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34 posts from May 2010

Living Small in Houston

Who says everything is bigger in Texas? Some of us are starting to realize bigger is not necessarily better.

Swamplot: Small, Cool Apartment Contest Winner Explains How It All Began, 2010-May-12

Graphic designer Chris Nguyen’s tiny Marshall St. apartment (featured on Swamplot just last week) ended up as the grand U.S. prize winner in Apartment Therapy’s Small, Cool 2010 design contest. No fluke: Nguyen was, uh . . . thinking small from the get-go. Intrigued by the design website’s annual competition and the idea of living in a tiny space, Nguyen began his search for an apartment in Houston last July... more.


Musicians Sam Phillips and others forging a new relationship with their audience

I recommend this entire LA Times article about how musicians have given up on finding the "new business model," and, instead, are simply working with the audience to try new methods and connections. These efforts put the audience first, then determine what they value. I'm fascinated to find out how many businesses, media-focused or not, can sustain subscription models.

Musician Sam Phillips, a singer-songwriter responsible for the music on The Gilmore Girls, recently set up a website within her main site for The Long Play, an experiment in the business relationship between the artist and the audience.

LA Times: For musicians, economy is the mother of invention, 2010-May-9, by Randy Lewis

"I don't feel this is the new business model — whatever that may turn out to be. To me, it's more of an art-and-music installation on the Web."

Securing financing directly from fans has provided Phillips with a newfound sense of freedom to pursue her artistic impulses without artistic second-guessing that can come from corporate overseers.

But reporting to subscriber-investors, with whom she has a greater sense of direct connection, "I feel more pressure to do something for them. It's not a [faceless] company and people out there that you don't know; it's Jill, it's Bruce, it's all these people who have sent their money to me. I've got to get something going for them, and I hope they like it.

"That I'm not sure I like," she said with a laugh, "but they've been happy so far."