At this stage in my career, I feel that one of my key roles in the music industry (or more precisely – what’s left of it), is to disseminate helpful information to content creators, to aspiring young (and not-so-young) artists, and to be a thorn in the side of the insidious Mega-Corps that are making it nigh impossible for good quality, creative, thoughtful new music to surface.
Until relatively recently, I have been using my Artist Page on FaceBook as an effective platform to do this. Times have changed. To FB, an “Artist Page” aka Fan Page – (a term I do not like) is considered a “business page”. FB’s clear strategy is to make it fairly impossible to get healthy views in “the stream” – unless you pay $$$ to “Boost Your Post”. By doing this, they’ve made it very difficult for Mom & Pop businesses to gain any exposure for their ventures, without increasing their overhead by paying for advertising space. So much for social consciousness. But we knew that. FB is a business. “Free” has very narrowly defined limits in their playbook.
Many of my posts are directly related to the state of our industry, and when I post a link or editorialize on companies including Spotify, Pandora, YouTube/Google – these posts are all but buried. Why? Because of FB’s “cozy” relationships with the aforementioned. They have developed insidious algorithms to spot and weed out such posts – so unless you actually visit my Artist Page, chances are you will be none-the-better-informed.
My little experiment
After the last few week’s frustration of seeing the important posts go virtually unseen, I decided to see what my viewer stats would show me if I posted cute, inane cartoon images rather than informative pieces. Lo and behold – the numbers of viewers increased dramatically. Now, I know full well that out of my almost 11,000 subscribers, many are professional musicians, who really want/need to know what’s going on in their stock-in-trade. Surely, they are at least as interested in their future as they are in typing “LoL” on a cutsie (if not relevant) Zappa meme.
My next experiment
Here’s the plan: Whenever you see this wonderful Escher self-portrait on my FB Artist page, it will indicate that there is a newsworthy article for you to read. I will not be posting links to the article to FB – I will instead be posting it to this website, and by following the link I attach, you’ll be able to read it – and if you wish, to comment on it. Your comments will be most welcome, of course. Good dialogue and discourse are what we need. Ideas, baby! That’s what it’s all about.
I thank you for your attention and indulgence, with the sincere hope that together we can defeat the multi-headed censoring monster. FB is good for stuff like friends communicating with each other (be it around-the-block or across-the-globe). It’s good for passing jokes, showing off you latest litter of kittens/puppies, for debating …but more often ranting/shouting/bullying across political lines …and little else.
So be on the lookout for M.C.’s image on my Artist Page, accompanied by an appropriate link-back.