<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12585839\x26blogName\x3dthe+old+SHLOG+(moved+to+shaungroves.c...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://readshlog.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://readshlog.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-6606949357892583233', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

9/02/2006

MYTRUTH, YOUR OPINION

My former label set up my myspace page. They grew it to a whopping 2,000 "friends" over more than a year without doing anything but hitting the "accept" button every time I got a "friend" request. An intern did that for them. Her name was Robyn. She also updated my touring schedule on that myspace page and sent along any messages that my "friends" sent to my myspace inbox.

It was Robyn. All Robyn. Not me.

Shocked? I felt like I needed to confess that.

Ready for some more? Might shock you so sit down before reading on.

In the last two months I've doubled the number of "friends" I have by being proactive. I bought a program that adds "friends" for me. I just tell it who I want - women age 30-37 or singles looking for relationships living within 30 miles of Dublin or bands who list Def Leopard as musical influences or guys over fifty with the words "Star Trek" in their profiles. And BAM those people get a friend request from me.

Cool with that? Well, it gets worse.

I also steal friends from other artists. I can put in David Crowder's myspace user ID number, for instance, and hit send and every one of his "friends" are instantly asked to be my friend too. (Well, 500 a day can be asked...myspace has some decency and limits automated friend requests.)

Alright, and ready for this? I can comment on anyone's myspace page without ever seeing their page - without even knowing who the heck they are. I can, again, search for specific kinds of people with specific interests living in specific places and essentially spam them by commenting on their myspace page with this program. Hundreds at a time.

So, I add about fifty friends every day - justifying my behavior with such moderation - using a program that does not treat my fellow myspace users as "friends" but as customers. My question to you: Is this wrong?

It's effective. No question about it. I've asked every myspace user within 50 miles of the live recording venue in Knoxville (with certain characteristics) to be my friend. And I've sent all those friends a comment and a message asking them to come see the show. Over 100 people have e-mailed me back saying they'll be there. Tomorrow I'll let them all know how they can get tickets for $5 in advance. And I'll sell some tickets.

Why not do this with every show?

That's the plan. I'm hiring a guy in October to do nothing but engage in on-line shenanigans like this for me. How ethical is it though? How's it make you, a fan, a myspace user, a "friend" feel? And should that stop me and labels desperate for exposure from doing it?

Does anyone REALLY think myspace is for anything but hooking up and/or selling each other stuff? Really?

34 Comments:

Blogger Jesse said...

I guess I'm not totally suprised, espcially since big labels artists obviously have others running their myspace pages.

I don't think what you're doing is wrong, it's just using a tool to help further the business of music. However, I do tend to pay closer attention to myspace artists who personally comment on other people's pages. However, with 500 hundred new adds a day, I could see how it's impossible to personalize anything!

Speaking of myspace ; www.myspace.com/jessevdmmusic

9/03/2006  
Blogger Brody Harper said...

shenanigans are cool. myspace has always been a marketing tool - for hook-ups, bands, businesses, ect... carry on

9/03/2006  
Blogger Kat said...

I don't think you want to know what I think...

If you're a morbidly curious and you do want to know, just go to my blog and do a search for "Leigh Nash."

9/03/2006  
Anonymous Moo said...

Actually. I've got a profile on myspace and was recently asked to be a friend of yours. I automatically assumed it was from some sort of program and not actually Shaun Groves that wanted to be my friend... and probably because I had "Shaun Groves" as the first thing listed under music I liked.

I've always kinda rolled my eyes at myspace, it surprises me how much people are obsessed with that site. I keep a profile on there that I never update, just so people from my past can find me - and they have, and I've enjoyed that - but when people started bothering me with "why aren't I in your top 8???" I searched for bands specifically so I could fill my top 8 with bands so none of my friends were "slighted". So, I was more than happy to add Shaun Groves to my top 8, and appreciated the friend request.

I occasionally read SHLOG, but I not religiously so I might not even know if there was a concert near me, and I WOULD want to know, as I love your music, so I'd LIKE getting "spammed" by you at myspace, so I could come to the show.

So, to sum it up: I already assumed it was some program and not only do I not care, I like it. You can't take myspace (or any website, really) too seriously.

9/03/2006  
Blogger ben stewart said...

As an artist, myspace is a place for you to promote yourself. The use of the word "friend" by the creators (and sellers) of myspace is unfortunate, but somehow seems quite "American". Myspace music was created for three purposes:

1) To allow musicians to promote themselves and their shows.

2) To allow consumers to discover new bands that they like and keep up with other bands that they are already familiar with.

3) To make myspace money.

You are merely using myspace for what it was designed to do.

If you had a personal myspace account (aside from your music account) then I would hope that you would use it differently (as many of my friends who have both types of accounts do). Otherwise, promote on!!

