Aug 172011

This seemed as good a time as any to set out some thoughts that have been rattling around my head, but I’m doing it in the hope of getting some feedback from NCS readers — both those of you who are fans of metal and those of you who are musicians, too, to get both kinds of perspectives. Writers of other metal blogs, PR people, and even label reps sometimes stop by here, too, and those perspectives would also be useful.

So, by social media I mainly have in mind Facebook and MySpace. They serve many functions for their users, but today I’m only interested in what they have to offer metal fans and bands. As I see it, for fans, they serve three primary functions: First, they allow fans to track what the bands they like are up to (ie, news), and to interact with the bands at the same time. Second, they provide a vehicle for listening to new music. Third, they allow fans to interact with each other — and here, I’m thinking mainly about fans exchanging music recommendations and other info about bands and the scene.

For bands, social media serve goals that are connected to the functions they provide for fans: First, they give bands a way to stay connected to their fans by providing a place where they can post news items and comments and get feedback.  Second, they provide a vehicle for attracting new fans — a place where they can stream their music, provide music downloads and videos, and post basic info, such as how the band started and its history to date, who’s in the band, descriptions of the music, links to other sites related to the band, etc. Third, they provide a forum where musicians can exchange ideas among themselves and make connections with each other.

When we started this blog more than a year and a half ago, MySpace was the dominant social media presence for music. For me as a budding metal blogger, it was the one place where I knew I could go and listen to virtually any band’s music. I could read their MySpace blogs for news, and I could use MySpace messaging to communicate with them. It was like one-stop “shopping”. Back then, I didn’t pay much attention to Facebook, because it just didn’t really offer much in the way of music resources. (more after the jump . . .)

That situation has now changed radically in a relatively short time. Facebook has now replaced MySpace as the dominant social media vehicle for metal (and I guess for music of all kinds, though I really wouldn’t know). MySpace got suckier and Facebook got better. Now, I almost never bother to check MySpace for band info or music, because so many bands now don’t even bother to update their MySpace features. It’s not unusual to check a band’s MySpace page and find that they haven’t even logged in since 2010, or even longer ago than that.

We still keep an NCS page on MySpace, and I still post blog updates there, providing a link to every new post at NCS, just in case anyone still visits MySpace but not Facebook. But I’ve reached the point where I don’t read my MySpace “stream” or MySpace “notifications” from bands, or MySpace friend requests (though I can see that there are more than 60 of them sitting there that I haven’t responded to). It’s just too much fucking effort for too little return.

MySpace compelled changes in the page formatting, and they also cluttered the pages with annoying ads and flashing javascript widgets that no one wanted. Bands also felt compelled to add elaborate artwork, which in combination with all the MySpace-generated ad content (and undoubtedly MySpace’s failure to add enough server capacity) made the pages slower than shit to load. And there were other problems, too.

Meanwhile, the migration to Facebook took off, and over time Facebook added useful features such as the band pages where bands could stream music and make songs available for download. By “friending/liking” bands, you could easily see on your own homepage anything and everything they posted on their own pages. For me, it has become a very user-friendly way of keeping tabs on bands I’m interested in (as well as label news), and now THE place where I go to check out info and music about bands I’m just discovering.

Thankfully, Facebook pages are relatively clean — not larded up with artwork or ads. The focus is the content you’re interested in, and the pages load quickly. The chat feature also provides an even more useful, real-time way for people to communicate with each other about music than posting status updates and comments.

Of course, because Facebook is a ginormous, for-profit corporation, you know there are hordes of eager young MBAs on staff, constantly thinking about how to advance themselves up the corporate ladder by figuring out new ways to squeeze more profit out of the operation — which means there is constant risk that Facebook will fuck up a good thing. just like MySpace did.

Facebook has become so important for bands that most of them seem to rabidly pursue the accumulation of Facebook “likes”, I suppose because that’s a way of showing labels and promoters the extent and growth of their fan-base.

I hear there’s a new kid on the social media block — Google Plus. I haven’t received an invitation to join the beta test, though I’ve been told how to get one. Frankly, I get a headache contemplating the possibility that it will become a thing. Lazy ass that I am, I’m happy with just visiting one place to get what I want, and to use as a platform for alerting NCS readers to new posts on our site. The thought of having to do this twice every day makes me tired.

