Thursday, October 13, 2011


In this modern era, where most cellphones are expected to include high-quality cameras, some might forget how important the creation of video truly is. Camera phones are already replacing point-and-shoot cameras, creating a new market for high quality cameras, such as DSLRs. From watching TV at home or on your cellphone while riding the trains, videos are an useful way to get your message to a wide audience.

Watching some 1seg TV on the train
Image: Watching some 1seg TV on the train by kalleboo by CC Licensing.

What is capitalizing off an growing camera phone market, and popularizing it at the same time, is YouTube. While TV is used by many big corporations, YouTube allows the average person to post any kind of video they want, except for nudity of course. Disregarding Music Videos and movie trailers, what is really fascinating on YouTube is a vlog, a video blog. It is very useful to not only express yourself, but also as a way either gain exposure in hopes being famous, boost your business, or to simply vlog as a way to update your relatives and friends if you are studying abroad, such as Megan Chun who will study in Norway.

A really interesting vlogger on Youtube, who is also one of the most subscribed, is Nigahiga. A half-Japanese vlogger who is making a parody of another famous channel on YouTube, EpicMealTime.

Due to the availability of cheap high-quality video cameras, and YouTube, along with the rise of the internet, there are normal people gaining their own respective fame where it would otherwise not be possible. Video alows us to capture and share thoughts and emotions where words and pictures might otherwise not be enough.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Power of Fans

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time without internet and cellphones, there were many protests against the the social and political injustices of the Vietnam war. It was also an era that gave birth to some of the most famous musicians such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones.

Fast forward to now, 4 decades later, a time where the majority of people use cellphones and computer on a daily basis. A time where the technology and the internet has empowered the people; empowered the fans. In a pop culture era where big record labels and mainstream media encourage their artist and their fans, to accept monotonous music as the norm instead of encouraging opinions and creativity, one artist made a difference.

Lupe Fiasco, whose real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his Grammy Award nominated debut album, Food & Liquor. His father's Black Panther ideology has influenced Lupe, and can be heard in many of his music as he speaks about social injustices, and never dumbing down his own opinions, but the record labels were only satisfied with that, which lead to his 3rd album, Lasers, being delayed for 2 years.

His fans weren't pleased with that, and through an internet forum, they began discussing what they could do. As the fans became more restless, the ideas to make the record label release Lupe's album began to grow. In 2 months, an online petition was signed by 28 thousand fans, yet the record label didn't respond. Never giving up, the fans went on twitter and created #FiascoFriday, a hashtag for the protest they planned on October 15th, 2010. Lupe Fiasco himself became involved and twitted that if the fans will be there, then so will he. What was meant as a protest, became a celebration for the hundreds of fans who showed up in New York, after record label finally gave an official release day for Lupe's album.

In an interview, Lupe said that it was an "amazing, humbling, and inspiring" experience to know "that your music is actually something that people want. And it's something that is successful, not in selling records, but the way it moves people and inspires them to do better for themselves."

When the fans were asked "Why don't you protest something that's really worth it? Child hunger, poverty, or whatever." The response was, "You listen to Lupe Fiasco’s music, that's what he talks about. He addresses that." When music is allowed to be creative, it will empower the fans.

"I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip
9/11 building 7 did they really pull it
Uhh, And a bunch of other cover ups
Your childs future was the first to go with budget cuts
If you think that hurts then, wait here comes the uppercut
The school was garbage in the first place, thats on the up and up"