Gumroad

GumroadGumroad is a service that lets you sell your stuff online.

Whether it’s an ebook, a song or a piece of code, Gumroad provides a really simple solution for monetising something you’ve created.

Recently I put together an ebook and was looking for a simple platform that would enable me to share it without going through hassle of a long sign up process, complicated ecommerce store and tricky re-payment scheme.

I was astounded by how easy Gumroad made the whole process.

You can sign up using either Facebook or Twitter – once you’ve logged in you are taken to your profile page.

All you then need to do is upload the appropriate file, fill in a few details about it, and within moments a link is generated that you can then distribute.

Gumroad take 5% of your total sales (compared to Amazon’s 70%) because you are left to do the tough bit – the marketing of your product.

But, if you are confident in your ability to share your link widely, and the content is good enough, you’ll not have a problem in making money from your hard work.

The five founders of Gumroad have developed a great platform that is currently available in 190 different markets, an indicator of how scalable the tech behind the service is.

Gumroad is an elegantly simple solution for helping you sell your work online and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Review

Noel Gallagher returns with his debut release, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, out on Sour Mash on October 17th.

The Chief has taken two years out since the end of Oasis and has put his time to good use, recording two albums; this, and the to-be-released next year follow up with Amorphous Androgynous.

It is rare that I’ll write a music review on Seldom Seen Kid these days, so please forgive my blatent self indulgence, just this once…

This could be the most important album that Noel has recorded since What’s The Story Morning Glory, not for himself, his past or even his future: it’s important for music to know that Noel Gallagher is still the standard by which all UK rock and roll should be measured.

There have been doubts, prompted by the more recent Oasis output, that Noel is, and was, a one-trick pony.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying birds will put to rest any claims that he had run out of gas.

The album is a 10 track exploration of Noel’s musical landscape.

There are songs, such as Stop The Clocks, which are more than ten years old that he recently admitted in an interview, didn’t fit with the constrains brought about by being in Oasis.

Stop The Clocks has been worth the wait, from the scratchy bootlegs that have lurked on the Internet, to this final full production, we’ve clamoured for it. It does not disappoint.

There are songs that show the mature Noel Gallagher that the media commentators choose to continue to ignore, but there are also instances where his playfulness shines through: this record is what every Noel Gallagher fan hoped it would be, and more.

It shows Noel heading in a less restricted direction, free to wander where he chooses, from the edge of acid house in AKA… What A life, to pomp and circumstance stadium rock on opener Everybody’s On The Run.

In Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks, Noel breaks into full Lennon/McCartney mode with brass and the most wonderfully crafted Beatles-borrowed melody – it’s a track that would sit quite neatly in the middle of Sgt. Pepper.

What’s so encouraging about the record is it’s diversity, each song leaves it’s own unique stamp on the LP and could be a single – there are no tracks that are filler here, each has their part to play.

From the brilliant, and long awaited (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine, to the Force of Nature-esque (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach, each song is indicative of a man who’s been biding his time with a collection of songs that he’s been waiting to share with the world for years.

It’s a record that is full of hope and quietly placed optimism; it’s a fresh and re-invigorated Noel Gallagher that greets us here, a man who’s now on his own and presenting us with access to potential greatness once more.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds may just be the wake up call the British music industry needs: it’s a genuine record that is full of genuine vigour and an authenticity that is missing in rock and roll.

Going solo may not be what Noel Gallagher wanted, but it’s given him an opportunity to stretch his musicality and the result is a truly wonderful album that could, just maybe, take Noel to a level that will re-instate him alongside the likes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan.

Noel, it’s good to have you back.

Track List

Everybody’s On The Run
Dream On
If I Had A Gun…
The Death Of You And Me
(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine
AKA… What A Life!
Soldier Boys And Jesus Freaks
AKA… Broken Arrow
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
Stop The Clocks

To get you going, here’s Alone On The Rope, a track that will not be appearing on the record, but is tipped to get a future standalone release:

Friends With Benefits: Book Review

Friends With Benefits I was recently sent a copy of Friends With Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook, for review by the O’Reilly Media team in the US.

