How many social media platforms?!!!

Okay, so you’re on MySpace. And you’re probably on Facebook too. You might be using Twitter. You certainly should be.

And then there are the other social media platforms – not the least of which is your blog. WordPress? Blogger? Vox? Mog?

For music, you’ve got, Imeem, ccMixter, Jambase, Grooveshark, Virb, PureVolume, Amie St, FameCast, Buzznet… and then there are your photos on Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa… your videos on Youtube,,, Vimeo… bookmarks and news on, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Digg… profiles on LinkedIn, Ning, Disqus, LiveJournal, Bebo, Hi5, Plaxo, Ma.gnolia, Yahoo Groups… not to mention Tumblr,, Eventful, Posterous (I looooove Posterous), Pownce, Brightkite, Xanga, Jaiku, Friendster, FriendFeed, Diigo, Kwippy

It’s actually all a bit much really. Just how social do you need to be?


What websites should I be on? (part 3)

Two days ago, this would have been way down on my list, but while it’s fresh on my mind I thought I’d mention it: you should be on Facebook.

Facebook Page

The good news is that you’re probably already on Facebook. Statistically speaking, you’re likely to have been bombarded with invitations from friends and, about a year ago, signed up. Since then, you’ll have been bitten by werewolves, compared, sold, invited and friended so often that you’ve either succumbed to it entirely and it wastes almost as many hours of your life as television used to when you were at high school – or, like me, you’re kind of over it and only go there reluctantly from time to time.

But Facebook is a little different for you now. You’re someone who has fans and customers, so you need something more than just a profile. You’re someone who could make use of Facebook Pages.


Good news / bad news

Well, the good news is, I have wrested ownership of back from my old webhosts. They were not nearly as evil as they could have been about it, and my only problems with them are:

1) the ruthless efficiency with which they turn off the switch and seize control of your assets if you hit the end of the contract, regardless of what the circumstances are; and

2) their shockingly poor communication and dire customer service unless you make a huge fuss.

They didn’t do anything really wrong by the letter of the law, but they were pretty unpleasant to deal with for the most part.

So anyway. That’s the good news – and the site should be operational again in all its glory in no time at all. Thanks so much for all your advice, help, support and good wishes.

And on the flip side…
The bad news is I left my phone and wallet in a taxi last night, and so I’ve spent today cancelling stuff and trying to get some sort of response out of the taxi company other than just ‘nobody’s handed it in’. Other than that, it was an excellent night out.

The Hijacking of New Music Strategies

poached site

If you’re reading this anywhere near the time I’m writing this, you’re either getting it in an email, or it’s popping up in your RSS feeds. How do I know you’re not looking at the website? Because it’s not there.

If you were to visit the website New Music Strategies right now, you would not see what you would ordinarily expect. It has been replaced by one of those holding pages with ads on it of the kind that unscrupulous domain poachers tend to use.

What unscrupulous domain poachers could possibly have done such a heinous thing? My own webhosts, actually: UKHost4U. Let me explain.


So what should be on my MySpace page?

Ugly MySpace
An entrant in Ze Frank’s Ugly MySpace Competition

Another one I get asked an awful lot – particularly by musicians who are just getting started in the online environment. They’ve heard about MySpace, and that it’s where all the musicians are – but they’ve had a bit of a look through and are a bit bewildered.

Let me help: What should be on your MySpace page?
Frankly – as little as possible.

While it’s true that the purpose of having a MySpace page is to direct people to your own site, that doesn’t mean your profile should be so ugly that it has them running and screaming. Zen levels of simplicity and design are paramount.

Assuming that you’re a musician, or in a band, then as we’ve discussed, it’s pretty important to have a MySpace page, even though that might seem to defy common sense, taste and decency. So let’s talk about how to avoid the worst MySpace crimes and use it to its best advantage.


Is MySpace over?

I get this question a lot. Because you hear this a lot. And musicians want to know, because most of them rely on MySpace as an integral part of their online strategy.

Well, as much as it pains me to say this, I have to come back with the answer: No, I’m sorry – it still matters.

Because I’m not a fan of MySpace. Hate it with a fiery passion, in fact. And yet, when I compiled a recent top 10 list of music-related sites that artists NEED to be on, this came out as number one. It’s not relevant because it’s good – it’s important because it’s so widespread.

So while this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, here are three good reasons that MySpace is not just still alive and well, but actually pretty damn near crucial for online music business.