Friday, 27 January 2012

Do you want to be know for music or using social media?



Someone asked me this the other day.

Its supposed to be all about the music. That why all the other stuff happens. Facebook, Twitter and all that. 

Lately I've stopped enjoying the social media stuff quite so much. Maybe I should be thinking about an interesting riff rather than a succinct tweet? So I'm scaling back, taking a break. A few people contacted me to check I wasn't unwell, which was very sweet. 

I just stopped enjoying it. 

A lot of the things that excited me a few years a go I see in the mainstream now - UStream gigs etc all the Social Media "stuff". I don't like a lot of the cynicism. It is just selling and often people forget about the music. 

Surely its supposed to be about honesty and integrity? A genuine relationship with your audience rather than a hard sell? 

For me I always loved the real relationship with the audience. 

Maybe I've come to the end of my social media run, maybe in a few weeks, months or years I'll be excited about it again, I don't know. For now its time to take a step back. 


10 comments:

Dementio13 said...

A brave move, but very fair comment. Incidentally, I've noticed a lot of people trying to do "a Matt Stevens"...however, they seem to miss the point. *Your* use of social media is genuine, you're not trying to constantly get people to listen to your music, you're just a sociable bloke who happens to also make music. I've given-up on Twitter myself as, like you, I was becoming a bit disillusioned with the repetition and cynicism (apart from a few decent folks, who I've stayed in touch with). I use Facebook a little, but more as an extension of my blog.
This is a good move Matt and you'll probably go back to frequent socnet use at some point (as I might) when the 'buzz' is back.

allenwentz said...

Nice post Matt. There is indeed life without socnet. I have to say as much as I love, and have always embraced, technology, this incessant need to validate oneself by counting how many people see your tweet can border on unhealthy. I swore I'd never do it, then found myself doing it! All of a sudden I had 10k tweets, and realized what a colossal amount of time I had pissed away. Other than "meeting" a handful of very lovely folks (such as yourself), my life is no more enriched by the experience. Its a big self-promotional ghetto, whether you are selling your personality, trying to impress others with your cleverness, or hawking your latest CD. Its addictive no doubt, and indeed useful for the above-mentioned intentions, but I'm tiring of it as well and slowly getting better at limiting it. To tell you the truth, lately I've been considering "getting off the grid" entirely! Buy a farmhouse in the mountains and become self-sufficient. (I do need electricity!) My wife frowns..

This is by no means a repudiation of socnet, or a slam on anyone who engages in it at any level. I do like DM and the instant communication, but what do we communicate?

Well, enough bloviating. This is all jmho, and off the top of my head in response to you. Hope to see you "around town".

Djay Buddha said...

I think there is a balance to be found between the music and the use of social media and indeed Ee can lose our way sometimes. Of course that balance is for each individual I started using social media and the Internet as a way of discovering new music and indeed catching up with some old musos as well lol
I too got caught up in the new social media phenomon even before the days of MySpace Rip
I started off joining a yahoo group for my old Martin Stephenson at one time the group had about 400 members all dedicated fans and friends This group was very active in supporting Martins music including producing possibly one the first fan funded albums the double CD Collective Force Every aspect apart from final CD duplicating was done within the group including co writing some of the songs recording album art etc it was funded by a simple pre order system the group also helped publish a biography and a book of poetry and song as well as organising weekend events called Gatherings :) an idea I pinched for the afcollective lol the point I think I am trying to make is social media is tool like many others like the old fanzine scene. Of course it can be overused and even abused. But I personally have met and worked with some wonderful people including yourself :) many who I consider real friends the afcollective has never made any money and in truth has cost me a lot of moneyy to keep it going Mo doubt it could have developed into a business but that was never for me an option it is and was all about the music I think that to some extent the growth of social media has dwarfed the spirit of that type of group and many musicians have used it simply as a fan collection tool. You have never as far as I can see done that and have engaged with your fans supporters in the true spirit of the collective philosophy. So yeah take a break if you feel the need but don't abandon it totally the odd blog newsletter to your core fan base is on occasion all you they need to keep in touch and when you are ready to get back into it They are still there to support you and the music :)
Djay Buddha

Doug said...

Be nice if you still tweeted updates to your blog and releases and work in progress etc......I use twitter as the great aggregation tool.....I haven't got much to say but I do like to listen..... So if you stop using it some fans might lose touch....I can't be surfing 50 blogs a week.....but I can subscribe to their feeds and make a choice to click....

Don't be too harsh on yourself ....I would have said you have built a connection with your fans....using it.

Rhayn Jooste said...

Actually as someone who uses the social media for both professional and personal reasons, I see it as a great leveler. You don't have to subscribe to those tweets or Facebook site or ( insert any other site here) . The fact you have so many interactions is due to your content and witty turn of phrase. Maybe? Also having a bundle of joy in your life that the stork delivered does change your outlook slightly. Enjoy the break dude.

JinjaBeardy said...

To be honest social media has become background noise for me, and I now spend much less time on it than I did a year ago, so I can emphathise with your view completely. I must say though that when I first started following you it had much more of a buzz about it, which seems to have gone now.
With Mr Godfrey gone and you scaling back, I'll probably have very little reason at all for using twitter now :)

Nick Tann said...

I think a break is good. I now have a rule, if I want to play guitar/record/write a new song then I will at the expense of posting something somewhere. Having said that I still find it interesting experimenting with things to see the results. My main goal this year is meeting people face to face, flyering and gigging. It's still the best "social media"

Matt Stevens said...

@doug - Yeah I'll keep doing that, cheers man :)

And yeah deffo the arrival of the little fella has made a big difference.

Matt Stevens said...

Nick - shaking hands is the best way as ever man.

Harry French said...

First question is 'to who?'
You have several images outward facing, and it's which is branding you as 'him what is good at social metworking' that you need to look towards.

Media :
if you're being pigeon holed by the press your biggest problem is it's beyond your control, and they're unlikely to change unless you pull a more obvious 'gimmick' out of the bag, ie wear a phone on your head, etc.
Keep on being honest to what and how you do what you want to.

Fellow musicians:
Some will be trying to copy you for how you have made yourself a success. As has been mentioned further up; if they can't communicate with their fans naturally, they're going to be unable to 'Do a Matt Stevens' as it will feel hollow and fake, like a pro company's feed rather than an artists. Sod 'em. if they buy your music they're in the the next category...

Fans:
if someone who buys your music and recommends you to their friends as a heavy twitter user rather than anawesome musician and have you heard Relic and check the timeshift in airships on echo etc etc etc, they're insane, and not a component of your public profile as their friends would be also insane to follow you for that reason. Your fans tell their friends about your music. I know about you from word of mouth. It feels great when you reply and say thanks to a comment and it makes me more likely to make posts like this, but I also tweet bonjovi periodically in the hope of validation via retweet. That you reply is the good bit, not the how.

Self image:
if you see yourself as becoming a machine that operates the social net rather than be a musician, don't worry. It's easier to check tweets when you have a quiet 5 mins before loop baby kicks off again. The trick is to use the surprise hours to pick up the guitar and do, and you have been and are, so there's nothing to worry about. Keep on keeping on.

What is working for you is what you do and who you are, and how you connect with your fans. In this respect social media is the means, not the message, and the feeling of momentum loss is this way of communication becoming normal, not any diminishing value of the system. You've a healthy philosophical streak (this article, for example) and you're providing free advice to peers and newbies alike, which extends beyond the normal perception of the social media as you're a resource not just a news ticker, and that will keep things rolling for you too.

My advice is the same as the first I ever gave you: Ignore and and all advice upto and including this advice if you so wish.

But my two penn'th is keep doing what you do and how you want to do it, your fans don't mislabel you, and they're your true currency, your engine of success.

H

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