Apart from Google Plus, I guess there are other sites besides Facebook that provide at least some of the social media functions described above — for example, ReverbNation and I only go to ReverbNation to grab widgets for song streams to embed here, and that’s very handy, but that’s about it. Bandcamp is an awesome platform that bands can use to provide music streams and to distribute their music digitally. I suppose the day may come when Bandcamp tries to branch out and provide music-oriented social media functions, too.

Now, I’m guessing that some of you aren’t on Facebook and could care less about it. If so, what do you use to keep up with music and bands? If you ARE on Facebook, if you’re a fan or a band member, what could they do to make it better? If you’re a musician, what else do you feel compelled to do to get your name and your music out in the world and stay in touch with fans? Do you find Facebook interactions with your fans to be rewarding or just a big fucking chore? Does anyone still think MySpace is relevant? Have any of you explored Google Plus? Does it offer anything that Facebook doesn’t? Do you think it has a future?

Those are some questions it would be great for you to think about and address in the Comments — and please leave Comments on anything else this post made you think about.

And if you just don’t feel like writing anything, we’ll continue to love you anyway. Just not as much.

P.S. The artwork accompanying this post has no connection to the subject matter. I just like metal art (or art that seems metal to me), and it’s better than putting up corporate logos for some of these sites. In descending order, the artwork in this post is by Par Olofsson,  Godmachine, Beksinski, and Beksinski again.

  58 Responses to “SOCIAL MEDIA”

  1. I am in the “not on Facebook and could care less” camp. I read most of my metal blogs through RSS in Google Reader and click out to make comments on posts like this that deserve it. There are so many whole albums streaming now that I mostly can’t be bothered to click out on a streaming single. I almost never go to an individual band’s site.

    • I do wonder whether I would bother with FB if I weren’t involved in this blog. I know I didn’t bother with it before starting the blog. Maybe I would just follow a few metal sites (which I continue to do now anyway). Maybe I’m so focused on what I’m doing that I’m overestimating the usefulness/relevance of things like FB to fans of metal music.

      • As you can probably guess from my massive wall of shit below, I do think facebook is pretty damn essential to a lot of interconnectivity on the webernets. So I don’t think you’re overestimating it. But I do think that it’s also not really…”essential” as a tool for disseminating information.

        Full disclosure: I only follow two blogs closely. No Clean Singing and Pharyngula. I also occasionally check in on some other blogs, but I’m pretty happy with the info I get from facebook and here for band news…

  2. I’ve only had like 6 or 7 shots of whiskey tonight, so my apologies if what follows is in anyway coherent or makes sense. That is hardly my intention.

    I’ve been using facebook for a few years now. It’s convenient, relatively clean designwise, and, for better or for worse, popular enough to be useful.

    I also fucking hate it, because of the constant privacy concerns. (And getting friend requests from people I’d rather not talk to. I always feel like a giant asshole dick clicking the “don’t wanna be your friend button”. As if the HTML is judging me to be an unfriendly, ungrateful douchebag. I fear the day facebook and SkyNet mesh as one to wipe out anti-social asses such as myself.)

    Recently, I started actually LOOKING for band facebook pages. Now my front page stream thing is more full of random bands’ random pleas for attention than from my friends. I like this.

    However, what I find most fascinating about facebook is how it’s evolved into something it was never intended to be. Music players on facebook??? Facebook as a goddamn media outlet? WHAAAAAAAAAT???

    Yet, it actually works quite well and quite smoothly.

    MySpace was like the shitty drawings you drew of dinosaurs flying fighter jets on the back of your notebook in elementary school. Facebook has a strange maturity to it, putting it more in line with the minimalist sketches you drew in your high school art class. Obviously, facebook is better–but it, too, needs to fucking die.

    Google Plus isn’t a step in the right direction either–turns out Google’s motto is: “Don’t! Be evil!” (I stole that from a SlashDot comment.)

    Decentralization seems, to me, the best way to go for both consumers and merchants. Diasporia ( seems like it might be onto something (I haven’t really checked it out yet), but it’s still too small to compete.

