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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Here we go... blogging all over the world

Jason Cranwell’s Pop Cop blog was already doing a great job of covering the thriving music scene in his home town of Glasgow when he had an idea: wouldn’t it be good if music bloggers like him got together to share songs from around the world?OMG OTTERSUNFAMILIAR HABITATTOUCHY FEELYBROWSING AROUND... INSTANT RADIO STATIONSFIVE-MINUTE WONDER

So the Music Alliance Pact was born. Starting with bloggers in 12 countries, on the 15th of each month they all chose one song by a local artist to share with everyone else.

Jason gathers together the submissions, edits them into shape, and the whole package gets distributed to all participating sites. The original 12 contributors has now grown to 24, with new blogs from Japan and Venezuela due to be added this month.

So alongside Jason’s Scottish recommendations, you’ll also see tips from English site The Daily Growl (thedailygrowl.co.uk), Ireland’s Nialler9 (nialler9.com), Sweden’s Swedesplease (swedesplease.net – which is written in English) and lots more.

“I started the Pact because I was writing about great new Scottish bands to a predominantly Scottish readership, but I wanted to find a way for this music to reach a wider audience,” said Jason, whose blog can be found at thepopcop.blogspot.com along with a Music Alliance Pact archive.

“In order to do that, I ended up getting the entire world involved.”

Music blogging started out some years as an edgy activity that annoyed some record company executives. But up-and-coming bands saw the opportunity to get their music out and pull in new fans – and now a lot of the labels depend on the blogs to find the good stuff for them. Funny how times change, isn’t it?

There’s a theory that if you can imagine something, there’ll be a website about it. And if there isn’t one and you say so online, someone will soon create it. The Daily Otter (dailyotter.tumblr. com) might not feature in many imaginations, but if you ever find yourself needing cheering up, or just needing a quick dose of cute otter pictures, there’s no website better.

It’s otter pics, and only otter pics, every day. All the cute you need, on one page.

Habitat (www.habitat.co.uk) might sell gorgeous furniture, but it took a while to get the hang of using Twitter. Recently an official Habitat Twitter account (twitter.com/habitatuk) started posting advertisement-style messages with very inappropriate tags such as “Iran” – effectively spamming the serious news side of the site. Twitterers got angry and Habitat hastily pulled the posts. Now there’s a contrite apology and someone more canny at the controls. It must be working, because despite all the fuss, the feed has more than 780 followers.

They’re coming: sleek internet tablets with touch-screen interfaces. All the computer companies are building one, but none of them will admit it in public.

Rumour has it that Dell is working on one. And so is Apple, which recently renamed all its laptops “MacBook Pro”, leaving the plain “MacBook” label free for a gadget widely expected to look a lot like a wider, taller, iPod Touch.

Create your own radio station S3FM

www.s3fm.co.uk

Drift off with permanent bedtime

www.s3fm.co.uk/permanentbedtime

Rhubarb, community radio from Birmingham

www.rhubarbradio.com

Gems from Radio 4

www.speechification.com

Student radio from Edinburgh

www.freshair.org.uk

Find many more stations

www.radiofeeds.co.uk

One-thousand-frames-per-second slow motion

www.vimeo.com/4167288

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