Friday, September 10, 2010

Ping Pong

Social networking has been with us for a number of years with MySpace and Facebook taking the lead in providing instant access to friends and "friends" around the world.

One of the things I look at with these services is the way that musicians use them. Undoubtedly these services provide artists with a way to communicate with fans about a myriad of issues including recent releases, concert dates and every day activities. I am particularly interested in the way artists also use these services to communicate with fans about political issues and advocate participation in campaigns.

The difficulties arise with artists that do not have a strong financial backing who must spend time constantly updating and adding to their profiles - of course as well as MySpace and Facebook other services such as Twitter require ongoing maintenance.

Now days, instead of collecting the names and contact details of fans manually at gigs, these services are available on an opt-in basis for fans to "follow" the activities and events relating to artists.

To add to the mix, this month saw the introduction of another service, this time by iTunes, called Ping. Ping is best described as social networking for music. With access to the iTunes store, the connection between friends and fans is now closely related to song choices.

Released on 1 September 2010 in 23 countries it will be interesting to see how this service is used my both musicians and fans alike.

I have had a quick look around the service and it does seem to work very well with a very simple GUI. The link to Ping is on the left hand side of the iTunes page, listed under the iTunes Store.

It has only been launched this month and so far not many people have signed up to it - the John Butler Trio for example, has nearly 250,000 followers on Facebook but not yet 2,000 on Ping. Similarly Blue King Brown, one of my favorites, is not yet listed on Ping.

Further Reading
wikipedia, iTunes Ping (8 September 2010) < > at 10 September 2010

Wired, Apple’s ‘Ping’ Social Network Is Already Too Big to Fail (1 September 2010) <> at 10 September 2010

Apple, iTunes - Ping: Social Network for Music (September 2010) < > at 10 September 2010

No comments: