The Tribe of the Ukulele
  and why to upload.


     by Sebastiano Mereu
Aloha!
Bringing back
       the Ukulele
innovative
creative
authentic
New Stars
Live at the Royal Albert Hall
“Stop downloading. Start
uploading.” -Jay Bradner to high
school students at graduation
“   Don’t be passive and consume.
           Get up and ship!
                           ”
                         -me
“   Almost everyone... can do something useful for others, and
        in the process, strengthen the fabric of our shared...
“



“ You are what you share.
                                  ”
          -Charles Leadbeater, We-Think
Sebastiano Mereu
Mahalo! :)
The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)
The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)
The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)
The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)
The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)
The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)
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The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)

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I made this presentation for the Linchpin Meetup Zurich on June 14, 2010.

The goal of the presentation is to introduce the tribe of the ukulele and show how members became linchpins by uploading content and not only consuming it.

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  • Aloha, everyone!
    I belong to a tribe. The worldwide tribe of ukulele players. No, I’m not from Hawaii and my roots are completely European. Nonetheless, I got attracted by the little 4-stringed instrument and got stuck with her.
    The ukulele had her heydays in the 1920’s and 30’s, and in the 1960’s when musicians such as Elvis Presley appeared in movies and shows with her. However, with the rise of rock guitarists and disco music the ukulele took a back seat in the international music stage, until a young lady brought the ukulele back to an audience of millions through Youtube.
  • Julia Nunes was a 18-year old student from New York with a ukulele, a computer, an Internet connection and a creative way of making home videos. Her videos were not perfect. She made them with an equipment that cost only a couple of thousand dollars. But her videos didn’t need to be perfect at all. She was not going to sell them. She was simply going to share them with anyone, who shared her passion. Julia’s videos just needed to reach and move people. How did she manage to do that?
  • Well, Julia’s videos were innovative, creative, and authentic. No one had made multitrack videos like Julia’s. And, no one had featured the ukulele as the main instrument in multitrack videos on Youtube up until then.
  • Julia Nunes raised awareness for the ukulele in the age of the Internet. All of a sudden ukulele players worldwide had a common figurehead that brought popularity to the undervalued instrument. And soon new talents were able to reach a wider audience, thanks to a new format known as the Youtube video.
  • And some of them were even able to fill offline venues such as the Royal Albert hall. (In the picture, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.)
  • A figurehead, or a tribe’s eldest member, alone cannot nurture the tribe. Sure, Julia Nunes is innovative, creative, and authentic, and she has a video channel on Youtube, where her followers can get in touch with one another, but something else was needed. A community dedicated to the passion Julia and her followers shared: playing the ukulele. Ukulele Underground is most probably the worldwide most vigorous tribe of the ukulele players.
  • People from anywhere in the world engage in talks about the ukulele and everything related to her. Members of the community organized the 2nd Ukulele World Congress in 2010 in Indiana, USA, and the Undie Awards (awards given to linchpins of the community) are given to nominated members once a year. (I don’t want to brag, but I was nominated twice in 2009 lol)
  • What really struck me, besides the very excessive forum interaction between members, was that many ukulele players engaged into so-called remote collaborations, and I really wanted to try it myself. Here we see Kelly from Scotland singing along an instrumental part I recorded in Switzerland. We live one time zone apart but are able to create music together. We have never met in real life, but we are something like bandmates. And there are many, many remote collabs you can find on Youtube.
  • Sometimes there are more than two people that collaborate. When Captain Google, a senior member of the Ukulele Underground tribe, died at a young age because of an incurable illness, the whole community grieved and Narciso Lobo, a senior member and ukulele linchpin from Chicago, pulled the strings to create an epic collaboration video as support for Captain Google’s family.
  • Another epic collaboration was initiated by my friend John, aka KeonePax (his youtube username), who managed to get 33 ukulele players from more than 10 countries to collaborate on a ukulele cover of We Are The World. No professional equipment was used by any of the participants and most of them have only met online, but they managed to play their parts in sync for thousands of people to watch and enjoy.
  • Where am I going with this? A tribe doesn’t only stand-and-fall with the leader or tribe’s eldest member. Besides the figurehead (that can be the leader or the tribe’s elder), there is an excessive need for linchpins, because linchpins, that bring innovation, creativity, and authenticity to the rest of the tribe (and to outbound tribes) are an important factor in the shipping, or as I like to call it, in the “upload” of the tribe.
  • “The Laws of Simplicity” author John Maeda tweeted this quote by Jay Bradner, “Stop downloading. Start uploading.”
  • My interpretation is, Don’t be passive and consume the wonderful gifts you get from active linchpins that want to bring people together. Get up and ship your gifts! As we have learned from Seth Godin’s “Linchpin” book, people who can give gifts are powerful. Being able to give gifts is a sign of power.
  • The 42nd President of the USA, Bill Clinton said in his book Giving, “[see slide].” And I believe that giving is very rewarding for the giver.
  • I would like to finish this presentation with my favorite quote. Charles Leadbeater’s first sentence in his book “We-Think” says it all, “You are what you share.” I used to hear people saying, You are what you own. In my opinion, hoarding will not bring anyone far these days. In times of overproduction and waste,sharing is the key to long-lasting relationships (and happiness). What good do our creations do on our computers or in our offices, where no one can enjoy them? We need to upload/share/ship our creations and our knowledge. Our receivers will be thankful and we linchpins will be happy that someone actually acknowledges and enjoys our innovative, creative, and authentic creations.
  • For more information about me, please feel free to google me.
  • Thank you! - Sebastiano Mereu
  • The Tribe of the Ukulele and Why to Upload (short presentation)

    1. 1. The Tribe of the Ukulele and why to upload. by Sebastiano Mereu
    2. 2. Aloha!
    3. 3. Bringing back the Ukulele
    4. 4. innovative creative authentic
    5. 5. New Stars
    6. 6. Live at the Royal Albert Hall
    7. 7. “Stop downloading. Start uploading.” -Jay Bradner to high school students at graduation
    8. 8. “ Don’t be passive and consume. Get up and ship! ” -me
    9. 9. “ Almost everyone... can do something useful for others, and in the process, strengthen the fabric of our shared humanity. ” - President Bill Clinton
    10. 10. “ “ You are what you share. ” -Charles Leadbeater, We-Think
    11. 11. Sebastiano Mereu
    12. 12. Mahalo! :)

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