Dustin the turkey refuses to pull Out of Eurosong contest

While living overseas usually a day doesn’t go by when you aren’t asked something about where you are from. Most of the time the questions are easy, for example why is Ireland so green? Easy, it rains all the time. Other times the questions can be hard like why did Ireland rejected the Treaty of Nice the first time around, eh… Slavery?

However this one is going to be real hard. What! Has Ireland entered a puppet turkey into the Eurovision Song contest? Eh … I believe to understand this, one must first consider the socio-political situation that led to World War I…

Well not yet, but Ireland’s own, Dustin the Turkey, has gotten down to the final six and on February 23rd it will go to the nation to pick who they feel should represent Ireland in Serbia. The other final five competitors are up in arms, because there is a very real chance that they could lose.

Three of the country’s top music men, songwriter Phil Coulter, Frank McNamara and Eurovision veteran Shay Healy, all criticised the decision by an RTE committee to select the popular bird as one of the six finalists for Ireland’s entry.

However it may not be the end of the world. Dustin has been an ambassador for Ireland before, in my travels I have seen him on American TV (I believe he was running for president) and more recently on aussie TV. I still remember the first time Dustin appeared on the Den, who would have thought he was last this long?

Dynamic mp3 pricing – Good idea, wrong way

A strange entry on slashdot today with a company, AmieStreet.com, announcing a partner ship which Amazon where they want to introduce a demand based pricing model. They are proposing that the price of an mp3 goes up the more popular it is, to a capped value of $0.98. This on the face of it is an interesting concept.

However those of us that lived through the first internet bubble might recognise this as the nonsense that pervaded before the bust (gardens.com was my favourite loser). Surprisingly enough this model exists already in different operator sectors. Some toll operators of tunnels and roads will change at different parts of the day. This however is not to generate revenue (though a lot of them are in the business to do this), it is also to act as a deterrent and give people an added incentive to avoid the tolled section unless you really have to.

Secondly this deterrent is required due to the physical nature of the non digital world. It is more preferable to find ways for people to use the resources more efficiently that to build new roads or power stations. I grew up in the Ireland, the ESB (the national electrical supply board) were always putting out ads for energy saving lagging jackets and power saving heaters. Why would a power company go out of its way to help you use less electricity (and thus save you money)? It’s simple when it is that or build a brand new power station, they ain’t cheap!

The digital world is not as constrained. A few years ago you may want to deter the download of a popular song because you server and/or bandwidth couldn’t keep up. This has pretty much been resolved, the rise of Flickr and YouTube are example of this.

However I think that there may be something in dynamic pricing, but the opposite of what AmieStreet.com are suggesting, the more popular the song the cheaper it gets. You start at $0.50 and the price decreases at $0.05 at sales increase you decrease it on some logarithmic scale. $0.05 decrease after the first 100 sales, then another $0.05 after a 1000, and so on.

That means the is stil a premium for music that exists in the long tail, which is reasonable it does cost money at some point to track it down, rip it, host it and make it available. If Amazon want to enter into a pricing deal with me, given me a call.