Dear Music Think Tank,
We appreciate what you do, mainly the fact that you are very critical and yes, demanding. The world can’t improve without demands, and that’s why we’re taking your information, input, complaints, suggestions and everything else that comes out of this one and other websites very seriously. Not that we have read it all but that’s precisely why I am getting in touch.
We are building a new social network, and we will do it with musicians in mind. Not because we are hopping on the bandwaggon to “serve unhappy Myspacers” and take that market share to exploit for commercial reasons, but because we are in the music industry and we know how important it is that musicians are given a platform from where they can reach out to their crowd in the most effective way. In a world as overstimulated as ours, we know how difficult it can be to stand out, not in terms of the music itself, but in terms of marketing and PR and reaching an audience.
Maybe it’s the fact that we’re not owned by some major media conglomerate or that we are made up of industry professionals who simply give a lot of credit to artists and understand that not everyone is striving to become the next “Guns’n’Roses” but that most often musicians just want to make music, and that’s more fun when people are listening.
Anyhow, long story short: We want to have your input! What do you want that you can’t find at the other networks? What do other networks have that you believe is so critical and a reason you’re using their services? If a fairy came along and fulfilled all your wishes, what would they be? Basically: if YOU could build your own social music network, what would it entail??
Please divide the points into three categories:
1) what already exists out there (and where so that we can see for ourselves and understand exactly what you mean)?
2) what you think needs to be improved or created and you can’t possibly understand why no one is offering it?
3) think outside the box and tell us what you would want a social network to do for you if ANYHING was possible. (anything but money falling from the sky onto your drumkit, that is)
Go into as much detail as you think is necessary for someone to understand who is NOT in the music industry (the programmers in our case) and those who have never used a social network for music promotion purposes. Please list the main objectives of each feature (or state all general objectives before getting into detail with the features) as well as the actual application you want in practice. That will give us a chance to think outside the box as well and maybe come up with stuff you didn’t even think of. Think promotion, general marketing/branding (ugly word but still), using different types of media for presenting your music to the audience on your profile as well as for reaching out to the entire www. Try to take all different kinds of band compositions into consideration that you’re exposed to, one-man/woman-shows as well as orchestras, as you wish. Think of all commercial aspects: sponsoring, online music sales, merchandise, etc. Think of all industry aspects too: agents, labels, promoters, tour managers, PR agencies, distributors, etc. Think about user-generated solutions as well as professional industry services.
As a side note, while we are in the music industry, we are on another side entirely, which isn’t bands but DJs and computer-driven live performers. But since we would want to satisfy the broad spectrum of musicians out there not only “our kind”, we are kindly requesting your input because we know that “band music” has its own pecularities and we would want to understand them fully.
Obviously we can’t promise that we’ll be able to execute all your wishes, or at least not immediately, (time and cost factor as well as the “fairy wishes” might not be realisable) but we do promise you that we will take everything into account to create something you truly want and need. Feel free to also make a note of what is absolutely CRUCIAL and what would be a nice little added feature but not really that important for now, and can be added at a later stage. Please also try to be critical in respect to user experience: It doesn’t help if users are bombarded with event and band promotions in their inbox (as it happens on MySpace and to some extent on facebook already) because that would only lead to ignoring ALL of them. I personally stopped using MySpace the moment I realised that I received more “promotions” in my inbox than personal messages… That was in 2008. We need a solution for that as well, so please think about who can send to whom and what kind of permissions would make sense to enable serious promotion but discourage random spamming.
We realise that your response could be quite time consuming but we assure you that it is worth it. We are determined to make this happen because there simply is no reason why the creators of music, which is one of the most expressive and emotional art forms, are not being catered to 100%.
We thank you in advance and hope that you will give us feedback as soon as possible. We are meeting with our developers next week to set the ground work for the networking site and the sooner we have your input, the more committed we can be to make it happen. Feel free to forward the link of this post to other musicians you know that are unsatisfied with how things are done till now, the more input we get, the better we can build a network that serves your needs.
All the best,
P.S: For long replies or for those personal ones that you wouldn’t want to share on the net, please feel free to send an email to feedback at creative-infrastructure dot net. All ideas appreciated.