Getting the word out

In: Tech Reviews

18 Jan 2007

Strange Daze, a now defunct alternative band from Baton Rouge, ca. 1992Band promotion is almost always a chore, although it’s not as bad as it was ten years ago when we were all still stapling Kinko’s-created flyers on telephone poles. Still, the poor band sap that gets stuck with the promotion duties generally isn’t thilled about it.

The Internet, and in particular, email, was rightly viewed as a communications coup, and opened up new opportunities for reaching, and interacting, with larger fan bases. Regrettably, too many bands rely only on slapping a date on the website and sending out a ton of email to people that already have too many emails in their inbox, anyway. And don’t even get me started on MySpace. Baby, this is 2006 and we’re in the second generation (nearly the third) of the Internet. It’s time to catch up.

Here’s the deal. The second incarnation of the Internet (referred to as Web 2.0) is all about being social, see? It’s not that email and websites don’t have their place in promoting your band – they do – but you need to get your gigs out there for everyone to see, and that means posting them where they’re searching – at event sites.
In addition to thousands of viewers being exposed to your event, listing with the major event sites bring other advantages. These sites are all bleeding edge and have advanced features such as driving directions, RSS susbcriptions (by band, venue, or both), email to a friend, and export to calendar functions. (Google, Outlook, Yahoo!, AOL, Eventful, iCal, 30 Boxes, and Rabble are some of the calendars supported by these sites.) You can tag event listings with keywords, add photos of the venue and/or band, add links, and even make custom badges to add calendar information to your site. (A badge is a little HTML snippet you can paste into your website’s code.)

If you only register your events with one site, register with this one. Eventful.com is the grandaddy of event sharing, and is powered by EVDB, the events database. (Lots of cool Web 2.0 apps use the EVDB to display events, such as Atlas.) Another benefit of using this site is that it will automatically submit your event to Del.icio.us and Upcoming.org. It’s also supposed to submit to Technorati and Ping-O-Matic, but I have yet to have success with those two.

This site is Yahoo!’s event sharing site, and while it’s fairly robust and has a large user base, I’m deducting points because you can’t add photos. Besides, if you submitted to Eventful.com and chose to submit to other websites, it’s been added here for you already.

      Now this is an event site just for bands – well, actually, their fans, but how else will they know about your shows if you don’t tell them? Tourb.us offers a band signup, but you’ll want to check that you haven’t been added already during one of their Internet fact-finding missions. If your band hasn’t been added, it only takes an email to rectify that situation. The site is easy to use, supports RSS, iCal, photos, tags, maps, and even sends show reminders to your fans. They also provide badges to add some bling to your site.

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