9/03/2006  
Anonymous keith said...

I guess if I had a myspace page and actually used it to communicate with people, I would be a little annoyed by people who say they want to be my friend but dont really want to be my friend. I guess that's why I've always looked at myspace and thought, "I just don't get it." For what it claims to be on the surface, it seems so useless. I guess it's guys like you who make it not what it seems to be on the surface. Shame on you.

9/03/2006  
Blogger Brody Harper said...

I think the whole "friend" thing has always been on the surface. wouldn't a "friend" email you? it's total marketing and shaun is using it the way that it was meant to be used.

what is the point of having it for personal use? if you aren't promoting (marketing) a product, what is it there for? if you are "marketing" yourself, wouldn't the shallowness of multiple "friends" be the point?

if people grasped the concept that mySpace is a glorified high school (aside from marketing) there would be less tension about the entire thing.

9/03/2006  
Blogger Kathryn said...

i'm not on myspace. . don't think i want to be. I'm not that easily reeled in when it comes to what concert i choose to attend or what products i buy. I have enough friends. I don't think i fit the demo.

9/03/2006  
Anonymous keith said...

I think my tongue-in-cheekiness didn't come through clearly in the last comment. It really doesn't bother me what Shaun is doing. I would probably do the same thing. I do think that on the (very thin) surface myspace tries to look like a place for friends to hang out, which is where it probably started, but we capitalists have found a way to exploit it for better or for worse.

9/03/2006  
Blogger Jessica R. Goodwin said...

I never really thought about it at all, to be honest. I'm surprised an artist even stopped to ask his fans... =)

9/03/2006  
Anonymous euphrony said...

I do not use MySpace, for a variety of reasons. One of these is that my work web filters block MySpace access totally, not as a timesuck but because of its pervasive sexual content in both sites and ads. If they find that many problems with it, then maybe I should avoid it, too.

As to the uses to which you, Shaun, are employing MySpace - well, I've always been uncomfortable with the dichotomous nature of the site. On one hand, you have the obviously commercial side with both indie and big label artists promoting themselves/their music. On the other hand is the interpersonal relationships that it fosters. An artist sending out info on upcoming concerts is not a personal relationship, and yet both are done under the auspices of "friends" contacting one another.

As long as you are open and honest about what you are doing, and not being deceptive in how you approach other people, then go ahead. For an amusing anecdote on the dangers of the mass-mailed "friend" messages on MySpace, read the recent post by The Cachinnator

9/03/2006  
Anonymous Tostada said...

Shaun, thats why myspace was created in the first place... a place for musicians to promote themselves and their music to other people. So you're using the system for it's original intent. Works for me.

- Vic

9/03/2006  
Blogger Kat said...

Mmmmm....good points Euphrony. I particularly liked your use of the phrase "dichotomous nature." Seriously, that's a good point that Myspace has two distinct groups of users with no distinct line between them and only one set of terminology for both. That certainly presents a challenge to those who want to utilize the commercial aspects of the site. I may have to alter my opinion....

9/04/2006  
Blogger Katie Hart said...

You mean you didn't add me personally? *shocked face*

I guess I'm the exception to the myspace norm. I primarily use it to keep in touch with existing friends, not make new ones. I like the fact that my friends list is under 100.

Not to say I don't use it for networking, too. I'm a writer, so I've added many authors I know and others whose books I love. I've also accepted some adds from authors I don't know. Maybe I'm less aggresive with this aspect of myspace because I don't have a "product" to sell at the moment.

I only have 12 music artists as friends - my music tastes aren't that narrow, but I prefer a more managable friends list. Not that I wouldn't jump at the chance if an artist asks to be my friend. I mean, how can you refuse Shaun Groves?

9/04/2006  
Anonymous andrew said...

Hey Shaun - just read your latest blog. To me, it's perfectly justifiable. Of course you use it to get the word out. If you were trying to just catch up with people from high school, it would be weird, but you're not. You're supporting your family by playing music and to do that people need to know about it. You're not born into MySpace, you choose to be a part of it, and it's obvious most of it is advertisement. You're just not on a banner ad.

The real question is: where do I get that program??

9/04/2006  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Ok, so I just followed a couple threads, mainly Kat's, to see what others thought of this kind of stuff. I have to say, the duality of the MySpace system is a big barrier, but at the same time, does using an automated "friend finder" mean your entire existence on that site is unauthentic?

If I used a program like that, and I'm weighing the pros and cons right now, it would be to bring people over to my site. My site, though, is run entirely by me. I blog just about daily, have pictures of my family as well as my studio and my concerts, and I try to answer what "email" I get there.

