Tick Yes Blog

Tag - entertainment

Say what?

New social network WhoSay puts a fresh spin on celebrity content
Anyone who has ever seen a football player tweet, an actress post a questionable photo on Facebook or Charlie Sheen do… well, anything, would have to agree: famous people are not so great with the ol’ self-edit function that comes as a factory standard in most mere mortals’ brains.
In fact, it has been suggested more than once that these tempestuous tweeters, foolhardy Facebookers and idiotic Instagrammers should be rounded up into a virtual celeb-cage where their social media ramblings could be somewhat contained.
Perhaps this is one of the raisons d’?tre of WhoSay, a new social network that already boasts an impressive celebrity clientele (including, as pictured, Lindsay Lohan) – perhaps attracted by the exclusive door policy that requires an invite to join.
Of course, anyone can still view the content of the site, but you’re required to sign in through Facebook and Twitter. If you want to create a profile, however, you need to be invited. Which means it’s kind of like the social media version of the Emmys – which, incidentally, is where the new network started to gain media attention, after the cast of Modern Family and other stars posted pictures of the highlights of the night.
In case you were wondering about highlights, there were two: actress Sofia Vergara’s left and right butt-cheeks. The asset-rich actress didn’t wait for the mags or tabloids to publish the pictures (or the story) of the wardrobe malfunction that left her zipper on her seat, tweeting a picture of her offending derriere and then posting the image to her WhoSay account with the caption: ‘Yes!!! this happened 20 min before we won!!!! Jajajajja. I luv my life!!!!!’
Social media content trumps the paparazzi
In an instant, the curvaceous Colombian not only trumped the paparazzi, but has also potentially put a gaggle of caption writers (who typically make a living using terms like ‘asset-rich actress’ and ‘curvaceous Colombian’ to accompany a typical pap-sourced photo spread) out of work.
According to its website, WhoSay is ‘your celebrity network’, where ‘artists and athletes share their lives, their work, their favourite things.’
In practice, though, it is a direct-sourced celebrity gossip mag. The premise is actually brilliant: the majority of celebrities love to talk about themselves, so why not give them free reign in a platform where they feel… exclusive? No issues with privacy infringement, no hiring journalists – and if you see a picture of Kate Middleton’s boobs, it’s because she (or one of her exclusive friends) has posted it. It’s user-generated content that people usually fork out to see in magazines.
Of course, we’re guessing there won’t be as many ‘stars without makeup’ or ‘celebrity cellulite’ stories, but at the end of the day, you’ll still get to see Sofia Vergara’s arse.
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Down, down, Aussies are downloading

When it comes to accessing pirated content, Australians are world-leaders
According to new figures, Australians have embraced digital music to such an extent that in the last year, there was very nearly a download for every person in the country.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the survey from ‘a self-described data and analytics company’ called Musicmetric, which has found that there were 19,104,047 music downloads in Australia over the last 12 months. In a country of just 23 million people, that is a staggering number. In fact, in per capita terms, more music is downloaded in Australia than any other country.
The Musicmetric survey of bit torrent also suggests that ‘Australia… was comfortably the most frequent user of unofficial or illegal sites’. Although the Herald is quick to question the veracity of the Musicmetric statistics (due to a lack of information about the methodology used), they do raise questions about how much of that music is actually being downloaded illegally.
Indeed, according to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), 25 per cent of music downloaded in 2011 was from illegal sites. So if the Musicmetric figures are accurate, that suggests almost five million tracks were illegally downloaded in this country last year.
However, it should be pointed out that while pirated music content is undoubtedly an issue in Australia, legal digital sales have kept rising. ARIA’s figures show that digital sales rose by 37 per cent in 2011, and now account for 37 per cent of all music sold.
Which is why Dylan Liddy, manager of Australia’s most downloaded act, Adelaide hip-hop group the Hilltop Hoods, was able to tell the Herald, ‘We are tremendously successful in the digital world. We have a lot of people downloading from various retail sites, legitimate retail sites, and that has done very well for us in the last couple of years. Our fan base is very tech-savvy and very online-savvy so it goes hand in hand. But it also goes hand in hand with the overall market which is moving towards a lot of digital sales as well.’
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Catchy content

