Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Follow my new blog...

I have moved my blog to the following address:
Please update your links and let me know what you would like to see on the new site.

Thanks for following me on Blogger. This website will stay up but  new posts will spin from WordPress. See you across town! ~ej

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Migrating to Wordpress

I am in the process of migrating my blog to a full-featured Wordpress website. There will be a delay in posting until the new site is finished and all domains are redirected. It shouldn't be long!

Please stay in touch with me via:



Linked In:

Tumblr: (Extra Sharp and Ultra Fine)

See you soon with a new improved blog! ~Eric

Monday, April 4, 2011

Generosity is the Emotion, Content is the Currency

Creating Effective Social Media Engagement: Generosity is the Emotion, Content is the Currency

Authentic, trusting relationships are fueled by generosity and empathy. While online networks can seem abstract compared to connections in the ‘real world’, the same principles hold true.

Web 2.0 is a conversational environment, not a broadcast channel. This is still confusing for some musicians who use Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. to talk about themselves (“Oh, did I mention MY gig this weekend, here are some new pictures of ME, I wrote a new song…” etc. etc.). When I get a Linked In or Facebook friend request from a complete stranger asking me to listen to their music or come to a gig I am always amazed. What are they thinking? Eventually I tune out even good friends who I am very interested in, when the only communication from them is pushed PR blasts.

The power of social media is it’s potential for building communities and sincere relationships. The way to do this is to pay attention to everyone else, what their passions are and what they need. Ask yourself what you can share to make their lives a little more wonderful. On the web, the obvious gift to give is interesting content. This could be a helpful blog post or link, some compelling video you have created, a piece of music or a recommendation or referral. The important thing is that you are passionate about what you are sharing and you genuinely want to help your followers.

A great example of this generosity is the blog created by musician Danny Barnes. He has written a number of funny, articulate pieces that are essential reading for any professional musician or anyone with even a passing interest in what it means to be a musician. He has shared many practical insights on how to make a living in music, how to be a successful sideman, how to listen and much more. There is great value and generosity here without a hint of self-promotion. A teacher and fellow musician told me the other day he reads Danny’s posts to his classes!

Check out Danny’s blog and spread the word...

What gifts are you giving to your fans, followers and customers? What's working for you?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Danny Barnes Knows Why You're Not Into Music Anymore...

I just had to repost this great essay by the wonderful musician Danny Barnes (who also happens to be an excellent writer)..

I encourage you to check out the rest of his blog. Each entry is a gem!

I Think I Know Why You Are Not Into Music Anymore

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quote Of The Day: from Clay Shirky's 'Cognitive Surplus'

"The dramatically reduced cost of public address, and the dramatically increased size of the population wired together, means that we can now turn massive aggregations of small contributions into things of lasting value." -Clay Shirky, "Cognitive Surplus" p. 161

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just a few Wirechoir pix...

Here are a few shots from the Wirechoir recording sessions this month. Thanks to all the incredible musicians and especially Terry Carter for making it all happen!

Look for the CD and DVD coming soon...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Web 2.0 and The Thank You Economy

I had the opportunity to hear Gary Vaynerchuk yesterday, at a Drucker Business Forum event.

Vaynerchuck is a social media expert, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Crush It! - Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, and The Thank You Economy. He is a regular speaker at events such as the TED conference and SXSW and consults on social media with companies like Johnson & Johnson, Disney, Pepsi, and Google.

He is best known for building a huge online wine business with his irreverent WineLibraryTV video blog and extensive use of Web 2.0 technologies. Gary is in the top 100 of people followed on Twitter. He is funny, intense, competitive, and has a ridiculous work ethic.

In The Thank You Economy he passionately advocates for the humanization of business by strengthening authentic relationships with customers using Web 2.0 tools and old-fashioned generosity and consideration.

Building strong relationships with customers is a long-term play. Established businesses, particularly public companies, resist investing in this kind of culture shift because they are focused on short-term profits and have difficulty computing the ROI on  Web 2.0 engagement.

