Companies Come and Go

As I’ve been thinking about leaving Patreon, an email from Derek Sivers popped into my inbox and alleviated all doubts if I was doing the right thing (emphasis below is mine):

“Don’t be dependent on any company. They come and go.

Think long-term. You’re going to be creating stuff, making fans, and building relationships for the rest of your life — much longer than these companies will last.

It’s so important and easy to have your own website. Instead of sending your fans to some company’s site, send them to yours. Get everyone’s direct contact information, so you don’t have to go through any one company to reach them.”

Sure, have your music on a few sites, but don’t let that be the ONLY place where people can find you. Have a home base.

Cut the shit that “no one visits websites anymore.” That’s because you all stopped updating your sites in 2004 and told everyone “check us out on Facebook,” which means now you can only reach 12.6% of your audience unless you enter your credit card information. How’s that working out?

Facebook Hates You

Matt Klinman of Funny Or Die had some pretty harsh words for Facebook, and for good reason.

Today, there’s no reason to go to a comedy website that has a video if that video is just right on Facebook. And that would be fine if Facebook compensated those companies for the ad revenue that was generated from those videos, but because Facebook does not pay publishers, there quickly became no money in making high-quality content for the internet.

Read his full interview over at Split Sider – it’s fucking good (and check out his Twitter).

Think about this; this is Funny or Die, not some small band trying to get 50 people to a gig. Or getting a dozen people to your local political event. Facebook throttles what your fans see, so rather that show your fans some tour dates it’ll show them a funny cat video that 324 shared in the last hour.

Your new video premiere? Buried under an avalanche of political drama and probably some post from a music blog about some guy playing a cover of a Metallica song with a kazoo.

Think your fans will see your post about crowdfunding your next EP? Nah, some celeb wore a Megadeth shirt!

Facebook will not help you. Twitter doesn’t care about you being harassed. Tumblr is owned by YAHOO. Instagram is owned by Zuckerburg and turning into trash by the minute.

I implore you: buy a domain name, build an email list, and send some goodies to your fans using the mail.

“But I’ll lose my 21,381 followers,” you may say. Chances are you’re only reaching 0.1% of those followers anyway, so revel in the 200 people on your email list. At least you can reach all of them.

The Glow

I love long, drawn-out songs for the glow.

One of my favorites is Cult of Luna’s ‘Echoes.’ It’s from the 2004 album ‘Salvation,’ and is one of four songs longer than 10 minutes on the record.

God, this sounds like a fucking “album review,” but hear me out.

This isn’t a quick and easy song to digest. You have to sit down and take it in, in much the same way you don’t just sit down with ‘The Big Lebowski’ and skip ahead to your favorite scenes.

Back to ‘Echoes.’ The “pay off” doesn’t come until the 5:30 mark. You sit there, be patient, and when it hits, oh wow, does it hit.

Now, since this isn’t an “album review,” let me explain how this fits in other parts of my life as of late.

Getting up at 7 am to meet some other people on a cold, rainy Sunday morning doesn’t sound delightful. Then running five miles with wet, muddy feet? Why do that?

After all that trouble, the wait, the grind, I get that payoff. It’s something I’ve been feeling since I started running back in 2016. It’s the tunnel vision, the focus, like a secret you have that you can’t explain to anyone.

The glow.