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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.

3 Comments »

  1. It seems like a good idea… It depends on so many factors tho!
    It may not be for the bands that arent constantly on the net promoting, and may alienate those who prefer to things face to face or doing things telephone

    It also depends on whether a band would use it for their own needs and not the needs of the many (ie promoting themselves to bands when they play to not a local audience, but when a band needs their help, they only do it half-arsed)

    As long as the participating bands/artists are willing to share their audiences - as well as some of their knowledge, i guess - then I see this being quite successful.

    Am I right in thinking this application is just for bands “hooking-up” or is it also for promotion to the public?

    I started a site a long time ago, which main aim was to have bands submit gig dates in the hope that if I or any other net user was stumped for something to do, they could look up a date, and an area and find a gig to go to… Unfortunately, and obviously, the only people who visited the site was just bands looking for another place to promote their gigs…

    Matt

    Comment by Matt — February 17, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

  2. Hi!

    Greg here, i’m gigdoggy’s cofounder and developer - thanks Ian for the very nice writeup/interview!

    I think Matt raises some valid points : a service like this one is only as good as the people using it, and there are bands out there only working for themselves that won’t contribute anything meaningful to the “conversation”.

    However the platform allows you first and foremost to stay in touch with your own network - the bands that you’re playing with right now, or have played with before.

    We hope to grow the platform organically, and one of the reasons is that most bands with live gig experience have already shared stages with other bands - and will probably turn to those bands first for other gig opportunities. That’s why it’s a lot more important for us that you build your own community by inviting bands that you know.
    Communication within gigdoggy is a bit like twitter-for-bands: you follow only the activity of people you care about, so there is little room for blatant self-promotion: people will just stop following you if you don’t give back.

    Let’s say you guys are playing in Sweden (just a hunch :)- if you are sharing those gigs with other bands, you could create a gig profile and invite the bands that you’re playing those shows with.

    You then have a centralized place where you can discuss all aspects of the gig’s logistics. It’s quite simple really - but it organizes the information in a way that back-and-forth emails with multiple bands doesn’t allow.

    We’re really hoping that the first bands using the platform will give us as much feedback as possible and help us make this even more useful for future bands.

    Anyways i really encourage you to sign up and find out for yourself.

    Comment by paisible — February 18, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  3. Who’d ever want to gig in Sweden? ;)

    Thanks for the response!

    Comment by Matt — February 18, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

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