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Ask You Anything? Planning Reddit AMAs

December 9, 2013 Marketing No Comments

reddit logoHow important are Reddit AMAs? Considering that Barack Obama took the time to answer some questions last year, I’d say they can be pretty influential. You don’t have to be president to host an AMA, though. Filmmakers, musicians, writers, actors, developers, entrepreneurs, and basically anyone with an interesting story to tell can host an AMA.

Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Let’s backtrack: an AMA = Ask Me Anything, a place where you allow users to essentially interview you on Reddit’s public forum.

Why do one? Reddit has an estimated 70 million monthly active users — that’s a lot of potential fans. If you’re trying to raise awareness about an upcoming or recent release, an AMA might tap into a segment of fans that aren’t consistently engaging on other social sites.

AMAs perform two important functions that aren’t always found together: they inform and engage. The description section is a space to provide a little background info, including the reason for doing the AMA. While these aren’t meant to solely promote something to purchase, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning an upcoming album and linking to an iTunes pre-order. The Q&A portion can also be informative. Many fans still won’t know about tour dates or recent releases, no matter how many emails and Facebook posts have gone out. Fans who ask questions about these things create another opportunity to publicly share information.

Reddit has a main section for bigger AMAs, but many subreddits offer their own AMA systems, too. /EDMproduction, for example, hosts AMAs solely for discussing production techniques. /Music will only have AMAs from musicians and can be a better fit for a developing artist than the main AMA section. Each subreddit has its own set of rules for scheduling, promoting and running an AMA. Always check the subreddit page for an FAQ and when in doubt, message a moderator for more info before using poor “Reddiquette.”

To setup a main AMA and get it on the Reddit schedule, simply message the moderators using this link (make sure you have an account and are logged in before clicking). This will pre-populate the info that needs to be included to get an AMA on the public schedule, including title, date/time, background and proof. All AMAs require proof both at the time of scheduling and in the description itself. Proof helps maintain that the person doing the AMA is actually who they say they are. A photo with a sign that says “Hi Reddit, it’s [NAME]” is usually the best way to get started. When placing proof in the actual description of the AMA, the photo can be reused as an imgur upload (Reddit doesn’t support link shorteners, so avoid hiding a long URL behind a bit.ly!). Another option for proof is a link to a tweet about the AMA from an official account. This will work if an AMA isn’t being added ahead of time to the official schedule.

Want to dig into some recent AMAs from Orchard artists? Check out these from RJD2, Anthony Green, and DEVO’s Gerald Casale.

My 5 Favorite Music Discovery Tools

October 19, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

The Hype Machine logo.

As a Bedroom DJ who struggles to appeal to the ever changing music tastes of my two cats and my subconscious (I haven’t been able to decide which is more picky yet…), music discovery has become a big part of my life. Instead of digging through crates of vinyl at my once beloved Cheapo, I wade through the internet to find my jams. These are the tools I use to do it:

Mixcloud

If you enjoy listening to mixes that keep the vibe going, but haven’t had the time to track down a DJ to your liking, Mixcloud has got you covered. It has tons of mixes from every imaginable genre and, as the name suggests, is really just a Soundcloud for DJs looking to share their mixes.

Hype Machine

It can be painful to hop around from one site to the next, clicking on each little play button. God forbid if you’re trying to get anything else done because you will be looking for your next tune every 5 minutes: this is where Hype Machine shines. Hype Machine aggregates 867 of your favorite music blogs into a slick interface that lets you play all of those once scattered tracks effortlessly. It also has a few neat features like ‘Spy’ which lets you see what others are listening to and ‘Popular’ which serves up the most popular artists, searches and blogs on the net.

Google Reader

Occasionally I come across a blog I want to follow that isn’t on Hype Machine. For these poor souls, I use my trusty RSS reader. While it doesn’t have the best playback functionality, it is a step up from surfing each blog individually. It has also saved me from creating a tumblr account, since I can just plug those blogs into my reader as well.

8tracks

Boy do I miss those days of yesteryear when I would woe my dearest ladyfriend with a sweet serenading mix tape. With 8Tracks I can listen to other people’s “mix tapes” and pretend that they were originally intended for me (yay!).

Reddit Playlister

This one is a bit more involved if you have never used Reddit before. For you first timers, Reddit is an information discovery platform that allows users to submit content under a specific ‘sub-reddit’ (theme) like ‘Politics’ or ‘Technology’. The content is then voted on by peers of that sub-reddit, and, if all goes as intended, the cream rises to the top. This works particularly well with music as most popular genres have a sub-reddit dedicated to them. Using this handy little tool you can drop in a slew of music sub-reddits and listen to all of the content contained within them.

And there you have it. Those are the trusty tools strapped to my DJ utility belt of pure audio bliss. However, there are a million other discovery tools out there, so which ones do YOU use when looking for something new to add to your library?

But What If There Is No Cloud?

April 21, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Countless internet businesses, including Foursquare, Quora, Hootsuite, Reddit and Myxer found out today what happens when there is no cloud.

Part of the reason why the internet start up culture is so rich and thriving is due to the low cost to launch and deploy web services on-demand, without owning or renting massive data centers and expensive monthly bandwidth you may or may not use.  You can pay for this storage and bandwidth and processing power “on-demand” which dramatically drives down the cost of operating your web business, or artist website.

The downside of this is when the service you rely on to run your business also goes down.  Amazon’s EC2 service experienced hardware failure today, and is causing havoc across the web.  Here are a few articles describing the outage and the heavy reliance on Amazon’s cloud: Tech Crunch, USA Today, and you can check the status of service on Amazon’s status page.

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