Researching Macro Trends
October 15, 2011
While I was preparing my presentation, “Seven Macro Trends,” I reached out to people I thought might have some ideas and/or examples I should weave into my presentation. I’m indebted to their wonderful and generous contributions. What follows are the highlights of their responses to my query, “what do you think is the most significant macro trend in media and entertainment today?”
For Patricia Aufderheide, Director, Center for Social Media, American University, and author of Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction, the biggest macro trend is, “user engagement, which can be seen in Facebook creating ways to share info on what people are watching, in HTML5 options to provide many ways to engage with material, and with crowd-sourced stories such as Life in a Day.” On July 24, 2010 thousands of people from around the world uploaded videos of their day to YouTube in order to participate in this documentary about one day on earth. From over 80,000 YouTube submissions (about 4,500 hours of footage), director Kevin MacDonald, working with a team of researchers, crafted a 90-minute documentary film showing the cycle of life on earth played out in one twenty-four hour period. MacDonald said, “I learned to appreciate the beauty of some of this amateur footage. There’s a great and very specific beauty to material that’s shot on handicams or even on cells phones and the kinds of shots that they can get, the kinds of shots that an amateur can get that actually professionals couldn’t get,” see: Conversation: Kevin MacDonald, Director of ‘Life in a Day’ (ArtBeat, PBS NewsHour).
Competition from distraction
David Kung, a fellow MIT Media Lab graduate, tells me that competition from distraction is a major issue, he observes that “the Media Industrial complex has failed to capitalize/monetize Distraction (a.k.a. “Snack Culture”) the opportunity to provide ubiquitous (afforded by mobile technology) and elastic content (entertainment that lasts as long as you want it to,” He points to key examples, including: a short experience with Angry Birds; watching a “viral” video; ending/reading a Tweet, etc. Kung is concerned that, “because of intellectual property/copyright restrictions, the traditional players won’t ever be able to compete in these areas which has allowed for new players to emerge… Facebook, the App Store, etc.”
Social consumption is changing how viewers experience media
Ryan Evans, Director of Experience Design, Corey McPherson Nash, observes that “social consumption of media is going to change not only the way consumers learn about their options, but also how they experience video, music and art together.” This trend is enabled, “not only social networks but mobile devices, but geolocation and video streaming too.” Evans illustrates this with two examples of social networks built up around media consumption: Into_Now and GetGlue. Evan adds that Foursquare and Facebook are enabling social connections around events including movie screenings, concerts, festivals, for example, see: Foursquare Goes Beyond Place; Adds Movies, Music & Sports and Facebook Lets Users Check In to Events via the Touch Site, Soon the iPhone. Furthermore, Evans sees the integration of YouTube with Google+ Hangouts, “takes things further by making social connections in realtime with video conferencing,” as described in YouTube Gets Google+ Hangouts (PICTURES).
Fragmentation of the media experience
Writer and director Federico Muchnik expresses his concern over fragmentation of our media experience. It appears to him that long form narrative is in peril as it gives way to short bite sized “video-ettes,” a product of our decreased attention span fueled by a cornucopia of choices at our fingertips, something Cyber-Surrealist lou suSi has referred to as “Media Snacking.” Muchnik says that viewers today, rather than watch a single film, are often watching what he describes as, “…disparate narratives, music videos, ads, talking head shots, cute kittens, porn, news clips, random material, animation, experimental, and documentary clips we confabulate [into] our own customized two hour ‘virtual narrative’ whose beginning, middle, and end are of our own choosing, whose characters are legion, and whose conflict is unknown at the start of the experience.” Muchnik adds that this experience is “often interrupted by phone calls, emails, trips to the bathroom and the fridge,” This is the digitally enabled equivalent of multiplex hopping, taken to a new level of digital efficiency. We are now in a role where we can extract our own story. Muchnik reflects with a mournful tone, “god died when we acquired the ability to change the channel, once we used to trust the storytellers, now the storytellers are commodities.” That’s one prediction I don’t want to be true, but it rings true, and we know for whom the bell tolls: our old friend, the long form narrative. Long may it live.
Are hyper-linked, fragmented, media forms evolving?