Written by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo of Capulet Communications in the States, the book is intended to be an introductory walk through the wild west of the social media landscape, providing insight and practical help on how best to start getting your company involved in online discussions.

And, it does exactly that, following a clearly structured process which takes you chapter by chapter through the various elements of using social media as a marketing channel.

Throughout each phase of the guidance, Darren and Julie offer case studies of good and bad practice to help illustrate the wyas in which people have tried, failed and succeeded to successfully engage consumers and communities online.

There are useful indexes of tools to use and places to visit to help you in your quest to master online marketing. Darren and Julie also tackle M&E (measurement and evaluation) to show you how you can attempt to prove whether any activity you’ve undertaken was successful or not, something that many people forget to mention.

One of the most interesting passages was the section on influencer engagement – I’m always eager to put other’s point of view against my own – and I really liked the approach to criticism from one of these key individuals of a product that Darren and Julie take:

So what happens if an online influencer pans your product? Share your point of view. Silence says you’re not monitoring the Web closely enough to know what’s going on, and more importantly, that you don’t care enough to do a Google search on your company name. It also says that you’re not part of the community and that you’re not willing to engage in the online conversation.

This honest point of view is something that marketers new to social media, scared of the impact of negativity online about their company, should defiitely keep in mind.

This book, in conclusion, is an excellent introdcution to social media. It provides useful information, practical help, and examples of what to do as certain scenarios are played out in an easy to floow, friendly manner. If you’re looking for a good guide of all this stuff that’s happening online, this could be a useful book to have on your shelf.

I’m a little late putting together this write up, but I hope you find it useful, and if you want to buy the book itself, you can do so right here on Amazon.

B-Uncut Online Gallery


Lolly very kindly invited me to the launch event of B-Uncut,an online gallery cum art community which showcases work by artists from all over the world, providing them with a platform to sell their work, AND, make money, connecting them with the picture loving public.

Sadly I couldn’t make it to the launch, but I was enthused by what she’d told me. I am, after all, all in on getting art (of any nature) out in the public domain by any means necessary.

The aim of B-Uncut is to ‘re-define’ the art world. A noble and challenging cause. 945 artists have so far signed up, and more are joining each day, uploading their work into an online ‘studio space’ in front of 80,000 eyeballs every month.

And of those eyeballs, stimulation comes from a whopping 945 artists, whose material is available in the B-Uncut store. Lolly very kindly allowed me to pilfer my favourite piece as an intro – the image you see above you is untitled by Sandra Wray (you know I love Howard Hodgkin and Damien Hirst so the choice was obvious).

The marketing bumpf tells me: “our artists keep 80% of the total amount of the pieces they sell, whilst the remaining 20% help us run our website, blog and do things like put on events.”

Nice. I wish the music industry was as forgiving.

The website itself is very easy to use and I really enjoyed navigating the various artists’ work, which always helps when working out what you want to adorn your walls!

Each week a new artist is selected to have their work featured on the B-Uncut homepage, a great way to get noticed.

I think this project is great, and if their projected numbers are met (they want 10,000 artists by 2013) they will have proven that whilst art is wanted by not affordable, nobody will trouble the artists for their wares – make the medium accessible and all of sudden you create your own demand. I like that, and of course the best part is that the artists keep the majority of the cash that passes through B-Uncut’s hands. Genius.

Damien Hirst: Wallace Collection

Damien Hirst is currently featured at the Wallace Collection in London, with his new exhibition “no love lost, blue paintings”.

From The Wallace Collection

From The Wallace Collection

I’ve never been to the Wallace Collection and being a fan of Damien Hirst, I dragged Sarah along to visit on Saturday.

The Wallace Collection is a museum in an old London town house, a stone’s throw from Oxford Street. It displays mainly 17th-19th century French Renaissance art and ceramics, but the most famous piece is probably The Laughing Cavalier.

