Discogs Fan Mail: 2016 to 2018

Welcome to the madhouse!

Adding and updating information in Discogs is an interactive process.

While it is surprisingly easy to sign up and then begin populating the database with new entries or to edit existing ones, it is also just a matter of time before another user or “voter” comes along to see what a rookie user has been up to. There might be questions.

Errors get pointed out, advice is given, links to the relevant guideline are provided – and it is usually no later than this when our new user realises his efforts have a very human audience after all.

He is not alone. There’s someone looking over his shoulder.

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15 years at Discogs

Edited hero image (lifted from discogs.com)

So today is my 15th Oggsday. I’ve been a member of discogs.com for a decade and a half.

It has become as much a part of my daily online regimen as checking my email or Twitter feed. No other site has grabbed my attention in the way that Discogs has, nor has any other online resource infuriated me in the same manner.

Discogs is as fascinating as it is frustrating.

Now, if this sounds somewhat familiar, then you’d be right: I used a similar introduction for my 10th Oggsday. Read that article first to gain insight into how it all began and how things developed during my first decade there.

What’s happened since? Which features and improvements have been introduced?

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How to get stuff done

Getting shit done in Megawatt Park, 1977 (photo via Dad)

Do you have a lot of stuff on your plate? Do you have notes and reminders all over the place? Are you always busy – yet feel like nothing gets done? Join the club.

If you have post-it notes strewn all over the place and, like me, have them sequentially numbered and, worst of all, connected to one another, then you’re in real trouble.

You ain’t gonna get shit done this way. Trust me on this.

Here’s a bit of a life hack. For free.

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Evacuating MySpace

MySpace profile pic from 2009

Ah, MySpace! Would those of you still using MySpace please stand up?

Nobody? But you do remember it? You’ve heard of it? Perhaps you’ve simply all but forgotten about MySpace once more flashy toys like YouTube and Facebook showed up?

Or have you forgotten your password and haven’t been able to recover it because you’ve also lost that disposable Hotmail account you signed up with? Bummer.

Well, it’s been a while since it was the poster child of the burgeoning social media scene — back when we all had a friend named Tom Anderson and there was tons of new and free music to be discovered there. MySpace was the cool place to hang out at.

Myspace launched in [2003] and was acquired by News Corporation [two years later] for $580 million. From 2005 to 2008, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. In June 2006, it surpassed Google as the most-visited site in the United States.

Myspace was also huge for the music scene and functioned as a self-serving advertising platform for those seeking publicity.
The Bean Team

MySpace was instrumental in furthering the careers of acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey (as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen”), Lily Allen, and My Chemical Romance. Needless to say, even established artists had to have a presence there.

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The management of projects

The supreme Basement Archaelogist

There are projects, and then there are projects.

There are projects that reveal themselves as mere tasks when they’re completed in one or two sessions. There are projects that depend on the successful completion of others.

There are projects that have hard deadlines – whether set by yourself or by outside agents. Often there is a plan that determines which projects should be tackled immediately, those which can be delayed, or those that eventually get dropped altogether. There is also this thing called “life” – born as the unholy offspring of human nature, boredom, exhaustion, financial situations and changing personal circumstances.

Life doesn’t find a way. Life gets in the way.

Then there are the ongoing projects: responsibilities and maintenance tasks that you take on for reasons important to nobody but your own delusion of “the greater good”.

One project may delay the start of others. One of these is my “SA labels” project at Discogs.

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A decade at Twitter

The real Angry Bird! (photo by unknown)

No sooner did I announce that 2019 is a year packed with anniversaries do I realise, quite by chance, that today marks my 10th year on Twitter.

It was none other than Jason Scott who (indirectly) pointed me towards Twitter and, like most first-time users, I had absolutely no idea what to do with it nor what to expect of it. Twitter was different to the other social platforms of the time.

My début tweet was “Just signed up on twitter. Now trying to figure out why.”

In its early days, micro-blogging was as confusing as it was innocent.

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Welcome to 2019

Inside the tower of tapes (photo by hmvh DOT net)

We’re into a new year. 2019 is an extension to a new beginning.

The first order of the year is to finish off a recurring project on Discogs and clear out its leftovers. Printed matter has already been filed away. There’s still stuff to be archived. More people will be bothered. There will be blood. More on that in a future post.

Then it’s off to digitise that proverbial shoebox of photos and slides under the bed. There will be printed matter shredded. There will be blood relatives re-discovered. Media will get increasingly social as part of a long-running experiment whose apex is nearing.

There’s an audio experiment to finish and a bunch of tape decks to repair.

It’s a year full of anniversaries. New knowledge and skills shall be acquired.

And finally, yes, I finally want to must make a major stride forward in that project started in early 2008.

Let’s get cracking.

Photo credits: hmvh DOT net + the BBS archive

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Review: 2018

R.I.P. Courage

As 2018 nears its end, it’s time to reflect on a year that isn’t particularly memorable.

If anything, it may be remembered as just a(nother) year of data breaches and security risks. It began in January when it was revealed that just about every CPU (Intel, AMD, ARM) is vulnerable to the Spectre and/or Meltdown exploits that could potentially allow access to sensitive data stored in an operating system’s protected kernel. In March, it was disclosed that Cambridge Analytica had scraped the data of at least 87 million Facebook users for nefarious purposes.

MyFitnessPal, Ticketfly, MyHeritage, Ticketmaster, Reddit, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, and Marriott were just some of the other famous names who had substantial user data compromised during the year (and are known of). Google announced the planned shutdown of its Google+ platform following (two publicised) data breaches.

Mailboxes were flooded with TOS update notifications as the EU parliament implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), “the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years” on 25 May 2018. Social media analytics service Klout shut down the same day.

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