To me, using a program to get people to my site is sort of the same thing as having friends link to me on their sites. Some people might click it, some people won't. And I do both types of things on that site. I leave HTML comments that offer a free song on my personal website, and I just caught up with a friend from high school I hadn't seen for years. She's married to a dentist now.

I also don't think that people assume musicians (or movies or magazines) actually run the sites themselves. To see that any part of it is actually by the artist is probably a good thing. Or maybe I just want it to be.

I guess I have no huge point, just that, like MySpace itself, or TV or cars or whatever, the program is not the beast, it's what you do with it that's really important.

9/04/2006  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

If you're asking if you should keep your myspace because you're feeling guilty about adding folks you don't know to gain a profit I say keep it. Your myspace isn't a personal thing Shaun. I add practically anyone who I might think is okay. Most of the time I steal friends from other friends. If you're asking if we feel "used" as your "friends" on myspace then I'm gonna tell you...maybe, every once in a while. I do admit I knew about Robyn handling your myspace page and I admit at first I felt like you had too much on your plate right then and you were trying to worm your way out of messing with myspace due to your overload of stuff going on. I suggest that you don't even have a myspace if your not going to do anything with it. It's like me having a blog and never updating it it's retarded to do that. Shouldn't even do that in the first place. True it's fun to play with for a little while but then it just becomes another little thing on our list to do while we're on the internet. Try facebook instead.

9/04/2006  
Anonymous Curtis Summers said...

Andrew said:
To me, using a program to get people to my site is sort of the same thing as having friends link to me on their sites. Some people might click it, some people won't.


To me, automated friend adding is a lot closer to spamming than it is to having someone link to you. There is an existing relationship and a level of trust when I follow a link from one of your friend's websites to yours. This is not the case with friend "spamming".

Also be aware that a great many of the automated friend requests out there are from porn sites masquerading as cute girl/hoochie mama profiles. Do you want to be associated with that?

DISCLAIMER: I'm terribly biased against MySpace for several reasons. The automated friend adding is just icing on the I-hate-MySpace cake.

9/04/2006  
Blogger Matthew Smith said...

I know a guy whose MySpace account got cancelled for using an automated program, so I've been deathly afraid to use a program like that myself. Have you heard what MySpace has been doing about that sort of thing lately?

9/04/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have a myspace, nor do I plan on getting one in the near future. But if I did....I would do it more to keep track of bands and artists that I like than to keep up with friends or whatever else others use it for. So, if I were to have a myspace, I'd appreciate your shennanigans. :)

9/04/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

Just wait till they start letting you SELL your music from Myspace. Talk about spamming.

Matthew, I heard that as well. Actually I was suprised to hear Shaun was getting away with it. Maybe under the new ownership you can do it.

9/04/2006  
Anonymous Curtis Summers said...

I hadn't heard about MySpace banning folks for automated programs. That got me to wondering, and...

MySpace Terms & Conditions

From the second list of items in section 8. Content/Activity Prohibited:

4. any automated use of the system, such as using scripts to add friends or send comments or messages;

9/04/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its a great idea, it makes the consumer feel like a friend - which I hope is what we are! - you should exploit Bebo too, its kind of a tidier version of MySpace - with a section for bands

9/04/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's fake and hollow. Like those corrogated plastic signs stuck on the side of the road in the middle of the night by homebuilders. Myspace, hi5, they are the same. Somehow you always end up getting spammed by someone selling porn.

9/04/2006  
Blogger The Cachinnator said...

I must say, I'm not nuts about it. I know that interns handle most label musician's sites. But that's what makes indie artists and others who do handle their own stuff so much cooler. And I know how much you do interact with your audience. So I would hope that if you sent me a friend request, it would be coming from you. I don't mean to be critical when I say, I wouldn't expect Chris Martin to personally send me a friend request, but I would expect it from you. That's why you won't find Coldplay among my friends. I'm marketed to enough in life. I don't want it on forums in which I keep in touch with friends. It's sort of like having to listen to a commercial before my phone will connect me with the friend I'm calling.

9/05/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

It IS me sending the request. I'm just doing it using an application that lets me invite multiple "friends" at once. It's e-mail or message board or conference call versus me calling only you on my home phone.

But I need to read over those rules curtis posted. Didn't know I was potentially breaking them.. Oops.

SG

9/05/2006  
Blogger The Contessa said...

Brody Harper wrote:
"if people grasped the concept that mySpace is a glorified high school (aside from marketing) there would be less tension about the entire thing."

I guess that's why I don't use MySpace. My take on it has always been that it was created for teens and twenty-somethings. I guess it's primarily MySpace's twisted use (abuse?) of the word "friend" that bothers me. It makes it seem like a big popularity contest--"How many 'friends' do YOU have?"--which is a big turnoff to me, so I choose not to use it. However, as a marketing tool for musicians and bands, it seems that it can be quite useful. So why the heck not use it?!

