Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Shaking up the Youth of Today

Do you ever think things need shaking up? Are you annoyed about things happening around you and want to see a change? Do you feel stuck in a rut and long for something different? If any of these are the case that means you are in the same boat as many others.

With the current situation of highly publicised youth crime never has been there a more important time for a shake up within the media and a shake up for young people. When we see things going wrong or things not working we can’t rely on the same old tired approaches we have to shake things up which includes shaking up our approach to dealing with situations.

I use the phrase “Shaking up the Youth of Today” because I have a hand tremor which means I shake a lot and what I do when I talk to young people is shake them up so it fits in nicely. It’s alright just helping and offering advice to young people but sometimes the only way to truly make a change is to shake them up. If a child is on a bad path I want to shake them off that path completely and redirect them. Shaking things up is about taking action, going in there and making changes.

Away from youth crime many people just go about their everyday lives doing the same thing day in and day out whilst not enjoying it. These people are stuck in a rut and want to get out of it but don’t have the confidence or ability to do something about it. These people need to be shaken up also as they need to know you only get one life to live and getting stuck in a rut is a waste of precious time. We need to help change these peoples mindsets and getting them to follow their dreams. Without being shaken up they aren’t going to unleash their full potential.

Young people are like all the fruit you put in to a blender to make a smoothie. They have all the different tools and equipment but to taste nice and put all their skills to use and bring them together you’ve got to switch the blender on. We need more people to act as blenders who bring together some great raw ability and turn it in to a brilliant end product who everybody would want to be around.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Dragons' Den

I’ve been looking back over my blogs this week and realised I have never discussed the UK TV programme “Dragons’ Den.” The sixth series has just started on BBC 2 and for those unfamiliar with the concept the programme sees up and coming entrepreneurs and inventors pitching their ideas to a panel of rich investors in the hope of getting one or more of them to invest in to their idea.

I like this programme as it takes you the viewer through the process of pitching an idea and what the experience can be like. So as well as being entertaining it is also educational. It shows you how important your presentation skills are as it is not always the best business ideas that do well but the ones that are well presented normally fair well.

The first episode of the new series also linked in to my many blogs regarding the changing scene of the music industry. The episode saw Peter Jones invest £75,000 in to a band called Hamfatter who had come on to the show looking for money to produce their new album in return for giving away 20% of future profits from music sales. It was brilliant to see a music group go on a business programme and show a different route to success in the music industry. With not even having to have a physical CD in the shops to get in to the top 40 gone are the days where you need a record label to achieve success. With a good product, good promotion and money behind you, you can achieve great things in the music world. Following on from the show Hamfatter have been getting interviews and press coverage everywhere so not only was it a good financial decision but also great for PR.

I enjoy the show as it is very inspiring to see people who have nothing but an idea and a desire to take that idea to the next level putting themselves out there to achieve the next level of success. I think there is an inventor and entrepreneur inside of us all and I love seeing what people from across the UK have come up with and designed. With wages not going up in line cost of living on the whole being an entrepreneur is a way of escaping low salary jobs but with the credit crunch hitting the business world some would argue it is even harder to be an entrepreneur in today’s climate.

Dragons’ Den is a great programme to watch if you are thinking of starting up a business as it will give you some basic ideas and knowledge. Dragons’ Den also provides many talking points which are discussed the next day in work places, schools and the media. It’s good to see what other people thought of ideas and businesses to see if there was something you overlooked. Getting people talking about investment, inventions and enterprise is great and a lot better than people talking about shows like Big Brother and Eastenders.

Do you watch Dragons Den? What do you like about the show? Ever tempted to apply to go on? We want to know and you can share your views by joining in our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Youth Manifesto

This week saw the launch of one of our most important projects to date the Talented Young People – Youth Manifesto.

With teen crime making daily headline news and with many people at a loss to what to do to combat it we had to step in. We could no longer sit idly by waiting for someone else to try and solve the problem we had to act. No longer could we continue to debate the rights and wrongs of government policies or national laws. The time for debating is over the time for action is now.

This week the government seems to be focusing on what to do to punish and re-educate young people carrying or using knives. We however believe prevention is what is needed as if we keep on trying to cure the problem we may never solve the problem. The point of our Youth Manifesto is to encourage, inspire and motivate young people not to carry knives with them or feel the need to carry knives. We want to equip young people with the ability to achieve great things.

