The joy of content in unexpected places

There are many good reasons to make sure that your web presence follows the advertising maxim “if you’re not everywhere, you’re nowhere.” For one thing, it makes it very hard for people to miss you, but increasingly it also means that as web sites become more and more interconnected, your profile will rise still higher.

The latest example of interconnectedness comes as last.fm announce they’re going to be hooking in youtube videos alongside their own video service. So all those musicians who have videos over at youtube will now have them represented at last.fm too, making their profiles all the richer and more compelling.

As Jonatha Brooke has commented on her discussion boards (via Steve) there are good reasons for performers to be wary of their fans bootlegging their performances as it changes the nature of the performance when you know there will be a permanent record. But it’s something independent musicians would do well to work out a strategy for, whether that’s the traditional “just the first three songs” directive usually given to photographers, or something new. Getting your content out there is highly likely to bring returns you haven’t anticipated, and a fanbase or supporter base can make that process much easier.

And it doesn’t just apply for musicians. All organisations—but particularly those such as publishers, event organisers, or non-profits rooted in strong social contracts—would do well to work out how they can free up their content so their supporter base can take it and spread it. There’s a loss of control and you never know quite where it’ll end up, but you can either be proactive about it and retain some modicum of involvement with the process thanks to your fans’ respect for you, or just let it happen without you and lose control entirely.

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