Vaynerchuk insists that this is the future of business and if companies don’t start caring about their customers and employees they will not survive.

As passionate as this guy is about people, his focus is on making money. He believes that building generous and sincere long-term relationships is the key to success, not because he is Mother Teresa, but because he is driven to compete and create wealth. Many people dabble in social media, but they are not really sure what they are doing or why. After some experimentation they give up. Without a clear business model and a solid understanding of your potential market, tools like Twitter seem scattered and decentralized compared to old-school top down marketing channels like television, print media and radio.

People have a tendency to use social media as a ‘push’ PR broadcast channel, which it is not. I see this all the time with musicians advertising gigs and their latest accomplishments on Twitter and Facebook. This amounts to random electronic direct mail. When I see this kind of communication I immediately tune out.

Twitter and related tools are like a giant cocktail party. This is a medium for listening and conversation. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t get Twitter. Why do I care what so and so had for breakfast?” People are discussing their passions online. Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phones have become the new barber shop. Listen and learn. We are instinctively afraid to engage with strangers, but stepping into that conversation opens a new door.

The bottom line for business is this: Customers are talking about you every day, whether you like it or not, the good, the bad, and the ugly. You have the opportunity to join that conversation and build genuine, caring relationships. Vaynerchuk believes that unless businesses do just that they will be run over by the empowered consumer and the competition. I think he is probably right..

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Bob Baker on the Realities of Making a Living as a Musician in 2011

    Interesting post by Bob Baker today.

    The tools and the channels have changed dramatically but artists have always been self-employed and struggled to balance the pursuit of their craft with the economic realities of survival. More of my thoughts to follow...

    The Realities of Making a Living with Music in 2011 via music think tank

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Are music consumers stepping on us?

    From today's Digital Music News:

    Are Music Consumers Stepping On Us?

    That was the question posed on Thursday by NPD analyst Russ Crupnick at Digital Music Forum East in Manhattan.

    "Consumers are flipping us the bird," Crupnick declared while trotting through slide-after-slide of distressing data. Exhibit A? Crupnick listed a litany of concessions and pro-consumer offers from this industry over the past ten years - all of which have produced few substantive revenue returns.  These include: 
    • ubiquity
    • disaggregation
    • fragmentation
    • liberal licensing
    • disabled DRM
    • disinflation
    "These are great things we've done for consumers, but what have they done for us?" Crupnick posed.  Well, the answer is very little, and Crupnick's stats proved it.  Over the past 5 years alone, Crupnick noted that the population of buying music fans declined by 20 million, and per-capita spending has dropped by 40 percent.  Meanwhile, just 5 percent of US consumers are using subscription services, including free trials.  "We're being too liberal," the analyst continued.  "We need to demand more from consumers."

    But there's a funny twist: among the buyers that remain, a majority are only buying CDs.  In fact, Crupnick noted that 55% of paying music fans are solely purchasing CDs, down from 80% percent in 2006.  Just last week at New Music Seminar in Los Angeles, Tommy Silverman reported that two-thirds of all album purchases are physical.

    And what about the superfan, won't that save us?  Well, Crupnick popped that balloon quickly by noting that superfans are also buying less.  But, their percentage of overall purchases is increasing as more casual fans leave the building.  "Fewer and fewer people are buying music, so the percentage of buying by uberfans increases," Crupnick noted.
    My comment:

    "I can't comprehend the logic of "demanding more from consumers." Show me a good product manager who agrees with that reasoning.

    It is hard to compete with free but that's the reality today for any media business. Consumers have unprecedented choice and an enormous sense of entitlement. If you want to succeed in the marketplace you have to get real about that.

    Also, the recording industry was a ridiculous bubble economy for over 20 years. Now it is leveling out and that is painful. The industry will be smaller in the future, more personalized, and consumer driven. 

    Things will continue to shake out for awhile.

    Join the discussion here...

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Is Apple Killing the Golden Subscription Goose?

