A while back some kind folks who came to see me speak at SXSW on blurintofocus's panel wanted to ask me even more questions about bands, brands and fans.
Uh, this is basically how I sound (swearing and all), so I guess it’s a pretty fair representation of the advice I’d happily give just about anyone trying to get more people excited about whatever it is you are excited to make.
Do you have any tips on how to develop your brand story?
Can someone else create a parody or tribute to you? If not, your “brand story” is still too flat. Also, if you don’t see that as a compliment, you’re probably in the wrong business.
What recommendations would you give labels and artists when they’re trying to grow their brands? What are big don’ts when it come to developing your brand and using social media?
Don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t act too cool. Don’t wait too long to apologize and own it when you fuck up (and you will fuck up). Don’t turn anybody away. But don’t let anybody tell you who you are. These are the same rules for how to be happy as an artist, it turns out; it’s not any different because it’s a brand (product) or social media.
Here’s the corresponding SXSW MUSIC panel submitted this year — talking fandom and internet at the music portion of SXSW is always such a joy, especially because you get a lot more student attendees who have so much to say and so many great ideas to share with the room. My musical panel last year was pretty much the best panel experience I’ve ever had, but maybe 2014 can top it…
Rae’s music panel last year was absolutely the best panel experience I’ve ever had (UM WE MET JARED LETO ALSO) and you should go vote for this right now. Do it.
Rae Votta’s (MTV Networks) self-described “obsession with obsession” is at the core of this wonderfully fresh look at the role young women are playing as both consumers and informal promoters of music in today’s industry.
From Beatlemania to Beiber Fever, it’s not news that young women can play a huge role in an artist’s mainstream success, but this panel suggests we can learn a lot from how they share info, tell stories and foster deeper connections with artists - and how that can be respected and utilized by musicians, labels, brands, and more.
The real reason Yahoo bought Tumblr: It’s about young women.
More detail from Think Progress’ very smart analysis:
[W]hen Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer talks, as she did this morning on the call that announced the deal, about the fact that “Tumblr views itself as a home for brands,” like movies, or suggests that Tumblr and Yahoo could work together the way Google and Blogger did, with Yahoo serving ads on Tumblrs whose users would like to have ad placement, she’s talking about getting ads in front of young users, and monetizing content by young people. And whether it’s true or not, the perception will be that Mayer specifically means getting ads in front of monetizing content created by female and non-straight young people.
Whether that means that the oft-mocked confessionals and .GIFs of Tumblr will come to be seen as respectable because they’re something Yahoo is going to try to make money off of is a different question entirely. Yahoo’s perception that young people will help it shore up its aging brand, and that they’ll be valuable to advertisers isn’t actually much different that the insight that young women be shopping. Sometimes, the very fact that young people, particularly young women, have money to spend is the thing that makes them seem ridiculous to the very people who would like to extract that money from them. Trendhopping that necessitates regular consumption and deep engagement on things that other people have deemed frivolous are traits that make consumers or users valuable to advertisers. But the assignment of financial value to those behaviors has never meant that we pass along any more deference to young people’s tastes as part of a larger bargain.
Imagine you forget to watch a new episode of Game of Thrones the night it airs. Even if coworkers stay mum about important plot points, Twitter is abuzz with spoilers. Fortunately, there’s Twivo, a new program that allows Twitter users to censor their feeds from mentioning a certain TV show (and its characters) for a set time period. Jennie Lamere, a 17-year-old girl, invented the software last month—and won the grand prize at a national coding competition where Lamere was the only female who presented a project, and the only developer to work alone. Internet: Meet the reason we need more women in tech.
(From Mother Jones)
I’m so excited by all of the teenagers in science and tech that we’re hearing about these days. MORE GIRLS PLEASE!
“why are you trapped in there, tiny orange bobcat”
You all know I am not in the cat GIF-posting business, but while staying out in the fancy remote area of Austin for SXSW I came home late late one night and there was A BOBCAT standing between the driveway and the front door. It was bigger than this little baby bobcat but definitely not full grown. I stared at it for a minute and then worried maybe it was one of those animals that interprets staring as a threat so I just kind of scurried as quickly and quietly as I could past it and into the house because WTF BOBCAT.
So glad this is preserved somewhere! If you missed our panel in Austin you can now hear my brilliant group (Shana Krochmal, Megan Westrby, Danielle Strle and Lindsay Gabler + me) giving one of the more inspiring talks I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of.
So, so thrilled that the audio from the SXSW panel I was on has been posted!