Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


July 20, 2011

Google+ Hangouts for Music Promotion

In the first post, I introduced Google+ and talked about its Circles feature and how it might be used for music marketing.

But ... the feature I'm most excited about is called Hangouts. This is basically a throwback to the chat rooms of old, where a small group of people huddle up and interact in real time.

The thing that makes Google+ Hangouts special is its build-in video feature. As it functions now, up to 10 people with webcams can participate in a live audio-visual chat session.

Cool idea. It didn't take long for some creative and proactive musicians to jump on this opportunity.

This past Saturday night, indie artist Daria Musk held a live performance using Google+ Hangouts that ended up lasting more than six hours. She did a good job promoting it beforehand, and the live event stirred up a lot more interest among G+ users as it was happening.

Therefore, because of the 10-person limit, most people were shut out. Thankfully, one of the audience members was a Google engineering director, who soon connected a series of Hangouts in a daisy-chain that allowed more people to watch live.

Attendees also purposely rotated out to allow new G+ users in, and by the end several hundred people had participated.

At the end of the marathon performance, Daria wrote "My heart is forever changed. You all made my dreams come true tonight. I guess I'm really a global artist now! I cannot express how grateful I am. I've fallen in love with all of you."

All of that activity on the new Google+ led to lots of exposure across the Web. Check out this search string.

Jazz guitarist Rob Michael has also been busy exploring the possibilities of Google+.

This Friday he plans to perform live during a Google Hangout, only he has found a solution to the 10-person limit. As he explains, "Early attendees will get 'Front Row' seats in the actual Hangout. Should it be full when you arrive, there will be additional seating via Ustream.com."

Smart thinking! Details on Rob's live concert can be found on this page.

I plan to hold my first informal Hangout on G+ this week. I'll use that to play with features and get familiar with how it works. I'll also record it using ScreenFlow on the Mac and share some of the session with people who can't get in live.

Follow my Google+ profile to learn more.

What are your thoughts on Google Hangouts? Would you be willing to give it a shot?

Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 3:36 AM   8 comments


Google+ for Music Marketing

Tech geeks the world over have been drooling the past few weeks over Google's new social platform called Google+ (which is simply pronounced "Google Plus").

You may already be using it. But if you're not, don't feel bad. Google+ is so new, it's still officially in "beta" mode and by invitation only. Word has it that it will go fully public within a couple of weeks.

If you're just now learning about it, take a quick look at this page for Google's overview.

Reportedly, 18 million people have signed up in its first few weeks, and it has a lot of prominent bloggers and social media experts buzzing.

Opinions on Google+ range widely, from calling it a "Facebook killer" to asking "Why in the hell do we need another social networking site to manage?"

I'm still getting acquainted with the features myself. And I've seen lots of buzz sites come and go nowhere, like Quora.com. And let's not forget Google Wave, a project that was closed within a year of its launch.

So I'm very cautious about predicting that any new thing will become the next Big Thing. But since it is getting a lot of attention, and since it is powered by the Google machine, I think it is worth starting a Google+ account and at least exploring what all the hoopla is about.

By the way, you can find my Google+ profile here.

Running Around in Circles

One of the first features you'll notice that sets apart G+ (as all the hipsters refer to it :-) is something called Circles. In essence it's a way to divide the people you keep tabs on into separate groups.

This function is actually nothing new. On Facebook you can create friend list subgroups, but few people use it or even know about it. Twitter also gives you the ability to create lists that display the feeds of people you select.

The difference I see with Google+ is that it places a big emphasis on Circles. And it gives you a more visually appealing, drag-and-drop way to categorize the people you want to follow and interact with.

Here's a Google video that explains it:



Some obvious Circle categories for artists might be Fans, Media People, Music Biz Tips, Other Musicians, etc.

As the video above explains, when you post updates, you can choose which of your Circles will see them. That way, you can post specific messages just for fans or only for other artists, etc. That is something that sets Google+ apart from Facebook, Twitter, and others.

What are your initial thoughts on Google+? Will you sign up and use it? I welcome your comments.

Bob

P.S. In the next post I talk about Google+ Hangouts, one of the most promising features of Google+.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 3:22 AM   5 comments