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rockdexSome time ago, I had written a post on a band management website called Music Arsenal. Its founder, Jimmy Winter, who was working on an analytics features for Music Arsenal, decided to turn turn the feature into a whole new independent venture called RockDex Pro. I received an email from Jimmy on Friday asking me to check it out, so I did.

RockDex Pro is a comprehensive, simple and complete analytics solution for bands who wish to know who’s talking about them and on what social network. One of my favorite features here is the Twitter integration.

“Initially launched just before SXSW Music in March, RockDex provided a measurement of an artist’s overall social presence with its RockDex Score. RockDex Pro vastly improves on this by providing in depth information on how artists are represented and discovered across various social networks and blogs. Bands and their reps can use this information to understand how their marketing efforts are working, discover rising talent while its still off the radar, and understand customer behavior”.

If you are using Twitter for your band, you’ll want to check this out. RockDex not only shows you your Twitter stats, but also indicates who’s tweeting about you. So basically you can directly connect with the twitterers who are preaching the good word. Very useful stuff.

The RockDex Pro beta was just launched on Friday. You can take a look at the app at http://rockdex.com/signup using the invite code ‘gigdoggy’.

Finding and understanding your fans is crucial in the current music environment. I built RockDex Pro to bring a lot of that fan information into a single location to make marketing and promotion decisions easier.

Here’s a tutorial video – http://gigdog.gy/_rockdex_tutorial.

Woof.

Hypebot’s interview with Amanda Palmer is a must read for basically anybody, so I highly recommend you take some time here and there and check out all three parts (as well as the comments!).

Posted exactly as on Hypebot’s blog:

amanda palmer hypebot interview

If the point is to find meaning and fulfillment but the very idea of staying connected is causing you eternal anxiety, it’s defeating the purpose… I simply feel blessed that I’m an emotional exhibitionist right around the time is seems to be expected and en vogue.”

Part 1Part 2Part 3

Thank you Bruce for this wonderful interview, and of course for Hypebot! (Follow Hypebot on twitter @hypebot)

Oh and here’s Indaba’s interview with Amanda (this time it’s a video!) talking about Twitter (yet again), her crazy success stories, and other music 2.0 stuff – very interesting as always.

Mruff.

Last week I wrote a post on the new Indie Artist X project, devised by a group of music industry insiders, who’s main goal is to launch the career of an anonymous musician by applying all DIY techniques and music 2.0 tools available in today’s day and age. In other words, these music insiders will act as consultants for Artist X for a period of 4 months, recuperate and publicly announce concrete results for X’s progress, and basically just attempt to use this experiment to create a custom business plan for indie, DIY bands and musos.

In this spread – http://gigdog.gy/_indie_projectX_spreadsheet – you can see the project’s main objectives and strategies, as well as that list of advisers.

One thing I either didn’t notice for my previous post, or that simply wasn’t there yet, is the set of different sheets at the top of the document where each adviser details his/her plan for X, and generally explain the highlights of their mission (as well as the tools they intend on using to accomplish it). Having just read through it, I decided to share this tid bit of info because this simple sheet, which is most likely going to evolve and get more detailed as the project goes on, is a great starting point, or a healthy break-down of what any musician can, and even should do, while trying to market his/her self.

indie artist x spreadsheetCheck it out, and bark us, and more importantly them, some feedback.

Woof

Bandize is finally out of Beta!

bandizeBandize is a logistics management platform for bands that offers a whole set of practical tools to organize their contacts, tours, tasks, products/merchandise and whatnot. It’s a complete package solution for all bands who wish to organize their activities in one single place, bypassing the many logistical struggles they have to deal with.

Although I can’t fully utilize the site since I am currently not in a band, I can tell you I would have my whole account filled with info if I did. Slick interface, very complete set of tools, nicely implemented messaging system, possibility of importing content from other music social networks, Bandize is probably the most comprehensive management solution for bands out there. Do Check it out.

Mruff

porter mason book

Porter Mason is the guy who drew gigdoggy’s main splash-page cartoon, and a very smart and talented individual at that. I follow him on twitter (@portermason) and the guy’s got a real sense of humor. Not only that, but he’s the embodiment of a DIY artist: he publishes his own books, is on top of the social media game, uses all the tools out there to get his brand out etc..
I received this email this morning, and I just thought I would share it with you doggy-readers as an example of GOOD marketing practice (simple, personal, and funny – i loved the Micheal Bay bit :)

please note that this is the first email of this kind that I ever received from Porter – so I’m not preaching spammy practices to you lot out there – and no, we aren’t paid to write this post :-)

************************************
Summer is here, and prices at PorterMason.com are dropping. Dropping like my rent when I move to Los Angeles in September!

Yes, in September I’m leaving New York to move to Los Angeles.

And you know what I don’t want to move across the country? Unsold piles of my book of comic strips, All Local Bands Suck (Except Ours)!

So help me out: buy my book of comic strips now from PorterMason.com

We all know you want to buy the book, but you just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Well friends, this is your moment.

I’ve even dropped the price to $11.99 for a limited time.

Only $11.99!! That’s less than a single ticket to Transformers 2! For 92 beautiful pages of comic strips from my hit cartoon, Bassist Wanted! And none of that $11.99 will go to support director Michael Bay. I guarantee it.

I think we can all agree my book is this summer’s alternative to Transformers 2.

So again, if you’ve thought about buying the book, I’d really appreciate it if you’d pull the trigger now.

