The David Bowie Fan app

What is the idea?
– Locative media – geo app
– guided tours / walking tours
– AR – augmented reality content
– participatory/ community
– fan work/ fan sites/ fan fictions

The Bowie story is so much more than the officially presented history.
The fan story is different, very personal and much richer than the official version.
What happened where and when? What amazing stories are never told, never get heard? What hidden stories are there? The fans generally don’t get asked. TV is full of celebrities talking about their recollections of music artists they probably never even saw!

The official stories are so rose tinted. For example – on the first Bowie album there’s a song “Memory of a free festival”. I used to listen to it many years ago, and have visions of somewhere exotic, in America, lots of hippies and sunny weather. In fact, this was written about a festival that Bowie had organised in Croydon Park, Beckenham, South London. It was probably raining… not very exotic at all.

But there are many locals with really strong memories from that festival. Wouldn’t it be interesting to go to where they stood at that time, to see what they saw, read their memories, listen to them speaking about it? You could explore that park and hear so many special personal stories, which are all part of Bowie fan culture – the real story of David Bowie. I want the fans to have control of the Bowie story, not the Bowie machine.

There must be so many memories of Bowie in London – so many locations where people have special stories. Not just concerts but meeting Bowie, often showing different sides to his personality and situation and his musical development perhaps. Fans could share things that happened at those places – writings, photos, video clips (perhaps), sounds, interviews… etc. Bowie in Beckenham, in Brixton. Currently there are few signs that he lived or grew up in those places – merely a couple of blue plaques. Band nostalgia and history is big money, as any trip to Liverpool shows, and it took Liverpool people a long time to realise the gold mine they were sitting on.

How will it work?
1. This is a mobile app – built using Layar
2. Start the app. look around and at specific GPS coordinates you see POI’s (points of information) on the mobile screen
3. At each POI you can interact with augmented content: read detailed historical stories about Bowie. Go to those places and interact with the content.
4. These are fan stories/ recollections/ personal memories shared – they can be text, photos, media etc. Not the official version of the Bowie story.
5. You can follow Bowie guided tours
6. Become a registered user, become part of the authoring community, and add your own fan stories/ memories to a location, and build your own guided tours.
7. It needs to be really easy and fun to use – both to read and to add content

My idea is a mixture of already existing stuff – locative AR for pop music history + guided tours – none of this is new.
There isn’t a Bowie AR app yet – so this can fill that gap in the market.
Plus I’ve added a twist – the content is supplied by fans, and is not the official version, which I think could be more interesting.
Same idea could be applied to any band …

Fan tours?
– how would these work?
– like audio tours?
– fans build their own tours?

Bowie fans add their own stories (memories) – where?
Via an already established online community? Reddit? Needs thought. Maybe to already existing Bowie fan sites? Fan clubs?

We use AR as an interface to fan communities. Fans can add their own places and annotations, text, video, sounds, pictures – memories.

What’s the competition?
Does this sort of thing exist?
I suppose it’s mainly a fan community with geo located content (accessed through locative AR)
Locative communities?

There exists a Beatles Layar app – augmented reality- this is the advertising:
“Come along and join the Beatles Augmented Reality Tour! Take a trip around the sights and sounds of London & Liverpool Featuring all the major Beatles landmarks with a detailed history of each location: This is a must have for any Beatles fan.”

This is different – you take a tour but it’s the fan version of the story.

Making money from it – how?
Funding? How make money from it?
I see this as an open app – built by the community – written by the fans. So who would get the money?
Paid app? Or a free app?
This is intended to be a commercial product.
There would be many costs:
– server costs
– development costs
– promotion
– marketing

Title ideas …
Needs a catchy memorable title – e.g. “Station to Station”?
“When the kids had killed the man”?
“I’ve lived all over the world, I’ve left every place” (from “be my wife”)
“The fan who fell to earth”
“Star Fan”
“The fan who sold the world”

How build up the community?
– fan stories
– memories
– community
– why would fans want to add their stories? (what do they get back?)
– is this a sort of scrapbook or fanzine?
– I think the community side needs to be worked on more than anything else – the content needs to be good.
– I ned to understand the Bowie online communities and how they work. Maybe even contact Bowie – would he fund it?
– I think using this app – reading and writing – needs to be a very creative experience – emphasis on visuals, graphics, art and music

Copyright/ permissions
major issue

Creative Commons License
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Posted in Experiments, Fan app

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