Working in a form that may appear as a living nightmare to Muchnik, artist and provocateur Geo Geller highlights what he calls a “micro trend [...] a very small one indeed,” in what he calls Social Sculptures, “where the story is a non-story story a non-linear experience that like the mind our eyes and ears and senses are attuned to see/listen/smell/feel, especially heightened in times of danger.” His work suggests that we “think of a treasure hunt as the new trend” and that this process “happens in your mind but also in some instances it will be eavesdropping on conversations mixed with options of video/audio/still/text/smells etc” providing an experience allowing your to follow your curiosity and “jump all over the place.” Geller’s work provides a fragmented, hyper-linked, multi-layered, media experience outside the confines of traditional, linear, media forms. More of his work can be seen at silentmusicvideos.com and myownprivaterevolution.com. We’ve been able to create links and fragments ever since the web was created (and before that with Ted Nelson’s vision of the ultimate hypertext in Literary Machines), and yet much of the media we create is not deeply hyper-linked and easy to repurpose at a fine granular level as evidenced in Geller is working in an evolving form that may become more common in the future.
The boundaries between genres and styles are slipping away
Anne Marie Stein, Dean of Professional and Continuing Education at Massachusetts College of Art and Design thinks that “while production costs may be relatively more inexpensive, navigating distribution is a much more difficult proposition than ever,” viewers are inundated with more media options than ever. She asks, given our limited time, “what are you going to pick with the huge amount of stuff that’s out there?” Therefore, there is a need for new forms of curation to come into the mix. From a creative perspective, Stein observes that the “boundaries between genres and styles is pretty much gone, there are documentaries that are made like narrative films that use experimental film language, and narrative films that pretend they are documentaries,” which results in a lot of interesting and innovative work, however, she believes “for the viewer, it underscores just how important it is to be media literate.”
Apple has become a primary driver of media and entertainment trends
Brian Lucid, Professor of Design at Massachusetts College of Art and Design points out that when it comes to Macro Trends, Apple has become “one of the primary drivers of the trends influencing media and entertainment” with their “shift from a hardware company to a service design company” which has led to the development of “new ecosystems that include content, licensing, distribution and consumption.” Apple has changed the way we think about photography, music, movies, phones, “even operating systems and applications.”
Who’s going to pay? Content remains “King”
Brian Henderson, a Boston-based Cinematographer, believes the key question regarding the future of media and entertainment is “how do we pay for it?” He predicts that the current format of television as an “half hour by half hour schedule in the long run will evaporate,” and we’ll move to a format in which “people can chose to watch their shows whenever they want, on whatever device they want (TV, computer, phone, cerebral implant…).” Henderson sees that “advertiser’s money is being spread very thin” and that “there is a limited amount to spread around,” which in turn leads to “a problem for advertisers (the people who fund our work) [...] appointment TV is dead.” Right now advertisers have to reassess the entire business model. Henderson point out the simple economic reality that, “as advertising dollars get stretched across more platforms, budgets will drop, and shows may get shorter.” Perhaps one way to make up for lost ad revenue will be “more product placement in shows and movies.” What may be an opportunity for innovative producers and advertisers is that “smaller productions will become more accessible, independent films and programs made privately or for small markets will be viewable by people everywhere [...] on the web, they may even compete with the the established [...] networks because as we say, ‘Content is King’.” Henderson adds that “if the story is good enough, people may chose to watch some thing made by high school students in Wala Wala Washington rather than by NBC Universal.”
Embedded in our media technology are hidden consequences
Audrey Kali, a professor who teaches rhetoric and communication at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, brings to light some of the political and environmental consequences hidden inside the information technology devices that connect us. For example, their manufacture drives demand for coltan (Columbite-tantalite), which is used in the manufacturing of capacitors used in smart phones, tablets, computers, and the like. This concerns Kali, as “media and entertainment become increasingly more digital and accessible to more consumers, it drives increasing demand for rare materials like coltan that are causing political and environmental havoc, desire for this mineral is connected to violence,” for example, “Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi smuggle coltan from Congo, using the revenues for a violent war.” Kali observes that “It’s so absurd, when I think about it, I’m writing about the horrors of a mineral that is causing so much human pain and environmental destruction with the technology that actually supports those horrors.” While it’s possible to avoid “conflict diamonds” it’s more difficulty to avoid “conflict coltan,” adding a new twist to Marshall McLuhan’s phrase, “the medium is the message.”
