Ask A Stupid Question – Building A Community that Communicates

Something interesting happened on my Facebook page recently. Apropos of not much, I asked a couple of questions about the music people listen to – ‘favourite sounding records’, ‘records you didn’t like at first, but grew to love’ – that sort of thing. I did it largely because I found I was missing the kind of chats about music that used to happen on my forum. I intentionally shut down the forum a coupla years ago and suggested the posters there move over to Twitter, when it became apparent that a more open forum for conversation would result in better things to talk about for all of us. But Twitter is a short-form medium, and sometimes, threaded longer conversations can yield some really good stuff that won’t fit in the constraints of Twitter.

Suddenly, my Facebook page became a hive of activity – the ‘insights’ section graphs lit up with info about traffic to the page, posts, likes etc… It all got very active, and not because I posted about my own new music.

All I did was provide a place to talk about music, to share stories and meet like-minded music lovers. I – for a moment – became

  • The conduit not the destination,
  • The bus driver, not the main attraction.

And as a result,

  • More people are now connected to me.
  • More people are there to see what I do as a musician,
  • More people are sharing content from my Facebook page on their pages.

There are a lot of perfectly valid – and frankly scary – accusations that can be made of Facebook, but one thing it gets right is it’s an amazing environment for sharing. The Facebook ‘like’ may end up being the single most radical music sharing tool ever. It isn’t yet, but the statistics on site traffic for many of the top music sites show that FB sends them as much – if not more – traffic than Google.

On this site, the top drivers of traffic are Google, Twitter and Facebook –

  • Google is largely people looking for me,
  • Twitter is a curated community following my links (or retweets of those links),
  • Facebook is mostly listener-driven – people sharing my stuff on their page.

The integration with Bandcamp and Soundcloud make it SO easy for anyone to take my music and embed it on their Facebook page, to write a few words about it, and suggest that their friends check it out. That’s amazing. Srsly.

And all I have to do is provide a space to talk, a few questions, and a load of supremely awesome music that makes life worth living.



Here’s my latest solo album – Ten Years On: Live In London – have a listen, then try sharing it on your Facebook page, just to see how easy it is 🙂

2 Replies to “Ask A Stupid Question – Building A Community that Communicates”

  1. I use Facebook rather a lot in a professional capacity, and it’s made me look at the place in a whole different light. The number of people, and the percentage of them that interact with your pages is on an entirely different scale to what Twitter can offer. That can be a bit of a good news / bad news situation (I especially find that the quality of comments on Facebook is not, perhaps, quite as incisive) but it’s a site to be ignored at your peril.

  2. Facebook’s advantage is its presence in so many people’s lives. It’s where so many people are. As a platform it is deeply flawed but people are ingenious creatures and manage to do cool things despite the limitations of their tools.

    I’m not sure that the “like” function is so powerful as it doesn’t allow the addition of context but “share on facebook” gives huge reach.

    Steve, I think your questions on Facebook served to reveal the depth and quality of the people you have been taken in by during your social media journey. I was a bit late to the party but the discussions are great with a wonderful diversity of experience being shared.

    Somewhere in there is a reflection of you as you exist as an online node of information. Your Facebook page has become a place where hundreds of overlapping sets of music fans intersect. It seems to me a great example of Seth Godin’s tribe concept.

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