A few months ago, I blogged
about how two fans of Islet created a fansite for the band because they had no other web presence. Andrew Dubber, one of those fans, is a lecturer at Birmingham City University
who blogs at NewMusicStrategies.com
. I noticed it's been a little quiet over there lately and after a little digging I found out Andrew has been writing for a new site, MusicThinkTank.com
Music Think Tank grabbed me instantly with its tagline: "where the music industry thinks out loud". Its post titles are equally provocative (recent entries include "Dear Musicians - Please Be Brilliant or Get Out of The Way
" and "How to RUIN Your Music Career in 7 Easy Steps
") so I dropped Andrew and his colleague Bruce Warila a line to find out a little more about them and their site.
When did you launch Music Think Tank.com and why?
Bruce: Music Think Tank will be two years old this March. Andrew and I thought it would be a good idea to consolidate the efforts of many industry thinkers to increase the size of the audience for all of us, and increase the level of debate. Both goals have been achieved (the site is steadily growing every month).
Andrew: As I recall, I was a fan of Bruce's writing and that of a few others. In fact, I wrote a blog post
about how much I liked Bruce's writing before we ever had a conversation. So, I guess that dates the germ of the Music Think Tank idea to late 2007.
We got in touch, had a few Skype chats - and I suggested a group blog. Bruce and I discussed it extensively before going live, he more or less took the lead on it (with my undying gratitude) and runs the website. On paper, we co-own it, but in truth all of the good ideas about what makes the site work can be traced back to him.
What has been your most-read post to date?
Bruce: Please Buy My Record: The Futility Of Flogging Music
by Rhodri Marsden (August 2008).
How does the 'Open' section of your site work?
Bruce: Anyone can post on MTT Open
. I will occasionally move posts to the front of the site after I get recommendations from others, or I will move a post to the front after the post becomes relatively popular according to Google Analytics.
Andrew: It's been a remarkably good way to spot thoughtful, reflective and entertaining writers to add to the core team.
We also like your 'Radio' section, where artists can post up their songs to get feedback. Has it led any 'diamond in the rough' discoveries yet?
Bruce: Not sure, but I do try to listen to every song posted. I have found a few songs / artists that I am now following. Here's a few things that amaze me about MTT Radio
1) Artists can't follow instructions! It amazes me how many people just don't follow the posting guidelines (I delete 33% of the posts due to posting violations).
2) Even worse, some of the best artists/songs don't put any links back to their website/online home! I have to use Google to find them!
I have found over the last five years: the best artists are not the best businesspeople, and the best businesspeople are usually not the best artists. This does not surprise me.
There's a lot of really useful info in the Indie Maximum Exposure 100 section. How did that come about?
Bruce: The content in this section was entirely created by Ariel Hyatt
and her team. Ariel is one of the most popular writers on the site and she is a relentless giver to the music industry. Ariel leverages "contextual commerce" better than anyone on the site. She gives and she gets and she does it with class.
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