Another way in which our Youth Manifesto differs from others is that it’s not just aimed at young people it is aimed at all sectors of society with sections dedicated to many different sectors. For us to change this world we need to all work together and not leave it up to one sector to do all the work as this is not a problem that can be solved by one sector alone.

It’s not policies or funding which is going to solve the problem it’s everyday people working together, taking a stand and putting in action behind their words. If we all come together we can still have a huge impact on this earth we live on. It’s now our time to put the power back in our own hands.

To find out how you can get involved with the Youth Manifesto go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Giving away music for free

This month will see McFly trying to expand their fanbase by giving away their latest album for free through The Mail on Sunday through which they expect their album to reach three million homes in the UK. We have already seen the likes of Prince giving away his album through the Mail as well as Radiohead offering their album in exchange for a donation on the internet but it now looks like pop acts are getting in on the act.

As the way in which we consume music changes the industry needs to change with it so I am always interested to see what new and innovative ways companies and music acts are using to distribute music. However I feel that when a handful of acts start giving their music away for free and doing it in a mainstream way it affects the whole music industry. If one act can afford to give away their music for free then the general public start to think they should be able to get music from other acts for free and not paying for music becomes an acceptable activity.

Another problem which occurs when music is given away for free is that music becomes worthless. Music instead of being a saleable product it just becomes a form of advertising and promotion for a band to sell merchandise and tickets to live events. By making music worthless it becomes harder for the smaller acts to make money. The bigger acts benefit from doing it as they run live events at big indoor venues and make a lot of money from merchandise but small acts who only tour small venues need the income that record sales provide.

There needs to be systems and services put in place which can give people access to music at a reasonable price without having a negative affect on smaller acts. With the credit crunch how it is it is right for the music industry to react in a way that makes music more affordable but it is just a shame that crunch will probably affect how much money is invested in to new acts. I think new unsigned acts have to capitalise on their ability to produce music and promote it on the cheap thanks to new tools on the internet as record companies no longer have big budgets to establish artists with. That’s the one advantage for unsigned acts is that their music is cheaper to produce than a signed artist so they can afford to give away heir music more cheaply.

The internet has revolutionised the way in which we buy, watch and listen to music, TV and films we just need to make sure that the way in which we are consuming media is fair to the artists and the production companies. For some time I feel the industries have been to kind to the artists and not kind enough to the consumer in the way things have been priced and profits made but we need to make sure we don’t go in completely the other direction where it becomes unfair to the people creating media. As for us to have good quality entertainment we have to have people making it who are fairly paid.

What do you think about bands offering their music for free with newspapers or online? Does it make you less likely to pay for other music? And you think it is a positive thing for the music industry? Let us know by joining in our topic of the week by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Reality TV

During my weekly media consuming I came across a new programme on a channel called “Fiver.” The programme was called “Living Lohan” which is a fly on the wall docu-soap / reality programme on Lindsay Lohan’s younger sister Ali. The programme follows Ali through her home life as she tries to make a career in the music business and this programme got me thinking for this week’s blog.

This is not the first programme of its kind and there have been many like it since the popularity of “The Osbournes” series. However when these shows were first used merely as entertainment c-list celebrities, washed up celebrities and relatives of celebrities are now appearing in their own reality programmes to promote an album or to try and get a career in an entertainment field. Music stars or wannabe music stars think instead of having to travel the country to promote themselves or an album they can just get a camera crew to follow their home life and it can be broadcast to the masses with little effort on their behalf.

The problem now comes that in order for a reality show to be successful and get a deal on a major network it has to be controversial and entertaining. This means that situations have to be created and aspects of their life manipulated in order to keep their audience happy which means they can start to lose control of their image and messages they are sending out in the hunt for TV ratings. This is where the lines of fiction and reality become blurred and where people who appear on these shows are left acting like they do when the cameras rolling when they aren’t. The pressure of a TV series which follows you around everyday has taken its toll on many families like the Hulk Hogan family from “Hogan Knows Best” I believe that if it wasn’t for their reality series then some of the problems and issues in their current lives could have been avoided.

I think these type of programmes are declining in popularity but because they are so cheap and easy to make there will be lots more to come especially on the random channels on Sky that seem to import anything from the US. I think viewers are now savvy to the ways in which these programmes are edited and filmed to make the show controversial and not a reflection of everyday life.

Now in balance there have been some fly on the wall programmes I have enjoyed which have followed by sporting teams, dance schools and other assorted groups. I just don’t enjoy programmes which over sensationalised and that are about celebrities or creating celebrities

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"