I attended a talk about crowd-funding recently with a songwriter’s group. I noticed that except for the presenter and the host, I was the only one that knew what crowd-funding was. I was also the only one in the audience that raised a hand when asked if they might be using crowd-funding in the near future. I was one of the few who asked the presenter any in-depth questions about the nature of crowd-funding (I even asked some leading questions because the presenter was leaving important facts out of his presentation). What was going on here? This was a relevant and interesting topic. Why weren’t more of the attendees participating and asking questions?
As I was driving home from the event I was mulling over some of the ideas that were discussed and I kept coming back to the fact that I was really the only person in the room (besides the host and presenter) that knew about crowd-funding and that had a background of information to draw upon in order to ask pertinent questions. This bugged me. Here we have a roomful of songwriters who could benefit from the information that is being presented, yet because the topic is so far removed from their level of information and experience, they sat there with a blank stare. It’s like these people were students in a 600 level course and they needed the 101 level introduction – everyone was lost in the info-overload.
But this blog post isn’t about crowd-funding. What I realized in thinking about the issue at hand was that most artists I meet are not well informed. They may know their craft and they may know a little about their discipline’s community, but they are not well informed about what’s really going on in the world that affects their community. They are not well informed about how they, as artists, can grow beyond their little hometown and out into the larger world. If you are an artist/singer-songwriter/performer, you need to be plugged in and informed.
So what is needed to consider oneself “informed”? How much of an artists’ day is taken up with getting the news on what’s happening in the world of indie music? I say not a lot and not too much. But just like practicing, it needs to be consistent and high quality. In this part of my blog post, I’m just going to talk about the ‘what’ and not the ‘how’.
Here is how I stay informed. And please feel free to add to this in any way because no one knows it all.
- Google Reader + keywords
- Flipboard for iPad
- Music Think Tank
- Musician’s Wages
-All Songs Considered
- Electronic Musician
- Wired Magazine
I still get two print magazines in the mail: Wired and Electronic Musician, but I read them online. I think I get them in the print form so I can get them online for free or as part of the package. For the most part my info comes from the Internet and radio sources and while it looks like a lot of reading, it really isn’t. But just like practicing, being informed needs to be consistent and high quality, so choose your sources well.
Please feel free to add to this in any way because no one knows it all and the list is ever-evolving.
In Part II, I will outline how I use these sources and how easy it is to schedule it into an artist’s day and how I use these sources to keep informed.