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Dead Traders: A Textual Analysis of Websites Trading in Grateful Dead Bootlegs.
Unformatted Document Text:  Dead Traders 8 1. What model of consumption do these sites present? 2. How does this model compare to the commercial and the legal system being pursued by the retail music industry? 3. To what extent are these sites self-reflexive about the first two research questions? To obtain a sample of these websites, I searched for “Grateful Dead bootlegs” in the Google Internet search engine (www.google.com). Not only is Google the most popular search engine today, its search algorithm prioritizes the most linked-to sites (a good proxy for importance). I sought out the twenty highest-ranked sites that provided some means of access to live recordings of Grateful Dead shows. This included sites (such as Deadshow.com, hit number 1) that offered streaming and/or downloadable files. This also included sites (such as Eldar’s Tape List and Squishnet.com, hits 3 and 5, respectively) that offered trades by mail in hard media such as cassette tape or CD-R. This search excluded sites that offered no means of obtaining full shows, such as those by collectors who merely listed their bootleg collections or who were no longer offering trades, sites that included brief samples of sound but no complete shows, and fan sites that offered histories, stories, and/or pictures but were not dedicated to bootleg trading. As long as the site was a means of obtaining at least one full show in any format, it was included. Site number twelve was a Google Directory search, a service in which Google offers “the web organized into topic by categories” (Google Directory, 2003). In other words, this site is what one would have found if one had gone to the Google Directory site and followed the path Arts > Music > Bands and Artists > G > Grateful Dead > Downloads. 1 This resource uncovered more useful websites per page of search results (9 total, hits number 12a

Authors: Herman, Bill.
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Dead Traders 8
1.
What model of consumption do these sites present?
2.
How does this model compare to the commercial and the legal system
being pursued by the retail music industry?
3.
To what extent are these sites self-reflexive about the first two research
questions?
To obtain a sample of these websites, I searched for “Grateful Dead bootlegs” in the
Google Internet search engine (www.google.com). Not only is Google the most popular
search engine today, its search algorithm prioritizes the most linked-to sites (a good
proxy for importance). I sought out the twenty highest-ranked sites that provided some
means of access to live recordings of Grateful Dead shows. This included sites (such as
Deadshow.com, hit number 1) that offered streaming and/or downloadable files. This also
included sites (such as Eldar’s Tape List and Squishnet.com, hits 3 and 5, respectively)
that offered trades by mail in hard media such as cassette tape or CD-R. This search
excluded sites that offered no means of obtaining full shows, such as those by collectors
who merely listed their bootleg collections or who were no longer offering trades, sites
that included brief samples of sound but no complete shows, and fan sites that offered
histories, stories, and/or pictures but were not dedicated to bootleg trading. As long as the
site was a means of obtaining at least one full show in any format, it was included. Site
number twelve was a Google Directory search, a service in which Google offers “the web
organized into topic by categories” (Google Directory, 2003). In other words, this site is
what one would have found if one had gone to the Google Directory site and followed the
path Arts > Music > Bands and Artists > G > Grateful Dead > Downloads.
1
This resource
uncovered more useful websites per page of search results (9 total, hits number 12a


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