Crowd-funding provides new ways to fund projects and connect with your audience
Many of my respondents concurred that crowd sourced funding is a key macro trend. The two leading examples of services enabling this are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. These services differ in siginifiant ways in terms of how they operate. Kickstarter is a community limited to fundraising projects that meet their curatorial goals, and projects don’t receive any money unless the fundraising goal is reached. This is good in terms of providing funders confidence their money will go to a project that will be completed. On the other hand, IndieGoGo is an open community allowing anyone raise money for their creative project. If you don’t make your goal, you can still keep the money you raised to put towards your project. It’s clear that we’re in the middle of a rapid rise in the number of creative professionals leveraging crowd funding to support their work. One of the most impressive examples to date is Jennifer Fox’s Kickstater campaign for My Reincarnation in which she raised over $150,000 in order to get her film into distribution.
Digital production tools expand opportunities for expression
For Caroline Blair, a Cinema Instructor at City College of San Francisco, the most significant trend she’s observed is the effect of digital filmmaking (cameras and editing) on her program. As a “community school trying to meet the needs of the population it serves” the school in the past “experienced difficulty serving lower income groups” before digital technology became widely available. She illustrates this with an example, prior to the use of digital video, City Shorts [their annual film festival] was struggling with “very few submissions.” Today City Shorts is a “well attended film festival” with a good selection of quality work shot on digital video, much of which is also shown in other Bay Area venues.
Democratization of taste-making
Cinematographer and director Charles Papert, who has experience in both high-end and indie productions, tells me the big trend is “the democratization of the taste-making process in entertainment.” Papert reflects that “whereas in the past a talent or project would be discovered, packaged and groomed” in what he calls an “insider process” that would move through “a corporate machine to determine their worthiness to be presented to the masses,” we now have the ability for unknown talent to “become popular with the masses” through a process of “viral exposure” and after that “traditional media takes it from there.” He explaining this is a “reversal of the process,” and illustrates this with the observation, “in the heyday of radio, an influential DJ could break an artist, as radio became more corporate with mandated playlists, artists were manufactured.” But new options now exist, “now an unsigned and unknown artist can build their brand via iTunes and social media and gain wide exposure.” Papert has been working with Garfunkel and Oates, a musical comedy group, who’s been able to quickly built a following via “low-tech ‘couch videos’ of them simply singing to camera and are currently on the comedy circuit, selling out 500-600 seat venues.” Papert adds they now have an HBO development deal, providing a crisp example of the big trend. He’s pleased that “the possibility of creative freedom” provided by this new environment is “encouraging.”
Non-traditional distribution channels are gaining traction
Philip Hodgetts, Technologist, Author and President of Intelligent Assistance observes that “non-traditional distribution channels – iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix as well as AOL – are getting traction from brands now, such that it’s beginning to be possible to create and distribute without the traditional network gatekeepers.” Yet Hodgetts points out that, “of course brands end up still controlling the media,” but in parallel to this, “the rise of crowd funding is making producers less dependent on having advertising support at the distribution end.” You can see a list of the most funded Kickstarter projects on their site. Hodgetts points out Habib Kairouz’s article, Buckle up: Traditional TV is in for a heck of a ride, in which Kairouz points out that in order to find out how television is going to change “we’ll all be tuning in (on multiple devices) to find out.” One example of this is AOL spending on original series.
Circumvention of traditional media outlets
Julie Mallozzi, a documentary filmmaker and teacher observes we now have a “global communications infrastructure that “enables everyone to both create and consume media anywhere, anytime – and share it with the entire world within seconds.” Mallozzi sees the “circumvention of traditional media outlets” by Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Boston, etc.to get their message straight out to people as a significant trend. These groups have “all kinds of people out shooting video – on cameras, phones, whatever – editing it right on the spot using laptops or ipods, and uploading it for the world to follow their actions via Twitter, Facebook, etc.” She adds, “they are inspired by the Arab Spring – who of course used these methods, too.” This makes our connection with current events more intimate and meaningful. We now have the ability to learn what’s happening from a variety of perspectives beyond the television news establishment for which ratings, not newsworthiness, is the prime directive. In addition, social media has made it easier to organize, participate, and get people involved in these events both directly and indirectly. For example, when Mayor Bloomberg announced that he was going to clear the park on the morning of Friday, October 14th, MoveOn.org immediately launched a petition drive to let the Mayor know how citizens in New York and beyond felt about his intended actions. The mayor was given a clear read of public reaction to the clean sweep, it was telephone calls from elected officials to the owners of the park that stalled the clean-up, but you can bet they were responding to the groundswell of support that was expressed. Social media is enabling citizens to make their voice heard and connect with current events in a manner that is way more intimate and meaningful than possible back in the day when broadcast media was the only conduit for live, breaking news.
