Friday, August 11, 2017

How Technology Is Shortening the Road to Fame

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It wasn't that long ago that Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube by Usher. Katy Perry, Macklemore, Psy and Lana Del Rey are others who used this online video platform to get noticed when music industry executives wouldn't pay attention to them. Thanks to this social media platform and mobile technologies, the road to fame has changed and helped many artists, including musicians and voice-over talent, get the attention they deserve while winning a fan base in the process.
Apps that find gigs.
Voice-over actors now don't have to rely on jobs coming to them or hoping an agent lines up gigs. Saving time and money on not having to race to various in-person gigs means these talented individuals can locate more voice-over work and carve out a career they define. Previously, they had to depend on agencies and share their earnings in exchange.
The actors are now using available apps much like those used by other types of freelancers for locating work. Voices.com is one example of how digitizing the voice-over industry is removing layers of paperwork and putting the talent in contact with gigs directly. Voicebunny is another site where talent is able to conveniently find work while various types of companies can also be assured they will connect with the talent they seek.
In fact, it has led many in the voice-over industry to create their own at-home recording studios to take these jobs, offering a great new lifestyle that balances work and life while delivering considerably more money.
Related: Lessons Learned in Entertainment That Can Benefit Every CEO
Apps that "discover" talent.
Seeing what YouTube has been able to accomplish led to the idea that a special platform could be created that would help aspiring singers make much more polished and professional videos that improve their chances of getting noticed. StarMaker has become the largest online talent network in the world with over 45 million users. The platform works with the major record labels, publishers, agents, and agencies to also connect this talent with those forces in the music industry who can help to make them famous.
Recently, StarMaker partnered with the new season of American Idol, set to launch in 2018 on ABC, to develop a contest that gives 10 talented individuals a front-of-the-line pass to go directly to an audition with the producers of the show. This platform and app company recognizes that this approach not only helps artists get discovered, but it also assists the music industry in finding fresh talent that may otherwise take considerably more resources to uncover.
The platform also has licensed one of the largest collections of songs that talent can use to perform in their videos, adding another unique way of packaging the performance. Of course, singers can also use their own original music to showcase their abilities. The result has been fame for many singers already, which has prompted even more talent to sign up for the platform.
Related: Meet the Business Strategists Behind the Careers of Today's Biggest YouTube Stars
Platforms that fund bands.
Musicians have also discovered that crowdfunding is something that can work for them so they can independently produce their own music and make it available for sale rather than hoping to convince a music label to sign them. All types of bands have done successful campaigns on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo among others, building a fan base and giving them direct access.
They also have shared rewards through these campaigns that further publicity like stickers, shirts, hats and more. Bands realized that the viral nature of crowdfunding and the social media used to fuel the campaigns can help them get noticed and finance the start of their fame.
Related: These Are the 18 Most Popular YouTube Stars in the World -- and Some are Making Millions
Platforms that engage with fans.
Even up-in-coming musicians have fans that follow their every move and share their love with their social circles. That's why it's technology like social media platforms that have changed how fans get to interact with their favorite singers and bands. With a shift away from buying records or CDs and toward downloading, there is not the same tangible feel to the music fans access now, which means that the performers have to find other ways to connect with their audiences. Live video streaming and photos with fans as well as the ability to comment and talk to bands or singers through their social media pages are preferred by today's fans that like the accessibility they get to the performers they admire.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have shifted the power away from the recording industry and back into the hands of the performers, helping them use these channels to develop their own fan base over using corporate marketing efforts that are not authentic ways of communicating with the audience.
Technology continues evolving entertainment.
For actors, musicians, and performers, technology will continue to provide a world stage for their talents and give them control over their careers. At the same time, technology will also advance what's possible in the entertainment industry, offering new ways to get noticed and engaged with fans. For performers, that means staying attuned to these shifts so that they can leverage them for even greater success.
Angela Ruth
Angela Ruth is a freelance writer, journalist, and consultant in Silicon Valley. Member of the YEC and startup aficionado, you can follow her online on Twitter and Facebook. 
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Synchronous ledger technology (aka blockchain): The companies to watch

Video: Blockchain in 60 seconds
No new technology since the Internet itself has excited so many pundits as blockchain, but the mania has largely settled down, and I have warmed to the third generation ledger technologies carefully researched and developed from the ground up, by R3, Hyperledger and Microsoft, to name a few of the main players in this field.
The latest update of my Constellation ShortList™ reports identifies the Synchronous Ledger Technology services and platforms recommended for early adopters pursuing digital transformation.
Why Snychronous Ledger Technology
Experience and sharper analysis exposed the inherent limitations of the original blockchain. R&D continues at a frenetic pace on fundamental algorithms, service delivery models, and applications. As the field continues to evolve, one feature is shared by all important blockchain spinoffs: they all help to orchestrate agreement on some property of a complex set of transaction data. Hence, I've suggested the label Synchronous Ledger Technologies, which is more precise than "blockchain" and more accurate than "Distributed Ledger Technology".
Three Approaches to Blockchain and SLT delivery
  • Dedicated SLT Developers working on special purpose, often industry-specific systems; these include Evernym and the Sovrin Foundation, R3 and Swirlds.
  • Consortia and large consulting firms that have established platforms in which businesses can explore, conduct pilots, and, where appropriate, collaborate; for example, Deloitte, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Hyperledger, and Wipro.
  • Managed services which promise to offer SLTs in the cloud, with catalogues of standardized data management services with solution consulting; "Blockchain as a Service" might well come to dominate SLT delivery but at this time there are two leading providers: IBM and Microsoft.
  • Recommended Snychronous Ledger Technology Services Synchronous Ledger Blockchain Tech
    As is the case with all emerging technologies, please keep in mind that all of the recommendations below are works in progress. For the majority of businesses today, I recommend selecting SLT services from a shortlist of the following labs and providers:
  • Deloitte has the most comprehensive SLT effort of any of the professional services firms, with a highly diverse technology stack - including Chain, Ethereum, Hyperledger, IPFS, Ripple, and Stellar - and physical labs in Dublin and New York City.
  • Hyperledger is a cluster of open source communities managed by the highly reputable Linux Foundation, hosting several SLT collaborations focused on different problem sets and technology families. Hyperledger's most significant output to date is the comprehensive Fabric SLT platform.
  • IBM High Security Blockchain Network (HSBN) is a high-performance, high-security implementation of Hypledger Fabric in IBM's cloud, currently hosting over 100 SLT pilots across almost every industry.
  • Microsoft Azure BaaS was the first blockchain-as-a-service (under "Project Bletchley") which was supported by the solid Microsoft Research and the company's major cloud computing capability.
  • R3 - a well-funded consortium of 40-odd institutions, dedicated to SLTs for financial services - pioneered third generation distributed ledger development, distinguishing itself firstly with a thorough experimental comparison of available algorithms, followed by the best explained R&D program in the field.
  • Wipro has invested in a multi-technology SLT lab, leveraging the company's partnerships with IBM and Microsoft, incorporating multiple independent blockchain options like R3's Corda, J.P. Morgan's Quorum, and Ripple, and supported by in-house consulting frameworks.
  • View the complete Constellation ShortList portfolio here.
    YOUR POV
    Take the Constellation's Digital Transformation Survey before it closes on August 18, 2017. Constellation will send you a summary of the results.