    So, yes, for now, facebook is king of the Internet shit hill. There are, obviously, ways around the privacy concerns (don’t use your real name, etc.), but it’s still goddamn creepy. (Like when my facebook profile picture pops up on completely random websites.) I don’t mind their advertisements–they’re actually tastefully placed, in my opinion.

    Did I answer your question????

    • Uh huh, you did. I hadn’t heard of diaspora, but will check it out. I do agree with you about facebook trying to force you to not be anonymous, use your real name, etc. There are ways around that, of course, but it is kinda big-brotherish. I hope Google Plus fails, mainly for laziness reasons, but also because I don’t trust the blood-suckers who run it.

      • Do you mean google in specific or the guys in charge of that particular operation?

        Because, despite having an android phone, I am becoming increasing mistrustful of the google.

        I think they’re worse than microsoft–but have a better PR team.

        • I don’t have any specific person or people in mind, just the company as a whole, based on some things the company has done. On the other hand, I basically don’t trust any organization that gets that big and powerful (including FB, btw).

          • I don’t particularly trust them either.

            Especially motherfucking facebook.

            • I am involved with some of these bigger brands to an extent and honestly the futures that they have planned are very exciting indeed. Google + is actually really good, certainly more functional than Facebook and geared towards being the most convenient. It doesn’t like to invade your piracy, which is always nice and you can basically target certain status’ at certain groups of people etc, so your mother never need know that you swear like a motherfucking cunt.

              In all seriousness, Google +’s only problem at the moment is that it’s still betaing, if they opened the floodgates it’ll be very interesting to see how the two fare against each other.

              Honestly, I’m on Google +, but I’ll stay with Facebook while the people I want to communicate with are still there.

              Your opinion of the company shouldn’t affect your opinion of the product… For the Metal comparison think of Burzum, good music, shitty guy.

              • My beef with Google+ is the same with facebook: privacy. And, actually, that’s why I have a negative opinion of Google in general.

                To whit: I have recently been reading about Google+ on Gizmodo and Ars Technica, where I’ve seen that people MUST use their real full names on Google+. Now, that may be hyperbole or not even real, but, to me, that’s a bit unsettling.

                But I may have all of that wrong, but even if that is the case, I don’t see the point in using Google+ as long as the privacy concerns on facebook still exist on the other side.

                I’ve never listened to Buzrum’s music, but I will say that I don’t give money to bands who strongly support causes/ideologies I disagree with. I don’t care if others do, but that can be a strong disincentive to me.

                • I agree with you on the bands/money thing.

                  This is the age of the internet, you don’t have to pay for an album unless you REALLY want to.

                  • It’s still probably hypocritical, but that’s where I come out. I wouldn’t give Varg the sweat off my left nut, but I do like Burzum’s music. So I listen but don’t pay for it.

  3. Actually, I still like Myspace for finding tunes. Why? It’s not as much a clusterfuck as it used to be. This in part because of the exodus to Facebook, but with the changes made at Myspace, you’re not hit with as much crap.

    True, Myspace’s future is questionable at this point, but if it sticks around, there are some things that would help. One would be setting standards.

    Standards on the internet? SACRILEGE!

    They’re necessary.

    Band/label pages overloaded with YouTube videos and several widgets for music other than Myspace’s own player or displaying images? Overkill. Content may be king, but sometimes there’s too much. People can only take in so much at once and if it a page is sluggish and can take minutes to finish on broadband – not downloading all the music and/or videos, but working on the page’s code itself – something is wrong. You don’t need flashy graphics and stuff that makes use of all the fancy stuff you can do with HTML, CSS, java, Flash and what have you. I’m not saying you have to go with basic pages with text and nothing else either. Somewhere in the middle to make a page that’s decent to look at and use.

    Moving on.

    Yes, the audio quality at Myspace could be better, but it’s still enough to give people a good idea of what the music’s like. Some purists and audiophiles may bitch (they will, no matter what), but it doesn’t fucking matter if streaming audio is only 128 kbps instead of FLAC. I can understand wanting better quality in your purchases or in material the band/label offers for free download, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be lossless or high bitrate for the other formats (320 kbps for mp3 and its counterparts’ equivalents). 128 is still decent quality and less demanding than streaming FLAC or high quality mp3’s.

