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February 20, 2009

Profile Under Construction

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 9:53 pm

Profile Under ConstructionIn September 2008 I set up unsignedbandpromotion.co.uk, it was going to be a forum for UK bands, but after much deliberation I’ve thought better of it and now I have other plans. And those plans will have to wait a while - I’m too busy. Have I got an under construction sign up? No! Because I couldn’t be arsed, see: Under Construction &/or Band Under Pressure.

I was dumbfounded when I saw a MySpace profile today with an under construction notice up. Why would a person do that? Isn’t life short enough without wasting time writing “Profile Under Construction”? And how long does it take to set one up so its not under construction, two hours, three? How about 61 days? …I don’t know, I’m sorry guys, I just found it funny. It probably loses a little in translation.

February 17, 2009

Collaborative Networking Improves Gigs

Filed under: Band News — ian @ 8:56 pm

Gigdoggy - Gigs ListIt was a cold and windy autumnal night in 2006 when I came across mycampusguide.com. MyCampusGuide.com was a database of upcoming shows and events that college students could use to find out what was happening on their campus or promote the said shows and events themselves. I say Was, because it is now defunct! But what I liked about MyCampusGuide.com and why I took note of the discovery was the way they used the Google Maps API, plus, it was the first time I’d consciously seen it in action!

At the time I thought the Google Maps API would be a great way for bands to promote their gigs, but, I couldn’t think of an elegant way to do it myself. I am often asked if I can get gigs for bands (because of the name Unsigned Band Promotion) and I always say NO because I’m a website promoter, but the thought of the Google Maps API reappears in the back of my mind each time I’m asked. Then there are websites like the Gig Guide who do the job much better than I ever could. So I didn’t ever go down the gigs road.

So, I take my dog out for a long walk on a cold and windy night down the path of band promotion and to my amazement, about two and a half years later I discover Gigdoggy’s Gigs List. And I know, this is what I’ve been looking for. And I know it’s going to be successful because Gigdoggy is where you can network and collaborate with other local bands.

“Local! On the Internet!” I hear you say, well Gigdoggy is all about organizing, sharing and promoting gigs with other bands and “local” is normally where bands can get the most positive and productive results - that’s what I say anyway. Of course it doesn’t have to be local, if your band is going on tour and you need contacts in another town, collaborating with other bands is the perfect way to go.

“Sharing your gigs with other bands makes it easier to plan and promote your events, and provides you with a network of bands to play with in the future” says Gigdoggy.

www.gigdoggy.com is a work in progress - beta launch Feb. ‘09 - all bands are welcome to request an invite - and any invited bands can send invites to any other bands of their choice. Read more: The www.gigdoggy.com beta launch and gigbloggy for up-to-date news.

Rob from Gigdoggy was kind enough to answer a few of my questions …is this my first interview?

UBP: What is the advantage of using Gigdoggy over a sites like craigslist, myspace etc., since there’s a lot more bands reading those sites?

Rob: “Craigslist is great for making announcements, but it’s not equipped to help bands do much more than that. MySpace and other band social networks are powerful tools to get your music heard and get the word out that you band exists as they primarily concentrate on ‘band profiles’. Gigdoggy.com does not compete with those websites since it focuses on ‘gig profiles’ and on the management of gig activities. Bands can see Gigdoggy as a supplement to their usual social networks: if they have created a gig opportunity, they can post the link to that gig’s profile on any other website where they interact with other bands.”

UBP: You mention “tools”, in what sense is Gigdoggy a tool for bands?

Rob: “Gigdoggy enables bands to take care of all their gig’s details in one single gig profile (like how the promotion for the gig is going to play out as well as delegating promotional tasks for the event, organizing couch-surfing issues, determining compensation, fan draw, ride-sharing, gear-sharing etc.) instead of having to send emails or spending time on the phone. They can freely use our platform as a tool to manage their gigs.”

UBP: I can’t see ‘Reading’, it’s all Canada, why doesn’t my town appear in the list?

Rob: “We have been getting this question a lot since we launched :-) The towns and cities that appear are the ones where there are gigs. Since we just launched last week, and are growing the website organically, we are basically promoting the site where there is activity - for now in Quebec and Ontario. Gigdoggy.com being a collaboration platform, any band can put its city on the map by creating a gig opportunity there. Inviting other bands to their ‘Network’ and letting them know that there is a gig opportunity in their area will get the ball rolling for that city.”

UBP: I noticed that bands can’t just post their availability for playing gigs, and why do they have to create actual gigs?

Rob: “We think there is more value for everyone if the content of the platform is ‘actual‘ gig opportunities with concrete information, as opposed to more vague ‘requests‘. There will always be more ‘demand‘ for gigs than there is ‘supply‘ - which makes each gig opportunity that is shared on gigdoggy more valuable to everyone.”

Thanks Rob, Gigdoggy really is the dog’s bollocks, this is going to be big…

EDIT 13:07:09 - Oh no it’s not, seems that it has gone and become Fanteraction™ - which allows bands to share their bios, setlists, song lyrics and other content with fans before, during and after their gigs through iphones and blackberries.

