Tags: myspace

Rambling From MySpace To Bandcamp

A couple of days ago I read this excellent but mildly depressing article by Andrew Dubber about musicians and Myspace:

 

http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/happy-quit-myspace-day.html

 

He points out the obvious - despite the fact that a MySpace presence (or five) has become effectively compulsory for any musician or band, it is also unremittingly rubbish and seems to be run by people who have no idea what it is:

 

"And we put up with its broken interface, bad design, 90s technology, ad-riddled BS, and complete lack of comprehension about what MySpace is really for - for one reason alone: nobody else has EVERY FRICKIN’ BAND ON THE PLANET."

 

Waiting for MySpace to get its act together might take a very long time.

 

Meanwhile, there's Twitter, where I've been following bassist Steve Lawson aka @solobasssteve for a while now. Yesterday he posted the best takedown of Lord Mandelson's utterly preposterous plan to disconnect persistent filesharers I have read so far:

 

http://www.stevelawson.net/wordpress/2009/10/piracy-and-the-3-strikes-law-a-few-thoughts-from-a-working-musician/

 

Mandelson is not brilliant. But Twitter is. The limitations make it so much more than the sum of its parts. You really can't do anything much in 140 characters. All you can do is make short exclamations and link to other stuff. The former makes it a truly social network (unlike all the others, which ultimately bombard you with crap), and the latter makes it an invaluable conduit for discovery, so long as you crack the initial stage of finding people posting links to things you want to discover.

 

If you are a musician, Steve Lawson's blog is something you want to discover.

 

From his Mandelson takedown I clicked onto this:

 

http://www.stevelawson.net/wordpress/2009/10/posterous-logging-for-everyone-else/

 

Here Lawson explains why (relatively) new blogging platform Posterous is seriously worth a look. I'd been vaguely aware of it but hadn't given it any attention. I am already struggling to maintain existing blogs on MySpace, LiveJournal, Blogger, Facebook and the ancient creaky self-coded thing on my own site. It's a complete salad already which I need to rationalise. I need a new blogging platform like I need a hole in the head.

 

But Posterous lets me send an email containing the text of a blog, which it then posts not just to itself but also to all of the other platforms that you tell it about. It will Do The Right Things with links, mp3s, images, videos, flash and so on. You can add tags from the subject line of the email. It's been designed from the ground up to be as easy to use as possible, including making your first post by simply sending them email. I set up a Posterous account last night in about ten minutes.

 

If this post goes wonky it's because I'm new at posting from Posterous and haven't figured out how not to fuck it up yet; I'm sure there's a way and I'm sure I'll find it. But so far it's been the easiest to use Thing On The Internet I've found in ages. I already screwed up last night by importing all my old Blogger posts. That took a couple of minutes. I did it without thinking - the screwup was realising how rubbish and disconnected the posts all seemed, so a little later I deleted most of them. My screwup, not Posterous's. And Posterous made it easy to fix.

 

My blogs are not widely read because they are rubbish and disjointed, lack focus, are often poorly written, and only update intermittently. Lawson's blog is the exact opposite of all this. I haven't found a post of his that wasn't worth reading yet. Here's him on music site Bandcamp:

 

http://www.stevelawson.net/wordpress/2009/10/bandcamp-soundcloud-and-the-portability-of-music/

 

He writes: "You upload your tunes in CD-quality audio format, and then they make all the different resolutions of file that people might want, and let you decide what to do with them, which ones to charge for, how to licence the music, and then redesign the page. The results are then embeddable, sharable and sellable."

 

If you are still reading this and not going straight over to Bandcamp to set up an account, you are probably not a musician. In fact, I'm going to stop writing this and go and set up an account there myself, which I didn't get around to doing last night.

 

I did read the Bandcamp FAQ though, and so should you, because it is really funny:

 

http://bandcamp.com/faq

 

It also links to another superb article by Andrew Dubber explaining why the vast bulk of musicians should not worry about piracy:

 

http://www.newmusicstrategies.com/2008/04/03/should-i-be-worried-about-piracy/

 

If you want to worry, worry about Mandelson. There's a petition against his disconnection without trial plan to sign here:

 

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/disconnection

 

Enough rambling. I'm off to Bandcamp.

Posted via email from I Am Taking My Ball And I Am Going Home

Fool Me Once

Let me put my ducks in a row.

This is Lily Allen. The big claim about Lily Allen is that her success was based on a genuine grassroots following on Myspace and that she was one of the first big Myspace success stories, as this interview explains. Read that article carefully though, especially the Myspace bit, and have a close look at the Wikipedia page. It's very clear - openly stated in both even - she got signed to a major label before her Myspace account was set up.

Hrm.

There is no doubt that this is a success story, but that whole Myspace bit is just a tad disingenuous even if Allen believes it herself, as the interview linked above would suggest - street team success story would perhaps be more accurate, with Myspace taking the role of 'street'. (This guy casts similiar nasturtiums on the Arctic Monkeys and someone called Sandi Thom who I have never heard of but is presumably fronting some eponymous popular beat combo herself.) Either way, let's be clear - a real Myspace success story would be getting signed after joining, not beforehand. Suggesting otherwise is a little thing I like to call 'lying'.

Ok. So far so credulous. This week Allen announced she is planning to retire at 25. The key quote is I'm going to do one more album. I just want to make some money - maybe I could retire at 25. Oops. Nice one, Lily. That retching sound you can hear? It's everyone in the whole world who is in music (or into music) for its own sake being violently and repeatedly sick.

Lo and behold, today there are stories everywhere about her heart murmur. If that is the case - and there is no reason to suppose it is not - it would be churlish not to wish her well. It's still obvious that this is a nicely timed press release intended to bury the unfortunate quote from earlier in the week. Which - sadly - it will, as people pull this shit because it works. Mostly.

Just between you and me, I still feel a bit sick. Hence today's snarky cartoon, And my renewed resolve never to read anything in any section of anything marked 'Entertainment' ever again as long as I live.

Not that I believe everything I read, of course, not even this. But even so.