Citizen journalism is influencing how mainstream media handles news
Artist Perry Bard observes how citizen journalism is influencing, “how mainstream media handles news,” pointing to the example of Police beat and pepper spray protesters on 10.05.11, a YouTube video in which a police officer discusses how he hopes to be able to beat protesters with his nightstick later in the evening. This is not something mailstream media may not have covered in the past. See also: MSNBC/Lawrence O’Connell on NYPD Police Brutality during Occupy Wall Street (not the same event). Now that amost everyone has cameras, more points of view come into play. During the launch of Iraq war Bard followed Riverbend’s blog, Baghdad Burning which, according to Bard, “gave daily accounts about electricity outages, food availability, i.e. effects of war on daily life.” The blog was later published. Bard points out the “difference between then and now is dramatic, more people with more devices and the ability and organization to upload instantly,” is making a significant difference in how news is being covered.
Smaller and larger screens
Videographer Chuck Green observes that, “millions consume video, music, photos, and more (plus compose and read their correspondence) on micro devices, iPod nanos, mobile phones” while at the same time we’re seeing the rising popularity of large screens, “IMAX and IMAX3D is growing, as are home television/media center screens,” Green suggests this might be “weird for producers” and represents the challenge of “divergence,” which is developing media for both small and large screens simultaneously. Other trends he sees include “collaboration on editing, mashups and such,” and these he finds scary and exciting at the same time. For Green it’s ultimately about embracing the expanding palette and opportunity with both smaller and larger screens.
Greater flexibility in communication and collaboration
Kathryn Dietz, Executive Director of Filmmakers Collaborative, observes that “there are far more outlets for our creativity.” She explains, “If I have an idea, I can conceive of it as not just a movie … which costs a lot and takes a lot of time.” Instead her idea can, “take the shape of a game or short video clip shared on YouTube or maybe be a blog post or a comment on someone else’s media.’ This now all comes to us at “lower cost and far greater flexibility and opportunity for collaboration.” One implication of this is that media makers don’t just one thing anymore. Kathryn ran a production company for 23 years, always producing feature length documentaries. Now, she has three jobs (executive director of a non-profit, a producer, and as a writer). Kathryn is currently writing a feature length documentary being made in collaborative manner and she’s producing a series of web shorts for the new England Journal of Medicine in collaboration with another filmmaker. Much of this is possible because today it is “easier to manage” multiple projects because of the “ease of access and communication.” She pointed out to me that she and I were able to have a conversation over email while I was in Rio de Janeiro at the film festival and she was on a “lovely long kayak trip,” providing a sharp illustration of her point.
Beyond product placement: brand as character
Artist and filmmaker Jon Goldman sees a trend towards the convergence of storytelling and brand messages being “integrated into story-driven, serialized content positioned in web-based space straddling commercial spots with episodic enticement.” This work is a response to viewers becoming increasingly allergic to ads. As we move beyond traditional media forms, there’s a demand from advertisers to find new ways to create engagement. Jon has been working with StoryPoint, an organization responding to this challenge by creating compelling stories embedded with a brand. The brand message becomes an integral part of the story and character mix. Why should ads interupt our stories when the story can be the ad?
Our tools let us convey emotion to anyone, anywhere, at anytime
Artist and educator Philippe Lejeune says that “to create a tool so well designed that anyone can use intuitively to project to someone else our emotion through a complete set of communicative applicaitons is remarkable … tools are becoming transparent enough to let our emotion be carried to anyone anywhere at anytime,” this represents, “progress that is revolutionizes our desire for better communication and individual expression between each other.” Lejeune asks, “this media is ours … who needs anymore his/her 15 min. of Fame?” observing that he is part of the 99% of the once anonymous who “today have a voice and a name,” to illustrate this, Lejeune remixed Apple’s 1984 commercial giving it “a new meaning with today’s concerns (Occupy Boston),” reflecting that citizens now have, “the tools to prevail.”
