A celebration of the riches of the web.
Today in Web Monitor: not mellowing with age, the micro-celebrity and why we still have receipts.
• Actor Robert Downey Jr is back on the A-List, says Scott Raab at Esquire. At 44 Downey's not afraid to admit he doesn't feel like he's getting wiser with age:
"I hand it to any and everyone who has made it past their late thirties and has any sense of contentment, because you know so much, and the anxiety can be so overwhelming - and managing the anxiety is a skill set that seems like a menu that changes every day."
• How many fans are the perfect amount for a musician to make a living?
In the brave new musical world, the founding editor of Wired magazine Kevin Kelly suggests the future for musicians is to cultivate a small following of really dedicated fans. He's putting the magic number of fans to earn a living at 1000. That's assuming that the so-called "true fans" will be buy everything - merchandise and all - the artist sells.
To prove this, Ariel Hyatt in Music Think Tank found musician Matthew Ebel who makes makes 26.3% of his net income from just 40 hardcore fans.
But there is now a dissenting voice, standing-up for the casual fan. The Fingertips music blog argues that overlooking the importance of a mass of listeners who don't worship you will bring on an age of infinite bad music:
"If everyone now thinks they only need 1,000 fans to make it as a musician, then yikes - you won't believe how many more people will be out there trying to do just that.
And that, to me, is the biggest indictment of this well-intended but not well-thought-out idea: that it will in fact be a beacon of hope for 'vanity press' musicians who write and sing and record songs that they should not even be sharing with their friends, never mind 1,000 strangers. No matter how untalented and unpromising any one person with a Mac and a dream may be, he or she will be nothing but inspired to know that all they need are 1,000 fans and they can be a full-time, professional musician. Why, most of them probably have at least 600 Facebook friends. That sounds like they're already more than halfway there."
• Incidentally, in this digital world, why do we still have receipts? Chadwick Matlin in Big Money asked what it would take to get rid of receipts, the answer was so costly and complicated he gave up :
"So I begrudgingly and all-too-appropriately wave my white flag. You win, receipts. You're too entrenched for us to force out in a grassroots campaign. It's up to big business to get rid of you - the credit card companies are our only hope. And for obvious reasons, that means there isn't much hope at all."