You have an awful MP3 blog, part 1 of 2: How to embarrass yourself via social bookmarking.
The least important, and therefore most concentrated upon, part of setting up a new music website is working out what your spiel is supposed to be. Any of you that have ever sat slackjawed in a waiting room after your boss’s boss has just revealed the company’s new mission statement will understand the weird combination of inanity, self-aggrandisement, and barefaced lies that go into this. The rest of you can just remember what you wrote on your last online dating profile.
Anyway, so you write what you are about, and then you get the message out. One way of doing this is to hit up Wikipedia and add your own personalised content to your own personalised page, which is why for nearly a year Jimbo Wales whole-heartedly endorsed Tiny Mix Tapes (no, me neither)’s claim that they “avoided the pitfalls of contemporary indie journalism by not being overly pretentious”, whilst sounding, ironically, massively pretentious.
So it’s a problem. You wanna look the big man, but you also want people to understand what makes you special. I can’t cope with that, which is why the “about” section of this blog is destined to remain as ignored as the rest of the site. But some people, word to DJ Khaled, are out there grinding.
Take the “Tough Customer” blog. It’s shit, no doubt about it, the kind of writing you should have gotten out of your system by age 21, alternately twee and dickish and not in the good Los Campesinos way. Somewhere they’re teaching kids that using language like “That obscure Spanish language Diplo remix of the first ever Kanye/Deerhunter 7″ that’s coming out next month? Yeah, we’ve already heard it, like, a million times” is a good idea, despite the fact it sounds more like one of those “I am old, here are my old guy opinions” columns you get in the papers sometimes. You know, all those “When I was a kid, we weren’t happy-slapping on our Facebook iPods with Bacardi Breezers”, that shit.
Meet “DJ Max Power”. Seriously, “DJ Max Power”. He’s a busy little individual, as we can check out from his Hype Machine profile, two complete pages of “loved tracks”, despite the fact according to his listening history he’s never listened to any of them. And each and every track is from exactly the same blog: Tough Customer.
Maybe he’s just a big fan? Well… here’s his Stumbleupon profile. And here’s what he has to say about Tough Customer:
This is a cool music discovery site/MP3 blog. The site is updated regularly and features capsule reviews of artists along with a sample of their music.
The writing is clever, the interface is easy to use, and the music is awesome.
Here’s some of that “clever” writing again, just for you:
Conventional radio is in a weird place these days. With the exception of some college stations at the low end of the dial and maybe NPR, almost everything you can pick up on your car stereo is a commercial station owned by Clear Channel, Infinity, etc. Those guys have openly admitted that they’re in the business of selling advertising, not bringing new and exciting music to the people. It’s no surprise then, that they play only the most obvious Top 40 drivel. Everybody’s busy talking on their phone, or listening to their iPod, or not giving a shit, so what difference does it make anyway?
This is only going to get worse over the coming months. After big media opened Pandora’s box by convincing itself that blogging was a productive way to spend its time, their next trick is going to be hitting up social bookmarking hard. Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter, their fucking Facebook status update… this stuff is going to be spammed to death as journalists fail to realise that they are not their job, and actual proper “qualified” hacks are going to start to more resemble that guy on the message board who mentions his blog in every post. Good work all involved.