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April 20, 2009

Quality Content

Filed under: website promotion — ian @ 11:41 pm

I was pleased Bill Slawski, of SEO by the Sea fame, Twittered a link to Colleen Jones’s article post Toward Content Quality, because it was an informative read - [read it for yourself here]. I wanted to leave a brief comment on uxmatters.com, but I didn’t want to sign up for a free TypePad account, so, I’ll post it here for you instead!

There is more to a web page’s content than meets the eye - while viewing a web page Right Mouse Click in white space and click on View Source in the pop-up menu to see the page’s actual content.

Content is a much bandied about word in promotional circles on the Internet, that’s because most website promotion techniques rely on search engines. For instance, if you’re looking for a band on the net, you go to a search engine, you enter in the band’s name, the search engine serves up its list of relevant websites. Exactly how the search engines do this, is a secret (their secret, not mine), but we all expect them to get it right and display our lost band in the top ten results. They do it by analysing Content, that is: Your domain name (YourBandName.com), header tag information (title, description, keywords), the textual content within the BODY of the web page (includes anchor titles, image ALT text and maybe comments) and how the website content relates to the websites it links to and visa-versa. We also think that the search engines analyse language, that is to say, how words relate to each other (e.g. flying lesson, rock and roll, beef jerky etc.), compound words (e.g. maidenhead, yourself) and compound phrases (typically found in domain names, e.g. newmusicstrategies, seobythesea, unsignedbandpromotion).

Content also means: ‘the quality of what the website has to say’ (that’s what keeps the fans coming back). Colleen Jones askes the question, "how do we know whether content is any good?", see: Content Quality Checklists for the answer. Does your bands website content come up to scratch?

The big question Is: "Does your bands website include enough quality content to be found in the search engine results?" You might want to give yourself an UBP Website Check

March 26, 2009

How should a band spend £300 of promotional money?

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 9:15 am

How should a band spend £300 of promotional moneyA couple of weeks ago Valerie King who is a senior contributor for the Atlanta online music resource The Silver Tongue contacted me regarding her blog post, The Art of Blatant Self-Promotion: A “How To Guide” for Artists and Musicians. She asked me if I’d take a gander and do an interview on what UnsignedBandPromotion.com is all about, sometime in the future.

I had The Silver Tongue interview in my mind when I read Ariel Hyatt’s Social Media & Online Marketing For Musicians - 10 Questions For an Expert in the Trenches on Music Think Tank, and I wondered what questions Valerie would ask me and how I would be able to respond? Have a read of the MTT post and see question 10. So in preparation I asked myself the question: How should a band spend £300 of promotional money? £300 is about $500! Of course, £300 doesn’t go very far if you’re employing someone in the UK for “social media networking services and instruction” - one day at best! But you might be surprised to see how far £300 goes.

  1. £62 If you haven’t got one already, get yourself a website. £62 (per annum) will get you a free domain name and free setup, 1500 gig’s of webspace, 15000 gig’s of bandwidth, 2500 email@yourdomain.com accounts, blogs, forums, galleries, e-commerce software - a quick start online store, $75 in Google and Yahoo search credits, etc…
    Networking and online marketing needs focus, a strategy and a focal point. Your own domain name and website is the perfect focal point. For more inf. see: iPowerWeb
  2. £125 One of the reasons a band should have a website is so they can collect fans email addresses and send out a newsletter and gig information. A well maintained mailing list is the one thing that will increase your audience numbers and boost your website’s traffic. £125 (per annum) will buy email marketing software (hosted is best) that will allow you to have up to 500 subscribers (more subscribers will cost more), and unlimited: email campaigns, website sign up forms, newsletters and autoresponders… A website and an email newsletter go together like rock & roll. For more inf. see: AWeber.
  3. £62 A common free gift for a band to give away is an mp3 - the more people who listen to your music, the more music you’re likely to sell. A flash drive is an expensive free gift, handle with care, but it would make a terrific prize or lure for a gig. £62 will buy you, 20 X 1GB USB flash drives at an average low cost of about $4.99 from Amazon, eBay and Google Product Search - obviously you need to load it up with your music - and maybe earn some ‘extra’ (even pay for the whole shebang) by including your sponsors message. Ask the recipients to pass it on once they’ve downloaded your music.
  4. £13 One of the most important ingredients in a successful marketing campaign is Your Contact Information - it should be on everything. £13 will buy you a self-inking rubber stamp that includes: your logo and 4 lines of text in black, red or blue ink. Include: your band’s name, telephone number, email address, website URL. There are loads of sellers on the ‘net. It’s very low tech but an effective and productive idea - stamp it onto everything!
  5. £38 Give something away. Nothing on the internet is really free, there’s always a pay off: “We give you a voucher from the website and you get a free gift at our next gig” :: “You join our mailing list”. The problem is, how much to give away? £38 will buy you 100 x 25mm badges imprinted with band’s name and logo. Of course you don’t have to give them away, selling badges is an age old way of promoting your band’s name and making a few quid too.
    As with all ‘merchandising’ products, the more you buy the cheaper the individual item becomes. Here are some more ideas: bumper stickers, drum sticks, fake tattoos, greeting cards, guitar picks, imprinted pens, lanyards, lighters, matchbooks, portfolio of signed pictures (DIY version), stickers. There are loads of sellers on the ‘net. Make sure the free gift is easy to find and simple to get, and don’t forget the pay off.

