One of the massive challenges facing the world of social networking and how it interfaces with marketing (in our case, marketing music) is the area of integration – simply put, how can information uploaded be spread across MySpace, Facebook, Last.fm etc. without us needing to add everything to all of them individually… How can the data from one site be output to be processed by another… The formats and web-standards are there for it to work in the form of RSS/XML, Microformat mark-up and feeds, but very few sites will ACCEPT information that way. Some output it – Reverb Nation generate RSS feeds of gig dates for artists, and last.fm generates ical feeds of the gigs you’ve added to your profile etc. but neither of them will accept input from an hcal formatted page…
Anyway, all of that stuff is lightyears away for the increasingly lumbering behemoth that is Facebook because they cant even get integration to work within their own f-ing site!!!
“What’s the problem?”, you ask, perfectly reasonably. Well, at the moment, there are number of tools for musicians on facebook, their ‘flagship’ idea being Pages – that is, public pages that you can create for a band, product, service, whatever. You create your band page, then folks add themselves as ‘fans’.
However, they also have an excellent app. for ordinary facebook profiles called ‘My Band’ – created by the lovelies at Reverb Nation, it puts your reverb nation player onto your facebook profile (note, not your ‘page’), and even has a separate page for each artist within facebook, and allows your friends to sign up as ‘a fan’. Can you see a huge crossover in purpose here? Of course.
“Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way of connecting the two?” Yes it would, good question, well done.
“Well, is there?” It would appear not.
And to make matters worse, there’s also no link between your Reverb Nation My Band app. fans on facebook and your fans that are actually on your Reverb Nation page.
So what needs to happen? Well, it would be great if Facebook did a proper hook up with Reverb Nation and started to allow embedding the ‘My Band’ player into the page – they could make it the heart of the page in the way that the myspace player is the thing that made that site work so well. That may well entail Facebook buying Reverb Nation – I’m not sure that the corporate side of the Facebook machine would be all that happy about that close a hook-up with a partner rather than a subsidiary – but either way, it’d make it work much better, and would definitely be a giant leap towards Facebook’s aim of finishing off MySpace… It would then mean that there would be proper integration between the embedded Reverb Nation widgets that litter all kinds of pages, and the Reverb Nation Facebook plug-in for fans.
For now though, here are the resources you need to get started, and have the stuff in place when it all starts. These are also the links to follow if you want to check out my music on facebook, and become a fan (which you’ll have to do at least three times for blanket coverage! :o) – you’ll need to log-in to Facebook to access any of the pages there…
If you’re on Facebook, please do add yourself as a fan.by