29 May 2007

Another One Year Nomadic Lifestyle Experiment

I recently finished Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Eat Pray Love. Then, I gave a copy to three people, so far. It is delightful.

She's in her early 30s, at the end of her marriage. If I'm allowed to quote two paragraphs that I love, they follow:
"So, I stopped trying to choose - Italy? India? or Indonesia? - and eventually just admitted that I wanted to travel to all of them. Four months in each place. A year in total. Of course this was a slightly more ambitious dream than 'I want to buy myself a new pencil box.' But this is what I wanted. And I knew that I wanted to write about it. It wasn't so much that I wanted to thoroughly explore the countries themselves; this has been done. It was more that I wanted to thoroughly explore one aspect of myself set against the backdrop of each country, in a place that has traditionally done that one thing very well. I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two. It was only later, after admitting this dream, that I noticed the happy coincidence that all these countries begin with the letter I. A fairly auspicious sign, it seemed, on a voyage of self-discovery.

"Imagine now, if you will, all the opportunities for mockery this idea unleashed in my wise-ass friends. I wanted to go to the Three I's, did I? Then why not spend the year in Iran, Ivory Coast and Iceland? Or even better - why not go on a pilgrimage to the Great Tri-State 'I' Triumvirate of Islip, I-95 and Ikea? My friend Susan suggested that perhaps I should establish a not-for-profit relief organization called "Divorcees Without Borders.'"
pp. 30-31

I'm going to add her to the list.

06 May 2007

A Desire for Borders

When Marty Neumeier explained the evolution of marketing and advertising in his book, The Brand Gap, he said that corporate messages have been designed and directed to particular tribes since around the year 2000.

He said that Marshall McLuhan’s 1960s vision of a global village, where technology was supposed to dissolve all national, economic and cultural barriers, will never be achieved.

Neumeier said that what exists now instead is “a global communication network, an electronic layer on top of the old divisions that influences [barriers] and adds to them, but doesn’t replace them.”

He argued that humans actually need barriers to feel safe.

He wrote, “The faster globalism removes barriers, the faster people erect new ones. They create intimate worlds they can understand, and where they can be somebody and feel as if they belong. They create tribes."

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05 May 2007

Crossing Borders

After a visit a few years ago, my good friend Tricia gave me a card with this quote:
She crossed borders recklessly,
refusing to recognize limits,
saying bonjour and buon giorno as though
she owned both france and italy
and the day itself.
It is from www.compendiuminc.com

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04 May 2007

Closed Borders

The founder of Pandora.com sent me this email yesterday:

Dear Pandora listener,

Today we have some extremely disappointing news to share with you. Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say that we must begin proactively preventing access to Pandora's streaming service for most countries outside of the U.S.

It is difficult to convey just how disappointing this is for us. Our vision remains to eventually make Pandora a truly global service, but for the time being, we can no longer continue as we have been. As a small company, the best chance we have of realizing our dream of Pandora all around the world is to grow as the licensing landscape allows.

We show your IP address is 'XXXXXXXXXX', which indicates you are listening from Netherlands. If you believe you are seeing this by mistake, we offer our sincere apologies and ask that you please reply to this email.

Delivery of Pandora is based on proper licensing from the people who created the music - we have always believed in honoring the guidelines as determined by legislators and regulators, artists and songwriters, and the labels and publishers they work with. In the U.S. there is a federal statute that provides this license for all the music streamed on Pandora. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent license outside the U.S. and there is no global licensing organization to enable us to legitimately offer Pandora around the world. Other than in the U.K., we have not yet been able to make significant progress in our efforts to obtain a sufficient number of international licenses at terms that would enable us to run a viable business. The volume of listening on Pandora makes it a very expensive service to run. Streaming costs are very high, and since our inception, we have been making publishing and performance royalty payments for every song we play.

Until now, we have not been able to tell where a listener is based, relying only on zip code information provided upon registration. We are now able to recognize a listener's country of origin based on the IP address from which they are accessing the service. Consequently, on May 3rd, we will begin blocking access to Pandora to listeners from your country. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We will be posting updates on our blog regarding our ongoing effort to launch in other countries, so please stay in touch. We will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you. We deeply share your sense of disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

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