Monday, July 5, 2010
Using Bukido in Real Time Social Situations
Target dictates Weapons dictates Movement
CARVER: Criticality: How Vital is overall mission? Accessibility: How easy to get to ? Recognizability: How easy to find? Vulnerability: How easy to knock down? Effect on overall mission: What is the impact to finish mission? Return on Effort: What is return on investment?
Surprise, Speed, Violence
Surprise: Increase Biochemical Stress
Speed: Eliminate time to adjust
Violence: Full Commitment
Improved Outcome Formula
Constant: Who I am in the Moment
Improvement: Small moves
Situation: You are not the situation
Assess the Situation
Create Simple Plan
Take Action
Friday, March 26, 2010
    In this article, we shall take a look at three strategies to utilize social networks to increase promotion and sales of music including one example of promotion of live music shows.  We will investigate and uncover how these new strategies and systems emerged and are regulated. 
    Today, advanced technologies are harnessing social dynamics to promote cultural products. These social interactions are now being automated, crowd-sourced, and leveraged to play an increasing role in how we find, buy, and consume musical entertainment. We begin by enquiring about how we arrived at this place in time where the old record stores and the over the air broadcast radio stations are taking an ever-decreasing role in providing music to the masses.  Finally, we will take a look at three social networks,,, and Gowalla to see how these social platforms are used by the music industry today and what it means to the independent musical artist. 

Change in the State of Music distribution 

    Before we can discuss MeetUp, Imeem, or Gowalla we need to address secondary facilitators with the rise of technology and the use of social networking platforms like FaceBook. These include various exogenous shocks to the music industry, such as changes to the legal landscape, new technology, and new technology entrants. 

    We begin with the passage of the Telecom Act of 1996. This unleashed the broad use of the Internet, the consolidation of radio/television entities, and broader competition over telecom services. 
    Prior to the introduction of the Telecom Act, Internet use was primarily the domain of universities and large corporations.  The act allowed a “New Era” of connectedness (Bridges 2001) of various broadcast and telecommunication companies to compete. For example, local exchange carriers were empowered to provide data services as well as cable operators, who were also endowed to provide data access to the Internet. A key provision was “Universal Access” which helped companies through subsidies to build out their communication networks. 

    Yet with the increased competition, also came deregulation cutting back on the ownership restrictions initiated by the Telecom Act of 1934. Whether consolidation of ownership creates less choice in the public is debatable, but its perception of lack of choice is still apparent. Radio Corporations like Clear Channel, control over a 1,000 radio stations, though as Professor Rossman detailed in lecture; the Hotelling theory tells us that monopolies in markets are intrinsically motivated to provide a variety to cover all segments of the market in which they dominate. 

    Finally, the Telecom Act did not provide regulation of large technology firms.  An attempt was made to wrangle in the expanding power of new digital content distributors via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, this act’s main impact has been to give power to the copyright holder over digital distribution of their work (Myers 2009). In reality, it simply created greater consolidation of web distribution by creating higher licensing fees of music and stricter enforcement of those licensing fees, thus allowing the copyright holders to simply take over the distribution. This occurred because to the streaming content rate hikes which squelched the business of streaming media. CBS’ take over of Yahoo’s Launchcast and Last.Fm are prime examples of this effect(NYTimes 2007). 

    A technology review affecting music industry of the last 100 years is a paper if not a book itself. Suffice to say, the cost of production has decreased, but the cost of distribution has shrunk even more dramatically. The fact that Moore’s Law, Metcalfe’s law,(Pang 2000) or Cooper’s law(ArrayCom 2010) have remained true simply mean that integrated circuits, networks, and bandwidth have continued to speed up, make less expensive, and expand capacity to provide fast reliable production, distribution, and consumption of digital content. 

    These technological changes enable new entrants to challenge the older guard of Warner Bros or CBS or NBC which are nearly 100 years old. (Rossman Lecture) (Knopper 2010)Companies like YouTube/Google, Facebook or Apple now play a critical role in how digital content will be distributed or consumed. 

    Massive changes have occurred to the record industry in terms of technology.  Apple computer is now the largest distributor of digital music in the world at nearly 70%(TG Daily 2008). Its iPod device is ubiquitous in terms of music consumption. Despite this apparent monopoly, the use of say the Herfindahl index to measure and reign in Apples’s apparent monopoly is difficult as digital downloads only make up 60% of all music sales in the US(TG Daily 2008). 

