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Eight things I plan to put into our new music-related website…

In 2010, I hope to ease back into music marketing through one of the companies that I am working with.

Think of the diagram above as the conceptual framework for a website.  Outer boxes guide and constrain each of the inner boxes. 

For your feedback, here are eight things I plan to put into this website:

1) The merged efforts of many…
As I have written here in the past, I am a big believer that artists should be working together to build brands on the Internet.  The network effect of numerous artists promoting one brand is far more powerful than one artist attempting to build a brand by his or her self.  Moreover, numerous artists working together can deliver the “this site entertains me” value proposition (and other highly valued propositions), while a standalone artist usually cannot (learn why).

2) The will to inspire versus the inclination to impress…
The Internet is a transparency machine and music (all media) is the most naked product on earth.  Things that impress people may generate a single click, while things that inspire people generate as many clicks as it takes to complete a meaningful action (share, buy, attend, join, subscribe, proclaim, etc.).  A shallow crust of impressive things will not cover our site (that’s the goal at least).  Everything will have to pass this test: does it truly inspire or does it momentarily impress?

3) The delivery of a focused value proposition…
Our brand will feature numerous artists from many cities. As fans move from city to city, we want them to seek out our brand and not necessarily the sites of our participating artists; that comes second; in this regard, the site will be informative (who, where, when).  The combination of artist and fan-generated content will be relatively entertaining, as competing with all other forms of online entertainment is challenging at best.  However this site will deliver the “this site helps me to meet people with shared values, interests and desires” value proposition (more on this below), which should motivate fans to return to the site often.  The other value proposition this site will deliver is the “this site filters stuff (artists, songs, video, people) for me” value proposition.  Click here to learn more about the importance of delivering a value proposition.   
4) Acknowledgement that it’s not about us…
When I speak (publicly) about effective and inexpensive ways to increase web traffic, I use the title to Andrew Dubber’s post “It’s kind of not about you.” to describe the powerful effect of leveraging a community to build a brand on the Internet (think about how Music Think Tank works).  Our site will be as much about fan control, fan generated content, and fan-to-fan engagement, as it will be about the content we feature.  In addition, we’ll also consider premium membership (inclusion) as a product to offer once the brand is established.

5) Value, 6) Interests, 7) Desires…
When digitized, all of the photos, images, text, comments, sound, video, songs, lyrics and any media that’s posted on a site - represents the sum of the values, interests and desires (the V.I.D. DNA) of a web site’s contributors and users (this is true for any website where humans have a voice).  Google repeatedly indexes this media, and then makes it easy for humans to find humans with similar V.I.D. DNA.  This is how people find and form communities on the Internet, not by demographics but by shared V.I.D. DNA (learn more).  I believe we will shape the process of forming our own V.I.D. DNA by trimming around the edges, but eventually the community will dominate (and grow) the brand, and this exactly what we want to happen.

8) Media…
Using our own collaborative filtering technology, industry experts, site contributors, and eventually community members that have accumulated trust and authority will control everything (artists and all content) that goes onto the site.  The site will not only act as a quality filter (as determined by those using the collaborative filter), the mechanisms used to populate/update the site will enable the community to establish and control the V.I.D. DNA of the site.  

Side note: Our collaborative filtering technology is under development and will be available for anyone to utilize.

Other related items and questions…
The question - how do you make money always comes up, so here are some quick answers: Contributors of popular content will be part owners of the brand and share in the profits. See how Music Think Tank (informally) operates.  The entity (that owns the brand) will sell merchandise, large inexpensive bundles of songs (possibly), inclusion/membership, a unique wireless application, and it will eventually take on sponsors.  The question - how will you begin (initial artists, songs, pictures, V.I.D) also comes up, so here’s another quick answer: we may run multiple sites / brands, and initially we will rely upon paid music industry and branding experts to get the ball rolling; however as I stated above, the goal is to enable the community to ultimately control the V.I.D. DNA (the brand).

I am hoping to get this site built in 2010, partly as a showcase for our technology (once completed).  Per usual, I share ideas here to obtain critical and insightful feedback prior to final commitment.  Thanks.

about Bruce Warila

Reader Comments (11)

Wow. That's quite a lot to take in, but inasmuch as I have understood it correctly it sounds like something I'd be quite interested in being a part of. This sounds like the kind of thinking that can actually move us forward towards models that might be workable and sustainable, especially for 'niche' artists, of which I happen to be one...

Please keep us posted on your progress with it!

December 30 | Unregistered Commentertobias tinker

hmmm... i was pretty sure I was logged in, but perhaps not? In case this one works, that last one was me...

December 30 | Registered Commentertobias tinker

A very similar basis for my final year project at university. Your collaberative 'web 2.0' experience provided here on such topics is inspiring, so your next aim to move on, wow.

Who may i contact for your filtering tech?

Thanks for something to look forward too 2010!

December 31 | Unregistered CommenterMartinT

"The will to inspire versus the inclination to impress…"

I'm stealing that! I'm doing a drum clinic in a couple of weeks, and I've been trying to find a concise way to explain why I make certain musical choices - that pretty much sums it up!

January 3 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Munger

I co-sign with Tobias. This is a big integral platform. I'd definitely like to see the application of the theory when it happens.

January 3 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

Brilliant chart. Inspiring concept. Keep us posted.

January 5 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Houghton

thanks guys.. I have one huge piece (see my next post) that I am working on as part of this puzzle. hard to do the second without the first.


January 5 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Warila

Your concept hopes to address a number of elements I'm interested in, including building community and enabling artists to make money.

Here's a link I learned about on Twitter last night.

Social Graphs of On-line Communities and Social Networking Sites

It shows the importance of members of a community linking to each other. I've been heavily online in various communities (BBSs, usenet, mailing lists, website bulletin boards, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter) since 1993. It's always been interesting to see how many people post, how many lurk, whether the community is sustainable, whether the atmosphere is positive or if flamers and trolls take over, etc.

There are always online communities, but the format changes and will continue to change as new technologies arise. I've been skeptical about the future of Twitter because I see it as part of an evolutionary process and it will be replaced by something else, in time.

January 7 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Lainson

Bruce, it's, ahem, a tad late to deny being a futurist (but in a good sense of the word, at least most of the time hehe).

Let's face it - you somehow dream up stuff that pushes the envelope (and at least this readers senses), and isn't that what this industry needs right now??

By definition some (most?), of it will likely turn out to be off key, if you will, but didn't it take 10,000 experiments before the light bulb (or some major invention), hit the target...

Of course, we also must develop here and now practical solutions, but that is a different task, and no one person can do it all - I say dream on!!

@ Suzanne: thanks for the link, very interesting...wonder if/how musicians could be enticed through social networking into collaboration a la post point #1...

January 7 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

...inspire people.
I lost that soooo long ago with the competition to make an impression with the business insiders...
I feel truly revived.

thank you for inspiring me.
Those words have changed my web design, artwork, and music.

Back to basics.
Great work. Thanks again.

January 11 | Unregistered CommenterMike Kotulka

Great work on this plan. I look forward to seeing you all flesh this out.

January 24 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Dolan

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