Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


February 18, 2005

5 Big Music Web Site Mistakes

Before last week, I had never heard of Merlin Mann or his 43 Folders web site and blog. But now I'm ready to build a shrine to him. Why? Because of his hilarious and right-on-the-money post Five Mistakes Band & Label Music Sites Make. It says what I've been preaching for years -- but in a far more creative way.

My favorite Merlin Mann comments include:

"Too much Flash. Okay, I get it. You're creative. Awesome. But you're totally wasting my morning as I helplessly wait for your designer's dancing sausages to finish loading ... Your fans are trying to drive people to the cash register, but you insist on making them watch a puppet show before they can even enter the damned store.

"Crappy or non existent mp3 metadata. If I load up the MP3 of your big single and it says it's "Song" by "Artist" on the record "Album," you've completely blown it already; I have no way to ever find you again. Ditto for file naming. Remember: people often download dozens or hundreds of songs at once, so it's really unlikely they'll remember where Track%2007.mp3 came from.

"Too artsy, too fartsy. People are visiting your site because they want to learn more about bands and music -- not to have a guided tour of your designer/brother-in-law's Photoshop brush collection. Don't be cute with the design, section naming, or navigation. Don't make your visitors solve a Rubik's cube to pull up your lyrics page."

For every complaint he lists, Merlin also supplies solutions. This is required reading. So be sure to check out his entire post.
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