The Panopticon of Sales Culture is a Millstone on Innovation

The attempt by Ms Kardashian and Paper Magazine to “break the internet” didn’t quite live up to billing, but it did seem to break the common sense and discernment of millions of people. In a sense Ms Kardashian is little but a brand. Her existence is so mediated that it cannot exist outside of the frame of a photograph, video or article.

We're all here to see Khloe Kardashian smash a wall filled with vagina euphemisms by Yusuf C licensed under CC BY 2.0
We’re all here to see Khloe Kardashian smash a wall filled with vagina euphemisms by Yusuf C licensed under CC BY 2.0

The phenomenon of Ms Kardashian, and celebrities in general, is largely irrelevant to me, but the existence of this culture as an epiphenomenon to the globalised market economy is an indicator of a deeply worrying trend. Continue reading The Panopticon of Sales Culture is a Millstone on Innovation

Why am I not a rock-star?

One man bandThe internet has created a landscape of huge potential for aspiring musicians. There are lots of sites purporting to exist to help you claim your spot in the pantheon of your heroes. So why aren’t you selling millions of albums a year and wondering if it’s blasé to put your 20th Grammy in the downstairs toilet?

The internet offers some great tools to independent musicians (i.e. those without major-label contracts), but they are only tools. It’s up to you to pick them up and get to work.

The (really) bad news is that success requires hard work. Talent helps too, but hard work is vital. Another piece of bad news is that if you are trying to make any money from your music you are in business.

The internet offers you many opportunities to publicise your music and to learn about your fans (should you be fortunate enough to have any). The major change of all this technology is only that your reach is wider and that you can do much more of your job (never forget this is your business) from your own home in your pants if you so wish.

There are several folks out there giving some great advice on how you can do this magical music career alchemy. In my opinion the best starting point is Andrew Dubber’s New Music Strategies. This is a free 96 page e-book full of advice and perhaps more importantly a framework for thinking about how you can use technology to further your career. There are lots of great posts on his blog too. It’s well worth reading through and subscribing to the feed.

I feel that the most valuable thing you can do at the start of your musical internet adventure is establish your brand (that’s brand not band). People need to know who you are and what you do before you have any hope of selling them anything. Be prepared to give lots of stuff away, your time, your attention and even your music as free downloads. Continue reading Why am I not a rock-star?