    Interestingly, despite efforts to control online media, the most popular site on the web is not owned by AOL/Time Warner or Fox Interactive but is privately held FaceBook. FaceBook boast over 300 million users(CNN 2009). To give you an idea of that kind of power, due to the changes in cable ownership, expansion of channels via satellite and the web. Fox or CNN boast at best 1-2 share or one to two million viewers for their top rated shows(bythenumbers 2009). Facebook has an audience of 200-300 times that. 

    Thus the rise of social networks has been the focus of media companies for some time. Fox purchased MySpace for “Users”(BBCNews 2005) as did Warner Bros’ merger with AOL(CNNfn 2000). But eyes are not enough as both have seen their investments flounder with various schemes to synergize those networks. Though the players have changed, their strategies have not, so we will now look at how the players in the music industry have adapted (BusinessWeek 2006). 
Same Strategies New Environment

    As any industry matures, over the last 100 years the record industry has been part of the media business community struggle to find ways to consolidate its power. Early entrants into broadcasting after deregulation such as Warner Bros, Disney, NBC/Universal,  all today have various radio and television divisions which produce their own content and distribute via their own networks. In fact, NBC/Univeral and Fox have their own web distribution site called as well ( 2007). Though there are no direct record labels that own any radio stations networks. The pattern to consolidate production of content with distribution of that content has not abated with the introduction of the Internet. 

    And so, the rise of social networks, like MySpace or Facebook has signaled a dramatic change in the way music would be delivered. It appears that the old media companies have tried to adapt primarily using three standard strategies: “pay for play aka payola”, vertical consolidation of corporate properties, and pursuing synergistic opportunities. 

    So the first round of music distribution came with attempts to do pay for play. One of the first major entrants in this scheme of old strategy / new environment was Yahoo’s  Launchcast.  Launchcast which is now owned in part by CBS, initially offered a personalized radio channel based on the users musical tastes. But it soon became apparent that a portion of the songs you listened to did not fit in. The Launchcast Private Policy document (YahooLegal 2010) openly states that it shares your information with affiliates and other entities for marketing and promotion. Note, as the Internet radio provider, it is not held to any FCC standard like regulation. Regardless, CBS can hide the details in limbo within its legal privacy policy text.  But note, a new entrant to Internet radio Jango, actually offers labels pay for play upfront without any fear of legal recourse(TechCrunch 2009). 

    Regardless, the synergistic approach and consolidation is not limited to just old media players like CBS or Fox. Apple has recently purchased social music network 2009). As the largest digital distributor of music, even Apple needed to extend and combine its musical distribution muscle beyond the confines of its iPod device and iTunes application user interface to reach directly onto the web in any web browser. Thus, Apple is combining synergistically its iPod, iTunes Library, to the entire reach of the web.

    So both new and old companies are looking at social networks to extend their reach . Do the same strategies of the past work? And what are these companies doing to utilize these social networks to distribute their products? 
Network Externalities, Social Dynamics Prevail for the New Gatekeepers
In the past, due to regulatory restrictions record companies have focused on the surrogate gatekeepers. Those being initially the radio programmers or DJ’s of the station were the primary targets. As the industry moved from a cycle of payola scandals, new regulations created “Indy promoters” or a third party to handle the interchange of record companies needs to pander and radio station needs to increase profits. 
But as radio continues to decrease its audience, a new gatekeeper has emerged. This new surrogate takes two forms; the online community organizer and the social network platform itself. As these social networks grow, again record companies are willing to pay to gain access to their audiences. 
Let’s look at three recent strategies and their effectiveness in reaching their target. 
The Influencer

    One approach was to use “Organizers” embedded in social networks to promote the album. Recently, Bruce Springsteen released an album “Working on a Dream”. There are many networks to choose from. The author of this paper has first hand knowledge of this, as the author is a member of Thus, the author has personal knowledge of this promotion. The label approached Meetup to promote the album. Here is their approach:

    They offered $50 dollars to each online organizer of various online groups. For example, my good friend Ken Heyden has a group called “Drinking with Strangers”. It is important to note, it is unknown what the age, sex, or musical preference of this group is as neither the Organizer nor the MeetUp network collect such data. Mr. Heyden has a group of over 3,000 active members. He was given $50 dollars for a banner ad link on his group’s site for 90 days and 4 free CD’s, as were many other organizers with similarly sized groups around the country. 

    This approach is clearly identical to what record labels do with “Indy Promoters”. The idea being that Mr. Heyden would promote this album to his audience, just as in the same way the “indy” would give the CD’s to various radio station programmers to promote. The author spoke to Ken, and he had no idea what to do with just 4 CD’s of the album. He is not a program director or DJ. Thus other than the link to Bruce Springsteen’s promotion site, this old strategy was apparently ineffective. 

    Another approach of which this author is personally familiar with was with the promotion of U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” album. In this case, the record label used another social network Imeem, which was recently was purchased by Fox’s MySpace(Billboard 2009) another attempt to synergize the features of the shrinking community social network.  In this scenario, “Buzz Agents” or online promoters working for U2 posed as the Imeem members calling themselves “U2” on Imeem. 

    A few weeks prior to release of their latest album, they apparently searched for persons who had either uploaded U2 songs, tagged U2 as a group they like, or possibly listed groups associated to U2 like the Alarm (another 80’s rock band).  They then proceeded to ask to be a “Friended” . “Friending” is an act in which one participant requests to share information of a personal nature with the other. It is doubtful that U2 band members would spend hours or days adding friends. So we must assume this was a promotional team. Then on the day of the release of their album, they utilized their “Friends” by sending them a link to a special Imeem page that included their entire new album of songs. Each song could be listened to in its entirety. And, each song had a link to purchase it via iTunes or Amazon.  

    We can see by comparing these two, which was more effective. Obviously getting your songs into the ears directly of fans is the most effective use of a social network. Imeem being a music based social network has the data profile that would make best use of targeting consumers of music.  

    But these are online uses solely, can social networks be used to persuade social action off the Internet? Just as a point of fact of social networks being used directly by promotional arms of major media corporations, this author has been approached by major book publishers and movie studio promotional arms to help market their products. Penguin asked the author’s Generation X Meetup group to attend an 80’s genre book signing and Sony Picture’s used their street promotion team to promote the Gamer Film to the author’s bar group. In each case they used the social network to get people offline to participate or interact with their product.  But, newer technologies have extended that reach even farther. 

    Gowalla a smart phone / GPS based social network has recently begun promoting musical shows via its social network. Recently during the South By Southwest Tech Convention in Austin, they added a Smokey Robinson “Badge”(AustinChron 2010). The concept with GPS or proximity based social networks like Gowalla or Foursquare is to use actual locations and rewards to persuade people to interact with the sponsored product. Gowalla does this by offering badges to persons who complete location based tasks. These badges are stored in their smart phone in the Gowalla phone application. In some cases the badge can be shown as a coupon for that venue as was the case for the Smokey Robinson Show.  Recently Warner Bros Valentines Day film used Foursquare to make users travel to all the locations in the movie to gain a “Valentine’s Day” badge(Foursquare 2010), which could be used at participating theaters for a discounted ticket. 

    So despite the new technologies, the strategies have basically remained the same. Use surrogate gatekeepers for promotion of recording artists. In some cases the surrogate gatekeeper has been the social network platform. And in other cases, the gatekeeper has been an online organizer of communities embedded in that social network platform. 
Future Strategies and Directions

    These three social network instances are just scratching the surface of how the recording industry and media conglomerates in general are beginning to use social networks.  The author foresees three issues gaining greater significance in the coming years. These deal with information cascades, human capital investments, and greater reliance of network externalities. 

    As there is a continual need to build momentum for recording artists, greater and greater reliance on rank in specific social networks will gain greater importance. Thus the concept of information cascades, or herd effects will be increasingly used. Whether the behind the scenes manipulation of this will create another scandal is not known. But most users assume that “magical algorithms” place an artist at the top of a list by popularity of their talent not random choice or undisclosed sponsorships. As these destinations gain in stature the lists will too. 

    As the need to find what Malcolm Gladwell calls the “influencer” increases, we are already seeing media networks invest in human capital. From American Idol to Style TV’s Design Star, the use of a manufactured “Tournaments Model” for an artist to reach a level of “Super Stardom” exists today. But in terms of human capital investment we have yet to see it in terms of social networking stars. Today companies are already paying celebrities to co-op their Twitter feeds to inject ads (TechCrunch 2010). The time to create social network influencers is here, it stands to reason that the investment should naturally follow. 

    Finally, as we become more connected, the importance to be continually connected increases. In the first years of MySpace and Facebook, these networks were closed data silos. But increasingly in the last few years efforts have begun to share data(Wikipedia 2010). This cross-seeding of socially networked information is only going to make network effects ever more powerful. In fact, currently many sites use Facebook updates and twitter feeds in their content. New tools are enabling audio to be aggregated across networks as well.  

Conclusion: The Fate of the Independent Musician

    Thus even though the major players have changed little, the strategies have changed slightly, the platforms or technologies, and results continue to evolve. As changes in laws changed the landscape of the major media players, little has been done for the independent non-signed artist. They remain stuck in self-subsidy and jousting to miraculously unseat the super star. And despite the decreasing cost of both production and distribution, artists still need to gain access to these social networks where the lists are gamed by conglomerates, ads are controlled by labels, and the resources to hire “buzz agents” to be-friend millions remain in the same hands for the most part as they did over nearly a century ago. 

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Verbing Meetup: Network Effects, Information Cascades and Surface Credibility

I recently stopped in at an event at the HMS Bounty. It was hosted by a little Facebook group called HiddenLA. (little? ha ha) What is remarkable about this group is it started with a blog of about 30 friends wishing to celebrate what Los Angeles had to offer. Now in less than a year has 140,000 fans via Facebook! Really it was a brainchild of a marketing executive in between gigs. But after meeting with W.Lynn Garrett and listening to her passion, I realized this is a great example of Network effects, Information Cascades, Surface Credibility and Social Coordination Problems. And it relates to recent decisions by MeetUp to make changes to their interface and features that to some seemed insane but in light of this event at a dingy dive bar in Korea Town makes more sense than ever. I am going to discuss several theories here, so here is the simplest recap of them: Network Effects / Network Externalities / Small World Networks The idea is simple people are connected, value from the connection expands with the number of people connected. I tell two people a story, they tell two people each and the geometric expansion of message distribution spreads. (Granovetter) Information Cascades People follow what is popular. If something gets popular even by initial sheer random choice by any number of factors that popularity is compounded by others seeing the popularity and following suit increase the popularity of the initial random choice (Duncan Watts / Mathew Salganick Princeton) Surface Credibility As we developed (cognitively via evolution) we developed an ability to make snap judgments about everything. Though, we can override those decisions through rational thinking, we operate on those judgments continually. Credibility or Trust is a component that enables our social brains to cooperate briefly in an "Open Savanna" based on just a assemblage of a few visual/auditory/olfactory bits of data. Web sites have the clues too, recently updated blogs or posts, ownership etc. ( BJ Fogg Stanford) Common Knowledge / Social Coordination / Theory of the Mind The idea is social coordination requires knowledge of shared knowledge.. Easy example, as children we lack that skill. At 3-4 we move a stool and begin climbing to reach the cookie jar. Our mother sees us and we see mom staring back. But we have no idea at 3-4 what her frown means and no idea what she is thinking. By 7-8 the cookie jar is higher, but this time if she looks at us the same way. We know that she knows what we are thinking.. We want cookie.. Social Coordination works the same, Sally: You going to the Political Rally? Bob:Yes, if your going..Sally: If your going I am going..(Micheal Chwe UCLA) Meetup recent changes to their in interface. Though I know its a work in progress and I doubt the engineers have studied Information Cascades or Surface Credibility tests. They are on to the right thing. And here is why... Getting rid of the friends feature. Many MeetUp Organizers thought this was a death blow to their existence. At first I thought not sure it that was wise. But after last night with HiddenLA I realized it was critical. MeetUp is not Facebook. And Facebook has a robust API that MeetUp has yet to fully harness. That said, MeetUp friends was a closed network. And when you want Network Effects to take hold, closed networks don't work. Not at all... What that means is as the MeetUp CTO mentioned in the future they may implement Facebook. They have already done so with baby steps by allowing signing in of MeetUp events on Facebook. Well, every social network platform is a moving target. But Meetup has qualities even Facebook can't touch. So focusing on MeetUp strengths and not its weak closed friendship service was a wise move. Especially if they hook into Facebook. Remember, HiddenLA started with 30 people and now have 140,000 fans via Facebook.. No MeetUp Group on earth can grow that fast. It added 60,000 fans in two weeks! So we see that network of Friends moves fast... How and why that fast? Is it just a Big Network? Yes and no. I worked the room of 50-60 people who showed up for the HiddenLA event. All came through Facebook, all found out about it via Facebook. Despite the fact HiddenLA has a great blog.. But more about that later. Facebook provides streams, of as some call them "LifeStreams" lists of data updates from video, events, foursquare, twitter, and beyond. So if one person signs up to be a fan, that person's network gets the update. Its shared. If ten people sign up and each has different set of 100 friends. Imagine the diffusion after those 10,000 friends sign up? Quite a few mentioned that they saw their friend join via the Facebook stream and joined too. The majority of blogs don't have a single follower. HiddenLA started rather quickly with 30 or so friends. Those 30 were friends who happen to be Jazz musicians. A distinct and close knit group, but also people who get out and meet and perform. So in terms of a Information Cascade, when Lynn took the Blog Idea to Facebook she had already 300 members. Larger than say my favorite mistake for a fan page LampsPlus a national retail outlet. This initial popularity gave HiddenLA a foothold most groups never get. A real, though at first small, dedicated fans of nostalgic LA. MeetUp has its own cascades, it lists the "Most Members" or Best Match. While Best Match can be tweaked by adding topics that are popular and listing the zip code to more dense areas of meetup members. Most members groups require some help not only from Information Cascades but also surface credibility. What helped HiddenLA was the Blog. This was a well crafted informative blog about Los Angeles. The design was professional and the content well crafted. Web Credibility is something that has been studied over and over. Although HiddenLA does not hit every point outlined by the researchers and academics the one they do hit they do very well. They list their members, update with recent posts and have a well organized layout with some depth of information. This gives a sense of authority. Authority that MeetUp lacks in some respects. MeetUp does not provide much in terms of content. Video is small and at the bottom. About pages are not indexed and linked to the front with excerpts, so some surface credibility could be improved. Meetup does have clear identity to who is running the group and why. Where as HiddenLA does not. It is unclear who is running the show. But the recent moves to create a stream of events adds to each groups credibility. It shows that this MeetUp is a live active group with things going on under the surface, by bringing it to the surface. Now I have a group of 2,000+ members. I regularly get between 50-150 people showing up. Lynn Garrett has 140,000 members and got around 50 people to show up. That is in part I believe to her credibility gap, as constrained by Facebook features and Wordpress feature sets. Her events are not persuasive enough. Though thankfully she does not get 8-10% show up. I don't think HMS Bounty could handle 12,000 people. But here lies the problem... MeetUp needs to focus on surface credibility while opening up its network. Lynn now has to deal with spammers on her site. She has a full time job. And its only going to get more complex. MeetUp is providing tools (slowly) to help event organizers organize. But it is precisely by adding those streams to Meetup that enable the sharing of Social Coordination. MeetUp members can see who is going, what activities they are doing. This enhances common knowledge. Her Blog lacks that. And the HiddenLA is now full of spam comments about other events and locales offering events.. This hurts the credibility of the group. And is certainly a justification of why MeetUp holds such tight reins in on group feature sets. And yet they are wisely opening up to letting a MeetUp be a Verb, as in creating and sharing the common knowledge of "You Going?" "Yea,If your going" "Okay I'm Going!". But its the transition, community organizers will need to handle the chasm between Facebook and MeetUp to deal with the issues of Information Cascades, Surface Credibility, and Network Effects. Links: Facebook: WebCredibility: Granovetter Mathew Salganik Michael Chwe Duncan Watts
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The New Digital Sweat Shops.. Mechanical Turking and Migrant Content Farms