Ciao 4 niao,
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/

March 8, 2009

Some Bands Can Be Such Hypocrites

Filed under: Copyright Issue, Band News — ian @ 11:48 pm

Wednesday Night Coincidence[NEW EDITED VERSION]
I have just received a most gracious and heartfelt email from Wednesday Night Coincidence which fully explains their faux pas, I am humbled. Of course like most bands WNC are “just a group of friends having a good time” and that is reflected in their brilliantly performed music.

Wednesday Night Coincidence have just launched their new and updated website “08:03:2009″ choosing our Website Template as a framework - thanx :)

My gripe is with bands (unlike Wednesday Night Coincidence) who hypocritically fight to protect their own work while stealing other peoples’.

I find it very funny, over the years I’ve worked with many artists from all disciplines (photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, writers… often incredibly famous and All highly principled) and the one thing they worry about is copyright - people copying their work. …The music and film industries are almost obsessed with the problem because it costs them so much money, yet, if one looks around some of them are at it too, copying other people’s work and claiming it for themselves.

Unsigned Band Promotion’s Band Website Template is offered free under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which means: it’s yours to use and fuck around with freely and as much as you like, but Please Keep Our Link IN. Our Website Template is fully supported, if you have any problems with it just ask - it won’t cost you!

Out for kicks,
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/

March 2, 2009

Unsigned Band Promotion UK

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 11:23 am

Profile Under ConstructionWhile UnsignedBandPromotion.co.uk is developing, I am giving UK bands the chance to advertise and sell their Albums, MP3s or Merchandise from the front page.

Of course I am doing it for free. If you want to add links to your album, MP3 or merchandise go to: Add Your Link to find out what information I need.

As usual I will be promoting the website organically - which means I will not be paying for the privilege of being in the top ten search engine results for my chosen keywords. It would have helped if I’d chosen some keywords!!!

In Conversation With Bands,
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/

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/

January 25, 2009

Micro-Sites, Netiquette and Linking

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 10:45 am

A couple of months ago I started evaluating UnsignedBandPromotion’s Micro-Sites because I knew one of the bands had broken up and another’s website had disappeared, as a result, I have deleted fifteen of them! Every time I discover a band giving up their website in favour of a MySpace profile (“iT’s thE WAy fOrwARd DuDe”) I get surprised, also, Micro-Sites are not there to promote MySpace (there are exceptions to the rule) especially if the band refuses to link back.

Linking and netiquette are one of my things at the moment because I recently linked to a band from the Band Links Page, then a month later they removed their link to me! Did they think I wouldn’t notice? Linking should be natural, organic, friendly and polite. Imagine how I feel spending eight hours making a Micro-Site (which involves checking, gathering and manipulating information, links and images) that the search engines will find friendly and therefore will promote a band and the band’s website. …And doing it for free …And they don’t link back. Want to know how I feel? Read: Lack Of Netiquette: SEO Greed Or Stupidity? by Turnip - it will give you hint and another angle on the theme.

