Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning often means organizing piles of memorabilia — thank you who invented scanners. My latest cleaning/organizing/scanning project was a direct response to John’s desire to share with his family (all the way down to those great grandchild) the events surrounding the honor he received this past January. I scanned all the NEA Jazz Masters and IAJE memorabilia we collected, added in some photos (by Leroy Hamilton), audio and video clips, plus a little narration and a bunch of clippings to create a computer CD. When I decided to create the presentation as if it were a web site (so that anyone with a browser could open the files regardless of what computer system they use) my tech guru, Robert, suggested I use a free WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) open source web authoring program called
NVU. Worked like a charm.

Speaking of a great use of photos, I recently took time to really check out Bill Crow’s new web site. WOW! Bill has posted beaucoup photos, and you really should browse the whole site so as not to miss Bill’s four-up head shot for commercial casting or the one with him riding off to a gig on his Lambretta motor scooter with his bass strapped on to the back. And don’t limit your meanderings to the photo pages, there are wonderful pix accompanying the bio and lots of links to other great sites. (Thanks, Bill, for including me on the links list.)

While I’m on the subject of visuals and spring cleaning, online re-designs are in the air: two of note this week are The New York Times and All About Jazz. In addition to a cleaner-looking more readable appearance, and the inclusion of more multimedia and podcasts, the other latest/hottest must-have “element” seems to be a listing (withy links) of the most popular stories — either the most read, and/or the most emailed. The Times also has a list, updated hourly, of the “most blogged.”

These lists put a new spin on the idea of word-of-mouth or grassroots. It used to be that one person told five (or fifty or even five hundred), and they who were told in turn told others, who told others, and so forth. In that scenario, the telling takes place amongst the audience or consumers. With these lists, supported by the automated aggregation of data, the publisher or originator is now a direct and ongoing participant in the propagation. I’m not sure how that is going to change things, but I suspect it will have some impact down the road. I’ll bet Malcolm Gladwell would have an opinion about this.

As always, time will tell. Meanwhile, what do you think?