Posted by Dave Cool
Bandzoogle at SXSW: Websites Demolished, Happy Members and Great Music
Chris and I are back from Austin where we both attended SXSW for the first time, and what an amazing experience it was. We were expecting there to be a lot of music and a lot of people, but even living in a great festival city like Montreal didn’t prepare us for the enormity of SXSW.
The insane number of bands playing throughout the city all at once, combined with hardly being able to walk down East 6th street, even though it is blocked off during the festival, made for a slightly overwhelming experience at times.
But crazy scheduling aside, we managed to carve out our own little Bandzoogle-themed SXSW experience, here are some highlights:
Website Demolition Derby: Successful Demolition
Chris moderated the panel “Website Demolition Derby” where he, along with panelists Bob Moczydlowsky (Topspin) and Ethan Kaplan (Live Nation) reviewed websites submitted by the audience in attendance. It was nice to attend a panel and see some real, tangible/actionable advice being given out.
Here are some of the quotes that we highlighted:
“You have to think about all of the target audiences for your website” - Chris Vinson
This relates to creating a website that your current fans, your potential fans, journalists, and bookers can all use your site in the way they need.
“The hub is your website, the spokes are Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, etc.” - Bob Moczydlowsky
Chris often talks about the “Hub & Spokes” method for your website, and Bob from Topspin brought it up during the panel. Your website should be your hub, and you should use your spokes (social media profiles) to drive people back to your hub.
“If you don’t maintain your site, it looks like tumbleweeds” - Ethan Kaplan
That one is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t keep your website updated, it just doesn't look good.
“Let me hear it, please” - Bob Moczydlowsky
Bob stated that you should be able to hear music right away once you land on an artist’s website, and we agree 100%.
“Flash does not belong on an artist website” - Ethan Kaplan
One artist that submitted their website for review had a lot of flash elements on their homepage, and Bob immediately told the artist to get down and do 100 push-ups! Ethan then summed it up with his statement that flash does not belong on your website. It doesn’t show up on iPads, iPhones, iWhatevers, and does nothing for search engine optimization.
So Many Awesome Bandzoogle Members
I was wearing a Bandzoogle shirt every day of the festival, and it was amazing how often I was stopped in the middle of the street by a happy Bandzoogle member! Thank you to everyone who came up to me to chat, it was great meeting you.
One event where I met a lot of members was the GoGirls Music showcase night at Trophy’s Bar. Pictured left is Bandzoogle member Tara Craig performing, and you can see GoGirls Founder Madalyn Sklar on her laptop overseeing the livestream of the event.
I also met members Laura Marie, Tish Meeks, and Aly Tadros (The Sweetness) that night, it was a lot of fun!
And besides seeing several Bandzoogle members showcase at the GoGirls night, I also got to see member Todd Snider put on a great performance at the (packed) beautiful St David's Historic Sanctuary in Austin:
NOTE: I’m using “I” a lot (Dave Cool) because I was the lucky one who got to go out and see showcases and network. After his panel, Chris stayed back at our guest house the rest of the conference working on the Bandzoogle 2.0 update. It’s getting so close, we can almost taste it!
And the Funniest Thing We Saw at SXSW:
They’re trying sooo hard.
Canadian Music Week is Next
We definitely hope to be back at SXSW again next year, but for now, we’re moving onto Canadian Music Week in Toronto. I’ll be speaking on the panel "GOING VIRAL VIA SOCIAL: CAN “FREE” HELP SELL MUSIC AND MARKET AN ARTIST?" on Thursday, and will be at the conference Wednesday-Friday.So if you’re a Bandzoogle member and are going to be in Toronto for the conference, please get in touch: dcool[at]bandzoogle[dot]com or tweet us: @Bandzoogle