I think it happens almost every day.

As @BobSongshttp://Twitter.com/BobSongs I’m a Blogger, Writer, and Songwriter.  I’m on Twitter most days, and Facebook a few times a week.  I have a LinkedIn Profile, that I’m working on, but not 100% familiar with, yet.

I’m also involved in the BC Songwriters’ Showcase Association, http://Twitter.com/BCSongwriters and help out with their Twitter and Facebook presence.

I am often surprised by the frequency with which I will encounter someone who expresses a desire and drive to become a songwriter or performer… but have no Photo, Biography or Contact Information on their Twitter Profile.

I understand that a LOT of new users don’t understand the ebb, flow or even the concept of Twitter and Social Media.

But, if you want to attract and grow an audience, then it is important to greet them properly.

Sad as it is, we are a society of people who judge books, by their covers.

As we gather a sense of people from our first impression… so we gather a sense of you, as an Artist, from your Social Media.

Many times a week, I send friendly Tweets to folks, reminding them to fill out their Bio and Location information.

If you are on Twitter to have fun, and talk about school… sure, lock your profile down.

If you are on Twitter to promote your Product, or especially if your Product is Yourself… you really need to put your Best Foot Forward !

If your Band is following 200 Tweeps, but you only have a following of 18…  it probably means that you are probably only reaching the hardcore audience (family and friends) that already know about you.  You are “preaching to the choir” and the rest of the people you follow are not interested in your message, or your “Product.”

How To Make It Better:

At the top of your Twitter Page, are a series of words…  Everthing that people will base their first impression on, (other than your Tweets,) is contained under the Settings “tab”:

 

Blue Twitterbird Pics means you didn't care enough to post a real picture1) Post a picture ! If “you” are your product, then the picture should be of you.  If that doesn’t work for you, take a picture of a guitar, microphone, or your cat…  My picture is currently one of my Cats, who snuck into my guitar case… but I change it regularly !  (Points get deducted for using a photo of ANOTHER person, as your photo.)

 

2) Say where you are ! Maple Ridge, BC, Canada. If you are not comfortable with saying the exact city you are from, pick the closest big City.  Vancouver, Canada If that causes you concern, go regional… Canada’s West Coast Give us SOMETHING, because, who knows… we may want to work or write with you !!!

 

3) Give us a sense of “you” ! If you are a guitar-playing country music loving songwriter… say so.  If you’ve got a bunch of things going on, say that too !  My profile says: Blogger, Songwriter, Writer, married to @loriegray, right-handed, wacky sense of humour, cat lover, Hockey fan, Uncle… and Canadian ! There’s  a lot of info in there, but I wear a lot of different hats, when I use Twitter.

 

4) Websites ! If you have your own website… fill it in !  If you have a MySpace profile, and one song… fill it in !  If you have a grainy video on YouTube… fill it in !  Whatever the ONE best website you have, that represents your product best ?  Use it.

I’m not writing this to be mean.  I’m not writing this to underscore that Artists sometimes have different gifts, and can be technically challenged.

I’m writing this with the hope that it may help someone look at the deficiencies in their Twitter profile, and be able to effect changes because of it.

If these instructions help you… I’m glad !

If you need help understanding how to implement them, please send me an e-mail or a Tweet.

Please don’t go on, without filling in the blanks… because in many cases, it means we will probably Not Follow You or Follow You BACK… and only YOU know what we’ll be missing out on !!!

Hope to see you on Twitter !!!

So, at this moment, I am feeling slightly old, and VERY out of touch.

I have a collection of over 230 GBs of music, which I have collected (100% legally) through buying CD’s, and digitally through I-Tunes.  At last check, I had a little over 30 days of music, if I was to play them consecutively.  (Yes, I have nightmares of a hard drive failure… thanks for asking)

Anyhoo… I grew up in an environment where all my friends downloaded music illegally, and I always made a big deal out of it… A) Because it was illegal and B) Because I was a songwriter, I feel that the Songwriters and Musicians should receive benefit from their music being played.

Now… I am on Twitter, and I constantly see folks using Blip.fm to “play” music… and tonight, I became a Blip.fm DJ.

blipfm_lgHowever, it goes against everything I have been saying for a long time.  I sent a link, to my 500 (or so) Twitter Followers, asking them to watch and/or listen to music for free.

I referenced a recent Blog Posting, and acknowledged two glaring omissions from my “Under The Influences” Blog, which were James Taylor (Fire and Rain) and Jim Croce (Lover’s Cross)

However, the addition of their names to my Honour Roll of Songwriting Rock Stars, doesn’t in any way diminish the fact that I have been dragged, kicking and screaming into the 90’s.  I posted music without it being paid for.

I’m not too sure how the Canadian Government (or, for that matter, the US Government) view the advances of technology that allows us to type in the name of an Artist, and have access to their catalogue of musical performances, for broadcast to the world.

I understand the popularity of YouTube, and hey… I love a good cat video as much as the next guy !!!  I’m just not sure that I’m ready to take that step, and cross that line.  It is something that I know labels like Nettwerk have been working to break down the walls… but they appear (IMHO) to be one of the few.  Others are still licensing music differently, and behaving as if we were all listening to LP’s on a record player in the living room.

I have an I-Pod, and it is crammed with a diversity of Music that makes my wife’s head spin… (when we listen to music in the car together)  I just am uncertain if I am prepared to endorse broadcasting songs for others to listen to, when they aren’t my own… or I haven’t paid for them.

I think I will have to think a bit more on this, and do some research.

I’m not certain what I think, and I think that some of what I think, is because of my age… and THAT makes me feel old !!!

— Follow Up —

I’m posting a Follow Up, directly IN this posting, as I feel that the comments of @StacieBee were of such profound impact, as to allow me to “get over myself”, and embrace the Technology that allows us to Tweet links to songs to our Followers.  As I stated in my “Under The Influences” post… many of these songs are the cornerstones of my awareness of songwriting, and I believe, being able to share them, is a joy and a gift.  Below is Stacie’s comment:

Bob, virtually everything that *I* blip, is in my iTunes so I don’t feel guilty.  Before I switched to digital music, I had hundreds of CD’s that I’ve since copied to my computer. I’m usually listening to my iTunes library when I decide to blip a song.  To me, Blip.fm is for sharing music with people not so that they don’t have to pay for it, but for them to discover music they like and can go buy.  I’ve bought songs that I’ve heard because of other blippers and I’ve had more than one person tell me that they bought music because of what I blipped. 

   ——

Thanks Stacie !!!  You ROCK !!!

Cheers, Bob