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Author Topic: My Local Music Project (+ Media Theory Ramblings)  (Read 2544 times)

Jimor

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Two purposes to this thread, that are intertwined by how I arrived at the main purpose. I'll start going into greater detail later, but for now I just want to set the stage a bit.

First, I want to create some kind of portal/blog/thing that would help visitors dig into just about any local scene anywhere in the country (world?, maybe once things get going properly). I'll expand on this in a later post, but the basic idea is to figure out who the up and coming acts are, and give them a signal boost. I know there are blogs that kind of do this, but I find myself dissatisfied with the general social media trend of everything quickly scrolling off the front page into oblivion. Even with typical archives that are fairly easy to navigate, it's not an option most people bother with. Like I said, more on this later.

The second part is that I've been doing a LOT of thinking about how media works these days as I try to synthesize a business model that will allow me to make a living making some kind of video about music. The above is one piece of the puzzle, but there's so much more, and I think it would be cool to have this discussion here with all you smart peoples. I also think this discussion could be helpful for others around here who are also searching for possible ways to get their own creative endeavors out to a wider audience and maybe even make money.

And it's not just video and music I've been looking into, but also publishing, comics (print and web), gaming, film, TV, etc. This is something of an attempt at a grand unified theory of media, and a way for me to start getting all the jumbled thoughts and references down into a bit more of a coherent whole.

I'll leave this post with 2 articles that ran across my screen from different friends yesterday. When I post again, I'll talk about how I think these things are linked.

Pandora founder exchanges e-mail with musician about performance rates.
U.S. TV Networks may drop free broadcasts.
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Jimor

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Re: My Local Music Project (+ Media Theory Ramblings)
« Reply #1 on: 20 May 2013, 18:11 »

OK, took me a while to get back to this, lots of (good) things going on, so it's been tough to keep up. Not sure how many are interesting in me talking to myself, but this will probably help consolidate a lot of my thoughts. I'd definitely welcome input, and even at some point, folks who'd like to help out with the actual project, but that's still some time off.

The following is a brainstorm of ideas and thoughts.

Geographically, to keep things manageable, my first thought is to break the country (U.S.) into 200 regions, which translates into an average population of 1.5 million each. In reality, the granularity of local scenes goes MUCH deeper than this, but if the site even touches on a mere 50 bands per region, that's 10,000 bands it would be showcasing.

Because of just that one calculation, it's important to point out that this site will NOT be the be-all, end-all of any particular scene. It's a way to start discovering what's available in a particular area, but it will still miss a lot of really strong acts for one reason or another.

Despite this large number of acts to "discover", I do not want this to be completely crowd generated. That would be an "easy" way to quickly gather most of the data, but aside from the workload of monitoring any kind of open input for abuse and trolling, I have other reasons for keeping the final output in-house. I'd want an avenue for sharing who might be worthy, but only as fodder for the editorial winnowing.

Format: I'm envisioning the front page with a clickable map that would bring a visitor to that region's listing of acts, venues, and other resources for finding out more for that scene. I want the primary entry to be something that's permanent and allows visitors to explore all the content easily whether it was added last week or last year. IMO, the primary weakness of social media and blogs is the way good information (and all the work that went into creating it) gets lost once it leaves the front page. Instead of a small "archive" button leading to the wealth of new acts to discover, I want the impulse to explore what's out there to be the most obvious function of the site.

There will still be a blog (or other columns and articles) of some kind that highlights some of the updated material and gives visitors a reason to regularly return, but again, its main function will be to bring people to the permanent information in an inviting way. I'm also thinking of doing some kind of video blog to more dynamically point out the new acts (audio and video clips to show quick samples of what's inside).

There will probably be some kind of very vague "fame" cutoff for bands. With only 50 acts per region, there's no point in linking to bands that already get press at the major blogs and magazines, even if they're not huge by other standards. I may be wrong, but I think it's important to carve out this niche just below where everybody else has awareness. And it may sound mercenary, but there's power in being able to, even in small ways, lift a band from one level to the next. Which is why I think editorial control over the final output is important. A site like this will live on its reputation for providing music lovers with new experiences that they'll enjoy and take with them, and I want being listed to mean something to the bands as well.

As a side note to that, I intend to NEVER have something on the site decided by fan votes. Nothing annoys me more than promoters and venues abrogating their BASIC responsibility to sit down and make judgment calls on who would represent their business the best as performers. Getting fans involved may seem like a good way to generate excitement, but when a band has to spend effort on spamming fans, eroding the good will they've built up over months and years with them, just to play at your shitty venue/festival? Well FUCK YOU! I try to not blame the bands when I get deluged by these kinds of requests, but man, it's tough sometimes.

I think that covers a lot of the goals I have as far was what the site should do. What I need to work on over the next few months is working on details of getting this accomplished, which will probably cover my next post. Things like hosting servers, domain names, information formatting, processes for gathering info and links, etc.
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