    I have been using Apple's products since the 512K Macintosh. I have immense respect for the company's user-focused product management and business models. However, once in awhile they go too far and do something stupid. Apple's new subscription licensing policy could seriously impact subscription music services,  an important developing market. The same is true with the continued market leadership of the iPad. If media companies part ways with Apple on this, everyone loses. Maybe my next phone will be an Android after all...

    Apple's New Subscription Model Is Evil - Gizmodo

    Rhapsody CEO Blasts Apple - hypebot

    New Apple App Rules Could Kill Subscription Music - hypebot

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    California Copyright Conference: The Future of the Latin Music Market

    On February 8, 2011 The California Copyright Conference hosted a panel discussing the current state and future possibilities of the Latin music market, organized and co-moderated by Eric Palmquest - Director, Disney Music Publishing and Marissa Lopez, Associate Director, Latin Writer/Publisher Relations at BMI.

    The panel featured:

    Richard Bull - President of The Sixth House, a management company with touring, label, licensing, publishing, and corporate marketing arms.
    Tomas Cookman - CEO, Nacional Records & Cookman International, and founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference.
    Yvonne Drazan - Creative Director, peermusic
    Nir Seroussi - VP, Marketing and A&R, Sony Music Latin
    Kike Santander - Multi Grammy Award winning songwriter and producer, Chairman of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (LARAS) and CEO of Santander Records.

    Marissa Lopez (whose career began as a Latin radio DJ) kicked off the festivities with a mix of regional and Latin music styles. Although the topic of the panel was the decline in Latin music sales, particularly in digital, the panelist were uniformly upbeat and excited about the wide open future for Latin music.

    Richard Bull and Tomas Cookman have had strong successes with synch licensing and developing strategic partnerships with other companies both inside and outside of the music industry. The Sixth House’s partnership with peermusic has been particularly rewarding for both parties. A common theme was the need to exchange services and develop diverse partnerships. Each situation is unique in today’s marketplace. Cookman: “There is no right or wrong answer. If it works for you, it works for you.”

    Panelists agreed on the need to control master recordings to simplify the process of clearing masters and publishing rights in one shot. Tomas Cookman described his strong relationships with music supervisors as being build on his ability to clear tracks for synch within a few hours.

    Technology has created easy access to a global marketplace which raises the bar for music quality...the best music wins. Kike Santander passionately described how his commitment to music drove the decision to start a label at a time when others a running in the other direction.

    Except for younger fans who follow edgier, alternative artists, the general Latin market has not been as quick to accept digital downloads. However, this market skews much higher on the use of mobile devices according to Richard Bull.

    When asked how to encourage fans to engage in the digital download market, Nir Seroussi stated that the concept of music ownership is going away. Fans want music anytime, anywhere, and labels must think of themselves as service businesses. The future lies in building strong artist brands and alliances with a broad range of business partners.

    Global Music Registry Meets Consumer Consumption Model

    A thought provoking post from the Rethink Music blog. The barriers to creating a global music licensing registry are substantial in and of themselves. As consumer behavior shifts away from ownership to an "anytime, anywhere" access model, accurate, streamlined licensing will be key to a great music experience for the public as well as solid monetization for creators.

    What do you think?
    Rethink Music

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    When It Can't Be Done, Do It...

    "A new idea can be either unfamiliar, silly, or both. It can't be judged by description. It needs to be done (made) to exist. It is unlikely that anyone will sanction the cost of something they don't understand. Therefore, you have no choice but to do it yourself. At whatever cost."

    "Being right is based upon knowledge and experience and is often provable. Knowledge comes from the past, so it's safe. It is also out of date. It's the opposite of originality. Experience is built from solutions to old situations and problems. The old situations are probably different from the present ones., so that old solutions will have to be bent to fit new problems (and possibly fit badly). Also, the likelihood is that, if you've got the experience, you'll probably use it. This is lazy. Experience is the opposite of being creative"

    - from Paul Arden's book, It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be