Sheri commented on Big things this Spring, guys. Big Things.
Ariel Hyatt commented on Week #4 - Social Media Must Haves #MSI9W3
Fintan & Mad commented on Week #4 - Social Media Must Haves #MSI9W3
Carla Lynne Hall commented on Week #1 - Getting Mentally Prepared. #MSI9W3
Samantha Farbman commented on Week #6 - Connecting With Your Fans Via Your Newsletter Lists & Conducting Surveys #MSI9W2
So this is going to be a "getting to know Rachel" post in addition to an Ariel-related one.
I get that there are people who aren't into the internet. I'm not one of them.
I remember my first experiences with the internet. My Dad introduced me to the BBS back in the 80's. Then we had Prodigy. Then I begged and begged and we got AOL, much to my Dad's chagrin. I took a typing class in school, but I really learned to type in the Sailor Moon Chat Rooms on AOL. (1996, what's up?!) Then in college AIM was THE thing. So when Facebook and Myspace started to gain acceptance, I was all over them. I've had Facebook since it was only available to college students, and Myspace since moving down to Delaware 5 years ago. These tools have actually made me some of my dearest friends and sent me on trips to other states and countries where I might not have been able to go. I'm all about Social Media.
Also, well, there are the stories that gave me the courage to do this in the first place. I'd been an idiot for years, waiting for some big record company exec to come find me. Then two artists helped me figure out that there was another way.
1) OK Go. They're my favorite band, period. They have been for years, long before anyone ever thought about dancing on treadmills, and they're fully aware of this fact. For some crazy reason, Radio does not like them. For some even crazier reason, this was somehow an excuse for the major label where they'd been signed to ignore their existence. This makes no sense. If you are a major label, and you have an investment in a band, you ought to be doing things to promote that band. If Radio isn't working, then try something else. But Major Label In Question was not on that bandwagon. So OK Go took things in their own hands. They put out a video for A Million Ways, where they danced in the lead singer's backyard in a routine choreographed by his big sister, and by accident it became a viral hit. MLIQ was not happy, but they let it slide. So then they figured if they could do it by accident, they could do it on purpose, and then created The Treadmill Video. MLIQ wasn't going to let it see the light of day, but they didn't care. They put it out anyway. It went so viral it defined the idea of a Viral Video. They sold more copies of their CD after that video than they did in the initial relase, more than a year thereafter. They have proven that someone with talent and a good idea can break the mould of traditional methods of promotion.
Lessons Learned: I don't have to depend on some major label discovering me and finding some way to make me appealing, because even if I do get signed to one they aren't actually going to protect their investments. Also, I don't have to be a skinny, blonde dancer who can't sing. There can be another way.
2) Ingrid Michaelson. I've known Ingrid for years. Well, let me rephrase. We went to the same college and were in shows and theater companies and social circles together. I first met her because she lived on the same floor as a guy I was dating when I was a senior in high school. I think very highly of her as a person and as an artist. Then, a few years after college, she just plain blew up. See, she put up a myspace with her music. The right people heard it, and the next thing she knew her songs were being played on Grey's Anatomy and Old Navy commercials (at least that's how the Wall Street Journal reported things). Whoa. That was a huge wake up call for me. Ingrid didn't wait to be discovered. She produced her own CD, put it out there for the world, and the world responded.
Lessons Learned: The internet is a powerful tool. It is possible to do this without any kind of label backing whatsoever now.
These lessons in the power of the Internet and Social Networking gave me the courage I needed to start pursuing Singing as a career in the first place. So I have a Myspace, I created a Facebook FanPage as soon as anyone was allowed to, and I have profiles all over the freaking net. You don't have to ask me twice.
This week's lessons are geared mostly towards Musicians who are afraid of using the Net to market themselves, and I did a lot of the "make your brand match all over the net" last week, but I still was able to glean a few very valuable ideas from the chapter.
So that's that. Next week is all about blogging.
UPDATES for this go around: This week was harder to implement into my longterm routine than I could've ever expected. I've tried adding an RSS reader to my phone, I've tried loads of things, and yet since making my internet browsing an assignment, I cannot get myself to keep up with it. I'm a tad ashamed. But we shall persevere and keep trying. Tumblr still remains a total mystery to me.