Original content posted at www.true-northmusic.tumblr.com
February, 05, 2010
Music Success in Nine Weeks, Week 4, Musician’s Web 2.0 Guide
aka Blogging, Podcasting, Twitter & Flick’r
Whew, another week has passed, still trying to assimilate all the information about this chapter! I have learned volumes how to further socially network and connect with fans, mindboggling.
One key take away element for Chapter 4 is Web 2.0 communication should be creating an interactive and engaging platform for users (bands) and followers (fans) alike. It is a struggle to maintain multiple platforms (website, Reverb, Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube) not to mention communicate consistently with venues, festivals and other music related opportunities. If I could translate the volumes of time spent communicating with various entities and social networking into a full time, paying job, I would have it made. The Music Success project has caused me to commit a significant number of hours to the project, late nights (2 AM bedtimes) and being open to try radical ideas. Many of Ariel’s Web 2.0 concepts were in place for True North, but her instructions and ideas helped hone in on critical communication areas and refocus exactly “how” I went about communicating.
Ariel suggested viewing short movies about web content at commoncraft.com. I attempt to be knowledgeable about web applications such as social networking, bookmarking, Wikis, RSS, Blogs, etc., but there were a few surprises in the definitions and content at Commoncraft. It was worth taking 20 minutes out of my morning to watch videos. The Social Networking Pack had the most relevant content to social networking/ media.
A timesaving tip Ariel shared at Taxi was a social network “blaster,” ping.fm. This jewel has saved my bacon and sanity when attempting to post multiple links, commentary or links to music related content across multiple platforms. One literally “Pings” and hit all the band’s sites at the same time. True North’s FB, Twitter, MS, LinkedIn, Tumblr Blog, and Flick’r “walls”are all linked together, one can post a quick comment with a link, literally connect to all the fan social networking sites. Especially love the Ping iPhone App, which allows for instant communication sans laptop to give a shout to fans what is happening, right in the moment, at a show!
There are two schools of thought from the marketing world about how communication should be handled online.
1. Create unique content and individually crafted messages for each/ every avenue and social networking site for uniquely different audiences
2. Save your sanity, keep communication and posts consistent across multiple platforms.
Is there a “right” answer for this ideology, probably not, except what works for me! If an individual has time to take on No. 1, more power to him, but I choose No. 2 because ultimately, there are not enough hours in the day to personally connect to each fan directly via social networking. I strategized a trick to incorporate No.1, because the marketer in me struggles with the generic, blasting approach. I send a personalized Tweet or FB post, 1-2 per day so there is a small variation throughout the social sites.
I really dug the section titled “How Do I Get My Music on Blogs?” This is an area I have struggled with and had no idea about how to solicit bloggers to interest them in True North’s music. Start your own blog….DONE! Out of the Nine Reasons for Starting a Blog Ariel mentions, two of the ideas were big “Oh Duh” moments.
1. Fans can subscribe to your blog using an RSS feed and get new updates (yea for Google Reader) and,
2. Blogs post are indexed in Google making topics an artist chooses to write about FINDABLE!
Ariel also suggested having each member of the band taking on one blog posting, 1x/ month to keep the content fresh and with new perspectives. Now the challenge becomes getting the guys to get comfortable writing online!
The next task was identifying 50 Blogs which True North would like to be reviewed on…yikes! 50 seemed a little daunting, I choose to identify 20 blogs which I like or read which incorporate music reviews or industry comments, start building the list from there. Confident as time passes, will identify more Blogs and writers which the band can be identified on. Ariel suggested trying out blogsearch.google.com or technorati.com to get ideas.
Another exercise was “Finding Your Community-Artists You Know and Play With.” I skipped this step this week, but probably will revisit it later to identify other independent artists who have similar music styling, genre or “sound alike” comparisons.
With a nod to Flick’r, this is a great tool to connect with fans. I liked Ariel’s idea of utilizing Flick’r as a “social blog” experience versus having to write an actual blog, making the photo sets of a show a video, story-telling experience for fans. I may invest more time in Flick’r down the road, but for now, focusing on the blog and will build the photo generation as the festivals/ venues ramp up for Summer 2010.
Collectively the True North group does not have time to attend Blogging Conferences which Ariel suggested, but I did check out the MeetUp.com site. This might be another networking opportunity, the group is new as of 2010, has met a few times, could be interesting to talk to other musicians this way.
Ariel suggested joining the Podsafe Music Network. Unfortunately, PodSafe is no more, has become MusicAlley aka Mevio. I created a profile, but am going to conduct a bit more research into this avenue before uploading tune samples for Blogger/ Podcast use, cautious I suppose.
Here is this week’s whopper for readers out there…best saved till last….Twitter! Until meeting Ariel, I was super against Twitter, thought it was purely BS. I honestly thought, “why in the world would want to know what someone had for breakfast , what they are doing right this moment, that person was filling up his/ her car…in 140 characters or less.” After three months of Tweeting for True North, gaining followers (a few Music, Cyber, PR firms), Twitter is not on my bad list anymore. While I am not completely sold Twitter will be a longstanding communication platform and may go the way of MySpace; who knows with the upcoming generation of social media users…who have always used Twitter or Skype to communicate.
A funny observation from this week’s commentary…been noticing while writing in Word (or iNotes) I am not prompted to “spell-check” words such as Skype, Twitter, Blog, etc. It is interesting how these previously “unknown” or novel social networking words have become integrated into societal speak and networking…welcome to the digital communication age.
Have a fantastic weekend, taking the weekend off from technology to watch it snow, relax with friends and catch up on playing music/ practicing. —-Will Gladhart