Active résumés

Today's New York Times includes a brief article on music blogging. The story links to Webjay and quotes Lucas Gonze and Alf Eaton. I've written three recent entries about this phenomenon: The media-player fireswamp, Blogs + playlists = collaborative listening, and Networks of shared experience. My fascination with the topic may seem like diversion from my usual themes, and in a way it is, but I think the issues transcend music, copyright, and the RIAA.

Alf Eaton writes today:

I think the MP3 blogs (which are essentially annotated playlists) might well be taking the middle ground in the P2P vs music industry wars - I hope that the record industry will begin to see the value in what these grassroots enthusiasts are doing to promote their music. On the other hand, a large part of making these playlists under current laws involves turning your back on the major labels and concentrating on the music libre, the 'free music', the stuff that wants to be shared. Those artists that make their tracks freely available online are the ones that will benefit most from the collaborative filtering and recommendation networks that are being set up. [Hublog]
Let's extend that remark: Any professional whose work is visible on the Net will become part of the conversation that establishes reputation and creates opportunity. The blog is an active résumé that enables you to participate -- by proxy -- in that conversation.

What an active résumé should include will vary by profession and according to personal inclination. For a musician, a couple of complete tracks from each CD. For a home renovator, photos and write-ups of some completed projects -- and for extra credit, video walkthroughs. For a programmer, links to those of your applications, tools, or specifications that touch the public domain.

Here's the bottom line. What Alf calls "collaborative filtering and recommendation networks" will rival -- and my guess is, largely supplant -- conventional marketing and promotion. But if those networks can't find you, they won't be able to help you.

Former URL: