Nowhere is the The Cloud more dense than in a social network. For most musicians, navigating the world of social media means trying to get the word-out about a gig on twitter, distributing a new video on Facebook, or sharing a music recommendation link with fans on Tumblr. Executing a thoughtful multi-platform campaign can mean the difference between an audience of one or one hundred.
Musicians also have a need to communicate with other musicians. Whether it’s co-ordinating a three-country European tour or just looking for some new music to refresh the ipod, social networks like Facebook or twitter, no doubt, have a an immense and immediate impact. But sometimes, a musician may have a need to go deeper into a peripheral social network to fulfill sub-genre musical needs that isn’t as satisfying at the twitter and Facebook-level. Ning, the self-proclaimed “world’s largest platform for creating social networks” is helping musical sub-genre networks to flourish.
Ning mainly offers users the ability to build a custom social network alongside other users with similar interests. Whether the topic is cars, gardening, politics or music, a point-and-click social network can be built with relative ease. With Ning, the technical hurdles of building a social network online are easily overcome with several different page design templates. Also, built-in “social integration” is made easy with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The next largest hurdle to traverse is recruiting other users to help build content, but with the right group of people, the “do-it-yourself” social network could become a vibrant online community. An example of a musical sub-genre that has successfully burrowed out its own niche in social networking is GaragePunk Hideout.
The Garagepunk.com url redirects visitors to the modest 1114 member network operating on the Ning platform. The Hideout offers musicians a member forum, chat room, band and musician groups, and (my personal favorite) GaragePunk Pirate Radio. This section of the network is a collection of garage punk-themed podcasts showcasing music from bands like The Swingin’ Neckbreakers and The Hydes. The network also offers submission guidelines for musicians hoping to have their music played on a GPPR podcasts. The submission policy requires prospective musicians to register with MeVio’s Music Alley to upload their music. The podcast producers, who are also members at Music Alley, search through the appropriate musical genre (or in this case sub-genre: Garage Punk) for the bands they want to play on their podcasts. For musician’s protection, the Music Alley submission policy stipulates that musicians and/or labels maintain full ownership of their music. What really stands out to me about the Garage Punk Hideout is the coverage of the sub genre of the sub genres which can include: surf punk, psycho punk, rockabilly. Another admirable feature of GaragePunk is the idea that it’s somewhat a “musician’s hang out.” The posting guidelines on the GaragePunk band and musician page claims:
This is the place for bands and musicians to talk shop. Discuss your favorite gear, recording techniques, how to get that certain sound, touring, promoting your band, vinyl pressing services, CD duplication services, etc.
This is just an example of how musicians and music lovers with a DIY attitude can carve out their own place in the social cyberspace.
Next time more Cloud Watching.