Stories from the dark tunnel.

Ink Audio's blog about creating music and working in the music industry. Stories from the dark tunnel by David Omoyele.

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  1. How to record music on online.

    Despite myspace’s decline there is still a lot of indie bands music on there. Have you ever discovered a great song on myspace by an inactive band ? They’ve broken up, moved on and stop answering messages ? You want to purchase the song for download but that option is not available, and you can’t find the music anywhere on the net ? Whatever the reason, sometimes you may want to record streaming music online. There are many options out there and the best apps for a person with a Mac is Audio Hijack Pro or Wiretap studio. The recording is as good as you can possibly get from an audio stream. The quality is sometimes reminiscent of old school tape recordings from the radio but without the dj voice at the end.

     
  2. Banner ads are not your friends.

    <Begin Rant>

    The obvious reason: they are inanimate graphics; they can’t be your friends. The not so obvious reason: it will cost money upfront and give you little, if anything, in return. Banner ads may work for other industries, but not so much for up-and-coming musicians. And it’s not just banner ads, but all types of ads, that are not accompanied with music. 

    </End Rant>

     
  3. "Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before mean men."
    — Proverbs 22:29
     
  4. Nobody should have more than one talent.

    1. Dickie: Everybody should have one talent, what's yours?
    2. Tom Ripley: Forging signatures, telling lies... impersonating practically anybody.
    3. Dickie: That's three, nobody should have more than one talent.
     
  5. Why Myspace Tom Anderson’s TechCrunch Article on Building an Audience is Mostly Irrelevant.

    techiroll:

    I recently read Tom Anderson’s TechCrunch article about building an audience on the Internet. It’s an interesting read with a few great observations, but it’s so subtle and coded it becomes irrelevant to most content creators. You are probably wondering, “What the fudge do I know about building an audience on the Internet? Myspace was huge, man!” You are right, but Tom Anderson skimmed over the important parts about building an audience. To learn from a shrewd and financially successful businessman like Tom, you have to read between the lines. Pay more attention to what he is doing, because you’ll learn far more from his actions than his words.

    In the article, Tom, my first friend on Myspace, describes two methods for building an audience online. He describes the methods as “schools,” then names one “The Kevin Rose School” and the other “The Fred Wilson School.” If that wasn’t enough link bait, he then uses the ever-effective “popular dude” vs. “popular dude.” Kevin rose quickly retorted in the comments, “This headline scares me, I never want to be against Fred Wilson.”  Even better for Tom, Fred Wilson addressed the article on his own popular blog. Fred wisely explained his thoughts on the issue, not letting Tom speak for him. So what do we learn from Tom actions? Writing a guest post about tech celebrities on a popular tech site is one way to get people to pay attention, and if you’re wanting to build an audience, people have to pay attention to you. He actually confirms this observation briefly in two paragraphs and a sentence. Tom writes:

    In the offline world, most writers would never think to publish their own magazine or newspaper. A writer uses the distribution of a larger platform/brand (WSJ, NYT, Time) to get his story and name out. But on the Web, some have argued that technology has changed all that. Has it? 
    That model of posting everything on your own domain might have worked in the earlier days of the Internet. But who is so interesting that they can get a large enough audience to keep a bookmark and check their website? 
    … A blogger needs a mechanism to notify people of his posts … (and) guests posts on largely trafficked sites (such as TechCrunch).”


    Tom is correct, which is why most of what Tom goes on to write is coded and irrelevant. He starts writing about personal brand, SEO, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, but somewhere among all the marketing lingo he writes, “Guest posts on largely trafficked sites (such as TechCrunch)” are crucial — you need to be where people go for new information. Discovery on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks is not primarily driven by you trying to be some random stranger’s friend. Discovery on Facebook and Twitter is driven by popular media sites such as TechCrunch, Mashable, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and Yahoo. And you can only get on these site if you do or build something truly novel or clever. That is, you have to be newsworthy in some way. They just don’t give anyone an opportunity to guest blog. When people read news on these sites, they share it with their friends. Telling your friends the news you read amplifies the message from the news sites. There is an echo effect because more people will go to the site that reports the news, followed by going to the actual person/organization making the news. Both parties benefits. But Tom does not go into detail about that. You have to read between the lines to figure things out.

    The rest of Tom’s post, in relation to building an audience, is mostly filler, and the bulk of the work is done in the two crucial paragraphs I quoted — the headline and getting on TechCrunch. This is why Tom Anderson’s MO, which involves guest posting on TechCrunch, his headline, is far more relevant to building an audience than the bulk of the article. The words on social media are mostly irrelevant because just using these tools is not enough to build an audience. Anyone can use these sites; just being on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ or having a WordPress blog won’t help you build an audience. Spamming people or following them is not going to be enough. You’ll be ignored if you don’t 1.) have an audience prior to joining or 2.) don’t borrow the attention of someone else’s audience. Moreover, a lot of noise exists on these social networks. Just because people are following you, have become your friend, and see your feed does not mean the majority is paying attention. Remember the good old days on Myspace? A band could have hundreds or tens of thousand fans, but how many of those friends actually brought records or went to shows? From experience, I can say not many. What about having a million followers on Twitter? A million Twitter followers does not guarantee financial success (see: Why Soulja Boy’s 2.5 mil followers didn’t make a hit). It is easy for people to follow you on social networks, but that also means it easy for the same people to follow hundreds if not thousands of other people, too. This means it would be a good idea for most content producers to have their own sites along with one or two social network profiles. There’s no need to pick one over another.