February 12, 2009

The Slips - Electro Band London

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 12:02 am

the slips electro band london

The Slips

The Slips are an electro band from London. They asked me ever so nicely if I’d do a little feature? Why not? Here it is.

Even though The Slips have only been going for just over a year (formed summer 2007), they are already generating a storm in the electro scene. David Treahearn and Rob Haggett (The Slips) come with a pedigree and a neon sign that says, "successful future", having worked alongside the renowned Mark Stent in his London studio and with everyone from Madonna and Gwen Stefani to Bjork, Massive Attack and FischerSpooner - they sure seem to be going places, so they say.

But what do I know about them apart from what I read: "Super-hot upcoming electro duo with their super-hot CSS remix" says Rob da Bank, Radio 1, "Dirty Daft Punk funk which out LCD’s LCD Soundsystem" - Clash Magazine, and what I hear on The Slips’s MySpace page?

the slips electro band london ukUnfortunately, I would not say that The Slips’s website is pulsating, gloriously bouncy or super-hot [Oh! You thought this was going to be a "Band Review". No, this is a "Band’s Website Review" - sort of!] considering these two guys are super high tech - I’m very disappointed.

The Positively Good Bits The first thing you see on The Slips’s website is (their logo): "Enter Your Email" so you can begin to download their free remixes, not many bands do this as well as The Slips. There’s a payoff (great), The Slips get your email, you get their "gloriously bouncy bit of electro-glitch disco" (quote London Metro) RMX as a free download - and that is perfect and almost enough to satisfy my taste buds.

The home page has some textual content on, including good contact details, but that’s it, nothing else!

The Negatively Nasty Bits Well actually the list is so long it’s embarrassing, so I’m only going to highlight the main points. Taking it from the top: The website address www.theslips.net redirects to www.overspecific.com/slips/, and a redirect usually employs <FRAMES>, it’s not totally disastrous, but it thins down the promotional effectiveness of the main URL - theslips.net. This is a very common problem, a lot of bands do it, especially redirecting to MySpace.

The real main page ‘www.overspecific.com/slips/’ does not Validate. There are loads of errors caused mainly by the mostly missing/incorrect DOCTYPE declaration. The IMG alt tag is also missing - a keywords opportunity missed.

The <TITLE> tag is ‘The Slips’ which is too short, use up to 40 characters including the spaces. Put your band’s name first, use lowercase and no punctuation e.g: ‘the slips electro rock band london’. The <DESCRIPTION> meta tag is missing. You need this. Basically you need a short readable sentence with minimal punctuation of no more than 150 characters including spaces - put the band’s name first. The <KEYWORDS> meta tag is missing. Only include the most frequently used keywords contained within the title, description and the webpage, use lowercase - the keywords meta tag is not vital.

Of course I could go on, but I’m not going to because what’s missing from their website is real content and purpose to be there, the home page is really just a click-through portal to The Slips’s MySpace page, it should be the other way around, there are no other pages on their website. For more information about what The Slips should do with their website, see: SEO for Bands. The Slips have 11679 MySpace friends at time of writing, and this should translate to about 7 committed fans or should I say voracious customers. Those seven committed fans need to be identified, contacted and cherished.

The Slips - 7' vinyl, A: Girls at the Back Up, B: Cadillac Crash - $6.99The Slips released a 7" single Girls At The Back Up in the States as part of LA based IAMSOUND’s Singles Club, reaching No. 6 on The Hype Machine on the day of the release - awesome BUY it NOW - Click Here - $6.99 uses PayPal or you can BUY NOW From iTunes - MP3s or 7′ vinyl with including DRM-free MP3s.

Editors Note [23.02.2010]: The Slips have recently updated their Website and they now have a shiny new one. So I’ve updated these links, they no longer point to www.theslips.net!

main photograph copyright Joe Hunt & The Slips

February 10, 2009

Bands’ Flyers Go To The Wall

Filed under: Band News — ian @ 9:49 am

Band Flyer WallI know exactly the date I thought of “The Flyer Wall”, 21st October 2005. Why? Because I made the background wall image on that day and I’ve just looked up the date! I thought it was a good idea at the time, it was my reaction and response to Alex Tew’s The Million Dollar Homepage, he came up with the idea of selling 1 million pixels of internet ad space for $1 each!!

One day last week (I was snowed in - Friday I think) I was surfing and I noticed, TheBandWall.com nestling in the Google Ads. And I thought WOW someone’s done it - actually I also thought, Oh Shit! - Well Done Paul & Daniel - Good Luck.

TheBandWall.com’s idea is a simple one, a band can promote themselves by posting a virtual digital flyer (an image) for a small cost (100px X 100px @ £1.00 for 6 months on the wall) on a virtual wall (basically a web page). I was pleased to see them promoting themselves via Google Ads - it’s what a band would want, however I wasn’t quite so impressed when I tried to find them again today and I couldn’t, but in their defense, they have only been going for a short time (Jan/Feb 2009) and it does take time to get promotion going and get into the search engine listings …these free links should help them.

