Today’s Bandcamp was a perfect demonstration of the wealth of knowledge that individuals in the Houston Music Community are holding. Through an open discussion about online presence, tips, tricks and best practices for bands were unlocked. Every attendee walked away with a fresh outlook on utilizing the internet for active or passive promotion of their band as well as a couple homework assignments.

These results were completely unexpected as the original format for the day was to be predominantly lecture driven with some open discussion from the audience. Our bush league inability to secure a projector for the day forced us to teach from a whiteboard instead, opens the lines of communication and enriching the teaching session. This allowed us to focus on theory before practice and let us lean on attendees to provide answers and anecdotes of their own experience maintaining their online presence. The open format switched the perspective from passively absorbing information into actively and collectively sharing. At the end of the session, people who had never thought about the hub and spoke concept were sufficiently swayed and a couple of the Luddites began to ask for more information for their own research.

The session began with taking stock of the knowledge base of those bands/artists in attendance (attending bands listed at bottom of post). Most in attendance already had a website and were selling their music online. Ian, myself and Philip were SUPER proud to especially see those people attend because it demonstrated/s a commitment to career and a willingness to learn.

We discussed the hub and spoke concept of a home base with multiple outposts, referencing Chris Brogan‘s posts (here and here)and Darren Rowse‘s post and personal online presence diagram. Rather than discuss Chris’ concept of home base, passports and outposts though, we couched the concept in only home base and outposts with active vs. passive engagement on specific outposts. Pointing animatedly at Myspace’s position as an outpost we re-iterated our rant on bands improper usage of the site as a home base. Then we blew everyone’s minds with Brian Solis’ overwhelming and visually stunning ‘blomma‘ diagram. For the remainder of the session, attendees and moderator filled out a blank hub and spoke diagram for musicians.

Especially incredible was the conversation that ensued when a new tool was brought up by an attendee accompanied by their experience with the tool. Entire categories swelled and doubled under the knowledge sharing from community members’ experience.

This discussion was so successful for generating new tools for artists and flushing out a musician’s Hub and Spoke diagram that it ate up the entire Bandcamp session. Two important things not covered were how to set up a simple wordpress and how to wean the created hub and spoke model to a manageable strategy for online presence (These will be main focuses during the 2/22 Bandcamp). The only remaining things were to assign homework and continue the conversation elsewhere (@coffeegroundz).

Homework #1: Bands in attendance were paired up. Bands were assigned to research their paired band online and discover the extent of their ‘online presence’. Return for the second session of Bandcamp this month (2/22) and give a brief verbal report.

Homework #2: What is the biggest band in Houston measured solely by ‘online presence’? (question for readers: what do you think?)

Attend the second Bandcamp of this month on 2/22, again at Caroline Collective, again from 1-3pm and again focusing on ONLINE PRESENCE but with the inclusion of setting up your own website and forming an effective and manageable strategy.

Every Bandcamp session is the result of many people’s hard work and contributions. Thanks to the other two organizers of Bandcamp and my Revelry Report co-hosts: Philip Beck and Ian Wells; Jake Starkey for filming the session;  Grace Rodriguez for providing the flip camera, presentation consultation, ideas (especially the homework assignment) and for uploading the video; Ned Dodington for helping me clean the coworking space and manning the greeting spot and especially Chris Brogan for the concept of home bases, passports and outposts and Darren Rowse for expanding upon it with a personal touch.

Bands in Attendance:
Gretchen Schmaltz / Western Civilization
Wayside Drive
Buffy mae west
Irie Time
Prairie Cadets
The Snake Charmers
Low Man’s Joe
The Distracted
Female Demand
The Bottom Four
Music Heals

[photo credit: Jeremy, Wayside Drive]

One Comment

  1. Matthew,

    It is amazingly fitting that you used the term “Luddites” to describe so many of us! I am constantly amazed at how many artists handicap their ability to reach new audiences by refusing the technology offered to them. I am proud to have attended your workshop, and you can be assured that I will attend as many as possible in the future. You guys are on to something here!

    Arron Barringer
    Bassist – Low Man’s Joe

    Posted February 2, 2009 at 2:56 am | Permalink

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  1. [...] Here is an excellent recap of yesterday’s Bandcamp event, courtesy of one Matthew [...]

    By Dryvetyme Onlyne » Media Monday - 02/02/2009 on February 2, 2009 at 12:01 pm

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