On My Facebook
taking a powder for this monthís CRUMBS Night Out but I wish
I could be there. My regular co-host attorney Paul Czech is
just back for the Midem music conference in Cannes and will
be leading a bodacious panel on the state of the music industry.
Joining Paul will be our pal, Philadephia mega-music attorney
Bernie Resnick, local music legend Gary Tash, and recording
studio owner Tim Lynch. What a freakiní panel! And on top
of that there will be a set of music by flirting-with-the-big-time
teenagers Stuck on Stupid. This is at the Linda on Central
Avenue, Thursday the 26th.
And now for something completely different: Last summer I
met violinist/electronic musician Todd Reynolds (Bang on a
Can, Meredith Monk, Yo Yo Maís Silk Road) at a party in Pittsfield.
He seemed like a cool dude, so I invited him to be a guest
on my radio program, The Splatto Festival, on WBCR-LP in Great
Barrington. A month or so later I introduced Todd to ace percussionist/sound
designer Ed Mann (Zappa, a bunch of solo albums, a lifetime
of major session work, etc.); Ed and Todd decided they should
play together sometime. I figured that adding my pal free-jazz
saxophonist Dave Barrett (Splatter Trio, No Sisters) would
make for a nice trio, so I asked Dave to join the fun. Then
master bassist Michael Bisio happened by and I invited him,
too. So, last September 19th, these four prodigiously talented
and crazy musicians all met for the first time at WBCR-LP
studios in Great Barrington, and, after introductions and
small talk, improvised live on the air for 90 magical minutes.
It went so incredibly well and was so much fun that they decided
on the spot to form a band, The Splatto Festival Chorus, named
after my radio show. The SFC will be at the Sanctuary for
Independent Media in Troy this Saturday at 8 PM for a concert
and CD/DVD recording session. You can download the September
broadcast at my radio blog splattofestival.blog spot.com.
Iíve received a barrage of inquiries about this whole Facebook
this stuff, and Iím an avid Facebook user, but the fact is
Iíve been on vacation in the middle of Mexico with my brain
turned off for the past week. From the hysterics Iíve heard,
it seems like a combination of out-of-it weenie lawyers, corporate
stupidity, consumer paranoia, and a social networking paradigm
everyone is struggling to get their minds around. And thatís
just about right.
From what Iíve read, Facebook was trying to get its terms
of use to comport with reality. When someone leaves Facebook
and takes down their page, that personís footprints will be
all over Facebook: There will be posts to friendsí sites,
photos tagged on friendsí sites, stuff all over the place.
Thatís the nature of social networking. Facebook tried to
change the terms of service to say that when you leave Facebook,
these footprints will remain, and you acknowledge that. Facebook
will still have some of your stuff.
with over-broad terms that could be interpreted to mean that
Facebook was suddenly glomming all your stuff for any purpose
forever. I mean, the new terms were ridiculous.
Oops! The outcry was loudónot terribly well-informed, but
effective nonetheless. After some statements that sounded
like ďwell maybe thatís what we said but itís not what we
meantĒ corporate double-speak, the threat of lawsuits, and
the formation of a bunch of Facebook groups proclaiming a
rescinded and the old ones put back in place. The Facebook
powers-that-be are now saying that new terms will be developed
in collaboration with the Facebook ďcommunity,Ē last pegged
at something like 175 million users. Good luck with that.
Whether this was much doo-doo about nothing or not, it actually
proves, once again, the brilliance and vibrancy of social
networking structures. Word gets out, gets discussed, and
things happen on these sites with incredible speed
and power. Sometimes information is exaggerated and imprecise,
just like in the real world, but the truth eventually comes
out, just like in the real world. Except so much faster, so
much bigger, and so much more effectively.
There was in reality little real harm that some corporate
entity was going to steal your stuff. If that started happening
there would be such an exodus from Facebook that the company
would collapse overnight. But some loose language was fixed,
some uncertainties clarified, and a company was corrected.