The 3 types of music industry blog

I’ve taken what you might call a professional interest in the writing of ‘new music industry’ bloggers and pundits over the past decade, and while there is a great deal of disagreement among them, they all have certain similarities about their approach.

Or rather – their approaches, as there seem to be three main ones.

It’s useful to break these approaches down so that you can recognise them when you see them – but also in order to get a sense of how these kinds of information sources can be interpreted and used in a practical way in your own music industry practice.

You can probably think of other ways to slice this, but here are the three main ways in which I interpret the approaches of music industry bloggers.


Just checking in to say hi


Hi. How’s it going?

I’ve been getting some emails recently from worried New Music Strategies readers. Some of them asking after my health (there’s nothing wrong with my health – but people assume the worst), and others prompting for a return to the blog so they can read more content.

It’s been a good couple of months since I wrote anything at all here – and longer since I did so with any regularity.

Well, I have some good news, and some other good news.


A round of applause

Steve lawson

A quick round of applause, please, for the Herculean live-blogging efforts of Mr Steve Lawson.

Steve came along as an invited guest to today’s Fresh on the Net seminar for London Songwriters Week and captured the whole thing – Tom Robinson and I presenting, the thoughts of the crowd and the mood of the day.

He tweeted, blogged, videoed and even AudioBoo‘d.

Like this:


Go read / watch / listen to Steve’s whole account of what was an exceptionally good afternoon.

On a lighter note…

Road Crew

Irish artist and writer Tommie Kelly sent me a link to his wonderful web comic Road Crew, and I thought you might be interested. Clearly Tommie has spent time in the company of musicians, studio engineers, and roadies – because the observation is completely spot on.

It’s been going for about a year (I always get things late) and – apart from anything else, it’s really interesting watching his style develop over that time. Musicians can do that too.

I also like the fact that him letting me read his webcomic online leads me to want to buy the collectible and scarce physical product. Musicians can do that too.

Likewise the ‘donate and receive digital merchandise’ thing he’s doing. You could do that as well.

Smart and talented. Good mix. Enjoy.

Help me write a book

empty book

Don’t know if you’ve noticed… but New Music Strategies posts have been pretty thin on the ground of late. In a way, that’s been a really great thing, because the comments have come in and taken over.

It seems I now write a 500 word post, and 50,000 words of really smart, critical thinking over a wide range of opinion kicks in from all around the internet.

Can’t ask for better than that.

Annual reflection
Every year around this time (a bit earlier usually, actually) I sort of second-guess myself, change tack and end up doing something different to whatever I did the year before. It’s taken me all the way through to the end of January to figure out what that is this time around.

But in part, my apparent waywardness on the blogging front has been part of a concerted attempt to get 2009 all in order before I really commit to it. I’ve had quite a few projects hanging around that I wanted to close off, a couple that I needed to walk away from – and one or two that I had to consider very closely.

It all involved a good deal of soul-searching, reflection and mapping things out on bits of paper. In fact, I had to give myself the kind of intensive consultancy I often give other people.

You’ll be pleased (I hope) to hear that New Music Strategies is continuing and has survived the rather brutal culling process that saw the demise of several of my most beloved but less rewarding ventures. But I’m not promising any resurgence of effort or amped-up regularity of posting. In fact, I’m even reneging on a couple of things.


Can I still be enigmatic?

In the last post, a lot of interesting issues were raised and contentious points made. This is exactly what New Music Strategies should be about and I’d like to thank everyone, including (indeed, especially) those people who did not agree with the points I made, for their valuable contribution.

One of the themes that emerged over the course of that discussion was one that comes up rather a lot, so I thought I’d throw it into the mixed bag of Questions I Keep Getting Asked About Music Online.

It’s the one about revealing things about yourself personally. On the internet, what should remain private? Can you still be an elusive and enigmatic artist if you have a blog? Is Twitter just a step too far into an Orwellian world of mutual surveillance? And should blog comments ever be anonymous?