images, videos and more across the various communities you frequent then you'll have heard about the new partnership with Meez.

Meez is a 3D avatar creation/sharing community where you can create your own 3D mini Meez to represent you in cyberspace. In the spirit of Photobucket, once you have created your Meez avatar you can share it around as easily as you share any other kind of media. Or at least that is the intention.

I spent some time creating a cool looking Meez based on a combination of The Extraordinary Tourist (the fictional version of the character) and my interest in creating movies filmed entirely from my studio. I was pretty pleased with my efforts and was ready to show the world my newly animated avatar.

Unfortunately no amount of trying would give me the code that I could use to share my mini, cyber Meez. Other people seemed to have managed it but not I. Through my attempts I discovered that the Meez site is rather buggy (to be fair it is still in beta) and has been having some major problems of late. That aside, it was rather disappointing.

Hopefully, by the time I come to publish this, things will be sorted. If you can see my animated mini Meez with this post then all is well. Until then - maybe don't bother unless you're prepared to wait to show off the new cyber you.

NB: The image with this article is a screen shot. I'll replace this with the animated version as soon as Meez works through their site problems.

Update: 2nd May, Looks like Meez sorted things out. Here is the small version of my finished Meez. I decided the file size of the large version was too much however my screen shot combined with the smaller animated version... well, you get the idea.

What happened to the Video Art?

When you visit an exhibition touted as 'the only one of its kind' one expects the main attraction to make an appearance. Unfortunately this wasn't the case when I visited an exhibition by Arts North, based in the City of Playford, Adelaide, South Australia.

I read about this exhibition in two different local newspapers. Both articles talked up the exhibition, particularly the centre piece, a collection of short films created by children as well as 'video art'.

Quotes from one article implied a significantly more substantial display. For example Arts North President, Marissa Dunn, said of the exhibition, "I'm very happy, especially with showing the diversity of the artwork that comes from our society." Further to that the article goes on to say "a wide cross-section of people have been involved in the exhibition - children as young as five up to 85 year olds have all shared their creativity."

Not with standing that no actual figures, in terms of the number of artists exhibiting, were mentioned I was disappointed to find that the display filled only one wall and a small glass cabinet at the venue. All up I'd estimate twenty five to thirty artworks (not much more than can be seen in the photo displayed with this post). To make matters worse, many of the catalog numbers had either fallen off or been removed. There was no way of matching the artists to some of the works (save for trying to match signatures to names).

The biggest disappointment was the Video Art and Children's Short films. The screen (which can be seen in the photo) was still in place but there was no sign of a projector. Only the recess where it once stood, along with an empty power board gave clues as to its expected location. No explanation was given as to why it wasn't present nor who to ask to discover its where abouts. Given that I was specifically visiting this exhibition for the video component, its complete absence reflected badly on my enjoyment and appreciation of the art that remained.

One could perhaps surmise the exhibition was in the process of being taken down? The newspaper articles I read said the display would be on until the end of April. Though, it only being the 26th of April, the 'end of April' was still a few days away.

I tried my best to appreciate the art that remained but, to be honest, the majority of artworks reflected your typical cross section of local community art. Nothing you can't see in any 'art society' exhibition anywhere in Australia. That's not to say there weren't one or two stand outs but overall, not nearly as inspiring as it might have been with the video component operational.

Overall a disappointing experience that would make me think twice about viewing an Arts North exhibition in the future.


It would be remiss of me not to write a post about ANZAC day on April 25th. I would say that this day is about as patriotic as Australians get. Not even on Australia Day do we get this patriotic (in my opinion anyway).

If you're not familiar with ANZAC day, it is an Australian (and probably a New Zealand) holiday to remember all our service men and women who fought in many wars. Specifically it starts with those that fought during World War One at ANZAC Cove in Turkey.

Though I understand what ANZAC day is about and recognise its importance to Australia and its history, I've never yet attended a dawn service, watched a march of veterans or generally been involved in the spirit of the day.

Perhaps that makes me un-Australian? Maybe. The paradox is that all those service men and women fought for my freedom. My right to choose. Which includes how I choose to spend this particular day. There is no law that says you must attend an ANZAC day service. To make such a law would be a joke.

I do remember those from wars gone by. How can I not with all the media coverage this day receives? I am proud of what they achieved despite wishing that no one should ever have to go to war.