Be the one you’re looking for
Kevin Brooks, UX Product Manager, Motorola Mobility, believes that “non-profressional producers creating the media they want to watch,” is the most significant trend. With the “increasing quality of production equipment we carry in our pockets and purses, the general population is more ready to capture what they see and express what they experience.” However, Brooks points out that what’s still missing is “deeper creative empowerment.” At this point in time we “have the tools in our pocket to create high quality crap.” Brooks thinks that “Once we start seeing compelling videos about producing compelling videos, or films about making films that aren’t about how zany, wacky, crazy, sex crazed or financially foolhardy it is to make films, then more people will make films.” He adds “as Brother Blue said and as I think Steve Jobs implied, ‘Be the one you’re looking for’.” Brooks sees a lot of “brave filmmakers who distribute on their own, they want their story out there and believe in it, so they skip over many of those concentric circles to go directly to the public.” He says that “Sita Sings the Blues is just one example, though a favorite of mine.” Brooks is encouraged that people “have found and will continue to find more creative ways to build theater – more creative ways to bring eyes and ears to their art,” but along the way, “many traditional business models and mechanisms will have to change the way they do things or disappear.”
Rise in multi-screen viewing
Lee Morgenroth, Founder and CEO of leemail.me, sees “an increasing number of new ventures looking at multi-screen viewing, or the idea that while people are watching television, or other video content, they are also on their laptops, tablets, or phones.” He believes that parallel viewing, “may lead to a more interesting ‘interactive’ experience than trying to force all of the experience through one screen/medium.” On the negative side, Morgenroth is concerned that, “legacy licensing and copyright issues still bind so much content, both new and archive.” Therefore, without a updated approach to licensing materials, we’re going to restrict the evolution of a “global audience of viewers and makers that are defined more by social graphs than by geographies and territories,” and without that, “we won’t see the full potential of innovation in media & entertainment.”
Perpetual escalation and insinuation of shock and awe
Nathan Felde, Chair of Design, The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, believes that the most significant trend influencing Media & Entertainment today is violence. He asserts, “now that attention is the new and only valid currency in the global economy, perpetual escalation and insinuation of shock and awe into media are needed to continually renew and raise interest rates while double digit hyperinflation of significance and attention deficit take their toll and tax our minds.” Related to this, by making it possible for humans across the earth to be linked in a digital world, technology has opened a Pandora’s box of possibilities, as Felde writes in From wilderness to bewilderment: Which frontier does your type face? Of visual frontiers, pattern recognition, mass media, and the survival of the human species. (DMI Review, 14:4, Fall 2003). Felde also shared this photo of 6,000 students at a school for animation, video games and comics, in Changchun, China.
The process of DIWO: Do-It-With-Others
Slava Rubin, founder and CEO of IndieGoGo observes that we’re, “moving from a world of transactions to a world of relationship.” He thinks that instead of a DIY ethos, things are moving to what he describes as, “DIWO (do-it-with-others),” this is, “the new breed, instead of millions, it is now the power of a dollar.” Since production and distribution have become ubiquitous, Rubin says, “it becomes a challenge of attention.” He suggest that “Youtube turned everyone in a TV channel,” and as a result, “crowdfunding will empower everyone to become a banking channel.” This will lead to storytelling evolving, “across mediums based on the customer touchpoint.” He paints this picture, “kind of like how banks now know how to best optimize their customer channels – physical location, ATM, website, mobile, etc.” His company, IndieGoGo, is currently providing the integrated social media tools that help creative people run their crowd-funding campaigns including community building and outreach, empowering creative people to fund, make, and distribute their work through the process of DIWO (do-it-with-others).
