It was 1988 when I got my vinyl copy of ‘Appetite for Destruction’. Little did I know then that Slash would still be churning out great albums two decades later and that most of what us musicians do today is as much about a micro-computer as it is a Marshall amplifier.
Back then I had to save my pocket money for a couple of months to get an album. Now, in 2010, you can listen to albums for free using Spotify and you don’t have to wait until your next shopping trip or to go around your mates place to hear them.
Web 2.0. The new rock’n'roll.
Everything from writing demos, getting great drum sounds, to promotion, to contact, to connection – it’s all happening on the screen and in cyberspace these days.
So here we are, four weeks in to the Music Success in Nine Weeks challenge and this week sees us get stuck into Social Media for musicians, building on week 3, and embracing the new wild ways of the web.
I want to begin by highlighting some of the key differences, that I gained from Ariel’s book, between what was the web (1.0) and what is now the web (2.0) for a creative recording musician. You can play spot the difference.
- Static or Silo sites
- Read only
- Contained basic information e.g. Home, About, Bio, Contact
- Passive surfing
- One-way conversation
- Social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn)
- User contributed sites (e.g. wikipedia)
- Self publishing platforms (blogs, podcasts, etc)
- Interactive e.g. comments, ‘like’, dynamic pages
- Two-way conversation
One thing to keep in mind is Web 2.0 is much like a garden. It takes consistent
cultivation and weeding to make it thrive. Just planting it once and leaving it
alone will not make your garden grow.
This advice reminds me that it is about keeping things fresh and current. The consistent cultivation and weeding can be applied to (re-)writing too, I have found.
Ariel’s guide contains a number of links and resources to sites where you can begin to learn how all this cool stuff works. I won’t go in to detail here as different people need different information, however, you can find out more by buying the book or checking out blogs of other participants (who knows what beans they might be spilling)
Some other participants you could follow:
Jennifer Grassman – “Jennifer is Kate Bush cast as an Agatha Christie heroine; haunting, melodic and sophisticated”
Ethan Waldman – “Like an acoustic version of Radiohead collaborating with John Lennon”
Meghan Morrison – “Imagine Alanis in Wonderland having tea with Charles Dickens and The Cranberries”
Sean T Wright – “Imagine John Lennon and Neil Young meet Peter Pan on the shores of Neverland”
Hudson K – “Eccentric anti-pop piano rock”
I’m going to restrict this post purely to the insights and resources that were useful to me on this pass of the book, hence, I will skip most of what Ariel suggests about blogging (i.e. Ariel’s Option #1), all of which is useful advice yet there’s much more to come on the topic.
There was a powerful exercise, which at first seemed a little daunting, to identify 50 blogs that you want to be reviewed on. It’s going to take me more than a week to complete as I’m still identifying blogs I like to follow.
Find Your Community
I was mildly shocked this week to find that when I listed the musicians I’ve worked closely with, so far in my life, that out of around 30 or so that I have played with in bands for over six months – I only know three who are still actively playing music – and wait for it – two of them are not actively online promoting their music.
In the past two years I have been making new connections and slowly building a new community of excellent musicians. I feel lucky yet I know I have only just begun. I have begun to work with a couple of bass players, one of which is based in California sourced through TAXI, another in London and I’m also seeking out others. One of the beauties of Web 2.0 I consider.
The work won’t stop there. Once these connections are made it is a case of adding value and building the community. I will be looking for new ways to expand my own network and looking to help others expand theirs. One valuable little tool I am learning to love is Twitter.
I’ve been tweeting with AgendaRed for most of this year and found it very valuable for finding new resources and keeping informed, this blogging challenge being an example. The advice in the book helps me review my approach and I consider that it is important that I only re-tweet useful information to others.
How handy it is to have quick twitter conversations gaining the thoughts of a community, responding to others and for finding links to the latest news articles and blogs – live. Whilst I deliberately limit my time on Twitter it is an incredibly handy tool, especially as a musician, and it is also free.
Join in the fun and connect with me on Twitter.
Podsafe Music Network
I’d never heard of Podsafe Music Network before reading Music Success in Nine Weeks.
You can become a podsafe artist by creating a profile page for yourself on The Podsafe
The idea is that this allows podcasters to use your tracks in their shows without worrying about clearance issues. Given that apparently hundreds of podcasters use this site to get music for their podcasts I think that this could be a great opportunity for promotion. You can see who is logging in and choosing your music.
I’m still reading the terms and conditions and seeing how that fits in with music I offer non-exclusively to Music Libraries, however, it’s an interesting idea for exposure and well worthy of further exploration.
What the ^&£*$& has photo albums got to do with music?
Flickr is useful for:
- Finding photos for blog posts (with permission)
- Joining groups and connecting with photographers and other people’s photographs
- Socially sharing photos
The book has introduced me to the concept of joining groups, uploading and sharing photos (which is possible with Facebook I am led to believe) and embracing Flickr as a photo book of your interests and life. As they say “a picture says a thousand words” and there’s some groovy groups to join too such as:
and Live Music
I consider that I really enjoy looking at other peoples photos as it is a way to get an interpretation of how they see life and this is an opportunity that’s a unique way to socialise.
Welcome to the jungle.
What are you thoughts on Web 2.0? Do you have any useful resources to share?
Share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: ©Sandra Farrow