ANZAC day is safe from being forgotten. Sometimes I think those who served would prefer less of a fuss but deep down I'm sure they appreciate it.

Brain Fart

Today I thought I'd post something funny so I printed out a picture of a clown, put it in an envelope and mailed it to Albakerky. Not that I know anyone in Albakerky. I just addressed it 'To Whom it may concern' - let them work it out.

I was feeding some penguins from a park bench in the middle of a desert when it occurred to me that a park bench in the middle of a desert is quite a rare occurrence. When I mentioned this to the eyeball on a stick, sitting beside me, it gave me a blank stare, as if to say "I'm trying not to be seen with you, stop forcing me to acknowledge your existence." Eyeballs can be like that.

If you happen to be the owner of the small dog barking in the house next door to mine can you please come home. Your dog isn't cute. In fact I think it's just a little inadequate without some dopey person to keep it company. Get a dog sitter. The dog would be so much quieter with someone sitting on it.

Well if you've read this far you'll probably be wondering why this post makes little sense and seems some what random. Let's not get into psychoanalysis or try to search for deeper issues.

Just put it all down to a brain fart. Normal service will continue as soon as the wooden duck.

The Upsetting Machine

Upon first laying eyes on 'The Upsetting Machine' my immediate thought was 'Upsetting, why? What's wrong with it?'

Realising that there was nothing in the least 'upsetting' about it my next thought was that perhaps this machine was used to 'upset' other people. You know, if you have someone who needs to be upset (perhaps they're way too happy?) then this is the machine that will do the job. Take that smiley, happy person!

'The Upsetting Machine' can be found at the Blacksmith Shop in the main street of Angaston, South Australia. Despite its curious name it isn't used for upsetting anything other than metal rims that blacksmiths of days gone by fit around the wooden wheels of your old style carriage wheels.

The Blacksmith's Shop is well worth a visit (and is free unless you choose to make a voluntary donation). There is much to see from the by gone days including an early example of a local butcher's meat truck and a working engine that is used to operate many tools of the blacksmith trade. You can even watch real blacksmith's at work with one young apprentice learning to make medieval swords.

You certainly won't be upset by the upsetting machine (or any other machine for that matter) but I can't promise the same for the screeching of the shops pet cockatoo when he decides he has something to say... loudly!

Happiness is a warm EMO.

This whole EMO culture is a thing that was probably called something else when I was in my teens. I don't even really know what it means to be EMO other than you're more than just a little sad.

Another blogger of my generation described an EMO as being like a small furry animal. Cute but easily startled. You've kind of got to tip toe when you're around them otherwise you'll frighten them off.

There is really little point to this post either, other than for some reason I've had the phrase 'Happiness is a warm EMO' floating around my brain for days. It is, of course, a parody of the Lennon/McCartney song 'Happiness is a Warm Gun'.

However, if you have an EMO in your family, I'm sure keeping them warm could lead to happiness. It couldn't hurt to try.

Still in the Wrapper.

What does it say about me, the fact that I have several DVDs, given to me at Christmas time, still sealed in their shrink wrap plastic? All of the DVDs are movies that I wanted, yet here I am half way through April and I still haven't opened them.

If that isn't unusual enough, I have a $50.00 gift voucher to an art supply store, given to me in October of 2006, that I still haven't spent. Even though the store is quite some distance from where I actually live, I have been in close proximity to it on a few occasions.

To add to this growing list, I have quite a number of books that I've bought, which I've never read. Not so unusual. I guess we've all done that but still, what does that say about me?

Now that I think about it, I even have computer games that I've bought and never played. Am I really so busy that I just don't have time for this extra stuff?

Do other people have this same problem? Are we all so busy that things in our life remain 'in the wrapper'?

The things you hear in public.

I've written about conversations I've overheard in public places before with my article, Relationship on Train. These are the kind of conversations that your ears can't help but tune into and that the speaker is clearly making no attempt to ensure no one is listening.

A few days ago my partner and I went out for an evening meal at a not so local, but very popular restaurant. Two ladies at the next table, probably around our age (mid thirties) were discussing their relationships.

