Monday, 18 October 2010

Some Thoughts On Music Blogging

Amongst the industry conferences / debates at Manchester’s In the City there was one whose brief was to discuss the difference between UK and US blogs. The brief went a little astray at times as the discussion veered towards the wider aspects of new music blogging with a panel consisting of Pitchfork’s Ryan Schreiber, Hype Machine’s Dev Sherlock, My Band’s Better Than Your Band’s Oliver Clueit, David Greenwald from Rawkblog and Drowned In Sound’s Sean Adams. The first part of the discussion is not on the recording, but the remaining fifty minutes you can catch below. Sean Adams arrives part of the way through, having been stuck in traffic.

Some of the discussion revolves around what the invited panel considered to be a decent blog with the consensus being that good blogs have their own personality and put the effort in – they don’t just post the latest Lady Ga Ga remix to generate hits – content is everything.

However, there are elements of the discussion that we’re not so comfortable with. The idea that the best blogs post only niche material as suggested by one panel member smacks to us as indie snobbery – our love of music is broader than that. We wholeheartedly agree with blogs acting with integrity and not just posting a ‘big-name’ track to get high hit count from ‘readers’, free goodies, guest list passes or the like from PR companies. However if a blog posts a Lady Ga Ga remix MP3 we feel there’s nothing wrong with that providing that it truly represents the taste of the blog author and that they have some genuine quality content linked to the MP3. (And the MP3 has consent from the record company / artist / PR company to post!)

The MP3 blog market is over saturated and blogs that have a unique selling point such as great content in the writing or a different way of doing things are more likely to survive – if only because their author is showing a degree of commitment. However one issue that is quickly touched on (when Skatterbrain is mentioned) but that isn’t discussed within the conversations is how many blogs have a limited shelf life, often being written by students / the unemployed / those trying to get a job in music journalism or the music industry at large and those without other commitments such as families. As these authors personal commitments increase often their blog activity lessens particularly if their blog isn't monetised or linked to their day job in some way. Skatterbrain for example has only posted about ten times since the end of July. We’ve seen a number of other blogs all but disappear as their authors find the pressures of adult life leaving them less time to write their blogs.

Breaking More Waves is lucky in that with a family, professional career a long way from music and an already busy life before we started the blog. We have managed to time manage our real life pressures to ensure that we can continue to deliver regular content. Hopefully with our more discursive articles (such as this) we also occasionally offer up something a little different that the regular MP3 blogs don’t offer. We’ve never aimed to be a ‘big name’ blog – our blog is very much a hobby (but a hobby with a strong enthusiasm for its subject) – but are happy that with a growing readership, ONE that has doubled in the last eight months, we’re doing things along what we consider to be the right lines, and hopefully our regular readers agree –otherwise they wouldn’t be regular.

Now here’s that Lady Ga Ga remix. Only joking. Instead we feature something a little more ‘niche’ to help our indie snob points – a of track that we’ve posted about before and would like to give a little more exposure to. Enjoy Film Noir by Portsmouth’s The B of the Bang as well as the whole debate courtesy of Rawkblog.

In The City: Music Blogging in the USA panel, 10.13.10 by rawkblog

Film Noir - The B of the Bang by Breaking More Waves

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