Blog Contest Week 4 - Musician's Web 2.0 Guide

Hard to believe that it's been almost a month since I wrote the entry for Week 3 in the CyberPR blog contest. Check out my last post to see some of the reasons (*cough* excuses *cough*) why (as well as pictures of our new cats!).

One area that I've been struggling with as I've read through this book is in the way that I perceive myself as a musician/artist. Here's what I know:

What I know that I AM: a songwriter and a composer for film and tv

What I know that I AM NOT: a touring artist

My dilemma lies in finding that line between writing music for use in film/tv and writing music for mass (hopefully) public consumption. Because I don't sing, or at least not in a voice that most would find pleasing, though I can do the scary cookie monster growling thing fairly well, I typically write more instrumental tracks. And though most of what I do is guitar driven, I am NOT a "shredder" like some of my favorite guitarists - Satriani, Vai, Petrucci, Gilbert, etc... - who typically write guitar driven instrumental music.

I do have some side projects with a couple of co-writers that do sing, Crushing Gray (rock/metal) and Big Blue Shoes (indie/rock/pop), but I still have a desire to "do my own thing." I guess what it REALLY boils down to is a fear of failure. I think every artist deals with that though. In this instance, my fear is about something that I'm planning on launching next month. I know that on my own, there is NO WAY I will be able to achieve the results that I'm hoping to get. But instead of dwelling on that now, let me try to get back on topic for this post. Trust me, there will be plenty of time to talk about "the big project" after I announce it next month.

Ok... Chapter 4 - A Musician's Web 2.0 Guide... There was a lot of stuff in this chapter that I was already doing or familiar with. But instead of glossing over it I wanted to put the time in to it as if it was all new to me.

The first exercise was to head on over to and check out some short videos on different Web 2.0 concepts. Though I was already familiar with the concepts, it was fun to watch the videos. They were short, concise and amusing. Well worth the 15 minutes.

Up next was setting up a Google Reader. This one has been one of the best pieces of advice for me personally so far. I had worked with an RSS reader once before a few years ago, not Google's, and just didn't enjoy the experience. But Google got this one right. With the exception of a few social networking/community sites, I've now got the RSS feeds for all of the sites that I visit on a daily/weekly basis set up in my reader. What a great time saver!

The next section was blogging and podcasting. One of the things she mentions to do is to sign up for an account with So I signed up for that and you should be able to see their plug-in is now on my blog.

This next exercise was to identify 50 blogs that you would like to have your music reviewed on. Remember the indecisiveness and the fear of failure from earlier? I think this exercise helped contribute to it... lol... I had to skip this section for the time being. I do plan to revisit it later, but it will be for when I go back through this book for my "band" projects, Crushing Gray and Big Blue Shoes. Actually... I just had a thought... instead of looking for blogs to review my music on the basis of it as being art, I think instead I will look to have it reviewed more for the basis of it's production quality! Yeah!!! I think that will be more in line with my "goals" at the moment. Then I'll start expanding the list to include reviews on the quality of the art. Whew... I'm glad that thought popped into my head. I actually feel a sense of relief, as funny as that may sound.

The next step was to join the Podsafe Music Network. I was glad that the book had the web site URL listed near the back of the book, but it would have been handy had it been included in this specific section as well. I didn't realize it was in the back of the book at first and I ended up going to google to find it. I created an account there and will begin the process of adding my music there over the next week.

The next section was on Twitter, which I've already been using for a while. I've got things synced up now so that when I upload a new track to my ReverbNation profile, it updates Twitter which in turn updates my Facebook profile. Thanks to an article by Robert Holland from - I was able to get my Twitter feed to update my Facebook Fan page as well. Unfortunately, the specific method he was advocating, using Yahoo! Pipes, no longer works due to a change in policy by the Third Party developers. I'm still able to do it, but it's not as "neat" or "clean" as Robert's first plan was but it still does the job.

Finally, the next step was to get set up on Flickr. I wasn't sure if I was going to follow through with this step or not as I was beginning to get concerned that I was starting to spread myself too thin. But I figured I'd go ahead and do it anyway. I created my account and uploaded a couple of live shots of me from a show I played a couple of years ago, a picture of me with the legendary Bill Gaither, and a picture of each of our cats, both past and present.

That's all for this week's chapter. Now that I think I'm out of my funk and moving forward again, I plan on getting caught up this weekend and knocking out Chapter 5 as well as trying to do a better job of organizing my time for blogging, facebook, etc... so that I don't start to get the feeling of being overwhelmed with all the "non-musical" music stuff that I'm trying to keep up with.

Until next time...

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