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May 22, 2007

Lest we forget

Facebook | The London Digital Media Industry

Hey! You can only join this group if you work at a digital media planning/ buying agency, Media Owner, Network.

Obviously not anybody in actual production, oh no.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:57 AM | Comments (2)

May 14, 2007


The Frost* forum discusses Eurovision...

I thought the winner looked like Pete Doherty if he'd been addicted to Ginsters instead of smack

Posted by Tom Dolan at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

Never assume your friends will like eachother

...just because you like them.

I have started a project I shouldn't have. I've tried to be a catalyst, and ended up as an unwilling (and uncomfortable) spokesperson to two hostile audiences.

Obviously you wouldn't guess it to look at me, but I have a bit of a soft spot for prog rock. Not the ridiculous wizards-and-maidens bit of it, but trying to do genuinely new stuff with music, things that are a bit more adventurous.

I'm also quite interested in the power of the internet to enable serendipity and creativity, and think that most DRM is bollocks.

So when I found the myspace page for 'Prog against Pirates' I was a bit surprised. Here is a genre of music where discovering a new band is the best thing ever, but where nobody plays the stuff anywhere you can find it. So myspace and filesharing are a great way to check out a band, live with them for a little bit, and then decide just how much of their back catalogue you're going to buy. (Will it be Matthew Herbert's latest microhouse album, or Eloy's prog classic 'Metromania' this month?)

To me filesharing can only be good for this genre - because this isn't disposable wallpaper you put on during a dinner party. It's stuff you have to actually love. They don't need to follow the BPI's misguided and failing rhetoric.

So I put some of these points on their myspace page, where it went down like a cup of cold sick.

I could also feel myself getting a bit out of my depth on some arguments I'd skimmed quickly on the Open Rights Group mailing list. So I braced myself for a bit of derision and tried to link the two groups together. After all, here was a perfect case of where the new business model could work.

But no.

I now find myself being the reluctant defender of all things prog to the ORG folks.

The options initially offered back were "make some music people actually want" and "they can make money back from playing live". Which isn't ideal stuff to go back with.

And then after four posts (of which only one was useful), it went silent.

Of course I could have let it lie. But I have been tired and delusional over the last few days (I'm off work today) and in a fit of pique sent one last message this morning saying kind of 'if that's the best you've got to offer, sod you'.

There are now 29 messages in the thread, and while there's some genuinely helpful stuff in there, I'm spending an uncomfortable time being on the receiving end of many people's personal bugbears about rock bands. And the main thing I'm going to get to go back with is "yeah, you're probably a bit fucked, but you're going to be a lot less fucked than everyone else".

I wish I'd never bothered.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 05:07 PM | Comments (2)


Having spent most of 94-96 being emailed by young girls who thought I was Tom Dolan the US Olympic Swimmer, it's nice to find there's another with a more illustrious geekiness.

I like the entry's implicit hint that I was never, and will never be, Ferris Bueller.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)


My system has gone into meltdown today.

I am writing this lying in bed, not knowing if my eyes will close before the end of the post.

(They have. Thank heavens for touchtyping.)

It's an odd feeling of surrender. Having been so exhausted for so long, having had to keep going regardless against the odds. To finally stop and start thinking about myself is an almost alien concept.

But to be honest, one I think it's worth experiencing.

(If I can just keep off my company webmail, the Frost* messageboard, and away from the cellar studio and new protools rig)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 08:47 AM | Comments (2)

May 10, 2007

So how would you feel?

Avid readers, who have had the resilience and strength of character to stick with me for the last few years, will remember a little talk I did a few years ago at NotCon04 called "Shit I'm A Manager".

The talk was, in general, pretty well received. I had a good chat with some nice people straight after it, and entered into email exchanges with a few others.

But since then, I was aware that it had acquired a life of its own. In general, drowning out most of my efforts at being witty and erudite on this blog.

The first rumble was when I discovered that the BBC, bless them, had decided to cite it as 'a valuable source of knowledge and wisdom' on their leadership course at Ashridge management school. The god of irony being alive and well, this was within 18 months of my having been laid off by said BBC.

I also knew that a couple of project management blogs in the US had linked to it and said nice stuff.

But tonight I found something that left me totally stunned.

Firstly, that it is compulsory reading for all staff at several dotcoms both here and in Silicon valley.

Secondly, that the presentation has been distributed as a PDF, allegedly without any attribution, as part of the MBA course at Haas school of business, Berkeley CA.

So, I'm kind of flattered.

But also pretty cross.

I think?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:35 PM | Comments (4)

May 04, 2007

It's all going to be all right.

...seemingly against all the odds.


Now, I know that over the last two months, they've got used to their new home several inches higher than usual, but will my shoulders please return to their seats? It's making playing the piano rather tricky.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

New Toy

I'll be able to show you my lovely new Nokia N95 (in a mirror) just as soon as they release ShoZu for it...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)