photographer: MR Gif
Best thing today.
Just as Marvin Gaye moved from What’s Going On to Let’s Get It On, from the austere to the ecstatic, Janet, every bit as serious-minded as Marvin, moved from Rhythm Nation to janet., her statement of sexual liberation.
janet. was released 20 years ago today.
… and it’s still a great pop R&B record.
(Side note: I think I’ve had the above passage from ‘Rolling Stone’ memorized since I read that story 20 years ago. Coupled with everything Jancee Dunn wrote in the 1990s, it’s probably the reason I wanted to be a culture writer.)
The theme is MASS TRANSMIT
Your phone’s newest trick is small potatoes; it’s just one tiny Internet-enabled ingredient in the feast of connected objects in our lives. And together these objects are a glimpse into a strange and exciting future, where the world isn’t just about people but also about the information those people create. Think beyond smart thermostats and shoes with wireless chips. In the future, our rooftops will shout out our exciting news before we even mount the stairs.
Soon there will be a sensor for everything and data collected everywhere. Things will talk to other things and talk to us— sometimes with sass. (Siri’s got nothin’ on what’s yet to come.) The information and ideas exchanged in this Mass Transmit will help us do small things (like get to work on time and eat healthier) and big ones (like become more efficient farmers and better-informed citizens). The effects will be personal, industrial, and global. Mass Transmit will change how we understand one another, altering our actual human interactions.
There’s something weird, exciting, and fascinating about this massive information transfer. We want you to find the signal in this noise. Bring us your bizarre, shocking, sad, hard-hitting, silly, and incredible stories about how the conversations from thing to thing to people are changing the way we live now and how they will shape our future.
You have until 3pm PST on Saturday (aka tomorrow) to submit your work. Do that here.
And you’re not alone. We’ll be here for you. Have a question about your story? Want to brainstorm with us? Feeling confused about something? The digital world will connect us! Tweet us at @WIREDInsider with the hashtag #TheConnective or email us at TheConnective@wired.com, and we’ll work together to tell your story.
— The Connective Editors
(Psssst. Story ideas and more guidance directly below.)
EVERYONE should be contributing to this. Everyone.
Today’s Theme Hint:
In 2011, this video posted on Facebook helped inspire people to join the movement in Egypt that eventually brought down the government of President Hosni Mubarak. A decade ago, it wouldn’t even have been possible. The revolutions of the future may be televised, but they’ll be started by scores of people with the power to reach like-minded individuals thanks to tiny computers in their pockets.
Writers, photographers and artists: Keep Friday open and help us make a 48-hr magazine! Check out The Connective tumblr for hints - the theme will drop at 3pm Friday (TOMORROWWWWWW), and then you’ll have just a handful of hours to come up with a story/image/illustration/other crazy idea.
Bonus awesomeness: $200 for accepted work (!)
Get up on this!
We’re making these mini rock docs at work now. It’s a fun thing. This is my first one, taking a look at the new wave of British soul and R&B acts in the wake of Amy Winehouse & Adele’s success.
This idea came to me after an interview with Conor Maynard, who put forward this assertion that the X Factor (with all it’s One Directions & Cher Lloyds & Little Mixes) in the UK is a big part of why the world is paying such close attention to British artists of late. I asked him if he thought that and other reality singing shows having all these old songs on them had anything to do with the on-going interest in younger generations of soul and R&B music. And then I couldn’t stop myself from asking all the other British artists we were having in — who all happened to classify themselves as soul or R&B artists.
So I talked to Emeli Sandé, Olly Murs, Jessie Ware and Daley about it. I got the effervescent Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly to crack jokes. I had the British expertise of Hazel Sheffield from NME. My co-workers at Radio.com, Brian and Erik, agreed to weigh in and do some narrative storytelling for me.
And voila. Here are my little theories about why the UK is all up on soul and R&B these days. And exporting it like a mother.
“In these fast-moving times, it’s highly important that our nation’s capital should be attached to every single citizen in this country by the very fastest, best kind of communications.” — President Dwight D. Eisenhower, May 1958, from the earliest surviving color videotape.
Kind of makes you wish President Eisenhower could see all the WhiteHouse.gov petitions page, doesn’t it? If only he could see thousands of citizens petitioning their government via smartphone.
Getting close to the launch of ‘The Connective’ this weekend and we’re dropping theme hints all over the place. Can’t wait to see what people submit!