Louis C.K. shows the Internet how to sell your own stuff online


Louis C.K. special

This week, writer/director/standup comic Louis C.K. released his latest standup special online through his own website, charging just $5 for anyone to download the video with no rights management restrictions.

That means, if you purchase and download the video file, you don’t have rights to redistribute it, but you can make as many copies as you want, write it to DVD to watch there, store it on as many devices as you want, that kind of thing. It’s a very open way to release a video, more generous than the right you receive in purchasing the average DVD.

Four days later, he’s announced that this experiment in online video production and distribution is a success.

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Talk Amongst Yourselves

Content Marketing General Social media

two women reading newspaper on park bench

I’m cool with “social marketing” and businesses’ presence in social networks. Obviously.

I like blog comments. A lot.

However, it seems I will forever cringe while reading comments on social marketing blogs.

What do you say we try a little experiment with this social marketing blog post!

[I should probably clarify, I’ve never had a problem with any comment on this blog. We don’t get many, and they’re rarely, if ever, from the cringe-worthy marketing professionals you see elsewhere.]

Here’s my idea:

Shut out the centralized, public comments.

There are other places where you can commnet on this very post. Google Reader, Google Buzz, Twitter, Facebook, message boards, and other blogs. Heck, you can even talk about it offline! Hopefully, you already know plenty of people who want to hear your opinion of my ideas. People who want your answers to my questions. People who are interested to know which questions you find most interesting.

You’re not commenting just because you like people to see your name and link, right?

So, I’m going to offer a few ideas and questions, in conclusion. Now that you’ve read this post, start a discussion about it amongst the people who already know you. Feel free to invite me into your network to participate. Tell me I’m wrong to my face, it’s cool.

[I was trying to decide if I should leave the “trackbacks” (pingbacks) on.

Cindy offered, “One hazard of this suggestion is that it becomes the original author’s (your) responsibility to report back to the blog audience on responses to posts. So then you’re setting yourself up as a filter. Open comments avoid this problem; so do trackbacks. They promote transparency.”

So, the comment thread can link back to those responding blog posts.]

Okay, then. Here are those questions:

  • What does my post and this blog lose from closing the comments to this post?
  • What do I gain? What do other readers gain? What do your blogs, and social circles gain by commenting “locally?”
  • I’m drawing my line at posts about and for social marketing professionals. I’m not suggesting businesses using blogs to talk to their consumers should do anything like this. But could that line be better drawn some place else?

Let me know where you think.

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon

Digital Democracy Conference


If you’re interested in new media/social media, the evolution of journalism, and how both interact with the political process, here’s an event you’ll want to know about. I received this announcement from Bob Mayo, a journalist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who also blogs at The Busman’s Holiday.

Digital Democracy is a special event happening here in Pittsburgh next month. This is a project I’ve been working on for months and I’m excited to let you know about it now.

It’s a conference that will explore how the digital revolution — including blogs, online video, websites and social media — is changing traditional news media coverage and citizens’ access to the political process.

The event includes national-caliber speakers who are coming to town on Saturday, March 15.

Its website is now online at: http://www.spj.org/pittsburgh

Our speakers include:

  • New York Times Online Politics Editor Kate Phillips, who writes for and edits The Caucus, The New York Times politics news blog.
  • Newsbusters.org Executive Editor Matthew Sheffield
  • MediaMatters.org Senior Fellow & Director of Special Projects Paul Waldman
  • Hearst-Argyle Director of Digital Media Content Jacques Natz
  • J-Lab Executive Director Jan Schaffer
  • Media Bloggers Association President Robert Cox

Other speakers include former USA Today reporter Toni Locy, who’s topic is “Subpoenaed For Her Sources”. She’s the subject of a contempt-of-court request for her refusal to identify sources who provided her information about the 2001 anthrax attacks and the subsequent investigation.

There will also be sessions on “Bloggers as Journalists and Journalists as Bloggers”, on new media skills and digital literacy for reporters, and on Open Records laws.

Digital Democracy is a Society of Professional Journalists regional conference, hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter. Region 4 covers Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, but the event can draw from beyond. Its something for all journalists — and you don’t have to be a member of SPJ. In fact, given the theme, bloggers, students, and others with an interest and involvement in the conference theme are welcome to attend. The Digital Democracy website has links for online registration and there’s a special rate for students and SPJ members.