    Tom Anderson guest blogs on TechCrunch, despite having many followers, because he knows thousand of people will read it. There is less noise on TechCrunch. That’s how you build an audience — less noise means more signal. Is it any wonder that TV continues to drive a great deal of traffic to both offline and online destinations? And if you manage to get consistent press from big media, make sure you are using a service that can handle the traffic and the occasional traffic spike. You will frustrate your audience if your site is constantly down. To prevent this, you could be on Twitter, Google+, or running your own WordPress blog through traffic spike-proof services such as WP engine.

    The fact remains that if you are famous, you have people’s attention, and they will follow you wherever you are on the Internet. It’s attention economy — you need to garner attention to build an audience. If I’m on Google+, what is the chance you’ll follow me? You don’t even know who I am. Steve Jobs doesn’t Tweet, blog, or have a public Facebook account. But if he decides to start tweeting, millions would follow him, and not just on Twitter — they would follow him on Tumblr, Posterous, Google+, a personal WordPress blog. People would follow Steve Jobs anywhere online and down whatever rabbit hole he choose to go. Charlie Sheen doesn’t own a platform. He was kicked off a TV show he helped popularize, yet people followed him. They followed him to Twitter, they followed him to Ustream.tv. People followed him to standup shows, and they paid cash for it, despite him never being a standup comedian. It’s sad to say some people were so drunk off tiger blood they would probably follow him off a cliff if it meant #wining. The lesson is, you build an audience by building something people love. If you do that, they will follow you wherever you go. 

    So what are some ways to build an audience ?

    Keep in mind it takes time to build an audience. There are no shortcuts, there is no overnight success. Just following people on Twitter in hopes they will follow you back won’t work to build a real audience. Creating  content, a product, or service people will love requires great skill and proper experience. I talked about Steve Jobs and Charlie Sheen, but they did not become world-famous overnight. As talented and unique as these men are in their  professions, they still had to overcome challenges and work to get to the level they are at today. Charlie Sheen was expelled from high school a few weeks before graduation for poor grades and attendance. Even worse, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. He was not rehired until  about 10 years later. If these gifted and resourceful men had to overcome challenges and persevere to succeed, should we not expect to do the same, even just to get some modicum of success? Not every movie Charlie Sheen was in was a hit, and not every product Steve Job produced was a financial success.

    Most people will never reach their levels of success but we can learn the value of overcoming challenges to build a product or hone a skill people will love. Building an audience is a challenge we can overcome. If you have not read Jason Cohen article on how “I got 6,000 subscribers in 12 months” you should read it now. He has many examples of how he built his audience for his blog. He gives a number of great suggestions on how to go about guest posting on popular blogs. For example, he writes: 

    “Get to know the blogger first. Meet in person, link to that blogger a few times, send genuinely useful stuff to them over Twitter, review something that blogger is doing, mention a blogger in a different guest post, etc. All this opens the door to a real relationship. Remember that popular bloggers get guest-post offers all the time, so it helps to make yourself known. I’ve done all of the above.” 

    There’s a good chance you won’t develop a relationship with the editors at TechCrunch, although if you’re in New York City it’s easy to find Erick Schonfeld at a cafe via FourSquare. There are still other popular tech blogs such as Venture Beat, Business Insiders, and TheNextWeb that you may consider. Those may even be a long shot, so  perhaps less popular but still popular blogs like Onstartups.com, which can help you build your audience if you’re genuinely interested in building a relationship with the blogger. It should be obvious: Only try to to get to know the blogger you enjoy reading. The goal shouldn’t be to just sell stuff  but to make a valuable contribution to their blog. 

    Guest blogging is just one way to get ink and media coverage. There other ways to get media coverage that are also covered in Jason’s article. 37signals also has many great suggestions in their book Getting Real and Rework. Take, for example, in 37signals’ 10 ways to “get ink,” the No. 10 way is:

    10. Be undeniably good. Steve Martin was on Charlie Rose last week. At the very end, he gave his advice to someone who’s trying to make it in any field: “Be undeniably good.”

    When people ask me how do you make it in show business or whatever, what I always tell them—and nobody ever takes note of it ‘cuz it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script, here’s how you do this—but I always say, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If somebody’s thinking, “How can I be really good?” people are going to come to you. It’s much easier doing it that way than going to cocktail parties. 

    Read the rest of 10 ways to “get ink” here : http://37signals.com/svn/posts/741-ask-37signals-10-ways-to-get-ink

    Discuss the post on hacker news here: news.ycombinatior.com





     
  6. "Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through."
    — Ira Glass (via nefffy)
     
  7. Records labels should be a facilitator, not a dictatorship.

    The record label should not dictate the creative process; the label should only facilitate it. If you sign a live jam band, like the Grateful Dead, the creative process involves playing live. The performance includes improvising, feeding off the vibe of the fans and being in the moment.  The live performance comes before the album because the album is mainly a collection of live performances. The record label cannot enable this process if they require the band to record an album before the band tours. Conversely, the record label can facilitate the creative process by organizing a great tour schedule. This means:

    • Booking locations that are accessible to the most fans
    • Providing an experienced live recording team
    • Providing a skilled touring crew
    • Making sure things work
    • Taking care of any problems that may occur

    Vice versa, if the band does not perform shows often but wants to record a lot, the label should facilitate this. I think the record label has a good objective, so it’s important to let the artist define the experience. If the artist wants to either primarily perform live or primarily be in the studio, that’s the artist’s prerogative, and it’s the label’s prerogative not to sign the artist. However, most artists enjoy doing both. Let the artist stay true to to their art: that is the best way to attract artists and market them successfully.

    Are you a Facilitator ?

     
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