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interview with SF Weekly dealing with Myspace stuff
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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interview with SF Weekly dealing with Myspace stuff  Reply with quote  

interview conducted by Darren Keast for an SF Weekly article that deals with musicians who use the internet to promote their work:



1. That guy who contacted you about MySpace views: he was trying to increase the number of plays your player displayed, and not the number of actual people who listened to them, right? So he was promising to "game the system," not increase actual traffic to your page? I wasn't quite clear.


"Yes, that's a service a lot of spam companies are offering musicians on myspace. And some people must actually pay for this service if a variety of spam companies take the time to approach artists and hold conversations. This is why spam exists in general. There has to be a community of dummies who help them exist."


2. Have you heard of other not-so-honest schemes on MySpace or other sites to make artists look bigger than they are?

"It started off with addbots, which was an exploitation of Myspace's system that seems to have been fixed up now. You could go through someone's full friend list and add them all as friends without having to sit there and click a bunch of stuff. I never used one, but that seems like a good idea if it was used responsibly (which isn't really ever going to happen.) You don't often see the request to have companies get you more 'friends' anymore. There are also the people who propose to get your myspace profile more 'views.'"


3. If the system can be deceived so easily, that would imply that artists could cheat their way to prominence. Do you think such tricks make it harder for more proven artists like yourself--in that you have CDs for sale, you tour, etc, in other words, you're not a bedroom musician--harder to stand out on MySpace?

"No, not at all. None of this has anything to do with anything actual beyond some people making easy money off of desperate/dumb/naive myspace musicians. I understand the mentality. It's like...if you're working a counter job or busking on the street and you want tips, it's smart to put some of your own money in the tip jar because it makes people more apt to tip. That works. But if I'm on someone's page and I see low activity everywhere else except in 'plays' it's quite clear that they fudged their numbers and that just makes them look lame. If you're music is good, people will play it and you'll get plays. At the end of the day, even if your music is great and you don't get many 'myspace plays'...who the hell cares?"


4. I'm defining Web 2.0 as user-generated content sites like MySpace, You Tube, and Wikipedia. You are an artist whose career began before this wave, and I'm curious how it has changed your career as a musician. Has it tangibly improved your ability to do business as an indy artist?

"I believe so. It provides me more access and interaction with an ever expanding fanbase. I can't say for sure if that helps or hurts someone like me at this point, but it is that kind of stuff that helped get my career off the ground in the first place. Personal interaction."


5. Do you see any downsides? I've talked to musicians who find that the expectations of fans have grown along with the new technology, so they want to be added instantly, or want a response to every little email, etc.

"Right. Musicians need to come to terms with the idea that a lot of people just aren't worth responding to. That doesn't mean these people have no worth, but there's no way of telling if someone is just trying to get a rise out of you. There's also no way of knowing if an anonymous person hitting you up online is honest in any way. So, if you aren't able to filter out what is or isn't worth your time then you'll find yourself trapped in a million conversations that go nowhere. Is strategy a dirty word? Probably."


6. Do you know of any musicians who don't use MySpace? I can find barely any. Is it even possible to be a professional indy musician and not use it?

"I know musicians who don't use Myspace, but I don't know of any musician who doesn't have a myspace page."

7. Have you heard of artists spamming or altering their Wikipedia entries?

"Definitely. My own wiki page is often spammed and altered by people who either want to hurt my name or, more often, want to make themselves look like they're part of my career. Because that's free advertising. There's some material on my wiki page that isn't nearly as important as some stuff that isn't there. Thankfully I got in touch with the person who moderates my page and I let him know what is what."
Post Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:46 pm
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knowrites



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 2060
 Reply with quote  

wow.
looks like you actually got an interview out of leading a spammer on...
Post Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:13 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21597
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I make those waves and then ride 'em, son. Ohhhhhh yeah.
Post Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:14 pm
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knowrites



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 2060
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Sage Francis wrote:
I make those waves and then ride 'em, son. Ohhhhhh yeah.

and for that reason alone, you are my hero.
Post Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:23 pm
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