    The other annoying thing with Myspace deals with the “friends”. Here, Myspace could take a cue from Facebook and expand upon it, separating users into friends and fans. You know who a lot of “friends” on Mypsace are? Bands trying to gain a presence. “I love your new track!!! Hey, come check out our profile, we just uploaded three new tracks from our demo)!” Of course, there are the usual assortment of friendwhores, your usual breed of spammers and lame content repeaters (I just bought you drink!). Moderating comments can help, but some of the more popular band/label profiles may get too much to reasonably handle.

    Splitting the user base for bands/labels would help. The ones designated as friends could be the bands and people that you actually know (in person, or have talked to enough online) and can actually fit the term, while fans are people that want to keep up with your activity. And in doing so, maybe you can also allow those you deem your friends more posting priveleges on your profile page.

    For personal use, Myspace may need an even bigger overhaul to continue in the wake of Facebook, but for bands and labels, I think it can still be a useful tool to reach out to fans. Problem is, there Myspace has a reputation now and I don’t think it’s going to be easy to undo that, even with the recent changes. People are fickle and are more than willing to migrate en masse to something they believe is better.

    So, is Facebook better? Questionable.

    It’s not as cluttered as Myspace was during its ugliest times, but beneath the surface, other beasts lurk. Privacy concerns are no laughing matter and it’s only going to get worse. There needs to be some more control and more transparency over what can and can’t be accessed by others. As for bands and labels, I don’t think it offers a better experience. For fans, it may even be less advantageous to be on Facebook. While I can understand why it’s used, having to “like” a band to hear their music is a pain in the ass, especially when I want to check out a band I haven’t heard before. Granted, not everyone does this, but enough do to make me have to question whether I want to even go. it’s not a big deal, but not everyone may see it that way, whether it’s hitting the “like” button or giving an e-mail address. With Myspace, I can go to their page (as long as it’s not overrun by other content trying to load) and play what they’ve got in their player, no questions asked, no “like” button to press.

    Now, as for some of the others…

    Bandcamp is nice for getting the music out there, but doesn’t really offer much more than that. Also, I’d like the option of using a shopping cart instead of making several purchases. Reverbnation is a bit more user (fan) friendly, but I’m not sure it’s enough to become a de facto way for bands to have an online presence. is a different kind of beast. One of the great things about it is that it can offer suggestions and has links to related/similar bands. The neighbours feature is also nice and brings to mind one of the truly beneficial features of pre bitTorrent P2P software (think Napster, Morpheus, Kazaa, etc); if someone’s listened to a lot of music you also like, they could have something else you like that you’ve haven’t heard before. Scrobbling isn’t perfect and is reliant on your music being tagged properly (and sometimes gets really bitchy about tags). Also, the service can’t really differentiate between bands that have the same name. You can have friends at, which includes bands and labels. People can comment on your profile page. There are groups with forums. may not have all the features that other music related networking sites have, but what it does have works rather well, despite the issues with scrobbling. Its focus is on the music.

    Google+ may be the next big thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. It could dethrone Facebook for a while, but I have to wonder if this is going to last. Not everything Google has done has stuck around and I have to wonder what the next causualty is going to be as the company expands and swallows up more as it becomes the Microsoft of the internet. What they do have going for them is more transparency in their dealings (but some stuff is still obcured by legalese and/or hiding in places people might not think to look) and have expressed concern over privacy matters. That doesn’t automatically make them to guys to go to next.

    People are going to Google+ because it’s something new, because its Google, because it’s not Facebook. But if Google+ is indeed here to stay, it may very well become what Facebook did after people left Myspace and what Myspace became after people showed up from… well, wherever the fuck they lurked before that.

    • I tend to agree that MySpace may be beyond the point of no return (though I say that w/o any usage statistics to back it up — just my own perception). I think it would take some kind of top-to-bottom overhaul, something really dramatic, to grab people’s interest. Changing things on the margin isn’t likely to help.