There is another one, I’d better mention: The Flyer Wall, they showcase, advertise and promote business style websites. The site has an interesting urbanned look and feel which is cool.

My idea was to allow UK bands to post their flyers themselves just like they would in the real world - no fees, just a simple sign-up so I could moderate the mayhem. I’d sit back and watch them fight it out posting flyers maliciously over each other and every now and then, when the wall looked like fun, I’d archive it as a web page and start the madness over again! I didn’t do it because on consideration I thought it wouldn’t work. I don’t think TheBandWall.com will work either!

I think what niggles me about TheBandWall.com is that they don’t post Flyers. They post Banners. I wonder if they would let a band post 7 different flyers per month for £50.00 per annum, because, that’s how many different venues a busy band could be playing. Flyers have a quick turnover and should be very cheap. I think most bands these days use their next flyer as their avatar on social networking sites don’t they? So the fan can go to the full-size image, print it out and take it to the gig for a few quid off entry.

Question: of the 6 current bands who use TheBandWall.com, 5 use it to promote their band’s MySpace page. How much would you spend on a link to promote your MySpace page?

I have been experimenting with website promotion and linking for years and accordingly I set-up Band Promotion Links and Micro-Sites. The Band Promotion Links are free but require a reciprocal link from the band’s home page. Micro-Sites aren’t just free, they allow the band to earn some money. Both the Band Promotion Links and the Micro-Sites have been grossly undersubscribed! That is why I am sceptical about the success of TheBandWall.com. But, good luck anyway, I’d love to be proved wrong.

Just thought I’d give Banksy a mention, I luv his work, if anything fartistic needs to be done on walls, he’s the man. I’d love to do the same on websites - igraffiti - but that’s also called Hacking and is illegal.

ed. NOTE: they’ve changed their prices since writing this, I’ve edited it to £1.00 for six months on the wall, NO free flyers.

Ed. update 28 May ‘09
I’ve just searched for Band Flyer Promotion on Google and to my surprise 101 Band Promotion Ideas was top of the list - The Band Wall is nowhere to be seen! - and if you think that’s weird, I’ve just searched for "The Band Wall" on Google and Bands’ Flyers Go To The Wall is number 5 - The Band Wall’s site is nowhere to be seen! It’s very depressing, come on guys, get promoting.

Unless they pick up the pace now, they will fold.

February 3, 2009

Crap Rap Crap Publicity - RapPublicity

Filed under: Copyright Issue, General Musings, Band News — ian @ 4:12 pm

crap rap crap publicity - rappublicityAbout eight years ago, sometime in 2001, I copied two pieces of work. One was a “handy” links page and the other was a Cascading Style Sheet. The original owners soon found out and I was soundly castigated - quite right too. I wasn’t on the make or take, but I was being lazy and naive thinking, “I would get away with it and it didn’t really matter” - it does matter and it always did. I’ve been on the Internet for about fifteen years and over that time I’ve made plenty of etiquette (I think plagiarism is more than an etiquette problem) mistakes, but I always try to correct myself as soon as I realize I’ve been a stupid prat.

On the other hand, I Have Been Copied loads of times (I mainly use Copyscape to find the plagiarists) and it always pisses me off, even though they say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but without attribution it’s theft!

Here is the latest Plagiarist Crap Publicity.

As I said, “I mainly use Copyscape to find the plagiarists”, but this time Google Alerts did the job for me, offering up 101 Band Promotion Tips by Dj 3 Strikes on Get Gwap. As soon as I see 101 Band Promotion Tips, I start thinking “Some stupid tosser has copied it again because they can’t be arsed or haven’t got the brains to do it themselves”. And I don’t mind if they give me the attribution and a link. So, I followed the Read More… link on Get Gwap to: Crap Publicity. And there it was, my work, no attribution and no link - not that a link would help, Crap Publicity contributes to the web with Nofollow Reciprocity!!! I take a good look at the two websites to see if I can find out who’s behind it all so I can email and whinge. I discover a well connected labyrinth…

Here’s a taster:
Get Gwap
Dj 3 Strikes [Ryan, New London, Connecticut 06320] - he can handle real shit.
Crap Publicity [Ryan, New London, Connecticut 06320] - Learn the secrets of marketing from a plagiarist.
Dirty Pockets Productions [Ryan, New London, Connecticut 06320] crap production & promotion team.
Stax BriX [The 5ft Bully, New London, Connecticut 06320] - politically crap & mindless.

…And of course Crap Publicity has copied Bob Baker’s - How to Use Video to Promote Your Music Online, see: Crap Publicity’s version and I’m sure Crap Publicity has copied others.

Without becoming too vitriolic, I’d say Ryan is a guy who would like to be taken seriously as a self made artist and a rap promoter, he has some talent (if you search Google for: 101 Band Promotion Tips, Crap Publicity is #1 (I’m number 2!)) and works hard at it, but let’s face it, would you trust a guy who steels other peoples’ efforts not to rip you off?

Cutting The Crap,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

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