This tweet by Ron S. of Anode Records encapsulates well how it often feels to share your music online. For me it’s borderline embarrassing to announce to the world your own creative work. And the way it goes is that you build it up… and spend days (sometimes weeks) fussing over details and over-listening until you have pretty much no idea if it’s any good or not any more.
So after all that, and even though you primarily make music for your own enjoyment, it would seem a shame to just leave it on your own hard drive forever, never to be heard by anyone else. And if you’re me (which I am) then you know full well that it’s amateur dad-techno which probably has niche appeal to a handful of your also-40+ cohorts. But… well maybe those people would like to hear it. It would be great to get a bit of feedback too. Is it any good? Do you like some bits? Does this have any merit at all? So you send it privately to ten or so friends and family. Be honest, tell me if it sucks. Anything!
But you don’t hear back for a few days so whatever... out goes the Tweet and a Facebook post. May as well throw it out there.
But then still nothing. No interactions or responses. Awkward.
So you then worry that everyone thinks it’s so terrible that they don’t know what to say. So you look at the stats and, no, that seems not to be the case because because, well, twitter gives you tweet analytics:
- Impressions: 179
- Likes: 1 (thanks bro)
- Retweets: 1 (my other account)
- Link clicks: 1
- 3 people reached
- 0 engagements
So one person clicked through and listened to the track on SoundCloud. In 36 hours. The tweet is now well buried.
The reality seems to be that it’s pretty difficult to get people to hear what you’ve recorded. Is nobody interested in this sort of music any more? Or are they just busy? (probably this) Is it because there’s a zillion hours of free music uploaded every minute? Or is it the algorithm making it essentially hidden? (could be) Is social media just a bad way of sharing music unless you’re Calvin Harris with 12.6M followers?
If the problem was just that the music is crap I would expect a lot of clicks but no likes. But there are near zero clicks. Nobody is hearing it to begin with.
This, in part, led me to giving up for 18 months. What’s the point? But then I missed doing it and got quite low because I wasn’t doing anything creative in my life (work is mostly technical these days).
So it’s 2020 and I’m starting up again. And it’s not at the standard I would like yet. So the answer is to make more and more stuff. But then to be more selective. Fail lots and get better. I’ll continue to share it because why not. But like Ron, above, I won’t expect any of these tweets to blow up anytime soon.