Your Three Communities: Connecting with Community #3: Ambient Fans

Global Network of PeopleIn this 3-part series I have been talking about an artists 3 separate communities and the fact that you need to think about how you approach each one differently.

Here’s a quick recap:

Community 1: Are your Super Fans (

These are fans who are primarily Your Live Audience. You know them by name. If you play out live, they attend your shows regularly, and buy many things you offer  (not just music). If you have a street team they are on it and they evangelize strongly on your behalf.

Community 2: Are your Engaged Fans (

These fans are your Active Online Audience. They are newsletter subscribers, , blog readers, video watchers, RSS subscribers, active Social Media engagers who frequently comment & engage with you on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

This last installment focuses on:

Community 3: Ambient Fans

These fans are your Passive Online Audience and they are your social media friends who are aware of you via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc but don’t actively communicate with you and may not have even heard your music (yet). (more…)


New Media Pioneer: Paul Zimmerman of The POP! Stereo

Located in Florida and/or the UK, POP! Stereo has been subjecting readers to their warped taste in music for almost three years.

Their mission is simple, to share with their readers/listeners the music that they love themselves and the music that needs to be heard by the masses. They’re here because they believe in good music!

Q) Tell us a little bit about your site. What inspired you to start it?

A) The origins of The POP! Stereo evolved out of the weekly party known as POP! at Eclipse which was started in the Summer of 2006. Dedicated to bringing the masses the best of new and old indie and dance (or as the kids called it back then “disco”) the night took off providing a forum for new music through release parties and samplers. As time went on, it became apparent that something should be done to provide the punters a constant source of new music. That’s where The POP! Stereo comes in. The POP! Stereo was originally started in April 2008 as the companion blog to POP! where by visitors to the party could go home and download the music they just heard at the bar. By December 2008, the weekly had come to an end but the blog took on a life of it’s own. Now over a year later, The POP! Stereo attracts more visitors from outside of the States than inside and is updated daily with fresh content and tracks.

Q) Why do you believe new media resources (i.e. blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations) have become so popular? How have they been beneficial to artists? How have they been detrimental?

A) Blogs and the like have taken off, I think primarily because they’re so easy to set up and start. Since the startup cost is minimal anyone that has a computer, an internet connection and an ounce of creativity can set something up be it a blog, a podcast, or streaming internet radio. The trick is maintaining consistency and deciding whether or not you’re in it for the long haul or the short term.

As for the benefits…These sources of media propagation have allowed artists and fans to connect in ways that they’ve never been able to do before. Thanks to technology, bands have the ability to cut out the middle man completely and retain control of just about every aspect of their career. We’ve seen how several artists have gone from being a small band to being bigger than sliced bread in a matter of months (as opposed to the standard business model) thanks to technology and the ability to spread their message with ease. See Little Boots, Black Kids, and even Lily Allen as perfect examples of artists who owe some part of their success to the Internet.

While the ease of technology has allowed bands to spread their message rapidly, technology has also flooded the market with so much music, it’s impossible to keep track of it all. I think the main problem with this ease of propagation is that quality control has been pretty much been chucked out the window. Now, every band that has a bandcamp/purevolume/myspace/

facebook/etc profile sets themselves up as being the next big thing when in all honesty so they are not. For every Black Kids there are 30 bands that aren’t good and never will be no matter what the blogosphere says.

Q) Media 2.0 has changed the way artists communicate with fans. Where do you envision online communication going next? Any thoughts on what Media “3.0” will look like?

A) One word really…Mobile. I think within five to ten years you’ll pretty much be able to do everything you can do on a PC through your phone. We’re already starting to see the possibilities and it’s only going to grow.

Q) What does an artist have to do to get your attention? Are their specific characteristics that you look for?

A) It’s really simple to get my attention…have a tune. If you can write a song that’s as catchy as the flu then you have me. It doesn’t have to be complicated or technologically advanced it just has to be good. Thanks to DJing on and off for 20 years, and having to think on the fly, I can usually tell whether or not I’m going to like something w/in 30 seconds simply by the structure of the song.

Q) What do you ultimately hope to accomplish with your site?

A) To become a consistent and reliable source for new music. It all harks back to our mission which is to share with our readers/listeners the music that we love ourselves and the music that needs to be heard by the masses. We’re here because we believe in good music.


So…what is a Facebook Fan Page called nowadays? A “Like” Page?

The ever-elusive Facebook Fan Page.

Regardless of what you think about yours, you can’t deny its power: the ‘Suggest to Friends’ link provides an unbelievable opportunity to spread your brand (especially if you persuade your contacts to do the same), the wall allows for a rich content experience unmatched by the likes of MySpace or Twitter, the lack of “friend cap” (see: Facebook personal profiles), etc.

Recently, as if musicians needed more technological changes to deal with, the marriage between Facebook Brand Pages and Fans has extinguished. Users now only have the opportunity to “Like” a page. Please don’t confuse this with the Facebook’s traditional “like” function for pictures, comments, etc. I would have “liked” to see Facebook think about what they were doing semantically before giving two separate experiences on their website the same name, but nevertheless.