The Message presents… a year of Gotye parodies
If the past year could be described in one song and one song only, we’re betting most Aussies would come up with the same answer.
Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know shot to stardom soon after its release, making its way around the Internet quicker than photos of Prince Harry’s crown jewels in Vegas. It was something about the sentiment of the song (breakups – everyone’s had one) combined with the weirdly alluring video (body paint and a ’70s mise en scène) and of course, the catchy tune, that had people so enthralled.
And, as with anything that makes its way into pop culture consciousness these days, soon enough the memes and parodies began flowing. Here, we share with you our top five parodies in the year since the single was released. Happy chuckles!
The Star Wars That I Used To Know
The true measure of success in this day and age is not awards, record sales or exposure. No, the true measure of success is having a Star Wars parody made about you. And as far as Star Wars parodies go, this is a good ’un.

Walk Off The Earth
Not so much a parody as a clever homage, Canadian band Walk Off The Earth made an immediate name for itself after cashing in on the hit’s popularity.

Some Music That I Used To Love
After getting sick of all the attention the single was getting, Eric Schwartz made this response. A parody about the parodies. And the overplaying. And the fact that it was everyone’s ringtone…

Muppets Do Gotye
Everybody loves Muppets, and these ones sure are down with pop culture!

Brett Ratton Parody
AFL news now, and Carlton Football Club has sacked coach Brett Ratton after an unsuccessful season. Which, for anybody who doesn’t support Carlton (or even like AFL), is doubtless hardly worth mentioning. Unless, of course, you turn it into a Gotye parody… in which case it becomes a lot more interesting!

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Aunty’s anti-piracy success

Taking on the content pirates could be as easy as ABC
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian-time, a significant victory in the battle against online content piracy was won. It was then that the ABC launched the new series of Doctor Who via its online iView platform – as soon as the show finished airing on BBC television in the UK.
Doctor Who, like Game of Thrones, is a magnet for illegal downloads, so the ABC pre-empted the issue by making the new series available on iView a week before it appears on television.
Almost 80,000 fans watched the episode, called Asylum of the Daleks, which represents a record for most plays in a 24-hour period. It represents the dawn of a bold new era for the Australian media. Not only is the national broadcaster recognising the importance of online content (and online content that effectively negates piracy), but it shows an awareness – shared by the likes of the BBC in the UK and ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in the US – that shows viewed online does not represent a lost audience lost, but a technologically diverse audience.
As Michael Idato, senior television writer for the Sydney Morning Herald puts it: ‘By drawing them to iView, the ABC is able to encourage the habit of watching programs from licensed broadcasters, and also exposes them to the broadcaster’s slate of other content.’
In other words, online content is presenting broadcasters with a win-win situation.
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Stellar content

Will.i.am’s ‘Reach for the Stars’ makes interplanetary – and content – history
Those dudes at NASA sure have the content marketing bit between their teeth. First came the Mars Curiosity Rover’s tweeted updates of its own descent, then came ‘Mohawk guy’ and now we have the first ever piece of interplanetary content.
So for the first time in history (that we know of, anyway) content has been broadcast from one planet (Mars) to another (Earth). The content in question was Will.i.am’s Reach for the Stars, and here’s how it went…

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The times they are a-changin’

Come gather round, people, wherever you search
And admit that you’re leaving CDs in the lurch
At least that’s according to brand-new research
That is certainly so well worth savin’
And now streaming has just knocked downloads off their perch
For the times they are a-changin’
(With apologies to Bob Dylan)
Times are indeed a-changing where music is concerned. Although the latest research shows that CDs and vinyl still account for 61 per cent of all music sold worldwide, that is a drop of 12 per cent on this time last year as more and more consumers look on music as another digital content offering.
But it is how people are increasingly accessing that music-as-content that is most interesting. The research, as reported by the BBC, shows that ‘on-demand services like Spotify and We7 will generate £696m [just over a billion dollars] for the global music industry in 2012’. That’s a rise of 40 per cent and, significantly, it means more people are now streaming music than downloading.
From an artists’ point of view, streaming is obviously preferably to piracy – which pays them nothing. However, although musicians receive a royalty from the likes of Spotify, it is far less than they get from other, legitimate, digital channels – as cellist Zoe Keating revealed when releasing her accounts.
And with digital sales (in all forms) set to outstrip physical sales within two years, it seems the whole issue of musicians’ remuneration is set be debated for years to come. Which perhaps suggests the times aren’t a-changing that quickly…

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Let’s hear it for New York

The Message’s Bek Day writes from New York City on the opportunities that abound for content creators in the Big Apple…
You can leave your house, leave your city, even leave your country, but these days, your Smartphone comes everywhere with you.
Depending on where you go, this can be a huge liability (Bolivia, for example, where the wi-fi is non-existent and the risk of it being stolen, breaking from sheer altitude or dropping in a toilet is incredibly high), or it can be a huge bonus.
Having experienced both ends of the spectrum in recent months, I feel a little public service announcement is in order: New York is the THE place to get intimate with your iPhone. Let’s just say there’s a reason they call it the Big Apple.
It’s the perfect destination for a romantic holiday for two (the two being you and your gal Siri), and at every turn you’ll find something you can do together.
All you need to do is look around to see the phone-love that courses through the veins of every New Yorker. Instead of keeping his heart’s desire locked cruelly in his pocket, the native New Yorker prefers to be connected at all times, keeping a wireless earbud permanently in place. I was disappointed beyond belief when my first ‘crazy subway passenger’ turned out to be nothing more than a guy on a conference call through said earpiece.
But making calls is way down the list when it comes to the uses for your iPhone in NYC.
Firstly, there are free wi-fi spots all over the city – in coffee shops, clothing stores, bars… even on the subway.
Simply agree with the terms and conditions of use and you’re connected wherever you might roam (except Central Park… NYC planners have failed to attach weather-proof routers to specific trees. Then again, you never know what’s in the works, so don’t discount it when it comes to making future travel plans.)
More importantly, app-developers are as thick on the ground here as cockroaches, so there is always a handy little program to see you through any experience.
Here are a few that have been at the ready this far into my travels:
1. Instagram
I’m actually quoting a piece of New York graffiti that I saw on my Instagram feed, but ‘New York Is Instagram Heaven’.
Apart from the immortal ‘Bruce Woz Ere’, never have truer words been scrawled on concrete. Every new street brings a weird feeling of déjà vu, until you realise that you’re thinking of any one of a dozen TV shows or films made in the city. Yellow cabs, delivery boys, Fourth of July street cook-outs and the Empire State Building poking its pretty head out everywhere you look make for a potential case of RSI of the thumb when it comes to happy snaps. For example…

2. New York Subway
I’ve used this app approximately seven times a day since being here and it is really all that is standing between me accidentally ending up in the middle of a drive-by in Harlem. It has an incredibly sophisticated search function that allows you to search by address, station name, on a map or by famous landmarks.
In addition, not only does it function without wi-fi (on the occasions where the subway station rudely fails to offer it for free), but it also has step-by-step instructions as well as visual ones, which minimises potential divorces due to differences in male/female cognition. Ahem.



3. Bed Bugs 101
After an unfortunate incident some years ago with an antique bed head found on the side of the road, let’s just say bed bugs have been a sore point for me. After discovering that a huge number of NYC department stores, apartments and even some high-end hotels are infested with the nigh-impossible-to-kill critters, I was a little queasy about sleeping anywhere.
Enter Bed Bugs 101. This app, produced by www.protectabed.com, is a comprehensive guide to identifying, avoiding, and dealing with a potential bed bug problem.

4. Times Square Events
There’s nothing like the feeling of brushing up against 100,000 of your newest pals as you shove your way through the mayhem that is Times Square. If you want to get involved with one of the many, many shows or events happening in Times Square, you’d best be downloading this app quick smart.

In spite of the fact that you will have your thumbs occupied and your nose stuck in your iPhone for more of the trip than you may have anticipated, New York will not fail to excite, enchant and amaze you. It really is a shining example of the way tourism and technology can combine to make a geek-gasm of travel joy.
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The content cure

When it comes to viral content of the worst kind, you need a good meme to make it better…
Every now and again, a song comes along that is truly traumatising to the eardrums. It happened last year with Rebecca Black’s abomination (we dare not write the name of the song lest it become stuck in your head for another week) and, further back in history, it happened with Hanson’s Mmmm Bop, a song with one of the most mindless titles in history.
Just recently, however, it’s happened again – leaving devastation in its wake worldwide. From the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the shopping malls of Middle America, Carly Rae Jepson’s (don’t even get us started on singers with ‘Rae’ as their middle name) hit single Call Me Maybe is worming its way into people’s consciousness.
Since a problem shared is a problem halved, here’s the original for those of you previously lucky enough to escape hearing it:

Joking aside, fair play to the Canadian-born singer… with almost 180 million hits on YouTube, she’s achieved an incredible amount of fame in a very short time. Unfortunately for us, it’s with an incredibly annoying song.
Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and in this case, it’s the fact that a meteoric rise like Jepson’s brings with it a hoard of funny memes to ease the pain.
This one is our favourites, starring none other than Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster:

So go on… share it, maybe?
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On your marks… get set… whatever

Forget London, the Hipster Olympics is where the action is really at…
While a fair percentage of the world’s media – traditional and social – is focused on London at the minute as the countdown to the Olympics nears zero, we thought we’d take a different look at competitive sport.
In Berlin (oh, those crazy Germans), hordes of self-aware, self-consciously cool young ’uns are gathering for the Hipster Olympics.
Featuring events such as horn-rimmed glasses throwing, vinyl record-spinning, canvas bag jumping, confetti tossing, bubble tea drinking, fake beard fixing, skinny jeans tug o war and ironic moustache wearing, contestants compete for the right to shrug their shoulders dismissively when they win.
Here’s the action from Berlin, plus, as a special treat, footage from the last Hipster Olympics in New York (from a time when MySpace was big and cameras weren’t actually phones). The Message hereby nominates Sydney to be the host city for the 2016 Hipster Olympics. Who’s with us?





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Here is the YouNews

From entertainment portal to news site – YouTube has just got serious
In yet another blow for traditional media, YouTube has staked its claim as a serious news site by enabling users to upload clips with blurred faces – in the same way that news organisations do in some television reports.
YouTube already attracts four billion views a day to its motley collection of videos, and while many of them can be classified as ‘entertainment’, the Google-owned site is recognising how many people are now turning to it as a source of news – and how much of that news is being produced by ‘citizen journalists’.
As a result of last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami (footage of which was viewed 96 million times in a week on YouTube) American think tank the Pew Research Center has instigated a 15-month study of the most popular news videos on YouTube. The results are instructive.
The centre concluded that ‘at any given moment news can outpace even the biggest entertainment videos’, with news events (like the tsunami and the killing of Osama bin Laden) the most searched items in four out of the 12 months of 2011. Furthermore, 39 per cent of news videos were uploaded by ‘citizen journalists’ – in keeping with the peer-to-peer nature of social media that makes it so appealing to so many.
And while the centre points out that more people still receive their visual news from television at present, it may not be long before that changes.
Clearly, YouTube wants to be ready for such a viewing shift, with Amanda Conway, policy associate at YouTube, telling The Australian: ‘YouTube is proud to be a destination where people worldwide come to share their stories, including activists. We hope that the new technologies we’re rolling out will facilitate the sharing of even more stories on our platform.’
Although the ability to blur faces at the click of a button is still in its infancy, with Ms Conway pointing out that the ‘emerging technology… sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality [meaning] it’s possible that certain faces or frames will not be blurred’, the possibility will definitely appeal to those – like activists – who would prefer to remain anonymous for various reasons.
Moreover, it enables citizen journalists to capture events and hide the faces of those featured, reducing the potential risk of legal action down the track. It’s an intriguing development…
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