I’ve had a pretty hectic time of it recently – especially on the writing front – and so I’m off to the Scottish Isle of Islay for a week. I don’t expect to be posting a great deal on New Music Strategies in that time… though – who knows? The mood may strike.
I’m going to be attending the Islay Jazz Festival which is pretty much a perfect combination of things for me: a jazz festival held in whisky distilleries.
It also happens to be my birthday while I’m there, so I may have a glass of something nice.
I’m going with my friend Clutch – a fellow whisky enthusiast, and the singer and guitarist from (x) is greater than (y).
Together, we host the occasional whisky tasting event (feel free to enquire), do a spot of whisky collecting for investment (we specialise in the Islay malts, as it happens), and we have a fledgling website about all that called Dubber and Clutch.
But I just thought I’d let you know I was going quiet on this site for a little bit.
Blog inertia is a real problem for a lot of people. You start writing and updating on a regular basis, but even though you understand the importance and benefits of the practice for your music business, sooner or later you just kind of run out of stuff to talk about.
But it can actually be a breeze, rather than a dreaded chore – if you just take a few minutes to develop a bit of a strategy for those down times when the inspiration seems to be in short supply, it can be something you can do easily, quickly, and at times when you just don’t feel like it.
There’s a simple solution, and it’s one that I’ve recently implemented myself.
In most instances, the answer to this one is a firm YES. In fact, I’m struggling to think of an instance in which the online presence of a musician, band or music enterprise would not be enhanced by the addition of a blog.
The most common counter-argument against musicians blogging is the idea of the ‘aloof artist’ – the notion that the mystique of an inaccessible and ineffable artist adds to the value of the work itself. I’m inclined to disagree, though of course, there are exceptions. Burial is a good example of a musician with that sense of mystery – but that takes real dedication. You pretty much have to go into hiding to make that strategy worthwhile.
And, in fact, I think Burial could blog without giving the game away.
We’ll return to our regularly scheduled series of ‘questions I keep getting asked about music online‘ after the weekend. In the meantime, I just wanted to follow up this thread of video services. I tried all the ones that were suggested to me – and a couple of others too. I’ve ended up at blip.tv.
I like the interface, I’m happy with the video quality, it has some nice podcast-friendly applications – but it’s also very simple and very user-friendly. I’ve grown to like the idea of the 90-second “long photograph” of Flickr – but for my purposes, this will do me. And besides – quite a few readers reported problems with the image embed in RSS readers.
And to those who’ve asked “why not Vimeo?” (the closest contender): It’s the typography. The font they put over the videos themselves is kind of ugly. Until something better comes along (or unless this proves to be a feed-reader unfriendly move to make), I’m hitching my video blogging wagon to blip.tv.
I’m looking forward to putting some whole seminars up there. Next addition is the tripod and a decent mic to attach. Recommendations?
Chris Garrett is one of the better bloggers on the subject of blogging.
Regardless of what business you’re in, the act of being an authority — or, as I’ve put it elsewhere, being thought of as an opinion leader — is a very strong driver of traffic, builder of loyalty and securer of careers. More so than pretty much any other online strategy you might care to name.
As an independent music industry professional, musician or related entrepreneur, ‘what you think’ is hugely important – perhaps an even more important asset than ‘who you know’. As long as a) you tell people; and b) they think you’re right.
Its aim is to provide useful resources, advice and strategies for innovation and success in the independent music sector in a rapidly changing technological environment.
NMS examines emerging technologies (and buzzwords) such as AI, blockchain, metaverse and 'Web 3.0', but focuses primarily on sustainability, music as a tool for social change, participation, equality and inclusion, and the ways in which music technologies can build better worlds.