Music Discussion Network – ROI (Return On Investment)

You know you’re in the bottom of the 99%, when you have to look up the acronym “ROI,” because you truly and honestly have no idea what it means in the thing to which you’ve just been invited: a debate called “Be it resolved: That social media initiatives must pass an ROI test to be worthwhile.”
I would agree that a return on investment is necessary once one gets past the development stage of a website and its related content. However, if you’re doing something comparatively specific (http://youtube.com/durbow, http://music-discussion.net) and you haven’t invested anything other than your time and expertise (because that’s what you have), the “return” would presumably involve other people participating in the website with their own time and interest, such as in discussions.

Classicized Rock (Music and Culture – Podcast 1)

I’ve just launched my series of Video Podcasts, called “Music and Culture.” Podcast No. 1 is entitled “Classicized Rock: Heavy Metal, Progressive Rock, and Chamber Music.” A full, podcast version (MPEG-4, for iTunes, iPhones, etc.) will be available from my website. The complete presentation is 30 minutes long. However, I’ve also posted it on YouTube in two, slightly-edited halves: Part 1, Part 2.

“Classicized Rock” is about selected heavy metal and progressive rock bands (Black Sabbath, Genesis, Rush, and Metallica) and some of their songs (“War Pigs”, “The Fountain of Salmacis”, “The Spirit of Radio”, and “Master of Puppets”) adapted into classical chamber music (involving early music, pianos, violins, and cellos) by Rondellus, Ingve Guddal and Roger T. Matte, Rachel Barton, and Apocalyptica.

my summer work term

I needed a summer work term to complete my computer programming studies, and all I had in Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) was one interview at Research In Motion (i.e., the Blackberry) that didn’t lead to anything. However, a suitable position showed up on the e-mail list of the American Musicological Society. It’s a paid internship that’s 50% writing programme notes and doing web versions of those notes (incl. links, images, media, etc.) for the Bowdoin International Music Festival (which is mostly Romantic era chamber music) and 50% working on web/database programming for the AMS. So, it’s a highly weird combination of musicology and computers.

Bowdoin College is in Brunswick, Maine (25 minutes north of Portland, a.k.a. a little over two hours north of Boston), and the BIMF and AMS both have their offices on its campus. I do two weeks of work from here (Kitchener) starting next week, then I’m there for nine weeks (June 14 to August 13). The pay is OK, they’re also putting me up for free at a quite nice residence hall on the campus, they paid my visa and health insurance costs and gave me gas money to get there and back, and I also get two free tickets for every festival concert.

computers vs. musicology

I wish there were suitable musicology jobs to which I could apply during my three-week break from studies in computer applications development. However, there aren’t any, so by early 2010 I will probably promote “Plan B” (computers) to “Plan A.”

If anyone has even a slightly good argument for why I should do any further work as a so-called “independent” (i.e. unemployed) scholar in musicology (which will probably never lead to anything ever again) instead of learning, say, XML and Java (which would nicely supplement my studies and make me even more employable), I’d love to hear it.

Computer Applications Development

Re my just-started “Plan B” studies in Computer Applications Development at Conestoga College, I kicked ass on some recent course assignments and lab work, over the weekend worked on a tough-to-accomplish one-page resume (difficult given that my academic CV is nine pages long), yesterday went to a Research In Motion co-op job info session at the college (also with free pizza and soft drinks, and we each got a deck of cards with Blackberrys on them!), and today am going both to a career fair (where I hope to meet people from a couple of relevant companies: RIM, Desire2Learn, and RealNetworks) and to a session with the college’s IT Dean for those of us in computer programs, but who are older (“mature”).