      I also agree that it’s annoying to have to “like” a band or provide an email address in order to use a band’s FB music player. The only way to stop that would be for FB to deprive the bands of that functionality, which I’m sure won’t happen. They want to give plenty of options, and then rely on users to make their choices. About the only way to stop it is to lobby the shit out of bands (and labels) to stop doing it. And good luck with that.

    • Another thought (which I’ve discussed with other readers off-line): The volume of Facebook “likes” is obviously a big deal to bands. And so they (or whoever runs their fb pages for them, if they’re big-name bands) constantly flog their fans to help increase the number of “likes”, not only by requiring it for access to their music players, but also with “bribes” — eg, “Once we hit XX likes, well add a new song!” Gets old.

      What also gets tiresome are bands who post FB statuses about a dozen times a day — sometimes the exact same status — which just clogs up your own wall if you’ve “liked” them. Oh, and the bands who post a separate FB event for each stop on a tour, which turns into a separate thing on your own wall for each stop on a tour. More unnecessary wall-clogging.

    • I agree pretty much with everything you’ve both said about FB/MySpace.

      I have really used bandcamp that much, and I’ve almost never used reverbnation or the other two you mentioned. (Scrobble sounds like something a Scrabble nerd would do to his/her partner while naked with those Scrabble things for holding letters.) I personally liked bandcamp’s setup, though it can be a bit frustrating to navigate. Also, it doesn’t work on my fucking phone, which is something I find incredibly unacceptable. (I’m not joking.) There may come a day where I don’t have a computer (it’s old and I’m not rich), so I would expect to just rely on my phone in that case.

      I do think MySpace could be saved–if they enforced a cleaned up standard as you mentioned. I think they could also try having ad supported and for pay band pages. And having an MP3 store where they took, say, 20% off the sale of songs would be great. It’s cheaper for the bands than iTunes (30%), it’s platform agnostic (is that the right term), and ANYONE can throw their music up there for download.

      At that point, though, it’s basically bandcamp, so they’d have to work at the social aspect…

      • At this point, I think the problem is catering to bands and a general audience, many of who aren’t really there to keep track of bands. I see the same thing with Facebook and any other music site that wants to have a serious working social networking layer will probably have the same issues. If Reverbnation was bigger, they might be able to swing it, since the focus is on music. However, they don’t have the no strings attached capabilities that Myspace has; I can’t always listen to all the tunes a band has on their RN profile unless I join their mailing list and become a “fan”.

        As for Bandcamp, there I can at least listen to the songs that are posted and buy from the same site, one advantage it has over the others, but I think it could be a bit more streamlined. With a bit of retooling, Bandcamp could prove to be a much more viable alternative to Amazon or iTunes, while both of those storefronts have gotten much better over the years. There’s a lot of great stuff to be found, but you have to know what you’re looking for unless you poke around randomly on Bandcamp; Amazon and iTunes are a lot more user friendly in this regard. Mimicing social media functions could break Bandcamp, but having that bridge for fans to connect to the musicians – even if it is a shaky one – shouldn’t be underestimated.

        And yes, I am a fan of Though its focus is on music, it’s based on the users’ listening habits and trends. Of course, the more popular bands are going to have the higher numbers, but seeing stats can help new listeners find what albums or songs they should start off with, since something from a band that gets played more than others can be taken as a good indicator. The whole setup is far from flawless, but I like that it’s not really label or band dominated – it’s the fans that provide the numbers with their plays. The neighbours feature is very helpful, much like seeing who else a friend of a certain band has listed among their friends. Not much has changed since the last time I used it regularly, which I take as a good sign.

        Since I’m not in, on or part of Google+ (I don’t know what term to use), I’ve no idea what, if anything, it does for bringing bands and fans together. Google doesn’t have a flawless track record (and not everyone trusts them) and this could fizzle out over time or become an overwhelming internet presence. I don’t care much for the social networking side of things; if I wanna keep in touch, there are ways I can do so, but these sites do admittedly make it easier to make a connection or reconnection – if you want it. As for the music, I do like the opportunity to find new stuff that I like and being able to ask a question or two of the band, something about the music, ask about the lyrics, whatever. I haven’t always gotten a response, but I haven’t been ignored every time either.

