On blogging

Photo by Annie Mole from Flickr.com

Photo by Annie Mole from Flickr.com

The discovery of the art of blogging has been accidental, amongst my efforts in the development of ambisonia.

The discovery is simply that blogging is an art. It is a medium in itself.

Its kinda like writing a diary, but the diary is public. Writing something publicly creates an exciting challenge that I have blogged about before. It creates the challenge of sincerity versus security.

If I could just quote myself:

The ego blocks sincerity and it is sincerity that creates a voice. Being sincere (as an artist) is extremely difficult, because it exposes, and to be exposed is to be vulnerable.

Since blogging is an art, it follows that it is difficult to blog sincerely. But sincerity is truth (or something like that) … and I am drawn to truth. I’d give my right arm to be able to wax sincerity. I believe it would be one of the most liberating of freedoms.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Johnny Cash. There’s an engaging sincerity about his work. Check out the below song, “Hurt”.

Funny thing about “Hurt” is that it was written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Johnny Cash is actually just covering it… but he still manages to bring a sincerity to it that hints that he has ‘lived’ those emotions. Check out the original … it an entirely different aesthetic:

Its a demonstration that the aesthetic is secondary to the art. Although the video in Nine Inch Nails’ performance of it is gripping, Johnny Cash’s version is almost more raw.


To me, the master of blogging is Dave Winer. I was extremely interested to read his “Three examples of great blogging” post … now from some weeks back. The three qualities that his 3 sample posts have are:

1. People talking about things they know about, not just expressing opinions about things they are not experts in (nothing wrong with that, of course). Permalink to this paragraph

2. Asking hard questions that powerful people might not want to be asked. Permalink to this paragraph

3. Saying things that few people have the courage to say. Permalink to this paragraph

Point 3 is the one I’d like to thrash out. It takes a lot of courage to speak sincerely. It takes perception to see a truth, but it takes courage to speak it.

I think that having the courage to communicate a truth that you have perceived is what being an artist is about. Its a 2 pronged thing … you have to be able to see that truth … and then you have to be able to communicate it.

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3 Responses to On blogging

  1. Henry says:

    Not on the same topic, but I wondered if you had any plans to do automatic conversion of all the Ambisonic files to either binaural or UHJ and have those on the already available download buttons?

    I’m sitting here looking at all the lovely content, thinking “Can I be bothered to download it and move it into Cubase, etc. etc. and play it?” The answer is unfortunately no. But I could just download UHJ files and play those direct through my monitoring system or even, hey, any stereo system.

    If time is pressing, then perhaps promote UHJ as ‘Stereo Compatible,” (which it is) and enable me to upload all the UHJ files that I already have. And then see if the downloads of those files spike at all:)

  2. Hi Henry,

    I’m working on (and have been for a while) a new version of Ambisonia, which is totally geared towards accessibility. Essentially, visitors to the site will be capable of hearing stereo directly out of the browser, or 5.1 through computer speakers (directly out of the browser), or 5.1 through an AV receiver (directly out of the browser).

    The technology for this is already implemented… and the new site is getting very close. I have a few more things to complete, such as making sure the “Uploader” application works well on all OSs .. and a few other things.

    The aim is to release the new site as a private beta to all the existing uploaders … get lots of material on there, make sure the site is fast and stable .. then release a new site with high accessibility.

    The new site will also have a tipping system built in. So uploaders can earn. How much could uploaders earn? … I dont know, its a tipping system so tips could be anything from 10c to … god knows what.

    I’m thinking that what I might do is release the site as a beta to existing uploaders (without the tipping system) … then as the uploaders test teh new site and put lots of content up, I’ll build in the tipping system. Then when everything looks hunkydory and there is lots of content there, I’ll open to the wide world.

  3. Martin says:

    I don’t think Henry was suggesting this for production, but being able to *upload* UHJ files to Ambisonia would be a mistake. (Doing it for testing is not a problem.) This is because you can convert B-Format to UHJ, but not UHJ to B-Format.

    The goal, I would suggest, is to get people downloading B-Format. Offering them UHJ would be a step towards that goal. If content was available in UHJ but not B-Format then the goal would be defeated.

    On the production system, uploads should be confined to B-Format (whether in “.amb” format or its successor.)

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