Five things I learned by NOT going to SXSWI


Photo by Liz Henry

A whole bunch of local blogfriends went off to Austin, Texas this week to attend South By Southwest Interactive – which is kind of the tech end of what is probably the biggest music industry conference and festival on the planet.

I’ve been to some cool places recently, but that didn’t stop me being dead jealous of everyone.

But I like to think that having a bit of distance and perspective on the whole thing stops you from getting carried away with the spirit of the moment – and lets you see the real trends and significant lessons from the whole thing. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

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Music Think Tank

Music Think Tank

I’m really delighted to be able to announce the launch of a new group blog I’ve set up. It’s called Music Think Tank and it brings together some of my favourite thinkers in the area of online music.

This is something I’ve been working on behind the scenes for a while, and I’m so absolutely thrilled to be able to collect these experts in their field and get them into a conversation about this stuff.

Of course, not all of us will agree with each other, and I think that’s part of the fun of the site – but we’ll post our thoughts and observations — and, perhaps more helpfully, discuss each other’s blog posts in a way that gets these ideas bouncing around.

CD Baby‘s Derek Sivers kicks off with a nice piece about the problem with gunning for a big label deal.

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Phoning it in


Photo by Tobias Munich

I’ve been on the go quite a lot recently, and so the way I’ve been keeping the internet updated is through my mobile phone (that’s cellphone for non-UK readers).

And while I’ve been doing some consultancy for a couple of people who are putting their whole record label business into their laptops and shutting down their office entirely (really) — I don’t think we’re anywhere near at the point yet where we can then miniaturise that a step further and put the whole thing in our pockets (though the iPhone is a step in that direction).

I haven’t been updating this site in the meantime much either – but that said, there is a lot you can do from your phone. I know people who are uploading their gig photos directly to Flickr. I’m using Twitter to make mini-blog posts and I’m just starting to use Utterz to post audio comments up online.

It might not be blogging, per se, but it’s certainly getting your stuff up online with the kind of regularity and quality that you need if you’re dealing with the sort of organisation that has a fan base to negotiate.

Call it microblogging. Everyone else does.

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Join the team

Writing alone
Photo by Jared

I’m involved in a start-up project for which I will need writers. It’s a commercial project — separate to this site — and I’m in charge of recruiting the bloggers.

This new site is about the music industries, and what’s going on in the world of music — a bit like this blog here, I suppose, but with a difference: This site will be about the globalisation of music.

You’ll be working with a team of really great people from all around the world and – at least at first – I’ll be acting as Managing Editor. I’ll not only be making sure that the content is of the highest standard, but also putting together something of a ‘manual’ and style guide for the team — and helping select an eventual replacement Managing Editor when that time comes.

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Not understanding the internet

I’m amazed at my own capacity for stupidity.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been writing long blog posts, pretending that New Music Strategies is not a blog, but is instead something larger, or more weighty. And it’s given me the opportunity to work through some fundamentals in a more indepth way, but I have done in the place of writing something more blog-like.

Let me tell you why I did it, why I’m not stopping, but why I’m changing the approach a little.

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