Buy it online right now at: http://PorterMason.com/store

You can use your PayPal account to pay for it, but if that annoys you, PayPal also lets you just use a credit card.

Now if you ever see me in person, I will always have copies of my book on me, and will be happy to sell you one right then. Believe me. Just ask.

But don’t wait to see me! Who ever sees me? No one! And you won’t have cash! Or I won’t be able to make change! Bah! What a hassle! Just buy it now online instead.

And if you wouldn’t mind, please pass on the word about the book.

Email friends. Blog about it. Put stuff on Facebook. Twitter some tweets. Every little bit helps.

Remember, this is a one-man operation.

I have no company backing me and my comics. It’s just me and you, friends. It’s me and you (and my book) against AIG and Halliburton! So let’s really give those corporate jerkfaces a run for their money, huh? Yeah!

OK, that’s it.

Love,
Porter

P.S. I promise I’ll only send these emails once or twice a year.

**********************

Porter is right, i WAS meaning to buy the book and just hadn’t gotten around to it, and I can totally relate to his situation, having moved around myself quite a bit.

Congrats Porter, you just got my $11.99, and we wish you good luck in LA!!

Greg

nin trent reznor twitter fuck music 2.0Well it’s done, Trent Reznor just deleted his Twitter account. He was one of the first to be harassed by puny users and other Twitterazzi types, and one of the first to leave ship.

From Rolling Stone: “When Twitter made it’s way to my radar I looked at it as a curiosity, then started experimenting. I thought it through and in light of where I was / am in my career I decided to lower the curtain a bit and let you see more of my personality,” Reznor said. “I watched some of you get more engaged because you started to realize there’s a person (flaws and all) back there, and I watched some of you recoil in horror because I’m not what you projected on me”.

I find this quite interesting. The other day I left some comment on Hypebot’s “Amanda ‘Fucking’ Palmer (Part 1) interview” (which is a must-read by the way). One commentator commented upon the fact that a seemingly indestructible platform such as Twitter clearly has a life expectancy. His arguments, some straightforward and simple deductions that go along the lines of “Twitter is new and fun for now, but the narcissistic social game it engages its community in will eventually get old”, got me thinking about the real impact Twitter has on most people, and if that “social game” is really worth the time spent perfecting the skills required to a “must-follow” type of user. And now there’s Mr. NIN, one of the most influential and “must-follow” accounts, that decides to bail. Although I believe he did so for personal reasons other than “Twitter is boring me”, Trent is also saying “Twitter ain’t for me, at least not anymore”. I think many will come to that realization at one point or another. Not every massively popular service is for everybody, and the more some play the game of opening-up-to-the-world, the more they might realize they just don’t like opening-up to the world.

All in all, Twitter can be seen as a sort of gratification game, or tool. I share my insights, my news, all the while shedding some light on my personality, and when I get that RT or that mention, I feel as if I made some impact, as if my presence on the Twittersphere ain’t useless and that some people out there appreciate it. And by Jove how it feels good to achieve that sense of accomplishment in this absurd world (even if it’s only due to words and not actions). Add to that the fact that Twitter is a powerful networking tool, and for me the game is still fun and exciting, as it is for an increasing number of people.

It seems to me that all the social-media success stories are due to specific traits of character. In that Amanda Palmer interview cited above, one particular sentence struck me as being very revealing: “I simply feel blessed that I’m an emotional exhibitionist right around the time is seems to be expected and en vogue.” Not everyone is like Amanda Fucking Palmer, or Trent, or others, weather they be exuberant social figures or more of the discreet kind.

I also want to quote what that commentator (know as “Old Recod Guy”) said on the interview: “Music, and art in general, is cyclical. Right now, most artists have to engage, have to get close to their fans. This is a new sensation for both sides, especially when it comes to bigger acts, for whom a one-to-one dialogue was never really practical. So fans and artists are learning where the boundaries are, what works and what doesn’t, and what the tolerance levels are on both sides.

BUT…..

Sometime in the future, people will get tired of this. They’ll become used to the interaction, the access, they’ll realize that not every artist has something interesting to say, they’ll suck all the ideas and news and gossip and photos and free downloads out of the trough until they want to puke. And that’s when some artist, or movement, will bring back that sense of mystery, that unattainability, and they’ll be huge. They’ll use the new tools to accomplish the task, but they won’t be Tweeting during their colon cleanse. They’ll rebel against the banal status quo, and legions of fans who are sick of it it too will follow them.

And that’s what’s great about art. The new burns down the old to be burnt down by the new, until we fondly remember the old and burn down the new.”

Since I feel incapable of finding a proper conclusion to this post, I will simply ask what you all think about this. Is Twitter popular for the simple reason that we live in a time where gratification and validation are important? Is Twitter working for music just because the former industry model is crumbling, and that Twitter’s direct-to-fan model appeared around the corner at the right time? Is indirect messaging a la Twitter truly to the new communication medium, or is it just a craze?

Woof!

Yesterday, Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys did something that I consider to be bold and courageous. Something you would really not expect from the likes of such an artist. Something that will garner respect and appreciation from his fans. He announced to the world, via Youtube,  that he had (treatable) cancer to jutify the post-poned tour dates:

Why would he come clean like that? The announcement is very natural, even got me thinking I knew him a little. I’m not a huge fan of the Beatie Boys but that got me connected. Such and honest way of updating the people who truly ‘want to know’ is a sign of respect. He is respecting his fanbase in an extremely delicate way, and just for that, I’m going to check out his tunes today.

Woof to Adam