Is MySpace Helping or Hurting?

By June 2006, MySpace had become the most popular social networking site by far and a great tool for musicians. Since then, there have been many changes to MySpace and more specifically MySpace Music...some good and some not so good. Some say that MySpace has been taken over by teenagers (and those pretending to be teenagers) who are just looking for some time-wasting fun. If that is the case, do you see MySpace as a legitimate vehicle for promoting your music? Additionally, with so many indie artists vying for attention on MySpace, is it helping or hurting your efforts? On the flipside, there have been a few artists who have promoted themselves heavily on MySpace which has launched their career to new heights. Do you think it’s worth your time and energy to maintain a MySpace Music profile? Let’s open up this topic to all things MySpace...the good, the bad and the ugly.
Posted by Allison on 10/23/2009 | 70 comments

New page feature: Easy social network buttons

Got profiles on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other sites? Now it is super easy to add great looking buttons to your external sites, using the "My Sites" page feature. We've included icons to the 10 most popular sites for musicians. In just a couple clicks, you can add them to your page. Let us know what you think of this new feature!
Posted by Chris on 10/22/2009 | 71 comments

Judge Says No Royalties for Ringtones

Federal Judge, Denise Cote ruled that a ringtone does not constitute a public performance, so cell phone carriers don't have to pay royalties for them. Some have argued that performance royalties organizations like ASCAP/BMI are just trying to get as much money for their members as possible; those against it say that paying for a short song clip on your phone is a stretch. What do you think?
Posted by Allison on 10/20/2009 | 16 comments

Myspace integration added!

Another time saving feature just added: you can now post directly to your MySpace blog in the Bandzoogle Blog feature. To do this, click the "promote" link beside any blog post (you'll also see Twitter and Facebook posting options).
Posted by Chris on 10/20/2009 | 16 comments

Featured Artist: Eric Martin

Lead vocalist and songwriter Eric Martin is currently playing in Asia on the Mr. Big reunion tour. See Mr. Big play next on October 16th at The Thunderdome in Bangkok, Thailand

Is it true that you wrote 90's hit classic "To Be With You" in your teens? What made you wait to record it with Mr. Big?

Yes I did write, "To be with you." It was a song I wrote while trying to get my sister's friends attention. I sat on the lawn playing it when she was around in hopes that she would notice it was about her. It didn't seem like a Mr. Big song, it was more of a campfire tune and I never pitched it to the guys until the Lean into it album. Paul Gilbert, our guitar player, liked the song and suggested we throw it on the album. The producer agreed to put it at the end of the album since it was so different from the other songs. A DJ found it as a "b side" single and played it. The rest is history!

What is your songwriting process like? Where do you draw inspiration from?

I have been writing with my songwriting partner, Andre Pessis for years now. Most of the time we just sit down and drink too much coffee and talk. We tell each other stories about our week, the past, love, funny moments, etc. and these always seem to create the beginnings of a song. One of us will say, "that's a good lyric, or that's a good story" which puts us directly into writing mode. Other times, I may have had something occur in my life which will make me want to get home and start writing immediately. There's really no formula for me, it's all about the moment.

Your first band, Kid Courage, opened for AC/DC's first show in the US. Another band you fronted in the late 70's, 415, opened for acts like Rick Springfield, Hall and Oates, and Foreigner before you were even signed. What kind of advice would you offer to new artists/what is a key ingredient in achieving that kind of exposure?

Every band needs to self promote. There are so many tools now with websites, facebook, twitter, myspace, etc that help build your network. In the old days, we used to walk around handing out hand bills and putting up posters every possible place we could. This really helped build our fanbase which helped us earn enough to make records which lead to getting our music out to more people and eventually led to getting a label's interest. These days, it's not all about the label. In fact, labels aren't offering close to what they used to offer artists. In my opinion, the best path is to build up your following and earn enough money to make your own record under your terms and put it out through your website, cd baby and some download sites and then promote through your social networking sites.

You're currently on a worldwide tour for the Mr. Big reunion. What is it like to play in countries like India, Japan, and the Czech Republic. Do the shows have a different feel compared to your North American gigs?

It's great to be back on the road with the guys playing our tunes again. Fans are different all over the world and I can't say one place is better than the next, they're just different. I would love to get back to playing the states more often to soften the hit of being so far away from my family all the time as well as having to stand in line once a year to have more pages added to my passport!

Why did you choose Bandzoogle?

After logging in endless hours trying to build a website, I forgot why I was actually creating one. Bandzoogle made it easy for me to get everything I needed in the right place quickly. They have every possible option a musician needs to promote their career.
Posted by Stacey on 10/16/2009 | 1 comment

How to add auto-responders in webmail

This is a follow up tip from my last post about email signatures. A few of you have written in asking how to add auto-responder emails in your Zimbra webmail. Here's how:
  • Click the Email tab in your control panel
  • Click Login as user next to the appropriate email account
  • In Zimbra mail, click the Preferences tab
  • Click the Mail tab
  • Under Receiving Messages, check the Send auto-reply checkbox
  • In the text box, enter the automatic message you'd like people to receive when they send you an email
  • Specify a start and end date for the auto responder
  • Click Save (upper left hand corner of the screen)
Posted by Stacey on 10/16/2009 | 4 comments

5 Guidelines for Your Band Blog

You have a blog, now what? Here are 5 basics to keep in mind while blogging on your band website.

  1. Be yourself. Fans came to your blog for your news and ideas. They should hear your voice when they read your blog. Write as if you are talking directly to your reader.
  2. Be visual. People respond to visual stimulation. If you don't have a photo that relates to the post, you can find an image on Flickr. Just remember to give the photographer credit or link to them in the post.
  3. Start a conversation. The best blogs encourage a conversation between the writer and readers. Ask for reader's input to spark a discussion.
  4. Link often. If your post talks about another artist or blog post…..give credit! Always link back to that person, website, blog or company. They will appreciate it and the favor is usually returned.
  5. Be concise. Try to get your message across in a paragraph or two. If you have a longer post, add headlines or bold keywords to make it for easy for visitors to scan it quickly.

Got some more tips about band blogging or some great examples of band blogs? Share them here!

Posted by Allison on 10/15/2009 | 10 comments

Design tip - Header Images

Are the photos in your header image blurry or grainy? This can happen if you are using a low quality image. Most modern digital cameras will take very high quality images, but camera phones and images saved from the web may not work well. To determine if the image is good enough quality, it is best to check the size of the image. Using a photo that is at least 800x600 pixels in size works best in Bandzoogle. To find out the size, right click on the file on your computer, click "properties", then click the "details" tab to view the image dimensions. Another tip is to use images that are the same shape as the header space that they are going to fit in. Photos can be vertical (called portrait) or horizontal (called landscape) depending on how you took the photo. Most Bandzoogle sites work best with horizontal (landscape) orientation.
Posted by Stacey on 10/08/2009 | 8 comments

Facebook integration added!

Another time-saver added to the control panel. When you post an event or blog entry, you can have it update your Facebook wall! Now, you only need to enter stuff once to let ALL your fans know about it.

You'll find the connection to Facebook in the new "promote" link beside any event or blog post. We've also moved the Twitter posting to that window so you can both tweet and update Facebook in seconds.


Posted by Chris on 10/07/2009 | 45 comments