It didn't take long for business to take advantage of the economic global recession. Two trends I am researching are the Migrant Content Farm Workers and Sweat Shop Crowdsourcing. Both being handled by legitimate companies. One is a worldwide brand and the other produces and pushes out content around the globe to major distributors like Yahoo, Hearst and various other regional newspapers. is run by and the other is Demand Media. Both use concept of crowd-sourcing to drive the capital cost of content creation down. As the internet has driven the marginal costs of content distribution to zero, the race is on to tackle the upfront cost of actually creating content. What is particularly fascinating about these two enterprises is the brazen way they wish to devalue content and human intelligence. Check out Amazon's SweatShop: Check out Demand Media Content Farming: Crowdsourcing now has a slick high tech slum... And its brought to you by Amazon dot com.. More on my investigation later...
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

finding its resonance frequency

I have been always interested in Apple and any announcement of new technology coming out of Cupertino. And today the announced the iPad. Which I agree with some female twitters is a poor choice of a name. Regardless of its nomenclature, the thing exists in a space that many critics, such as those at TechCrunch feel has no need to be filled. Such that there is no space for it. But I disagree. As someone who fought the lean forward lean back arguments in interactive TV, that was the argument of who would control the Living Room. Well, in my mind Apple decided to not necessarily leave the Living Room but rather go into the room next door. The den. The Den is that space between the living room and the Kitchen. Its that home office nook, that space where it might be near the entry or tucked into the rear looking out to the backyard. Its where you lounge without the 40-50 inch screen. Its where you sort bills quickly without opening Quicken. Its where you answer the phone and decide where to eat. The iPad is a den product. Its where that magazine rack might be if I were not connected to the net. There are times I check my iphone and think god this screen is tiny... That right there is the space that TechCrunch did not get. And maybe many won't. If you live in a small studio apartment in SF or NY, dens don't exist. But Steve lives in a house that has one (presumably). As do many people who have Macs and iPhones. He doesn't sell anything cheap, so he knows what his market can bear. The question is will it resonate? Is their enough specific behavioral vibrations (as it were) that will make the object amplify its power to the user? This is something I will be working on in the future. I believe massive social actions require resonance to make them tip to massive scales. But I digress. The iPod powered by millions of songs / TV and iPhone powered by 100K apps found many resonant frequencies. Places and spaces where that app or capability was exactly what you needed. And felt more powerful because of that need. I driving around and I am lost in trying to find a bar. I google voice search it. Get a map problem solved. Or I see an actor undercover leave a print shop and think dam what's his name. IMDB in seconds solves it for me. But its not just the object's resonant frequency that matters. Think of the famous opera singer that can sing a note that cracks a champagne glass. Little off here or there in temperature or not the right kind of glass, or more importantly the ambient sound is too great it doesn't work. But that singer knows the exact pitch to break glass. To create a vibration that in and of itself creates a powerful moment only if everything is perfect for that to happen. And that is the conundrum of Apple's iPad. Can it survive the attacks from HP/Dell/Acer from a very capable Windows 7 and from the bottom up from Google's Chrome OS. I would venture yes, but only in so much as macbooks survive. It will not be a dominant player in the future of slate computing as their iPod and iPhone are. Why? Intel and Arm players do not sit quietly. So the edge on power consumption may be short lived. Both other OS and hardware configs will have ebooks, OLED or LED backlits, they will have more options like SD slots, web cams, and USB ports. No they will not be slick and as stylish as an iPad. And that is the problem, more options create more opportunity to find that resonant pitch. Its not easy, its not printed in acoustic manuals or physic books on sound. That sound that internal "Aha" is mysterious at best. The iPad requires three things to find that resonate frequency: 1)Fairly reliable wifi or 3g in large homes. Remember small homes of tech already have roku, boxee, laptops, netbooks, iphones, etc. Large homes don't always get great wifi due to walls and windows and multiple floors 2) A Space where no laptop, desktop or net connected TV exist. My Samsung blu-ray has net connection ability built in... Though its no substitute for an iphone or ipad but it will get me my netflix and youtube.. 3) Free time to veg comfortably. I would never write this blog post with one.. Why? I walk into my office and use my 24inch iMac. Add a keyboard to iPad? why? Students may rejoice on it as they already use iphone and evernote to snap whiteboards for lectures. But serious writing is done in an office with a big desk and comfy chair. But this last issue is critical. Steve sat in a comfy chair and just fiddled with it. Perfect use for one. But I am not Steve Jobs, I do video editing, I do statistical analysis of social issues with SPSS, I do photo editing, and web research.. But would I like to read my textbook in an iPad in bed or in my den sure. Would I like to have it downstairs to check a movie and get tickets for show for me and my wife absolutely... But then of course I have a den.