I found it compelling then, to see Damien Hirst, the bad boy of Brit Art, exhibiting his latest work in such opulent surroundings. I suppose it is however, a natural instinct to side with authority and then bring it down from the inside…

I particularly enjoyed the way that the pieces were totally out of context with the rooms in which they were housed, a grandly understated pair of open spaces which were not as obvious a sign of the grandeur throughout the rest of the building.

The pieces themselves, dark and brooding, seem to me to be bringing into question the nature of death and the way that the everyday consumerables that we feast ourselves on, eventually lead to our demise. Faint lines between skulls and inanimate objects seem to justify this supposition.

This video sees Damien talking about the collection in further depth. Again, this is from the Wallace Collection’s website.

I highly recommend taking an hour or two to wander round the Wallace Collection, and then focus on Damien Hirst’s exhibition – it is a great mix of two opposite styles of art, process and thought.

The collection is free, and the show runs until January 24th 2010.

Momentile Review

Momentile is an online diary that allows you to document each day with a single image. This is not a Flickr or Expono, this is a one hit, one upload per day picture book.

You can upload images online or e-mail them from your phone to a personalised e-mail address which will then post your image for you a la Mobypic. Images can be no bigger than 1MB and, i’ll say it again, you can only upload one per day. If you’re not happy with your selected picture, you have all day to change it. You can view your images individually or as a mosaic which, when there’s a few uploaded, i’m sure will look cracking.

You can follow (Stalkees), be followed (Stalkers), save stuff (Stash), get sms notifications when your Stalkees upload their images, share your image feed on Facebook and of course upload your image from an iPhone.

I think this is a great idea and, if they can keep away from the deadpool, Momentile is offering a fun, free and easy service which is so simple (I really like the UI) I could navigate with my eyes closed.

With the ease of posting to the likes of Tumblr or Soup.io, you could argue that Momentile has missed a trick here, especially for more experienced users. I think however, that this isn’t aimed at users of these existing a service as such – more it is those not so Internet savvy who just want a bit of fun in their everyday general net useage.

If you’d like to try Momentile, drop me a line and i’ll send you an invite code!

Momentile is currently in Alpha, so if you try it out remember: there’s bound to be bugs!

Keemedia and sharing content socially

Kemedia.net is a Digg for the PR community. PRs sign up and submit PR/marketing related articles for fellow PRs to read, comment on and pass to their colleagues. The service is made possible through Pligg, a Digg like platform developed by Spaniard Ricardo Galli, and implemented by Keeno.net.

To submit an article, simply drag a bookmark button onto your browser and then click it on any pages you think would be relevant to the PR community. The submit page is as you would expect, with the ability to add comments, tag the piece and suggest which category it should sit in. Categories include Automotive, PR Blogs and FMCG, and you can set up RSS feeds for each one to keep up to date with the latest webpages that are added to each one.

The site is in it’s infancy, and there are quite a few glitches that keep cropping up. However, these small niggles aside, the service that the site is offering is an interesting proposition. A bespoke social bookmarking service for professionals in particular industries is something that has not yet been fully explored. The likes of Del.icio.us and Diigo are wonderful tools that allow you to share non-specific bookmarks with anyone you like, but these do not allow easy specialisation.

This is the next step for social media – essentially it is division of labour, managed from one central point. For example, you could manage your PR, music and art bookmarks individually such as with Diigo, which would subsequently be manageable from something like Friend Feed.

A system like this for Twitter, for example, would make eliminating noise from the content you are receiving minimal, and make the content you are sharing more relevant to the people in your different social speheres. I would only send interesting music articles to friends who have made me aware they want to receive music bits, but they’d not get any updates about digital marketing, for example.

What Keemedia now need to do is to refine their UI and to let more people know about the service. Members are few at the moment and without more users joining the service, the small community will struggle to compete with the larger social bookmarking offerings that are out there, but the need to whittle down your social media activity from lots of noise to a few key elements, will mean that Keemedia could provide a vital service to the Social Media and PR community.