|I often wonder, when in communications with the various levels of the population that exists in the developing Irish music industry (and presumably grass-roots industry in other Countries as well) whether Singers, Performers, Bands et al are simply lazy when it comes to promoting themselves. The recent explosion of online community sites such as MySpace and BeBo have only served to make the issue more obvious and \'in-your-face\' than it ever was before, but this is something that we have noted since the birth of \'our\' Web2.0/Online Community (sounds very posh, doesn\'t it?) way back in the mists of time (well, 2001, to be precise, but long before MySpace or Bebo, right?
Anyway, as I said, online social networking sites have tended to make the matter much worse. What am I talking about? Well, for starters (and here I start to sound like a Primary School teacher), the fact that anyone (even an idiot) can get on MySpace and BeBo and write whatever nonsense they want, and simply post it. On IrishUnsigned.com, we have a fairly detailed form for filling in when it comes to having a profile page created, and we accept that some parts might be a bit more complicated than others (such as, how to link from your music or video on another site) and have therefore detailed steps to deal with them. However, even then we accept that people either won\'t or can\'t make sense of what we\'ve written so we make the effort to correct mistakes for profiles submitted where it was obvious that an attempt was made to do it correclty, but it failed for whatever reason.
That\'s fine, but what is not fine is the seemingly stupid (or lazy) efforts by some people who put their phone number where the song title should go, and put a web address where a biography or lineup should go. All this is a bit annoying, but what is most annoying is when all is said and done, this profile (even if IrishUnsigned is only visited by 10,000 viewers per month) is going to be a representative profile for your Act, to anyone who happens to stumble accross it and what they will see, quite often, is:
* A one-line biography. This might be one single line such as \"We play rock music in Dublin\" or it might be an entire 500-word referenced biography, typed with no capital leters, no punctuation, no paragraphs and no effort to spell correctly.
* links to music that not only are not to music but are to a webpage (even thought there is a web-link section already) and sometimes not to anything at all.
* links to videos which are, similarly not to a video, and often not to anything.
* No name, email address or contact number for anyone who might want to know more.
* Acts who claim to not only have no influences, but sometimes no formation date (year) no genre and no members.
That\'s just a sample of the basic stupidity (or laziness) that I mean. It has nothing to do with being able to copy the path of a hyperlink or knowing how to embed video. It\'s simple, straightforward typing. Often, in fact, it should be simply copy-and-paste as you\'re likely to have the information elsewhere anyway!
When the information is submitted, the Act in question can re-visit it as often as you like (you picked your own pasword after all) but it is patently obvious that not only do most Acts not bother to edit as time moves on, people move on, new music becomes available, but that they don\'t even proof-read the submission on the day it is submitted.
Think of it this way: if your entire web-presence consists of profile pages on MySpace and BeBo (and, just for the hell of it, IrishUnsigned.com), never mind your own website, then you\'d better make sure that it gives a good representation of what you want people to know or think about your Act. If it looks like trash, chances are that people won\'t even download your music or watch your video (assuming you bothered to add them, rather than just typing \"We have video on Bebo so we don\'t need to put it here\", which someone actually submitted, online, live and permanent - until I deleted it).
Put yourself in the place of the random (or deliberate) visitor, looking to see what\'s new out there, because they\'re a big fan of finding new music. Better still, imagine it\'s their job and they accidentally stumble accross your profile. Better still, they\'ve even heard of your Act name so want to check it out and happen to be able to find only your profiles. Do you think that they (or even I, for that matter) could be bothered wanting to know more about any Act when the people invovled in the Act are so uninterested in it that they can\'t even bother checking their own online profiles. I, or probably any of the people who might be of use to you in developing your career, have far too little time to be wasting on Acts who won\'t spend their own time. If their public \'face\' is so crap, then they probably put as much effort into making their music the best it can be. That might be untrue, and unfair, but is a fact that many people who might otherwise be interested will never know any different as the likelihood of people persevering past laziness is very slight.
So, regardless of whether it is on MySpace, BeBo, IrishUnsigned or any other of the myriad promotional sites out there (far more than you have ever heard of, I\'d guess) make sure you (a)know where you have profiles, (b)update your profiles and (c)read it as if you have only just discovered this new talent and are interested in finding out more.
Oh, and where something asks for a link to be submitted, you can very simple check that you have done it right by clicking on the link as it appears in the public profile. In one case that comes to mind, an Act went to the bother of pasting a link into their submission because it was the same link for each song (and video). Unfortunately, it wasn\'t to any audio or video (or even a webpage). Instead, it was something that they had obiously copied for some other purpose and - bizarrely - pasted their Christmas gift list in their profile page on IrishUnsigned.com
Don\'t tell me that\'s not stupid... ;-)