How social networks can impact corporate video

Social networks like MySpace or YouTube have changed the way people interact in a very short period of time. People from all over the world present information about themselves and their lives on their personal profiles. There's already an interesting parallel here with corporate video: productions made by companies to share a certain viewpoint. As this phenomenon grows, more and more people will take on these new ways of communicating, thus changing the way business communications are handled. So let us take a look at the current business communication practises:

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Changing music distribution, part 2

A few days ago I wrote about changes in cd distribution. But of course that is not the biggest change the music industry faces. Digital distribution (iTunes and the like) are taking over physical distribution fast. According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, reported by the New York Times, digital download outsold traditional cd's for the first time in 2006. And I (very safely...) predict that this is only the beginning. People are no longer buying albums, but single pieces instead. This makes some sense of course. I own some albums with one good song and nothing else worth listening more than once. But...

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Do you take McCartney with your espresso?

Both Variety and Reuters reported on Starbucks signing a record deal with Sir Paul McCartney. A coffee shop publishing cds. In a time of declining cd sales. And it can be quite succesful. In the Netherlands, drugstore "Kruidvat" recorded all the works by J.S. Bach in 2000 (Yep, I bought all 184 of them...) and it was a big succes: over 10 million cd's sold worldwide. Deals like this, things like Napster, iTunes, etc. make it clear that the entire music industry is changing. Changing fast. The traditional outlets are losing market share very fast. As the succes of the Bach edition (and later Mozart edition) show, there is still a large market for traditional cd's. So why moan? Well, I think there's a darker side to it as well...

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Harry Potter goes green!

I stumbled upon this announcement by Reuters today that 65% of the first printing run of "Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows" will be printed on FSC certified paper. Boy, is the environment hot these days! While I agree that action should be taken to preserve our planet, I also noticed that it is used as a marketing instrument as well. And looking at the prospective buyers of the HP novel, I think this is a brilliant move! (Hey, they've got me blogging about the book...!) I'm no expert in the publishing industry, but a quick roundup on the 'net suggest that generally around 30% of books is printed on FSC paper, so this is quite a step ahead. On a different 'note'...

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Sitedesign- and blogging links

In redesigning this website and revamping my blog, I found a lot of informative and helpful texts on a number of sites and blogs. Since I thought these might be of use to you, I decided to list a few of those here. I've included links to some very helpful posts, but most of the sites have lots of useful information, so if you check them, you might well want to browse the whole site! So here we go:

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A new Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical

I think it was 1982 when I saw "Evita" in London, my first 'big' musical and I remember being totally overwhelmed. Especially those by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. "Cats" is my favourite musical to this very day. I don't know how many times I've seen it, studied the score or listened to the cd. I wasn't as impressed with "Song and dance" and "Starlight Express" (even though both contain some good songs), but I still remember the excitement when "The phantom of the Opera" was announced... Along with "Evita", "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Cats", this musical has had a profound impact on my writing style. But after "Sunset Boulevard", I kind of lost touch with his work. So now I came across this announcement on BroadwayWorld.com:

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Howard Shore's significance

Did Howard Shore do more than write brilliant filmmusic? According to an article by Michael Beek in Music from the Movies, Shore's "Lord of the Rings Symphony" is "fast becoming something of a musical and cultural phenomenon". And I think he has a point: the music from Lord of the Rings has reached many, many more people than orchestral music usually does. People from all walks of life; young and old. How is it possible that this work (the Symphony is in it's fourth year 'on the road') still attracts packed houses all over the world? It's even more remarkable since "Lord of the Rings" is no simple music! So what is it that creates this effect?

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A quick way to improve amateur orchestras

Do you want to know how to improve an amateur band or orchestra in just a few rehearsals? Then try this approach: by changing your top three priorities you can almost instantly improve the sound and cohesion of the band, and the best part is: you don't have to learn anything new! It all comes down to what you pay attention to while rehearsing. So let's see what your first three priorities should be:

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Want to buy a Stradivarius?

Or a Guarneri? An Amati? You can (if you have the money)! According to this article in the NY Times, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is selling their "Golden Age Collection" of some 30 string instruments due to financial trouble. They would like you to loan the instruments back to their musicians though. The orchestra bought the instruments in 2003 in order to secure its financial future. A sad thing they have to sell them so soon again. The real point is that this shows the importance of investors in today's orchestral practice, including the problems this brings along. For example...

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Conducting a choir again (after quite a while)

Today I've been 'co-leading' a day-long rehearsal of Vocalgroup Ringfield: their regular conductor (Harry Boom) took care of the soprano and alto voices, while I worked with the tenors and basses. Twice during the day we "re-assembled" the entire choir to bring everything together again. What made it great was that everyone was very motivated and focused, so it was an intense day during which we were able to cover a lot of ground. Time really does fly when you're having fun!

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Comment settings changed

I had to change the settings for the comments to 'moderated', since there has been a lot of spam lately. So if you post a comment, please be a little patient since it will be placed in a moderation-queue and not show up immediately. I'll try to moderate as quickly as possible, and meanwhile find a way to stop the 'auto-spamming'. As soon as that is done, comments will be placed directly again. Thanks for your consideration!

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Help redesign this site!

Currently, everything on this website is 'handcoded' xhtml, with the exception of this blog. Due to a number of reasons, it will be transfered to a content management system in the near future (that will be release 5.0 then!). So now is the time to provide some feedback!

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Order Ray's compositions from this site!

As of today, it is possible to order the scores of some of Ray's compositions from this site. Go to the (new) 'composing' section from the main menu and you'll find the 'catalog'. There you will find more information on how to order the sheet music and also some rudimentary (for now) samples of the compositions on offer. Currently the catalog features one big band compostion: "On the brink", but more are to follow soon (so you might want to check regularly!), including compositions for other ensembles than big band.

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Composition catalog: almost there!

I've been getting my hands dirty on some xhtml code again, and I'm quite pleased that the catalog of some of my compositions is almost ready to be rolled out. Maybe as soon as tomorrow! Most of my compositions thus far have been exclusive to specific bands or certain occasions, so I'm rather excited with this opportunity to present some of my work to a broader audience. The first composition will be for big band, but other ensembles are sure to follow. Be sure to stop by often over the coming time as new compositions might be added rather quick. And please offer feedback on them!

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Up for a challenge?

I've been making music since I was a child and working in music since 1996, but I originally studied public relations and (marketing-)communication and I still have an interest here, as well as in general business issues. So it was a nice discovery when I found Tom Peters' blog a short while ago. I didn't realise that it was already 25 years ago that "In search of Excellence" was published.

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