  4. I haven’t actually looked at bandcamp in a while….

    I’m actually pleasantly surprised by their selection of artists…..

    Also, if anyone is interested in supporting open source, Ubuntu also has a music store. ( Unfortunately, you need to be using Ubuntu to use it…

    • Cosmo had a great one-pager in Decibel a few issues ago that listed 12 awesome albums streaming at Bandcamp. Labels have pages at Bandcamp too, which can be cool.

  5. I’m ‘on’ faceboook, but I think that by and large, it is just a big waste of time. I keep up with metal news by keeping tabs here, TNOB, TheNewReview, and occasionally MetalSucks. My__ is worse the facebook. Don’t even get me started on Twitter.

    I’m ‘on’ facebook out of necessity. Keeping a page that I update (infrequently) is the only way I can keep in touch with my fans. I’m not a musician, but I operate the same type of page at fb.

  6. Once again, chiming in FAR too late for anyone to read, much less give a shit if they had, but hey, I mostly read NCS when I’m at work….and I work evenings, so by then, most readers and said their peace and peaced out. Anyway, I like myspace for music. You generally get more song options and songs from more than just that artists new album. Often, I want to hear stuff from their back catalog along with the newest single. Facebook, from what I’ve seen, doesn’t offer that. Also, I hate having to *like* a band I may not even like, just to hear a song. Why would I want to hear music from a band I don’t like? Well, sometimes I’m looking for growth or other changes in that artists sound. They may have transformed from the last album into something that I would grow to like. And sometimes I just want to hear a new song to confirm what I already know…….that it sucks and I hate it. I don’t care for band facebooks. I prefer that keep it on myspace.

    • Yah, that’s a great point about MySpace having more content…

      I wonder why that is….does facebook have limits on how much “stuff” you can upload? Or are bands just lazy?

    • It’s pretty straightforward to just unlike something dude…

      • That may be true, but a like shouldn’t be a requirement to hear a tune online. If I like a band, I’ll give ’em a like if I’m logged onto Facebook (which I rarely am). If I’m looking for new tunes, I’d rather just hear what they have to offer, even if I have the option to “unlike” or remove myself from their mailing list (for non-Facebook hoop-jumping). But as Islander alluded to, some bands or labels may pay attention to the totals and make decisions based on that.

        Lemmy knows, there’s got to be a better way to reach fans in the music industry today, an overpopulated clusterfuck of bands and labels, with far too many “fans” that feel entitled to free music on the horizon. Personally, though, I don’t think “likes” are the way, and I have to wonder why Google chose such an inventive, though-provoking internet response as “+1” as the hook for their latest endeavor.

      • Why should I have to do work and go through extra steps just ti *like* and *unlike* something, when I can go to myspace and do nothing but click play? They asked for opinions, so I gave mine. I didn’t seek out your comment and shit on it. So why must you do it to mine?

    • Since I haven’t had a lot of time to browse through profiles since being able to get online at home again, I don’t know how much content is available, but I know some bands were putting entire albums online (usually for a while) or having different playlists, often with a wide range of material. Other than the lame bitrate requirements (and maybe being automatically downsampled) was the 10 minute limit. Not that the majority of bands have songs that cross that mark. Well okay, it’s not uncommon with some progressive metal bands, but for the most part, this was a hurdle most didn’t have to work around. I don’t think I ever encountered any “friends only” playlists/songs during my travels and I don’t think it was even something that could be done. Being open with the stuff you’re letting people hear helps a band, “like/fan” requirements don’t help when trying to reach out to new fans; some may not bite and move on to something else.

      • I guess I’m repeating myself, but I agree with this. To me, any hurdles a band puts in the way of allowing fans and potential fans to hear their music is a mistake. As curious as I am, when I come to a band’s facebook player and see that I have to like them and give them my email for their address books just to hear one of their songs, 9 times out of 10 I just don’t bother. Part of it is because I really don’t want to get on some mailing list just to hear a song, and part of it is because the whole scheme of using your music to build likes on FB just annoys me on principle. Basically, I’m just a selfish, no-account fuck, I guess.