The actual point of a Micro-Site is to promote a band’s website by linking to it - very simple. As an added extra the band gets links to all (or most all) of the other places where their band has a presence (MySpace, Facebook, ReverbNation, PureVolume, iLike, etc., etc.), which will help to promote the band too. And as a Bonus, they can earn some hard cash, money from their Micro-Site - there aren’t many places where they can do that. This means, they can have, include and own: the Google AdSense links, an affiliate link, buy CD now links, merchandise links, a PayPal donate button, etc. Oh, then there’s the fact that A Micro-Site will be found for something else like Rock Bands Birmingham! - not bad for a Free tailor made webpage that will promote your band and your band’s website to Hell and back.

Do you know, about three months ago I was looking through my website statistics and I found a band had directly linked to one of my images! Meaning that they are using my bandwidth (how rude) to serve up an image on their ridiculous contact-us.php page. “Please can you take it off” I asked nicely, while not really caring because it’s only a 1px X 1px transparent spacer gif, and I always get a laugh at the small number of times it’s loaded. “I don’t know how to” they replied. So - as someone once said to me, “You Stupid Tosser”. I refer you back to Turnip, have a read.

I’ve come to the conclusion that bands give up their websites and develop their MySpace page when they realize their band is going down the pan. It’s a bit like having a baby to save the relationship. When a band hasn’t got a website, it’s a sure sign they haven’t got the confidence or faith to invest in themselves. A website takes time, energy and some knowledge to create and keep up-to-date. A MySpace page takes time, energy, some basic knowledge - anyone can do it, and is maybe more fun than a website - overall the MySpace profile takes a lot less skill to make than a website. A MySpace page of course is free, whereas a website will cost a little to run, but Holy Cow, can’t a band of three, four or five people stump up a few quid and find a friend who will give a helping hand (maybe for free) to get one? “We had a website, but it didn’t get any action. Our Myspace has tons of action. We’ve got 60,000 fans, 1,500,000 page views and our latest single has had 1,000 plays.” she said in a voice with the tone that was basically saying eff off you tit. And I’m thinking: 0.06% of 60,000 is about 36. That’s 36 people who will come to their website regularly and press the BUY NOW button several times. Why haven’t they got a website? Oh! That’s right - they’re going down the effing pan. “Had many sales of your stunning and beautifully worked album - I loved your first track by-the-way?” I said, hoping the answer would be no. “Yes, we had ten last month” she said as she sneered down her bottle of Sol at me. Now it was my turn, “Oh eff off you pillock and no I’m not going to make it eleven” I said quietly in my head while smiling and nodding. And in the wonderful world where I’m always right and everybody loves me, I’m saying, “send them to your bloody website you twat”.

“As a net is made up by a series of knots, so everything in this world is connected by a series of knots. If anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, they are mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of connected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibilities in relation to other meshes.” The Teaching of Buddha by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Buddhist Promoting Foundation.

I made my first Micro-Site (was called Online Z-card - still is I suppose!) for a UK Punk band (d. December 2007) in April 2006. At the time I was worried I was going to be inundated with requests for more, but no, I wasn’t. A short time after I was talking to one of those ultra geeky, webby, media types who are so far up themselves they’re coming out the other side, about the lack of interest in the Z-cards. He said something that resonated with me; “Well where are you going with them? And why would a band want one? I mean, look at what you get on MySpace, everything and more, besides MySpace is totally addictive. I’m hooked. I’ve just met a jazz band from France and they’ve asked us to play with them next year…” On and on he droned thank god, because I didn’t have an answer and that haunted me at the time.

I hadn’t articulated where I was going with them, I was never going anywhere with the Micro-Sites, I don’t make them to promote myself, I make them free to help promote bands’ websites. And I assumed that I was going to be inundated because I know what a valuable and unobtainable (an affiliate marketeer would give his right arm, his wife and children for one of these Micro-Sites) type of backlink a Micro-Site gives. But what fascinates me is how addictive social networking is for so many bands, addictive to the detriment of their promotional and marketing efforts.

Anyway, Micro-Sites are now by invitation only, so you’ve missed the boat and missed getting one of the most powerful types of links - pity!

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