If you like photography and have an iPhone you need to download Instagram right now.
Once done, you may continue reading.
Instagram is currently the hottest “it” app in the saturated world of photo sharing. Word even surfaced last week that Facebook made an attempt to buy Instagram and failed. Not surprising seeing as the beloved app, which launched in October 2010, has already racked up 7 million users and over 150 million photos. That’s… a lot.
The Billboard Summer Blowout featured dance duo LMFAO and rapper/producer Swizz Beatz.
The concert was actually part of a mobile ticketing experiment. Users received their ticket on their phones the morning of the concert, and another device was used at the door to scan the message received. There was absolutely no other way to get in.
You know what else was neat? The secret concert location wasn’t revealed until that morning text.
ShowClix, who offers a range of ticketing solutions including mobile ticketing, was the service company behind this particular event. They list “eco-friendly” as one of the benefits for this ticketing method. (Side note: I swear, if I see “eco-friendly” one more time on a mobile presentation I’m going to barf. But if it helps to propogate the technology faster by making people feel warm and fuzzy inside then so be it).
Besides the convenience factor, the real value is in the data collected from the fans AND in the deeper connections you can make with them. I’m not just talking about the raw demographic info associated with the phone number. Musicians and bands can use mobile to communicate with fans all throughout the concert-going experience: before (running 30 minutes late? change in the opening act?), during (song requests?) and after (secret after-party? exclusive meet & greet with people who purchased their new single during the show?).
It’s amazing that, not too long ago, bands would perform in front of a huge arena and have no idea who was there. Now, thanks to data collected from social networking services and mobile, they can tailor their performance on the spot to make it a much more intimate experience whether it’s for a crowd of 10 or 10,000.
What’s also great for us users is that we will never forget the concert tickets at home. The cell phone is pretty much an honorary body part. (Literally. I am a type 1 diabetic, and I have been more prone to forgetting my insulin at home than my iPhone).
Although mobile ticketing is something that’s been around for a while, it’s definitely something that’s going to become increasingly popular, and increasingly more interesting. Check out Apple’s patent filing last year for a system called “Concert Ticket + iPhone App for Concert & Event Tickets”. I can’t even begin to imagine the value-add Apple will slap on to mobile ticketing. Think of venue maps, real-time song lyrics, a friends-in-crowd locator (iGroups), digital coupons for merch/food and the massively obvious connection with iTunes.
I also wonder if Foursquare will dabble into mobile ticketing (Hint 1: payment experiments with American Express, Hint 2: event check-in partnership with Songkick). But when will the day come where mobile ticketing becomes the only way to access a concert?
Some critics say that this approach excludes people who don’t have mobile phones. But dead people don’t go to concerts anyway.
Rapping, a primary ingredient in hip hop music, has branched out into many sub-genres across the years, ranging from “political rap” centered around themes such as nationalism, anarchy and Marx, to “gangsta rap” which thrives on violence, misogyny, drugs, guns and ‘hos.
In 2005, a new subgenre called “geeksta rap” emerged. The “geeksta artists” are mostly real-life computer scientists who rap about computer programming, science fiction, secure encryption algorithms and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Another similar genre is “nerdcore hip hop” which expresses technological concepts considered to be of general interest to nerds, but differs from geeksta rap in both lyrics and attitude. Nerdcore hip hop uses a combination of rapping, drum machines, samplers and beatboxing.
The term “nerdcore hip hop” was coined by MC Frontalot in 2000, although artists had begun exploring nerdy topics in hip hop and rap prior to that. This category of music has really built a solid community around it over the years. It has a central website (NerdcoreHipHop.com), its major players (MC Frontalot, MC Router, Torrentz, etc.) holds a yearly nerd music charity festival in Orlando (Nerdapalooza), has been the topic of several film productions, has been featured in articles by major publications such as Wired, and has (of course) a Facebook group.
So if you were to rap about mobile phones, chances are you’d be labeled as a geeksta rapper or a nerdcore artist.
When the iPhone came out, sure the browser was slow, But the new smartphones? half a gigahertz or mo’ That’s faster than the box on which your mom does her taxes Pretty snappy–WinME!–, but now it’s like molasses In praxis? I already write scripts, it’s easy Better than compiling native code till my teeth bleed Time that I saved, I put in media queries, add UserAgent switch statement, stylesheets fear me! Custom chrome, each phone? Modus operandi. Willy Wonka’s schooled by my custom eye candy!
Companies hold a long-standing tradition of paying hip-hop artists and rappers to drop their names in songs, a practice that really pays off according to a piece in The Washington Post. I wouldn’t be surpised if mobile technology companies will try the same approach (if they haven’t already), and you’d be hearing biggies like Kanye West and T.I. spit out “m’ iPhone, yo” or “m’ HTC Evo ‘ho” the same way Crystal and the Holiday Inn have re-surfaced multiple times in lyrics.
If Virgin Mobile Canada is the hipster party animal of the carrier world, then Boost Mobile is the gangsta rapper. Boost has always focused on the hip-hop and urban community, something I learned first-hand while working for Airborne Mobile and analyzing their ringtone and wallpaper top-sellers (it may or may not have contained the words “big” and “booty”). So it wasn’t surprising to me that they have collaborated with big-name rappers for Boost commercials in the past.
There was one in 2004 with Ludacris, The Game and Kanye West; and another in 2007 featuring Jermaine Dupri, Young Jeezy and Mickey Avalon
Of course you can always rap about cell phones, but you can also use them to create the music. Thanks to the ability to play mp3s, record voice, activate speakerphone and send/transfer files on the device, rapping to mobile phones became a common pastime in the U.K. where the music genre “spit grime” is very popular. Brits download the instrumental music to their phones, and proceed to rap (or spit) over the music being played through the speakerphone.
Applications like SixTeen Bars – Mobile Rap Studio allows one to rap on-the-go over tracks using your headphones. Tracks can be instrumentals or beats you’ve created in an mp3 or wav format. Additionally, rappers can practice berathing, timing, articulation and pronunciation. Having this technology on a mobile phone helps aspiring rap artisits save on expensive studio time and also helps creatively since they can record a line or beat the moment it pops into their head, no matter where they are.
Jason Derulo, who has written songs for Cash Money Records and recently signed to label Beluga Heights, sings about the ups and downs of a texting courtship, with the audio (ringtone) and visual (camera phone) elements that enrich it.
hit me wit a text let me know you’re home alone freaky wit that camera phone hit you wit a text got me on your favorite ringtone lately that’s your favorite song hit me wit a text it could go down hit me and i’ll be around hit you wit a text on the low nobody will have to know just hit me wit a text
The first artist being profiled in this new series is Rob Pettit, a 2007 graduate of SMFA. He’s spent a good chunk of his career on creating art with and about mobile phones.
To make his statement, he spent months collecting 6,000 used cell phones for an art show in 2008. As a creator of avant garde art, he seized the opportunity to display how much we’ve become entangled with technology by making mobile phones the medium and central theme of his artwork. Here are a few pieces of his collection: