Saturday, 4 December 2010

BEDiD 4: China Friendly Media Consumption

Just a quick one today. Have been out all day and am full of an expensive yet disappointingly average buffet. I was going to have a quick chat about the Wikileaks scandal, specifically the 'paranoia' of the British government towards our special relationship with America, I will save that for another day, some time in the next day or so.

In the mean time, I thought I would link you to some places on the Internet that I frequent a lot, and touch briefly on (ooh, split infinitive, controversial) why I like them. You see, Internet where I live has become temperamental, and accessing things like Youtube and other video sharingsights with a VPN has become mortifyingly tedious due to the necessity of using a VPN to jump over the infamous Great Fire Wall of China.

On a side note, I don't know why I even bothered to mention "other video sharing websites". I almost exclusively use the choob.

So, without further ado, here is Jazza's (ever so tiny)guide to China friendly media consumption:

BBC Radio 4
Oh BBC, oh Radio 4. How I love thee both with reckless abandon. Yes, I appreciate it is not socially acceptable to enjoy this station until you have at least got your first mortgage, but it is the best spoken word broadcaster in the world and good golly I love it. My regulars include Newshour in the morning as I get ready for University, an edition of Book at Bedtime or Any Questions? as I do my work in the afternoon, and then some comedy, either Just a Minute, News Quiz or The Now Show. Radio 4 is my life blood, I am not ashamed to say this.

TED is a fantastic institution. It shares talks given by some of the world's greatest minds for free on the Internet. Some personal favorites of mine are Pranev Mistry about the innovation of a sixth sense device, Simon Sinek on how to be a great innovator and leader and Ngosi Okonjo-Iweala on how to approach aid and trade in Africa.

Okay, it isn't really a website, but I think this is one of the most revolutionary ways to consume music to come about in the last few years. Your own personal radio, adverts are played every 5 songs or so and the artist gets paid as a result from the ad revenue. It also has a section at the top that has related artists to the one you are listening to. This way, I have gotten to know so many more artists than I would have otherwise done, and all legally and with benefit to the artist. I have never liked downloading for free. I'm sorry, it is stealing. This way I can listen to the music I enjoy and support the artist. I use it so much I never even bothered to reinstall iTunes when my computer crashed. Downside; it is only available in select countries. Find out if you can download it, and if you can, do so.
Okay, not so much media consumption, but a website I use a lot. As Spotify revolutionised my music consumption, couchsurfing revolutionised the way I travel. A friend of mine and I were travelling Japan earlier this year and were trying to keep prices down by not staying in too many hostels. I had a friend in Tokyo but nowhere else to stay when we traveled to other parts of the country. My friend had heard of couchsurfing and we used it once in Kyoto and once in Kobe and had two fantastic experiences. The premise is that you create a profile, get people you know who already use the site to verify that you are sane and then you can ask to stay on other people's 'couches' (sometimes bed, sometimes floor) as you travel. It's completely free, it is just asked that you are decent. If you end up not being decent someone will leave a bad review and the chances of you being accepted again will decrease. It's a fantastic way to travel and get to know a place from a local. There are often local events, I have one in Nanjing that I try and attend every Friday night, and it is a good way to meet interesting, like-minded people if you move to a new city; I used it in Madrid when I lived there this summer to both find a flat and find some people to hang out with. I recommend it whole heartedly. And if you're ever travelling round China and fancy popping into Nanjing, my username is JazzaJohn.

The Great Book of Chinglish, Entry 1.


Chinese Root/ 听不懂 Tīng bù dǒng

Meaning/ I don't understand

Mary: 你想闻我的狗的屁吗?

Da pi: Sorry love, tingbers.

1 comment:

Dave said...

A note on Spotify... If I put an album on there I wouldn't get paid a penny. In fact it would cost me money to upload it.

I would prefer someone downloaded it illegally.

This is an interesting diagram comparing the different distribution methods:
(And they're using a much higher estimate at Spotify's royalty rate than most I've seen.)

It may pay the Justin Biebers and Lady Gagas of this world (though actually Gaga herself complained about getting paid peanuts from it) but independent artists have no hope of making a living (or anything) if Spotify is an indication of things to come.

You could argue the benefits of using it as a promotional tool, as you could for illegal downloading, but it's not supporting the artist.