Dear Bands, Solo Artists and budding lazy musicians,
Contacting fellow artists via Myspace to compliment their work and enquire about gig swaps and support slots is great, I applaud the initiative. However, before making such bold steps into the world of electronic communication, I plead that you take a second to check the page of your intended recipient to check that they are in fact a band!
Now I'm not quite arrogant enough to believe everyone knows what a Big Scary Monster is, but I am hopeful enough to think that you artists, the truly creative ones in this sordid little industry of ours, have enough ingenuity to be able to tell a record label from a fellow music maker. It's not that I don't like hearing from you, it's just that I don't have the musical talent, time or geographic capability to play a show with you.
The number of such enquiries received this year acts only as further proof that the beloved Myspace model which has seen us all through many a dark night over the past 4 or 5 years is on it's last legs. The spam potential and the shear number of people excitedly happy to take advantage of it has driven the last few 'real' users away, leaving a ghost town occupied by those who refuse to believe the dream is dead, and a small army of ugly girls who like to get their tits out for the cameras and collect friends like Pokemon characters.
So what do we do now? Every band, record label and other musical entity under the sun has a page, and I imagine will do for a very long time still. Google rankings are high, it's a one-stop-shop for information, music and video, but the user interaction of yesteryear is disappearing by the day. Is it really worth pursuing? Is there anything that can be done to bring the interest back?
Our digital distributor will soon be shipping all of our giftwrapped content off to Myspace for sale in their new online store which could prove to be an interesting new solution. With a page currently loaded with content, perhaps a little distractingly so, do we scrap that and go all-out for the 'money for nothing' digital sales cheques? Do we ditch the lot and opt for a page-tall "go to our website, boi" message, pushing everyone to the one small portal? Or do I continue to spend time and effort maintaining a page, mostly for the sake of spammers and a few shortsighted fools who'd like to play a gig with this consistently angry record label? My love for the third idea is dwindling, that's for sure.