    Defense Innovation Days Highlights Undersea Technology

    Editor’s Note: This article was written by SENDIA to highlight this years’ Defense Innovation Days taking place 28-30 August 2017 in Newport, Rhode Island.
    The U.S. Navy’s first research facility—the Naval Torpedo Station—was built in 1869 on Newport, Rhode Island’s Goat Island. This rich history continues today, as Rhode Island is home to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, which provides the technical foundation to ensure the U.S. Navy’s undersea superiority. Here in “the Ocean State,” we have identified more than 170 Rhode Island organizations that touch undersea technology. We are a defense and undersea technology leader not just in New England but throughout the country.
    Each August, the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA) hosts our annual Defense Innovation Days in Newport, Rhode Island. This three-day event, scheduled this year for 28-30 August, brings leaders from the Department of Defense, Industry, and Congress together to share ideas and innovation related to undersea technology, cybersecurity, and other defense technologies. Previous speakers have included the Secretary of Defense, the Undersecretary of Defense and the Chief of Naval Research. Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island’s senior senator and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has keynoted the conference every year. Senator Reed is joined by his colleagues Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, and Congressman David Cicilline.
    A former Secretary of Defense once referred to our region as the “Silicon Valley of undersea technology.” One key goal of Defense Innovation Days is to bring that talent together and provide an opportunity to strengthen relationships and collaboration with government officials and companies who are producing the leading-edge innovations that support our armed forces. This networking helps foster the advanced innovation that makes our country safer and boosts our economy. Our goal is to spur innovation and keep our nation’s edge as the world’s defense technology leader.
    To further this aim, in 2016, SENEDIA created the Undersea Technology Innovation Center (UTIC) to get innovation to the market quickly while generating more jobs and economic growth. UTIC promotes advanced learning in the undersea technology cluster and the rapid development, testing and commercialization of innovative undersea and maritime solutions for commercial, academic and defense organizations. We cast a wide net of potential collaborators, and even in this short time of operation, we are seeing that some of the most important work of the center is the networking and sharing of information that is so crucial to maximizing the economic impact of the undersea technology cluster.
    UTIC’s consortium-based model welcomes participation by organizations—both traditional and non-traditional in this space—that have technologies that can contribute to undersea and maritime applications. It also provides assistance, including mentoring, to companies that want to enter the defense sector by matching up government requests for research, development, and technology with businesses that can provide the needed services. It hosts “Tech Talk” events, which are organized as informal meetings for undersea technology networking. UTIC is in the process of formalizing a national consortium of members who work collaboratively with the U.S. government to develop undersea and maritime technology solutions. 
    While the region is a leader in undersea technology, the economic impacts are significant, as well. In Rhode Island alone, the defense sector contributes over $3.7 billion to the state’s GDP.
    When people think of undersea technology, they often think of defense-sector businesses. But in Rhode Island, we know that the ocean offers almost infinite opportunities to explore every aspect of science, technology, and engineering—both in the defense and non-defense sectors. We have for many years sought to cross-pollinate our undersea technology interests, looking for times when commercial technology is suitable for defense, and vice versa. And we know that emerging and future technologies will create even more exciting avenues for exploration and discovery. A great example is the Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm, the first U.S. offshore wind farm, which came online this year in Rhode Island and is now fully powering Block Island.
    When one thinks of who are the important partners in this cluster, the first thoughts often go to government and large companies (and with good reason —organizations such as Electric Boat and Raytheon are valued corporate leaders), but it is the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have the most diverse economic impact. In fact, the larger companies rely on multiple SMEs in their supply chain to provide the materials and services they need. Additionally, the role of the non-traditional technology company is becoming more important as the government looks to accelerate innovation to solve emerging mission needs. SENEDIA and UTIC will continue to champion the SMEs who contribute so greatly to the undersea technology cluster. We are looking forward to bringing all these industry leaders together for this year’s Defense Innovation Days.
    Molly Donohue Magee is the Executive Director of SENEDIA, an organization focused on being a catalyst for thought leadership and innovation in undersea technology, cybersecurity, and other defense technologies. She is also the Executive Director of UTIC, an organization focused on building the resources and relationships to advance undersea and maritime technology.

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