      • Oh, one more thing. When a band just wants a “like” before letting you hear the song, w/o trying to extract an e-mail address, I suppose I could “like” them, listen to the song, and then un-like them, as Quigs suggests. Something to keep in mind, I suppose.

  7. Islander, I will declare you my Lord of Truth! You just exactly, accurate to about 50 billion decimals, worded my feelings about all this social media stuff. MySpace just gives me a drooling dick, Facebook’s pretty good and I update our DMB page on a daily basis, Google+ I just don’t feel like checking out. It’s just another copy cat trying to do the same thing and frankly I don’t give a fuck as I’m generally the “if-it-ain’t-broken-don’t-fix-it” type.

    I’ve got a dark brown suspicion Google+ is going to be the same second-rate thing as Microsoft’s Bing is compared to Google’s search engine. Even if it is slightly better, Facebook’s established and works fine, which is different from the MySpace to Facebook exodus, as clearly MySpace was (and still is, though perhaps slightly less so) broken.

  8. Great article!

  9. Ugh, a bit late to the party again…oh well.

    I keep the mySpace page around just in case anyone drops by, but in general I would rather people follow us via other forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter), mainly because MySpace is an infected bucket of shit.

    Bandcamp I think is fucking awesome, so much so that I made all Canopy albums fully available for streaming yesterday.

    Here’s a pretty good post about music, piracy and such things:

    Bandcamp/Facebook/Social media in general – What it all does is enable us to reach more people. The more people that hear us, the greater the chance is that someone will one day buy something. That’s why we let everything be streamed, and now to end with a quote…

    “The single most effective way to stop people from copying your music is to stop making music. If that’s not an option (and why would it be?) then accepting that this is the world in which we live is a good start towards successfully negotiating the new media environment.”

    • First off, it’s great news that all the Canopy releases are now up on Bandcamp! And for anyone else who reads this and hasn’t yet heard Canopy’s music, you owe it to yourself to go listen (this is one of our favorite bands here at NCS).

      Second, that article you linked to is well-done, and I think is right on. Clearly, there are serious consumers of music out there who will spend the money to buy the music they’ve heard and really enjoyed (I get the impression that lots of the people who read and comment at NCS fall into that category), but that writer is correct that today, no one is going to buy music unless they’ve heard it first — no one.

      Whether there are enough of those kinds of people out there to allow the music business (and bands) to survive is a harder question to answer. But it sure seems obvious that trying to stop people from illegally downloading is a goal that’s doomed to failure. The only viable alternative is to make it easy for people to hear the music without downloading it — and then hope that enough of the listeners are collectors, or people who want to reward the bands they like with some money, that the bands and labels can make a go of it.

  10. I rely exclusively on metal bloggers to get information about bands I like and to find new music. In other words, I let YOU chumps do the hard work of filtering through the mounds of crap content for the juicy nuggets while I sit laughing on my golden throne and eating figs out of the navels of virgins. I rarely (never) go to bands’ official sites unless for some strange reason they haven’t been featured on NCS yet. If I find a band I like the sound of, I’ll go to YouTube to see if I can find more of their stuff. As far as social media goes, I use FB because everyone I know uses it. I have tried Google+ and while I find it more functional than FB…unless there is a sudden and inexplicable mass migration of stepmoms, aunts, sisters, non-techie friends and the like over to G+ I will likely remain on FB.

    FB pages for musicians? They all go like this:

    MWOP is playing [city on the other side of the continent] TONIGHT!!!!!
    [Trampy-looking jailbait] replied: OMG i saw ur show and u guys rock! When are you coming to [city I’ve never heard of]?
    MWOP says: Well, tonight is the last show of our NA tour but look for us coming to Bulgaria and the Eastern Bloc next year!!!!!!!
    [Guy with what looks like a severe case of scabies] responds: Oyva tra nog figgen lerdi herdi poppasakallaggan snog snog hummpin METAL RULES!!!!!! skagnog

  11. I like how this post started as a well-thought-out look at the cultural and sub-cultural importance of social media and ended up as, well, what social media usually ends up as: a cesspool of filth.

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