Los Angeles Social Club

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This week – I am in Los Angeles. I’ll tell you – it’s a different world out here. For an east coast boy like myself, it was a hard transition to let go and relax. New York is rush rush rush, LA is about taking it slow. Been talking with some people about social networking sites and their influence on the entertainment and music industries.

Social networking technology presents a double edged sword. Since there are little barriers to the creation of new social networking sites – we have both the best and worst ideas presented to us as users, and ultimately we are given the decision as to what applications become part of our everyday lives – and what fades into the dreaded internet obscurity,

While on the left coast, I learned of an interesting approach to social networking in regards to music. Through a network of musicians and fans this site allows the average user to profit off their taste in music. Indie911.com is a site like no other. The process is simple – yet brilliant. The platform for this innovative dissemination is the Hooka media player. The hooka player is a media web application that plays music (mp3) and video objects (flv). Each user, fan or artist, has a personal hooka player. The player also has direct links to purchase songs off the Indie911 site. The artist hooka has the tracks submitted by the artist with a pre-determined percentage agreement regarding the sale of each song. Thus, if a user buys a song directly off an artists site – the artist in entitled to a share – as is indie911. Sounds normal so far, but here’s the brilliant part: the user’s hooka player is comprised of whatever songs they choose from the catalogue of songs posted by the artists – if any of those songs sell directly from that user’s hooka player – indie 911 takes a cut, the artist takes a cut, and the fan takes a cut. Indie911 is taking the fan experience to the new level actually giving listeners the opportunity to profit from their favorite Indie bands.

This interactive opportunity is indicative of the trends sweeping the internet social-scene. The more involved a user can get the better. Whenever I consult clients on their online presence and media strategy I always mention that whatever media is presented online should serve as an interactive portal to the individual experience. I suggest that users and fans and any other potential viewer is ultimately looking to have an experience that exemplifies the brand in which they are interested. Being able to capture the essence, whether through design, functionality, or brand awareness (almost always a combination of those plus other factors specific to client needs) – is the litmus test of a successful online experience.

While anyone can create social networking tools, it will ultimately be those that engage the user in meaningful experience that will see ubiquity in use, and a fixed place, even if only for a short time, in the cannon of the internet experience.

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Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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