The girl doing most of the talking was describing the most intimate of details of some relationship break down she'd had with her current partner. I didn't get all of the conversation because my brain was tuning in and out depending on the combination of words. You know how it is. You're not really interested but then a combination of juicy words drift over... "he and I were in the shower..."

Oh my goodness, should you really be having this conversation in such a public place? I noticed one or two other tables were tuning in for this too.

"You know when you just really want to get away from someone but what you really need most is for them to hug you..."

Well no, not really but in some weird way it has a fuzzy logic to it.

I don't really know what this discussion was about. One of them had done something they shouldn't have and the other partner had found out but they worked through it. Apparently he is a great father, so I can breathe easy about that.

If you're out in public, you really shouldn't talk about your private affairs where everyone can't help but overhear. You never know who's blog your conversation will feature in.

Toddler Paparazzi

With all the world focussed on paparazzi, celebrity and stars playing up for the cameras my mind drew an interesting parallel that I thought I'd share.

I was sitting in a kiosk in the Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, South Australia, observing a family of about nine adults at a neighbouring table, one of whom had a young boy of about the age of 2. Not yet old enough to talk many words, still young enough to be totally adorable.

One person there was obviously his mother. I deduced that the others were probably relatives. One or two possibly grandparents? One or two others maybe... aunties?

It was the typical scene with one of the adults sitting the boy in their lap and encouraging him to ham it up a bit whilst everyone looked on eagerly awaiting his too cute reactions. Four of them had cameras.

Two were digital cameras whilst two more were camera phones, eagerly snapping away at this little chap's every giggle and gleam of the eye. Flashes going off every couple of seconds. It was like this toddler had his own personal paparazzi. Baby you're a star!

Not only did he have is own personal paparazzi but I bet he was getting the royal treatment too. Personal assistants all over the place, pushing him around in his own mobile chair, someone to clean his face if he dribbled food...I bet he even had someone to wipe his ar... well, lets not go there.

It's a funny parallel. No wonder real celebrities often behave like children.

If School were a Video Game.

"If school was a video game, many of the low achievers would have no trouble getting the high scores." This is a thought that occurred to me this morning (I don't know why, it just kind of bubbled up to the surface in my head).

Reflecting on the idea further, it is my observation that many kids that don't do so well in school are often quite good at their favorite video games. If school was presented in such a format where participating was fun and you could earn points for various levels of achievement, I think some children would have no trouble learning and might even excel.

I also wondered about those that currently can achieve great school results in the present system. Would they under perform or would they also do well if school was a video game? I'm not so sure. Would they be the new 'under achievers'?

The 2007 Gawler Horse Festival.

The Gawler Horse Festival is a Biennial Event held in Gawler, South Australia, over four days in April. This year it was April 12-15, 2007. I attended the event on the Saturday where I spent some time taking photos and video of the Show Jumping Finals.

The image above is probably one of the best I took on the day that featured, what I feel, is a really dramatic sky. The clouds kept the day cool and, whilst it looked like it might rain, it didn't.

The whole event over four days features many different horse related competitions and demonstrations with riders from around the world including; Show jumping, Natural Horsemanship, Carriage Driving, Show horses, Australian Stock Horses, Mini horse and ponies, Vaulting and more. Below I've posted some video I took of the last few runs of the SA Senior State Show Jumping Championship.

I apologize in advance for not knowing who the riders are. If you happen to know feel free to add a comment below. I wasn't really there for the events other than it was a great opportunity to photograph horses in action. However the video gives you some idea of what it was like from a spectators point of view (minus sound, which my little digicam doesn't record - hence the song to keep your ears amused).

The final day is Gawler Cup Day, where punters can place a bet on the races. If you're into horse racing then this day is worth attending (especially if you can score an invite into the sponsors marquee - as I did the first year the event was run).

As you can probably tell, I'm not really a big horse fan but, with Gawler becoming something of the horse capital of Australia with this event, it's almost expected that you'll go along for at least one day. If you are a horse fan mark this on your calendar of events in two years time!

Watch Justin, live 24/7

Found this story on Usertainment Watch, Justin TV is a new web site featuring a guy with a camera strapped to his head, filming 24/7. You can view the live feed on Justin's home page.

Justin says that he came up with the idea because he thought it would be interesting showing people what it's like to be... well... Justin. Watch as Justin sets up his technology company to make streaming live video to the web easy. Riveting stuff. To spice things up Justin site does say that he'll be wearing his camera even on dates. I'm sure that's going to enhance his relationships.

