Filed under Advice

Best conference ever. Really. (Part 2)

olaf&tak
Olaf & Tak at Lappi Restaurant. Cool people.

Of course, one of the conflicting things about conferences like Is This It is the fact that while cognitively you may be at odds with a lot of the information and opinions being spread around by some of the more conservative and old-school thinkers that seem to dominate the proceedings during the day – you do get to meet some amazing and very cool people.

One of the reasons that Is This It was so great for me was exactly that intersection between people, around half of whom were not too familiar with Helsinki – and so the whole thing had an air of discovery and adventure about it as well.

Forced to sit in groups of 10 and discuss things at length, you make some great connections with people you may not have considered approaching and talking to. And yet, precisely as a result of being a bit chatty and conspicuous, I’ve been asked to guest lecture at one or two Finnish universities, including the Sibelius Academy – and present at a couple of conferences. Just as a result of just a few conversations at Is This It.

Given that travelling and giving talks is my equivalent of going on tour and doing concerts, this is a brilliant result. And if there’s any lesson to be learned here – it’s about serendipity.

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The Roy Ploy

If you’ve never seen it, that’s Roy and Moss from The IT Crowd with what should actually be your first step in any computing problem: the unexpected reboot, AKA ‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’. The Roy Ploy.

I’ve been struggling with a computer issue all week. I use an Airport Express to stream music wirelessly to my home stereo from my computer. iTunes does it natively, but since I started using Spotify, I’ve also got myself a copy of Airfoil which can send the audio from any application to the Airport Express.

Except when it doesn’t.

I scoured the internet looking for possible solutions. I upgraded the firmware on the Airport Express. I hypothesised a networking conflict between iTunes and Airfoil. I returned to factory settings – and I even tried assigning a static IP address.

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Unconsultancy

Here’s a repost of something I put up on my private posterous account and also twittered about. I had such a fantastic reaction to it (both online and off) that I thought it was worth posting up here ‘for real’ on New Music Strategies.

As well as my seminars, teaching and writing, I do a fair bit of consultancy for independent musicians and music businesses. That involves general music marketing advice, social media strategy, website advice, brainstorming, online PR and so on.

I have a day rate, a half day rate and an hourly rate. Travel and accommodation’s on top of that. But the number of independent musicians, bands, record labels, music retailers, promoters, distributors and producers that can afford proper ‘consultancy’ is small to start with – and dwindling in the current economic climate.

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In defense of Twitter

Steve Lawson from Andrew Dubber on Vimeo.

You’re probably aware that I use Twitter. In fact, I’m a bit of an evangelist for it. I think it’s up there with Email and RSS as one of the few absolutely killer online appliances – and pretty much a must for musicians and independent music businesses these days.

And yet, it’s been getting some bad press. There are people who say it’s all narcissists and psychopaths. Others who claim it’s just a hiding ground for celebrity junkies.

Steve Lawson, one of my top must-read music business thinkers, wrote a blog post today that explains Twitter in the face of some terrible journalism. I caught up with him for lunch in London and we had a chat about it.

Quite predictably, I made a video. That’s it up there.

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