Myspace Is A Ghost Town

Posted on October 1, 2010

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It’s kind of funny, a program that was written poorly became a sensation, but since time, hacks and misuse have turned it into a mish-mosh of useless information being blasted at your face, the place is essentially a shithole. However, it didn’t used to be this way.

When I was booking bands into some of the clubs in Greenwich Village, NY in the early days of this century, one of the first things a booking agent would ask me on the phone was – “What’s their Myspace page?” Boy has that changed.

When you go to a band’s Myspace page now, it takes minutes, not seconds to load – really – MINUTES! Waiting for that pain in the ass picture that takes up the top of the screen, wondering if the music is going to ever become stream-able and that ghastly background image … ugh. Of course, none of it works on an iPhone, that’s sure fire death these days too – but even this will pass. All this stress has made Myspace a Ghost Town. Go there, check on some of the pages you used to go to when you used to frequent that place – many of them haven’t been updated since 2008.

My entire point here revolves around the must haves for promoting your music to people using your online resources. Have a webpage that is designed to load quickly and grab the viewer’s eye. Here are some facts:

We’re looking at almost a trillion available pages on Google now. Chances are, no one is going to find your page by accident. You’ve got to use other resources to get them there, and that is another article or two that I may have already offered you. But when they are there, what keeps them?

Readers scan a page from the top left to the bottom right. Fact, the eyes drift from top left, across the middle and down to the bottom left before arriving back at the top right and making the same motion downward to the bottom right. The key areas to grab attention are, the top left and bottom right. Door in – door out.

As your page is loading … you’ve got 8 seconds or so to grab them. Uh, yeah – 8 seconds. People surf, and click away fast – who doesn’t love tapping that little mouse button. People are looking for the thing that’s going to keep them interested and you’ve really got 8 seconds to give it to them.

So how do I do this, you may ask? Start with a strong overall visual. Make the entire landing page of your website uniform. Don’t confuse the viewer with a random number of boxes, links and misguided direction to click on. Look at other successful pages and take note of what is a familiarity to the viewer. Recognize the navigational structure, where and how text is located and the location and size of logo images. These are things people expect to find, and due to pages in the past like Myspace, they know to look for a band image or logo and links to music – so give it to them. Nicely.

Again, the overall image should be uniform and representative of the band. No furry animals and clouds for the Christian Death Metal band, and avoid the bloodstains on your classical viola page. Meet some general expectations.

The Internet will, now more than ever, load slowly for people. Really big graphics will halt the availability for people to hear your songs. Butt-ugly pages can cause the click through too. But now, more than ever, you need conformity and appealing taste, in more than just your visual, it needs to be in your text too.

I’ve agreed to sit through the loading and I even clicked a song to stream, and it worked flawlessly. What do I have to see while I hear it? Blatant boasting about how you are different than every other band that sounds just like you? Show me some press info that states it for you. You claim that your music belongs on mainstream radio? Show me the stations that have spun it and while I listen, I’ll decide if it belongs on my mainstream radio – or my iPod. Now that I have my attention on your obvious talents and songs, I’ll be sure to check out your photos.

Remember, this shouldn’t be a personal page. You’re selling the band, so the drunk photos of you and those girls in Barbados …. not on this page. Your bulldog, rusty Camaro pictures or shots of your tailgate party? They don’t make me want to know your band. Maintain a level of professionalism and keep the crowd coming! If fans like what they get served, they’ll come to join your personal Facebook page and enjoy the pictures of your Jet-Ski vacation when they get there.

Keep the Ghost Town beyond the borders of the town you want to live in on the Internet. Make your pages clean, and they’ll stay active. It will help your performances from looking like a ghost town too. (Insert tumbleweeds and sounds of crickets chirping here).

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