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.


Spam trap

Sent me an application to write for the new blog? Cool.
Please send it again!

Photo by freezelight

It’s been brought to my attention that some of the submissions from people wishing to blog about the online music environment in different parts of the world have ended up being labelled as ‘spam’ and some of these have been permanently deleted in error.

I apologise for this. Normally my spam filtering systems are pretty robust – but in this instance, they’ve identified a few false positives, and so there are at least three people that I know of who have met this fate.

I go through the Spam folder every few days or so with a quick scan before doing a complete dump. My quick scans have become really cursory because the spam filter has been so accurate until now. For some reason, if you say where you’re from (particularly if you’re in South American countries, African countries — or Canada) then you end up in the Spam folder.

Could you please do me a favour? Resend your application. And this time, please use the following subject line:

The New Music Biz

I’ve set up a filter to redirect anything with that title into a particular folder, so it can’t get misfiled or inadvertently deleted. I’m sorry for the hassle.

How to use the internet

Replace ‘mp3 blogs’ with ‘the internet’ and it still sounds daft.

MP3 blogs edited

The Hype Machine‘s Anthony Volodkin did a bit of judicious editing on the ‘MP3 blogs are killing music‘ article in the Guardian blogs that I mentioned the other day. He replaced the words ‘mp3 blogs’ with ‘the internet’, and found that it pretty much continued to make just as much sense as a piece of writing — and just as little sense as a coherent, informed argument.

It makes for entertaining reading and really shows up the whole, laughable, ‘sky is falling’ reactionary tone.

When will people learn that insisting things be the way they used to be is not a survival strategy? Adapting and overcoming, as one friend puts it, is the only way forward.

How to use mp3 blogs

There’s a ‘Sky-Is-Falling’ article in the Guardian’s Blog about how mp3 bloggers are wiping out independent music. Here’s how to be part of the massacre.

Guardian blog

A friend of mine sent me a link to Louis Pattison’s Thursday post on the Guardian Unlimited Arts blog. In it, Pattison claims that mp3 bloggers are killing the independent artists and businesses they claim to promote by giving their music away for free.

As my friend said, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…”

MP3 blogs, if you’ve missed the phenomenon, are regularly updated websites that talk about music and link to songs that their readers can download and listen to. Typically, the mp3 blog keeps itself to a particular subgenre of music, usually from the independent music end of the spectrum, rather than the more mainstream major label stuff.

Think of them as advocates, rather than pirates.