Daily Archives: January 21, 2010

How Can Music Help Haiti?

Recently MusicForRelief.org started a program entitled “Download To Donate for Haiti.” The creators of the site, Linkin Park, organized a small group of ten artists to sell their music and have the money go toward helping Haiti in their relief. To promote the idea and gain public interests, they include widgets on the site along with a banner in which people can embed the HTML code on their own sites for their followers to participate.

This is an excellent idea that Linkin Park has offered to the public because they allow the user to easily share this fund to friends on other sites. One thing like this will not solve the crisis at hand. People prefer to get together for a cause rather than filling out a brochure and mailing away their money. We need to establish large concerts for fans and artists to donate. Venues in the past such as Live Aid, are a very big success because it opened up wide from an international standpoint.

Written By: Mark G. Valente | Director of Operations | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play

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Streams vs. .mp3’s: Why Streams Own

Streams will become the new mp3’s for 4 simple reasons.

Reason #1: The only reason to really download music anymore is to put it on a mobile mp3 player like an iPod or a Zune.

Reason #2: Streaming Recommendation sites like Grooveshark, last.fm and Pandora have become extremely popular, and these sites have begun making apps for a range of mobile smart phones and mobile computers, which can easily take the place of simple mp3 players.

Reason #3: Streaming eliminates the need to store all that data on a phone or computer, which leaves room for more cool apps, and you don’t have to worry about back ups, or losing it all!

Reason #4: No fear of lawsuits, and actually a way for artists to get paid via advertising revenues. The streaming method happens to be trackable thanks to it’s marriage with the internet. This can provide artists with better information about how and when their music is shared or played, and could allow artists to get paid ANYTIME their music is played, if the switch is made from downloads to streams.

From an artist’s perspective it’s the perfect solution, and from a fan’s perspective it’s the perfect solution too, because if the artist gets paid from ads while streaming, then the music should be free for the fans!

Problems Holding Streaming Back:

1. The lack of proliferation of web-connected mobile devices. Once the price of these things comes down a little, and they figure out better ways to hook them up to your car stereo, streaming will easily be a top choice.

2. The ads associated with the streaming sites are often annoying and obtrusive, with audio interruptions and flashy oversized banners. The solution here is a switch to small, unobtrusive logo icons that just sit there quietly in the corner of the player, but are very appreciated for allowing the fans to get the music for free.

It will be interesting to see what new innovations in this field emerge in the next couple years. My prediction: Streams will be the big adoption of this decade, due to accessibility, sharability, and simple practicality.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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The Right Way to Tag Online

Tagging is an important aspect of web use these days. It not only filters the content for people looking for specifics, but it helps people broaden the reach of their own content.

This is why tagging should be done thoughtfully and with care. Tagging also usually doesn’t have to be just one word either, at least if the website is run properly. It is important to keep in mind the way that tagging produces results. Usually content is filtered by tags when a search is done. It may be trivial to say that, but think about it when tagging. It is important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the people who may be looking for your content, and try to almost guess what they would be looking for. Some important questions to ask when tagging something are:

“Who do I want to find this?”

“Who can this content help?”

“What is my preferred reaction to this content?”

“Why is this content important?”

Let’s start with the first question: “Who do I want to find this?” It is always good to include tags of the kinds of people who would be interested, but do it in a way that would appeal to them. For example, if I want hackers to see my post, for some reason, I may put something like “Hacker’s Guide,” “Hacker Help” or “Hacker Update.” Be specific. People often include their interests in their searches, which usually gives away what kinds of things they enjoy. It’s a good idea to try to anticipate what your targets would be interested in when entering tags.

Moving on. “Who can this content help?” This goes along the lines of the first one, but with a little twist. Maybe this content is an awesome music video you just did. Including some tags like “cure for sadness” or “brighten my day” would be a good idea, if it was that kind of video. Remember, people usually search in phrases, not just words.

“What is my preferred reaction to this content?” It is always good to classify the content by how it makes you feel, or how you would like it to make others feel. This will help you find the people who are looking just for that remedy.

“Why is this content important?” Asking this is a great way to attract interest to your content. Make claims about it like “Best Music Non-Proffit Ever,” “The cure for the mondays” or “The Key to Solving (enter problem)” Of course, if your content does not actually do what you claim it does, people will get pretty pissed and eventually catch on, so it is always important to stay honest.

Eventually tagging won’t just be done by the content creator, but by the viewers as well, as it’s already begun to happen in some places. It’s best to be up front from the start, to avoid people giving you bad tags in the future due to misleading them.

Tagging will have a bigger role in content distribution and discovery in the upcoming years, as it is a more natural, more social way of classifying and discovering content, that can not only adapt and evolve over time, but that can actually capture abstract variables like what the content means to people, instead of just what it directly includes.

I hope this post helped you understand the importance in tagging, and left you with a better sense of how to go about it effectively. Happy Tagging!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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