Monday, February 28, 2011

The Complex World of Technology

We've all experienced it.  The cell phone that suddenly just shuts down, the computer that won't boot, the program that just died in the middle of an important task.  As we come up with more and more devices and more and more computer applications we may solve lots of problems or amaze ourselves but we also become more and more dependent on the ever increasing world of technology.  

Recently Steve Woznaik (the real inventor of the Apple computer) lamented that even he gets frustrated and concerned about the ever increasing role of computer driven technology in our lives.  His big concern - it all fails sooner or later.   Read more about his concerns here.

And if you want a few laughs (as if you needed any more from Steve after Dancing with the Stars) check out his recent cameo on Big Bang Theory.  

All hail to the Woz!

Grammys and Rock Music/Radio

There were a number of surprises in the Grammys from Arcade Fire winning LP of the year to Esperanza Spalding winning the best new artist, but the one resounding fact was the decline of Hard Rock and Active Rock music.   While the nominations and the results are not really a popular opinion poll in the Grammys (artists, producers and record company execs vote) there is a real message here and its not good for new rock music.

The musical spotlight from a sales, critics and Grammys reflection of this is clearly on 4 generes of music:

  • Pop/CHR - And even here the lean is rhythmic. 
  • Pop/Rap- When you have the Top Rap Artist (Eminem wins) placed in the prime time spot just before the top song and the top LP of the year you can see how important this genre has become.  
  • Pop/Country - You can argue that Lady Antebellum is a pretty pop act - it was still in the Country arena.
  • Indie Alt - Arcade Fire, Muse, and Mumford and Sons stole the show. 
Really the only 'traditional' rock moments came from Jagger singing a tribute to a Motown era artist and Bob Dylan with Mumford and Sons pretty much taking over his performance of Maggies Farm.  

Another 'blow' to guitar driven rock came this week from Guitar Hero where Activision announces that they are dropping the game.   The new hot game is Dance Central - a clearly pop and dance with the Kinect motion sensor. 

The message here is clear that Active Rock and traditional rock music in general is not even close to center stage.  If you look at the sales, downloads and other sources we can track the message isn't much different.  The library is still healthy, but the current Rock music scene is rather dark.   

The promised land for rock may lie in the Indie Rock world - not the Stadium Rock power cord world we often hear on today's rock stations.   

Facebook Fan Page Summary Thoughts

The last 'idea' for Facebook Fan pages is Contesting.  There are lots of options here.
  • Prizes for becoming a Fan - Got a bunch of tickets to a show that you are not going to use on the air?  Hand them out to new Facebook Fans.  Got a bunch of discount coupons for lunches etc - hand them out to new fans.  Get Fans whenever you can.   
  • Photo Contests - Even without prizes this can work well.  Having them post the 'snow photo of the day' or pics of them dressed for Halloween or maybe Mardi Gras.  
  • Get into Facebook Games - This can be tricky, but take a look.  Games like Music Challenge might work for some formats like AC or Oldies.   Too bad they don't have this game set up for Alternative, Country, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, 80s etc.    
  • Do face offs - Have 2 new songs to debut - link to the videos and the most 'likes' wins.  
  • Tips for on-air contests - How about taking a High Low style contest and giving tips on the amounts on the fan page?  Ideas like this could help build fans.   
Summary Thoughts:  We covered a number of tips and steps to making your Facebook Fan Page a hit - here is a quick summary:   

  • Basics: Make sure to have a plan with your staff about using the Fan pages, Promote it on the air consistently, keep a log of your postings and promotions to track growth, make sure your name and logo are easy to remember for the audience.    
  • Build Fans: Use links, special fan greeting pages, on air promotion and get your fans to spread the news to their friends.  
  • Stay Active: Post at least a couple of times a day.  You can overdo it here, but it's more likely that we will not keep as active as we could.  Posting 1-3 times a daypart is about right.  Also make sure that you have a 'big post' of the day that sort of cuts through all dayparts. 
Radio brand have a long ways to go in building friends.  Lots of stations have barely scratched the surface of their real cumes here.   Just make sure you have a good plan, some creative/fun tactics and the strength to execute it everyday.