SXSW: Keynote with Lou Reed

I know I may be starting to sound like a broken record, but the week was an amazing experience that brought together a very diverse and talented crowd of folks. It was great to see some of the latest and greatest new social media trends and technologies. It was also incredibly interesting to listen to folks in other fields talk about how technology is helping, extending, or, in the case of Lou Reed this morning, hindering, their artistic expression. And, like any great conference there were conflicting points of view. While the panel on "Best Online Resources" for musicians stressed that if you are a musician, and into music, you must be into technology too if you are going to "make it", Lou Reed discussed the negative impact of MP3s...that while yes, you can get as much music as you want, the quality of sound is poor. Do you want quantity or quality? And do you want the whole story (the whole album) or are you going to pick and choose the chapters (singles) that you want? Is it about artistic expression or about consumer choice? And he implored the attendees to "fix it." Either by taking a stand as a community or by improving the experience.

It's the classic technology struggle. Pushing forward as fast as possible while maintaining, or ideally, improving the experience.

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