Media and entertainment becomes a catalyst for a wider dialogue
For Sean Flynn, an indepedent filmmaker and Producer of the Points North Documentary Forum, the most exciting possibility right now is, “location-based participatory storytelling,” pointing out that software like Ushahidi can, “extend the web to anyone in the developing world with a cell phone.” He’s been observing the proliferation of mobile apps that, “happened much more quickly than anything dependent on broadband.” Flynn looks at this and is rethinking what he does, saying, “as a filmmaker thinking about interactive, participatory models of storytelling, these technologies force me to reconsider the concepts of authorship and ownership,” changing the role of the filmmaker. Flnn reflects, “the content I produce isn’t necessarily the end result of my work, but can be a catalyst for a wider dialogue.” Flynn concludes that, “media and entertainment are no longer just about delivering a message or story through content, it’s about facilitating social interactions, dialogue, and community.” Perhaps it’s always been that way but to Flynn, the web is “opening up more feedback channels.” In addition to Ushahidi,Flynn as also been looking at Zeega and VoIP Drupal as possible tools of production for his next documentary project in India. He points to Mapping Main Street (by the co-founders of Zeega) as a good example of participatory documentary.
Big media talent listening and talking with their audience
For Steve Garfield, a video blogger and author of Get Seen: Online Video Secrets, the most significant trend in media and entertainment today is, “talent, from big media, listening and talking to their audience, social media is driving this change.” Garfield has observed that, “many old-timers are figuring this out, sometimes too late. He tells me about several stories in which, “news anchors, posting on a Facebook page, get fired from their jobs, only to hear form hundreds if not thousands of people that say they are going to miss the anchor on TV.” Garfield points out the cultural divide, “it comes as a surprise to these news people that they can interact with the audience.” But this is changing, now there is a growing number of TV journalists you can subscribe to right now in response to this trend of connecting with the audience. Garfield explains that several years ago, “I became friends with Jimmy Fallon because of his video blog, he reads, comments and responds,” (related video). Garfield adds, “I regularly chat with the FOX 25 news anchor, Maria Stephanos, on twitter, where she shared her cookie recipe with me.” (related blog post).
High speed internet connections/instant gratification
Jeremy Osborn, an Adobe products training specialist, believes that “high speed broadband connections are more important than ever since they facilitate instant access to media.” Osborn observes that his 10 year old son’s relationship with online media, “reminds me of myself as a kid but with books in the library” but in his son’s case, the relationship is with movies. Kids are growing up with a lot more motion media consumption and are accustomed to getting it on demand vs. appointment, compared to the previous generation, and this will drive huge changes as these kinds become adults. Osborn is, “ambivalent about this ‘instant gratification’ tendency,” and, “think it opens up a lot of troubling issues, but without a doubt it is a macro trend.” On a lighter note, Osborn points me to Adrian Curry’s posts offering critique on movie posters.
Hollywood is driving the divide between major and indie films farther apart
Zak Ray, a recent film school graduate currently working as a freelance cinematographer and editor, thinks one of the most interesting trends, “has not been a shift in the content itself, but rather the way it’s consumed, indeed, when content has shifted in recent years, the cause can often be traced to modes of consumption.” He suggests one example of this is, “the proliferation of transmedia,” and continues, “whether you like it or not, this is a format created entirely as a response to those consuming media on a variety of platforms, and as web series have shown us, such content need not exist only in support of a broadcast television show or feature film, and some content may actually be better suited to the web.” Ray points out that the economics of this trend can’t be ignored, “the ability to distribute one’s film on web and mobile channels is both a blessing and a curse, the blessing is that it’s free; combined with the democratization of every aspect of the filmmaking process. As a representative of the generation of filmmakers Ray does not have to raise a $1,000,000 budget, nor even $10,000, to make his next film. The flip side, Ray continues, is that, “monetizing such distribution has not yet been solved in any meaningful way, the notion of the internet being free is a hard one to break, and even with much web content moving from free to fee (read: paywalls), consumers seem unwilling to shell out for digital goods, with exception to subscription services like Netflix.” Ray laments, “that’s assuming the customer decides to pay at all, piracy plays no small role in this.” As far as the major industry players are concerned, Ray observes, “Hollywood seems to be driving the divide between major films and indies further apart, the result being the consolidation of all their eggs into summer tentpole baskets, and the relegation of smaller filmmakers to the web and other platforms.” Ray expresses concerned that there is, “very little in between, not necessarily a bad thing, but something filmmakers will have to learn to fit their films into.”
1. People-Watching by Stuart Richards (CC BY-ND)
2. Tools are Transparent by Philippe Lejeune (CC BY-NC-SA)
3. 6,000 Students by Nathan Felde (Copyright 2011 by Nathan Felde)
Minor revisions were made to this document on October 17, 2011 to correct missing links and fix some typos..