Alienating Your Audience?

Sep 4, 2008

I’ve been listening to Peter Cincotti’s “East of Angel Town” cd a lot lately. I’m really loving the cd. But he’s gotten a bit of criticism from some of the fans of his previous work for deviating further from his jazz roots and into more ‘pop’ music.

Personally, I haven’t listened to his older albums, but I think he deserves credit for trying his own material, and just expressing himself. And even as he might alienate some of his previous audience, he’s going to gain even more new listeners because he’s exploring new territory.

It’s always risky when you try to move forward – you risk leaving some people behind. But you are also more likely to find new people – a new audience, new friends, etc. And these people would suit you better in the direction that you’re pursuing.

Do you worry about alienating your existing audience?

Educators are Entrepreneurs

Mar 6, 2008

Debbie Cavalier has a good post about why Music Educators are Entrepreneurs.

Simply stated, an entrepreneur is someone who identifies a “need” or a problem, and then figures out a solution. Of course, comprehensive goals, strategies, and execution plans must be developed and implemented in order to achieve success with any entrepreneurial endeavor, but it all begins with a “need.”

It’s a great post, but just as I commented there, I think that holds true for all educators, not just music ones.

So, to all you educators out there. What needs are you addressing? What possibilities can you explore?

Jazz, Self Expression and Social Media

Dec 4, 2007

There was a really interesting conversation on Twitter yesterday, that start with this comment by Jeremiah Owyang. It was basically about jazz and music, and how that relates to Social Media. Nate Westheimer tied the conversation together with his post Improvisation: Collaboration, Structure and Social Media. I think he makes really good points, but I want to expand a bit more on the idea of jazz and social media.

One thing about jazz and improvisation is the self expression. While there is structure, jazz is largely about self expression and creativity. And I think that also plays a part in why I love social media so much. Social media, things like blogs, podcasting, etc, make it possible for me to express my thoughts. As the name implies, it lets society, average people, create media. And I think that’s a common thread among all of us. I believe that while we all enjoy the community being built and all, we enjoy the opportunity for personal expression just as much.

But even then, we don’t do it purely out of selfish reasons. Jazz is an art form. Musicians play as much for their enjoyment as for the enjoyment and pleasure of the people listening. Same for us bloggers and podcasters, and all the social media folks. We produce media and create content in the hope that it adds value to the people listening to us.

So to sum up, I think that’s another reason that jazz and music is such a common thread between us social media folks. Because social media is about self-expression, and self-expression for the value of our audience.