How to Annoy People Using SoundCloud

SoundCloud is probably the best SaaS (Software as a Service) platform available to musicians to date. It is easy to use and widely accepted by music creators and music lovers alike.

But with every good thing comes an annoying a$$hole though.

At one point on this blog, I posted the “song submission” widget in the sidebar. It generated no interest, so I removed it. No big deal, it just did not seem that artists were actively sharing their songs that way.

If music bloggers were smarter, they would demand songs be sent to them via SoundCloud. I’m digressing though.

Recently, I had noticed a weird trend in my email alerts from SoundCloud. I was magically receiving a lot of followers when I was barely using the service.

It was not until I noticed the same individual was following me multiple times that I decided to investigate.

Gmail Account Packed with SoundCloud Alerts

Now the above image is hard to see, but it shows the dubious activity that triggered me to look into my recent popularity.

I do not know who “Fista Cuffs” is, but I must admit I was intrigued. I did not expect anything worthwhile, but I expected to at least get a good chuckle at his or her expense.

Then I noticed “Fista Cuffs” sent me a private track. Curious. What did I do to deserve such a treat?

Fista Cuffs SoundCloud Private Track

Wait. I am not special. This was sent to 10872 people. What are the odds that this person actually knows even 1% of these people?

My guess is 10873 to 1.

Of course, I realized what this was. It reminds me of the #TEAMFOLLOWBACK movement on Twitter. I was being conjoled into boosting this person’s social stats on a platform that wants to encourage the sharing of music, not the spamming of content.

I am not going for that. Never have; never will.

It was not until I decided to work on this blog post that I take the time to actually review the private track I was sent.

Fista Cuffs Song Not Available

Turns out “Fista Cuffs” is no longer on SoundCloud. Kudos SoundCloud!

Moral to the Story

Being an annoying a$$hole will not get you far in life. You might achieve some minor gains, but long-term you will lose. If you are truly trying to build a music career, take your time and build relationships the old-fashioned way. “Hi. My name is Lars Ulrich and I am the drummer in a band called Metallica. I love music. How about you?”

In order to get to the 1000 true fans, there are no magic tricks available. It takes time, hard work and dedication.

Numbers do not matter, if they are not actionable. If you cannot get 10% of 100 to do your bidding, what is the point? An email list is only as strong as the open rate.

You cannot game your way into being successful. It is not good to speak in definitives, so here is an exception. You can game towards success, but it is not likely you will have a stress-free life and/or have many real friends in the process. Keep that in mind.

Stop chasing numbers and stick to chasing your dreams. Who really fantasizes about having 30,000 Twitter followers or 5000 SoundCloud listens? If you do, leave me a note in the comments. I want to talk to you.

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How to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

TEDxDetroit is less than two weeks away and I am still working on the music line-up for the big event. The coordination process has not been easy, considering how long I have been courting certain bands. Regardless of that, I am still excited about the line-up I have curated and confident that the TEDxDetroit audience will be delighted by the musical entertainment.

When I think about my dismal acceptance rate of my first round of bands that I asked to play, I find myself concerned with the state of Detroit’s music scene when TEDxDetroit does not have the cachet to draw the best up-and-coming acts. It is possible that the TEDxDetroit group has not done the best job in engaging the general arts community in a way that makes people feel like we are a worthy platform, but the fact of the matter is, this year will be the biggest yet and it may not get any bigger. In fact, it could get smaller.

Horse Play
Image by goingslo via Flickr

Of course, the town crier in me finds this an opportunity to teach. For those that are trying to get their music heard in the most opportunity-rich scenarios, it is time to review how we pick and choose which venues / shows to play. Why you ask? Simply put, it seems one too many band agents look a gift horse in the mouth and for some reason do not like what they see. Continue reading How to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Detroit Music Business Professionals, Let’s Unite!

Photo by Fotoula Lambros
That's me on the left tweeting snarky messages.

On Thursday, May 12, 2011, I participated in a panel covering “Social Media & the Arts.” The esteemed panel had various brilliant minds from Detroit’s music, fashion and traditional design inner-worlds. The event was impressive. I have to admit that my friend, Sola Obayan of BTO Solutions, did a great job with the help of a few key folks. The event impacted me so much that I have been inspired to write some new posts.

First order of business, the one thing that was missing for this month’s Social Media is a Party was Detroit’s talented music business professionals. There were a few musicians in the house, but there should have been more. I take some responsibility for that, but there are many days where I just want to host a support group with like-minded people. That being said, I want to have an event with the following people:

… and many many others

I am setting the stage as I believe Detroit music business professionals are key to the revitalization of our region.. Where are you guys? When can we get together? What do you think we should discuss? I know I have many topics I could pine about extensively, but I want to hear from you – my peers.