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Joshua Bell, who is one of America’s top classical musicians – with people paying him $US100+ to see him perform, went to a Washington Metro station with his priceless Stradivarius violin and… busked! Most people did not take notice, a couple dropped him some pennies as they would to a young talented kid, or a beggar, only a couple stopped to listen.

Joshua Bell

I often walk by buskers and think: “hey, (s)he’s good! I bet (s)he could sell ablums!” – well, I think this guy has showed that perhaps some of them could!

Full story with videos at Washington Post

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I have spotted something interesting happening on YouTube – there is a sort of an activist movement to get out of Iraq, and 5 days on it is becoming quite big in the world of YouTube.  It was started by a single video blog requesting viewers to post video responses saying “get out of Iraq”.  And so they did, currently there are 168 video responses to the original video, almost all supporting his message, and if you watch some of the responses there are responses to responses also  (not to mention the tens of thousands of supporting text comments).  And a lot of these videos are getting quite a lot of views (16,735 on the original post at the time of writing) 😯

I personally don’t agree with a withdrawal from Iraq at this stage – as wrong as the initial invasion was, leaving it now could just plunge the country into civil war. If you make a mess you better at least try cleaning it up, though they have not done a good job so far 😦 it looks to me like withdrawal will only make things worse. But nonetheless, this is quite interesting – in just 5 days, by doing nothing more but posting one short 3 minute video of himself talking, this 26yo Briton has reached tens of thousands of viewers, and has attracted over a hundred of supporters to post a video with the same message as him! This could not have been done so easily, and in so little time, with a traditional march-down-the-streets-with-billboards-saying-Get-out-of-Iraq sort of protest.

Here is one of the videos below:

In general, I think that as internet becomes faster, cheaper, and more widely available, more and more people would turn to video blogging rather than text (what I am doing now…) Rather than the more detached and impersonal text you can see people live delivering their message, with a live face to the message, with a voice, accent and emotion. This is already catching on at sites like YouTube.