This idea is really nothing new and the reality is that, unless you're participating in extreme sports 24/7 or perhaps working on an adult film set, most people's lives aren't that interesting on a minute by minute basis.

This really is just an extension of the TV Show 'Big Brother' taken into a real life environment. If you've ever watched the live streaming version of that show then you'll know that, even in a controlled setting, where drama is some what manufactured, life can still get pretty boring from a viewers perspective.

There's a reason people edit their video on sites like YouTube - to cut out the boring stuff. People don't want to sit through every pause, every 'um' and every 'I really have nothing to say'.

Justin's concept is a nice idea in theory but it really doesn't take live streaming of someone's life to the next level. It's not 'The Trueman Show' yet.

Where to make money with Video.

Thanks to Nalts from Will Video For Food for the heads up on an article, Online Video: Show Us the Money, by Light Reading giving a comprehensive overview of which video sharing sites pay and how much you could earn. They even give you some revenue comparisons between the different sites.

There are five reports linked to their article that should be of interest to anyone wishing to earn money from short format videos including:
It's worth noticing that despite all the revenue sharing, YouTube is still king. I'm hoping that when YouTube announces its revenue sharing model later this year, it will be something revolutionary. Even though I'm supporting Revver at the moment, YouTube's video streams so much better than any other site.

Forgotten by my Phone Company.

I'm sure it's not often that phone companies get complaints from customers for not trying to sell them new products and phone service plans but this is one of those rare, missed opportunities.

I have a mobile phone that is almost three years old. I'm not going to tell you the brand but it comes from a time when phones were transitioning into the age of third generation networks, colour screens and built in cameras. You know, all the cool features that makes you wonder where the 'call somebody on the phone' feature is. My phone has none of that.

My mobile phone has the old liquid crystal display. It's most advanced features are picture messaging and playing the inbuilt games. It wouldn't know what to do with a polyphonic ring tone.

Back to the point of this article. Three years ago the contract on my previous mobile phone expired. Just prior to that my mobile phone company was on the phone offering me the latest upgrade on a slightly cheaper, two year plan. The new phone would be completely free if I signed up for the plan. Great, cheaper phone bill, new handset, wonderful!

Two years later my contract runs out. I'm expecting to get the call.

"Hi, we'd like to offer you the latest, wizz bang mobile phone with all the multimedia features you need for zero dollars if you sign on to our two year plan that will be a whole dollar cheaper per month than your existing contract!"

Wonderful! Finally I get a phone that can record video with sound, take photos, connect to the internet, watch live TV and more, all whilst still being able to make and receive phone calls. The call never came.

My plan ran out and simply rolled over. I'm still paying a service fee and call costs but I'm no longer paying off the handset. I shouldn't complain too much as this literally cut my monthly bill in half at a time that I really needed money but still.

Being the video producer/creator that I am, having a mobile phone with the ability to record video would be a fantastic opportunity for creative film making.

You might ask why don't I just go out and buy such a phone. It's the principle. I know my own phone company has plans where you can get the latest phone for nothing as part of a plan.

Eventually I'll probably call them and see what they offer. However it makes me wonder. Did I not make enough calls? Why didn't they offer to upgrade my phone? I've been a loyal customer for four years at least. Doesn't that count?

Feels like I've been forgotten by my phone company.

The Murky depths of my Woolly Head?

I'm not the kind of artist that can just churn out artwork after artwork. I'm not inspired to paint the landscape, still life or portraits. You know, the kind of things that you can just go out and find. External inspiration I guess you could call it. See it. Like it. Paint it. That's not what I'm about.

I do take inspiration from external sources. No doubt about that. The things I see, experience and participate in all influence my art. My brain soaks it all in like a sponge and then starts to make connections. Ideas begin to form. Concepts start to evolve. Possibilities for artworks begin to emerge.

Where once there was a blank page, visuals start to form. Visuals based on my thinking, not my external environment. Teasing out ideas onto the page from the inner recesses of my mind. The murky depths of my woolly head. (perhaps 'woolly head' is taking the adjectives too far?).

My point, if I have one, is that I'm not a constant stream of ideas. Often the water runs dry. Often I just get tired of trying to force yet another artwork from the barest of threads.

I think, sometimes it is good to take a break. Try a different creative pursuit, like writing. If only for a while.

I'm starting to feel more enthusiastic about painting again. Even though I don't yet have any ideas. However I've wanted to paint some larger works for a while and I've finally discovered how to do that without having to use a large canvas. This has helped to light the fire. To want to create art again.

I'm looking forward to painting. To creating some new art.

Car Nerds

I don't know if the phrase has already been coined but if not, I'm coining 'Car Nerds' now. Car nerds are like 'Rev heads' only they know next to nothing about how a car actually works. However they can wax on for hours about what brand of rims they bought and why their car stereo has better sound reproduction than their surround sound home cinema system.

A car nerd does know a little bit about how the engine works. Specifically how the engine on their car works. They're fairly certain engines on other cars probably work the same but they don't know for sure because, what they know about car engines, they learnt from trying to get their car going again after a break down.

That's as far as it goes. Car nerds have no idea what a differential is or why you need one. At least not until they break one with their 'natural talent for accelerating to just above the speed limit in under three seconds'. They have no idea that this kind of driving puts unnecessary wear on parts that should last the life of the car.

Car Nerds spend most of their money on things they don't need to improve the performance of their car. They're particularly attracted to any product that will make their car sound louder, like exhaust amplifiers. I must confess - I don't know if that is what they're called. I just know you can get something that increases the noise of the car by adding it to the end of the exhaust pipe. Kind of like adding a bit of cardboard into the rear wheel of a bicycle so that the noise of it flicking on the spokes makes a sound like a motorbike. It's a useless piece of equipment that attempts to make a four cylinder block sound like a V8. Does nothing to boost performance.

On the subject of making the car sound louder, car nerds do this because they want their cars (i.e. themselves) to be noticed wherever they go. Then they complain about police harassment because their car got noticed by a passing cop (who knows full well that car nerds are more likely to break road rules or have dodgy cars). Car nerds think they can drive simply because they know how to do a burn out and switch lanes on the highway more times than a formula one driver.

In short, car nerds know everything they need to know about driving. Their two years of driving experience means they can drive like a blind octopus trying to make a decision about which arm to adjust the volume on the stereo with. They know everything about how not to drive a car.

It's like all the habits of the worst drivers put behind a wheel.

I'll Pencil You In T-Shirt.

In May of last year I wrote an article in my blog titled I'll pencil you in, about busy people, keeping diaries and the need for my partner and I to make time for each other.

At about the same time I thought that heading would be a great slogan for a T-shirt. Artists especially would appreciate the double meaning of penciling someone into a diary and penciling someone in as a preliminary sketch.

I was going to create the slogan and put it into my shop (and I may do that yet) but never really got around to doing it (should have penciled that in me thinks). Well move forward about a year and finally the slogan is available from my Red Bubble Gallery.

I'll Pencil You In... is just AUD$26.00 and is sold through Red Bubble - an Australian Company. If you'd like to let all your friends know that you've got time for them (tentatively at least) then this is the T-shirt for you. Buy one and support an independent artist whilst you do.

[Update: Since writing this article this product has been removed from my Red Bubble store however it is available in my Cafepress Shop under TET's Slogans]

The Passenger - by TET

Riding to one side.
Living someone else's drive.
Going no place you'd rather be,
Just to keep others happy.

Fun. It never comes,
From things you wished, you'd said and done.
All the happiness, to one side.
You're just along for the ride.

The passenger, never drives.
Never really lives or flies.
Always under someone's thumb.
Glazed eyes and feeling numb.

Riding to one side.
Living someone else's drive.
Wishing. Breaking free.
Just to be happy.

The passenger, never flies.
Going no place, slowly dies.
Never really being free.
Keeping others happy.

Fun. It never comes,
From things you wished, you'd said and done.
Happiness to one side,
Living someone else's life.

Blank Canvas III: Art Genius - Art humor.

Being a professional artist isn't as easy as you might think. It's a constant struggle to find new ideas and inspiration. One can easily spend hours thinking over new concepts, allowing them to process and develop into new artworks.

Conceptual artists, especially those who prefer to express their ideas in the minimalist style, must surely struggle the most - as this video demonstrates.
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