Bit of a quieter week, this one.  I started it off by doing something I had kind of been dreading, but also kind of been thinking would be a good or useful thing to do.  It’s certainly pretty common amongst a lot of labels as part of their promotion efforts, though – promoting my stuff on forums.  This meant, of course, registering on them.
So, over the weekend and the early part of this week, I spent quite a lot of time looking for forums, registering, entering captchas, and writing a blurb which I tried to tailor to that community.  On the production forums, I tried to emphasise that it was an interesting ‘free album’ project, and so on.  I posted on about 40 forums in total.  It’s hard, because this is, essentially, spam – and gets treated as such.  Several of my posts were promptly moderated straight into the bin, lots of forums don’t allow to you add links for the first week or two, I think I’ve been banned from a couple of forums already for my dubious behaviour and to top it all off, the Soundcloud minimix (see above) that I was promoting – well, it didn’t really get many hits.  I guess that’s because you’re doing the digital equivalent of walking into a busy room where everyone knows each other, as an unknown, and blethering away – you’ll get ignored.  Certainly, the best response I got was on forums where I was already a regular(ish) poster and knew a few people.
The moral here, then, is that you should be engaging with these forums, getting involved with general debate and so on – but then that’s really not possible with 40 or 50 forums, no-one has that much time.  As a result, I’m thinking that forums aren’t a particularly useful way of getting your message out there.  Maybe I didn’t hit the right ones, but then again it’s still hard to know which ones are more active than others.
I’ve also been pointed at this site – Pitchengine.com, which is some kind of social media game for press releases.  I’m not convinced as to how useful it’s going to be, but I thought I’d throw the press release up there anyway – why not have a look and see what you think?
Other than that, I’ve been playing with the site at bandcamp.com.  I’ve set up a URL for it, so you can go to it straight from http://label.bassmusicblog.com.  I think the site looks pretty nice, and I’ve put up the Unbalanced Jack EP we released through the blog a few months ago as a trial, something to play with.  You only have to upload each file once (as a WAV) and it will encode all the mp3, FLAC, OGG etc formats for you, you can set a price, a ‘pay what you want’ thing, or free, or you can say that if people want it for free, they have to give an email address.  We’re going to have the album as ‘pay what you want’ but as I may have mentioned earlier, any profits will go to charity (Dove House Hospice in Hull).  I’m still in two minds about the ‘demand an email address’ thing – I’d love to do that, but I don’t really want to put people off from downloading it – the main thing for us is that as many people hear it as possible, and getting a mailing list together is secondary really.  But it would really help us reach people who like our stuff in future, and if you’re giving something away for free, you do need to get what compensation you can from it.
The artwork is now done – see above for a lower-res version.  Big thanks to Nic Hamilton for his efforts!
====