On another note, I'm now guessing that it was some web-crawling program that found the mention of you on my blog and that it's likely that you never actually saw my blog, which I have to admit is mildy disappointing, but hasn't in away way marred my opinion of you. (Whew! How's that for a run-on sentence?!) Thanks for the comment, nonetheless.

9/05/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Actually, here's what likely happened, The Contessa. I probably searched for myspace profiles with my name in them (if that's the case for your profile) and sent all those folks (what..all three?) a friend request.

Then some of those folks (like...I don't know, two) accepted. So then I had to accept or decline their friendship. When those requests come to me I generally look at the person's profile before accepting them. SO, I probably DID see your profile. I probably DID NOT spend a whole lotta time there unless you were a vampire, a midget wrestler or some other oddity I've never seen before. A Contessa, as unusual as that is, probably didn't hold my attention for more than a couple minutes. But, hey, I read fast. A couple of minutes is quality time on the internet isn't it?

Feel less disappointed? Sorry for disappointing. And glad you're here in spite of it.

-Shaun

9/05/2006  
Blogger The Cachinnator said...

No, I know it is you sending the requests and answering the email and everything. That's my favorite thing about this forum. I know you're interacting with us. And like I said... maybe on Kat's blog... I don't have a specific concrete objection; it just doesn't feel right. I know the friend requests are coming from you, but it's the same feeling you get when a good friend sends you a mass email. It's personal... but it's not. And I know you can't take the time to do all the invites and everything one by one as a replacement for mass-marketing avenues. I just think this kind of blurrs the lines between mass marketing, viral marketing, and one-to-one marketing. I know how I feel about each, but I just don't feel right about this one.

It's not like me to be so inarticulate about something to which I have any kind of objection. Sorry. I can't figure it out either.

9/05/2006  
Anonymous euphrony said...

cach, I would echo your thoughts; the reason I started lurking and then participating at Shlog was because Shaun was involved - not some intern thumbing through his journal and posting random excerpts.

And I'm sure you meant Kat's Blog here.

9/06/2006  
Anonymous Randy said...

The idea initially makes me sick to be honest. But your the one making a living playing music(which to many is a dream life). Basically it still comes down to your music. If its quality then people can look over the fact you do that. I guess the real problem is that people initially used the friend thing for real friends. There should be different levels of contacts. Its def a great marketing tool so more power to ya but man myspace is dumb.

9/06/2006  
Blogger robyn elise said...

so i finally get internet back and check to see what i missed on shlog...and see my name right there in front of me.

and for the record, not only did i press "accept" for those who didn't have any nudity anywhere in their profile (yes, i went to all of their profiles first), i also searched for people who had certain bands in their "bands i like" section and sent them messages that were like "hey. i see you like so-and-so and think you'd really like shaun's music. please take some time to check it out - we'd love to have you as a friend" and i think i then sent a friend request to those people in addition to the message. not sure. it was a year ago. but yeah...without artists myspace sites, some of my days would have been a bit boring.

9/06/2006  
Blogger Rons Ice Cream Shop said...

As a "robyn" for two bands, I understand where you are coming from. MySpace is such a great tool because it makes the fans feel connected to the artist.

MySpace these days controls the music business. A friend of mine had a meeting with Maverick Records, while they loved him and his music, told him they were going to wait on him because he didnt have enough MySpace hits, plays and friends. Then it was announced on Tuesday that MySpace is going to start letting any band sell their music on their myspace page. All they ask (demand) is 45 cents for every downloaded song and you can charge whatever you want. Do you think this is going to work? I really dont know.

On a side note. One of the bands that I help out is really good at responding to their fans messages and sometimes comments (all I really do is add friends, with the occasional message response if it is a basic question) but is struggling with concert attendance got a program to add friends from a region but it only works when it wants to, so i was wondeirng if you wouldnt mind emailing me about the program so i could pass it off to them. If you could do that, that would be AMAZING!

Thanks Shaun!
Danielle
magaardd@pop.belmont.edu

9/07/2006  
Blogger The Contessa said...

Shaun Groves wrote:
"Actually, here's what likely happened, The Contessa. I probably searched for myspace profiles with my name in them (if that's the case for your profile) and sent all those folks (what..all three?) a friend request."

OK, that makes sense, except for two little details:
1) I don't have a myspace profile, myspace page, or anything having to do with myspace.
2) You commented on my blogspot.com blog and I don't have you listed in my profile there either.

Anyway, it really doesn't matter, but I wanted to clarify, nonetheless. I must say, though, I'm beginning to wonder if I _should_ have a myspace page for the band I manage. Looks like it might be a good idea after all.

9/07/2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home