Thursday, 10 June 2010

For The Fame of Fifteen, Bleeding Heartless and CPA

In her Mica Galllery exhibition address, Saba Khan said that her involvement with the painting ends with the last brush stroke and that her work now belongs to the viewer. The 'death of the artist' elephant trap i'faith, where the art-piece takes on a life of its own independent of its creator.
Stephen the Academic disagreed: in part in seeing a painting as a window into the past, in part from the notion of 'artist as celebrity', and modern life classifies all of us as either celebrities or drones.
'In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 people', Momus quipped in 1991.
I'm suffering from CPA, continuous partial attention, and I've been busy Linking-In and not blogging because 'On the web, everyone will be famous to fifteen people'.

The free facility of the Ning social network platform is being phased out next month and 'half my friends' may go with it. From August, it will be 'premium' service or nothing on Ning.
Some of the dot.nings I've swept into will pay-up to continue. ArtsReview (24,500+ members), b-uncut (1800), and The Brooklyn Art Project (8600) are the big ones I'm in, the ones where you can get completely lost in the membership and be anonymous in a sliver of the online throng.
The small folksy 'nings' are where the real action is. This is where you find sweetly hopeful aims and objectives, small communities of online folk wanting to free the world, or art, or marketing, or making a stand against the big corporation, and these mini.nings will now cost a network administrator $20 per annum.
Would you pay $20 to run a 'social network' of no more than 150 members, and what would that say about you if you did?
A successful Blog claims more attention than that, and still is for free.
Gina Bianchini, co-founder and until March of this year the CEO of Ning, is, of course, a corporate person and she looks good on it. Her successor at Ning is Jason Rosenthal.
After 30 days in post ('til them still looking good), Rosenthal wrote to the Ning employees thus:


When I became CEO 30 days ago, I told you I would take a hard look at our business. This process has brought real clarity to what's working, what's not, and what we need to do now to make Ning a big success.

My main conclusion is that we need to double down on our premium services business. Our Premium Ning Networks like Friends or Enemies, Linkin Park, Shred or Die, Pickens Plan, and tens of thousands of others both drive 75% of our monthly US traffic, and those Network Creators need and will pay for many more services and features from us.

So, we are going to change our strategy to devote 100% of our resources to building the winning product to capture this big opportunity. We will phase out our free service. Existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off of Ning. We will judge ourselves by our ability to enable and power Premium Ning Networks at huge scale. And all of our product development capability will be devoted to making paying Network Creators extremely happy.

As a consequence of this change, I have also made the very tough decision to reduce the size of our team from 167 people to 98 people. As hard as this is to do, I . . . etc. bleeding heartless etc.

We have got used to glorying in the freedom of the web, and for too long it seems, glorying in it for free. Facebook was motivated by sex and money, it wasn't dreamt up through altruism, nor were the others and nor was LinkedIn. Social network platforms are run by serious corporate people who have very serious corporate pressures and lifestyles to maintain. Emulating the mail, they're intent on making us pay to talk to one-another.
Facing being 'unfriended' by Ning, I've been busy Linking-In, and hardly to my surprise, and presumably to no-one-else's, to get the best from LinkedIn you better pay for the Premium Account Service.
I'm not exactly sure who LinkedIn is for: apparently for business and corporate people like Gina, who, I suspect doesn't need to be LinkedIn, but is.

Gina's (LinkedIn) Summary is:
Ning is a social platform for interests and passions. I started it.
Her Current Settings are:
Advising, consulting on, or participating in innovative projects and new companies in my areas of interest (digital content, e-commerce, viral marketing, and disruptive technologies).
Prefer board and advisory roles working with smart, passionate entrepreneurs.

I registered with LinkedIn three years ago; saw the corporate ambience and uselessness of it for a painter and forgot it until just recently when I got a first hint, online of course, that someone like me was LinkedIn too. It took ages trying and re-trying password and username combinations to log in to LinkedIn again and 'There I am'; my profile 95% incomplete or uncomplete . . . short of recommendations, short of cv, in short, short of friends.
Successful Blogs can be 'social networks' in themselves . . . look at Scarlet's!
(Hey Scarls, why have you blanked me on LinkedIn? That's remiss naughty MsBleu! I expect no less than a LinkedIn 'recommendation' as penance.)

And this brings me to to Rise Art, a newly up-and-running virtual platform for the visual arts.
Oh yeh . . . Another virtual art-site . . . Yawn . . . Oh, one of many, and with each launching of a new one, you can feel the pain.
Online art sites are rubbish. They deal in categories: cheap and cheaper, pretty and prettier, cute and floral; cottage, coastal and forest; ethnic; abstract sleek and slicker - and we browse: choose framing, select canvas or paper version, match wall colour and draperies, order any size to suit, view the piece in a virtual-walk-through, and, clackerty-click, it's paid for and on its way. But every new site is going to be different, to be better.
Rise Art have curators and awards. They'll Peep,Tweet, Buzz and the rest. There's a forum, and voting and selection - this is going to be better: here is where 'real art', cool stuff, or 'cutting edge' and 'affordable' or 'new' art is going to be shown and seen and featured. Just register, and it's free (to register).
Yes, sure it is, but who else other than artists who stick our stuff up on it will be looking?

see my Rise Art page :
Vote for Me & Mine.