Mile End Road
London, England

The event is free and open to all. Here is an abstract of the talk.
The culture we choose to explore makes us who we are. Music fans have more choice in their listening than ever before. The on-demand availability of everything, and the choice it confers to step inside anyone's cultural shoes, brings with it responsibilities and anxieties as well as excitement. The act of discovery -- what are you going to listen to next? -- moves to centre stage.

Many enterprises want to help with discovery: Amazon, Google, Wikipedia, MySpace,, radio, TV and press. But one of the most powerful (and truly "cross-platform") media is word of mouth and the reputation that accrues via the exchanges in blogs, recommendations and fan sites.

My talk will seek to explain some of the dynamics of word of mouth, and what the implications of these dynamics are for the marketing and promotion of music. There is an influential minority of fans who are keen to 'pioneer' in discovering new music and then spread the word to other fans. Meanwhile a mostly silent majority takes a more casual approach to discovery.

Artists and bands cannot control the means by which they are discovered. They can only enable these means. It helps to understand the dynamics of communication and influence so that you can tap into their power.

I propose three levels to what I call the Net, Blogs and Rock'n'Roll 'architecture of discovery':
1. The Net is the data-crunching and underground plumbing that processes massive volumes of user behaviours and spots the trends and patterns within them
2. Blogs are the human level of conversation, not as 'clean' and quantitative as the data level, but enriched by personality, trust and shared history
3. Rock'n'Roll is the spirit that keeps us interested in exploring the edges of our culture, and that challenges yesterday's consensus.

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Added by davidjennings on November 20, 2007