Many people are complaining about the new Facebook Page changes, mainly because they don’t understand them. Musicians, I believe that it is better for people  to “Like” your page rather than “Become a Fan.”

To be a ‘fan’ of something is a big commitment; to just ‘like’ something is much more casual. In the real world, I personally like a multitude of things, but rarely consider myself a fanatic of a particular sports team or band. Over time, people will be much more likely to engage in this “Like” behavior, strictly based on language alone.

Many artists have been complaining recently about the number of contacts on their pages dwindling. I’ve been getting emails from artists asking me, “Is there some type of Facebook virus? All of the fans on my page are disappearing.” (more…)


In Defense of 1,000 True Fans – Jerry Joseph: How Does The Theory Work When You Already HAVE 1,000 True Fans? – Part VIII

I was having coffee and catch-up with manager and publicist extraordinaire Patrice Fehlen a few months ago and we started talking about my “In Defense of 1,000 True Fans” series on MusicThinkTank. She mentioned something that I think makes an interesting angle:

Jerry Joseph  (who she manages) already has a fanbase of 1,000 true fans who sustain and support him.  So his challenge is not to “get” to 1,000 fans but to keep them actively engaged and inspired to stay in his fan family as he continues to release albums and tour. I asked him how he does that and he generously dished the details.

Before we dive in: Jerry Joseph is an artist who in my humble opinion needs no introduction.  In case you don’t know who he is (and you should, he is fantastic) here’s a brief overview:

Jerry got his start in music in the 80’s leading reggae/rock band Little Women (Boulder, Co), which ruled the Rocky Mountain circuit throughout the 80’s and broke up in ‘93. Joseph continued to record before an oft-publicized drug addiction temporarily sidelined his career. The process of getting clean took Joseph to New York, Montana, Salt Lake City, where the Jackmormons were formed in 1996, and eventually to Portland. “Mouthful of Copper” was the second release from Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons on Terminus Records and follows the critically acclaimed Conscious Contact (2002). The Jackmormons have released four other albums as well.

A prolific writer, Jerry has collaborated with Vic Chesnutt, Pete Droge and Dave Schools (Widespread Panic, J. Mascis and the Fog), as well as producers Terry Manning (Led Zeppelin) and John Keane (R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs). He has also shared the stage with the likes of Neil Young, The Flaming Lips, DJ Logic, Curt Kirkwood and David Lindley.

Jerry Joseph is constantly touring. If it isn’t solo, it is with his rock band The Jackmormons or one his side projects, including The Stockholm Syndrome. Regardless of the configuration, it is always about the songs.

His new CD Civility, is a collaboration with Wally Ingram and is available now for pre-order:

(Full disclosure: back when I was a traditional publicist I had the honor of publicizing one of my favorite albums “Mouthful of Copper.”) (more…)


Cyber PR® Digital Press Conference – Episode 5 – Featured Artists

Here are a list of the featured artists that will be there!

Lauren O’Brien – Astoria, NY
Genre: Rock, Alternative, Spoken Word

The words come through your speakers. Tense words. Sharp words. Hypnotic words. Words couched in grinding guitars and thudding drums, words thick with emotional desperation that also reveal the strangely paradoxical beauty in suffering; the diamonds in the cave, waiting to be mined. The words are those of Lauren O’Brien, one of the most exciting young poet-performers on the scene today.

Cady Finlayson & Vita Tanga – Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Irish, Roots, World, Electronica, Folk, Celtic

Cady Finlayson is a spirited Irish fiddler, with a global twist. And while she’s best known for her Irish music expertise, Finlayson’s latest release, Electric Green, her collaboration with French guitarist Vita Tanga, is sure to expand her audience well beyond traditional Celtic boundaries.


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Your Three Communities, Part 2: Connecting More Deeply To Your Engaged Fans

Part 2: Your Three Communities – Community 2 – Engaged Fansbigstock-People-try-to-connect-37039297

Last week I started my 3-part series called Your Three Communities and we started diving into how to connect with your superfans by making your live show as good as it can be. This week I will focus on how to energize and connect with Community 2 – Engaged Fans. These fans are your Active Online Audience. They are newsletter subscribers, blog readers, video watchers, RSS subscribers, active Social Media engagers who frequently comment & engage with you on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites you may be using. They’re engaged with you in what the New York Times brilliantly referred to as “ambient awareness.”  They know who you are but they may not know you very well (yet).  With this community, as with all three, engagement is critical, but here it will be different. In Community 2 contribution is critical but engagement is even more vital.

Brian Solis, the author of “Engage” and the co-author of “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” has recently written a brilliant blog post on the reasons why creating content is a necessity in today’s social media landscape and it speaks DIRECTLY to your already engaged fans.

The Future of Marketing Starts with Publishing

This article is written for businesses and I have said this many times before: Your music is your business so it wont take much reading between the lines to decipher a plan for yourself in this domain.

Here are the two most amazing morsels: