If you read Digital Music News for the comments, know this: less than 0.5 percent of our readers actually post comments, which means lots of opinion and information is sitting on the sidelines.
Which raises the question: how can DMN attract more information from the people who know it the best? The answer is more guest writing, from more industry entrepreneurs, execs, musicians, producers, researchers, and policymakers who know their topics the best but may not be contributing.
Over the years, we’ve been blessed with some incredible guest writers, most of whom are living, breathing, launching, litigating, envisioning, or outraging on things that affect the music industry. Now, it’s time to multiply that level of participation.
So please consider contributing your brilliance. And with that, here are some rough guidelines for creating something extra epic.
(1) Be ruthlessly honest in your assessments.
This is a smart, but information-overloaded crowd. They’ll overlook press-release-y platitudes and tired truthiness. But honest, hard assessments, even if they offend or outrage, are what truly pushes the dialogue (and learning) forward.
(2) Talk about the elephant in the room.
(3) Inform us. Expand upon topics you know the best.
This doesn’t have to be a burning opinion or scathing critique (as great as those are). Because practical, detailed information is something this industry sorely needs and frequently bookmarks. And if you’re solving a difficult problem, by all means, share that solution in as much detail as possible.
You’d be amazed how poorly information travels these days.
(4) Be unafraid, be controversial. Write with a burning passion.
Wishy-washy, fence-straddling pieces rarely engage… they’re just too safe! Instead, be unafraid to argue a strong position or make a gutsy point.
(5) Write anonymously if you must.
We’ll protect your confidentiality to the hilt, that is, if we even know who you are.
(6) Defend your work.
Just be ready to argue back.
(7) Consider a case study.
It’s a strange, formative time in this business, one in which experimentation seems like the only rule. Amanda Palmer conquered Kickstarter, Pretty Lights conquered BitTorrent, X5 is reinventing classical music on iTunes, etc.
So what about your experiment? Teach us how you did it, and why it worked (or, failed).
And forget about any rules about length, structure, or whatever: detailed, lengthy pieces are oftentimes the most read, especially if they’re loaded with amazingly helpful information. And, short, quick pieces can be just as effective.
(8) It begins.
Please open the channel with me and submit:
You can feel free to propose topics as well, prior to diving in, or bat around drafts. Thank you for sharing your brilliance.
Image by Phillip Pessar; adapted under Creative Commons 2.0 license.