Out of the blue today I received an email from Eric Snowdeal, a fellow native of Maine who also happens to be interested in Jabber and XML, and who plays guitar to boot. His weblog is pretty cool -- he certainly posts more often than I do.
Today Eric's blog contains a lot of snippets from articles about digital music. I must admit to being of two minds about recent developments in music distribution technologies. One of the articles that Eric quotes satirizes any appeal to helping musicians make money by implying that they don't need a seventh Porsche. Um, hello? This is not about enabling rich musicians, it's about enabling middle-class musicians. I'm a musician myself (when I have time), but I make my living in other ways and I don't try to make money off my music. Yet I have friends who are musicians and it would be nice if they could make a living through recording. Of course, most musicians make money through performing, teaching, and the like, not recording. But given that I'm in substantial agreement with Glenn Gould about the value of recording over performance, I wonder what free filesharing will imply for the recording musician. Perhaps tipjars and donations are the answer, but personally no one has ever donated a penny to my web endeavors (not that I'm asking very insistently). Is it time to bring back patrons? I don't know what the answer is, but if my only talent were music I'd be a bit concerned.
Another topic Eric covers today is wireless networks, specifically small wireless LANs. It seems that small, community networks like these are springing up all over the place, in true grassroots fashion. Indeed, I'm enjoying a fast wireless network right now at the IETF conference, and it sure is cool. Perhaps it's time to talk with my neighbors and see if they're interested in setting one up. Bandwidth to the people!
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal