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Incentives For Participation


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Hi Gang

 

We all want more activity. More members posting more.

 

What are your thoughts on:

 

  1. Finding new members
  2. Engaging new members
  3. Incentivising new members
  4. Re-engaging existing dormant members
  5. Incentivising existing dormant members
  6. Engaging existing active members
  7. Incentivising existing active members


Thoughts and ideas for any and all are very welcome.

 

Cheers

 

John

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  • 2 months later...
On 11/1/2021 at 8:41 PM, john said:
  1. Engaging new members
  2. Incentivising new members
  3. Re-engaging existing dormant members
  4. Incentivising existing dormant members
  5. Engaging existing active members
  6. Incentivising existing active members

1. Engaging new members

We are probably ALL on Facebook or Twitter and are members of one or more local, regional or national groups of musicians, songwriters, etc. 
We could all commit to posting about Songstuff with
a) the main link, 
b) an 'approved' official statement about the site, and
c) a personal assessment/statement

 

2. Incentivising new members

I think this would impose unnecessary and difficult admin overload on the 'Staff' and also send the wrong signal to newcomers.  Isn't the ability to introduce yourself, post your work, and meet/find similar souls ... for free ... enough incentive to join?

It is also important to downgrade the "guest" options, and that only "members" get all the above benefits.

 
3. Re-engaging existing dormant members

What can you really do other than remind people that Songstuff still exists and is active.

Is it possible in future "Newsletter" to automate the inclusion of:

a) Titles/links to the 10 most recent articles/blogs

b) Titles/link to the 10 most active articles of the past 12 months (a formula of views and engagement)

 

4. Incentivising existing dormant members

The same arguments as for (2) above.


5. Engaging existing active members

Some changes are still needed to the interface.

E.g. today I found "my activity" had responses for which I had received neither a "Message" or a "Notification".

There are several other things I have raised with John/Support that would make being 'Active' more enjoyable and efficient.


6. Incentivising existing active members

If other active members are like me, they do it for the fun, writing enjoyment, sense of common purpose and community and perhaps the opportunity to mention one's own work if relevant.

i.e. there is no need for 'incentivisation'.

For the new or occasionally-active member, I think it is important to be able to assess the level of engagement of others ("who the hell is this person commenting or giving advice?").  Thus I suggest that a more quantitative ranking table would work better than the current arbitrary 'titles'.  

E.g. today, I suddenly became a "Collaborator".  Wasn't that a death sentence after WWll? ???

Just a simple ranking based on activity would help ... e.g. the number of actions 1) total since becoming a member (=experience), and 2) total in the past 6 months (current engagement). 
Another metric might be to weight contributions based on length (word count).  Obviously 'junk' can be any length, but a number of contributors do write long-form pieces with well-considered information.

 

 

Anyhoo, that's wot I fink.

 

Greg :) 

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Maybe a Hemi-Demi-Semi-god of fleshy goods. It sounds sorta musical. :)

 

Me? Wordy? Pffft. I was taking it easy! Let me explain…. ;)

 

 

on notifications :

 

That setting concerning frequency makes a big difference. Also worth reviewing your individual notification types.
 

Also, I haven’t reviewed them since the last software update. I will check the default settings.

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3 hours ago, Popthree said:

if members are ranked by how many words they post, @GregB and @john will be kings and the rest of us will be lowly pig farmers

 

  • ranked by how many words they post

99% of people here say nothing.  Less than one 1% write a few words or else click the emoticon.  A small number of individuals express thoughts or idea, whether briefly or as a mini-essay (and I happily admit to being over-bearingly verbose). 

I noticed one person who unabashedly was shovelling in a short-sentence post here or there simply to reach some sort of threshold which would allow him to post his music (I wasn't aware of such requirements) ... such 'contributions' are just noise.

My suggestion regarding 'Word count' and frequency was meant as a metric to help identify contribution and conversation.  No need for league table rankings, just an indicator of commitment/involvement, e.g. 1-20 words, 21-50, 51-100, 100+.

Your (Popthree's) post was 105!

 

  • lowly pig farmers

Pig farmers have never been 'lowly' in my world. 

I sing their praises every time I cook bacon ... which is every day!! :) 

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Can I also add a possible  'incentive' to attracting new and engaging old members:

** Free mentoring **

 

It would require many caveats to prevent a detour down Stupid Street:

  • a 'cover-your-arse policy' about this being community-based good intentions and best efforts
  • the availability of members volunteering as mentors
  • a minimum number of activities required before members are considered for mentorship
  • a way to match the experience available vs what is being sought
  • a limit on concurrent 'relationships' per mentor (to be set by each mentor)
  • a max number of interactions/messages per relationship (to be set by each mentor)
  • an option for both parties to withdraw from a relationship at any time without fault or rancour
  • a default mentorship time limit (e.g. 1-6 months) that automatically engages unless manually extended by the mentor (a useful "get out of jail card" or "pull the plug" escape clause without hurting anyone's feelings)
  • someway of flagging that a person has volunteered to be a mentor and that a vacancy exists.  The person seeking mentorship can explore past posts to gauge the mentor's style/interests/achievements etc. and instigates contact via direct message and the two parties make ongoing arrangements (i.e. no admin required)

I'd be willing to put my hand up for no more than 3 concurrent mentoring relationships for a max of one month.  After that, I'd have to see if I had the interest or energy to continue with any of the three, and/or mentorship in general. 
Mentors areas of 'expertise' need to be available in their Profile, e.g. home recording, production, arranging, songwriting, music theory, basic mastering, basic digital distribution, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Resolve editing, music videos, basic graphic design, Windows, ProTools, photography, videography, file formats ... etc..

 

We won't know unless we try.  I know John/Mahesh are in a mentoring relationship, but not necessarily as a Club-sanctioned activity.  They might be best to comment.  There could always be a pilot program, e.g. 3 mentors, each with an assigned member ... with the six participants committing to writing a brief summary of the experience (I'd be happy to devise the pro-forma).  The results could be used when advertising any 'official' program.

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12 hours ago, VoiceEx said:

if I was appointed a mentor, the first question I would ask him is: "why are you doing this for free?"

 

Perhaps my suggestion of 'mentoring' was too strong a word with overtones of a Master/Apprentice relationship.

I was thinking more of one-on-one messaging on specific subjects to help keep others motivated and moving forward with their projects. If one has the answers, the responses can be quick. 

  
Surely someone who has released one or more singles/albums/videos is likely to have experience/skills that any newbie would value.

 

"Incentivisation" (for me) equates to 'paid' responsibility ... something I've always found a burden and I didn't do music for fame or money (luckily for me !!!!). I'm happy to share whatever I know just for the fun and the satisfaction of 'giving'.   I look on it as pay-back, or pay-it-forward.  I'm retired, so would look on this as keeping my creative flame alight ... one of the reasons I keep blathering on in Songstuff posts :) 

 

Greg

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On 1/7/2022 at 9:27 AM, VoiceEx said:

I should also clarify that when I say "incentives" i`m not talking about money

 

What are the possibilities you have in mind for incentives? 

 

Considering this is a free-to-use site that doesn't carry advertising, surely there's nothing to give away.  And I'd best stop there with calling you Shirley :)   

 

Any new transactional system would requires code/maintenance/support and an arbitration referee for when things 'go bad'.   I think, for the site as is, any 'solution' must be designed with zero-level admin in mind.

 

Anyway - Big John - you started off this Post seeking suggestions, but you haven't weighed in yet.  If the central premise of Mentoring is a 'Bridge Too Far', then we're just gum-flapping, and I'll happily retire back to being retired. 

 

Greg

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Funnily enough I started setting stuff up for mentoring a couple of years ago, but never finished. I created a new member category, a bunch of badges etc. 

 

It’s a good idea. We just to work out some details.

 

As for payment/compensation, we can offer some board/community privileges in the short term. In the longer term I have some suggestions too.

 

I can easily create a PM with interested members and we can discuss it?

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1 hour ago, VoiceEx said:

 

In fact, recently I have been toying around with a few interesting ideas on how to improve the blog layouts. Things like adding a calendar, a small chatroom, improving the categorizing system, adding a layout for color/picture schemes, more customization. Kind of like an overhaul to personalize them further to add more appeal. Not sure if any of this is practical, but I could send you a drawing or something to illustrate these ideas if you'd be interested.


Instead of creating a standalone blog, create a club. Within a club you can create a blog, gallery, forum boards, and I think you can add a calendar. You can also control privacy to a degree. 

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On 1/8/2022 at 11:27 AM, VoiceEx said:

Forgive me Greg, but i`m not sure what a "Shirley" means. Could you please clarify so that I may compose a proper response? :)

 

It was a well known recurring funny joke (arguably) in Leslie Nielsen comedies such as Airplane and Naked Gun.  In response to be asked "Surely," this and "Surely," that, someone would answer a question and add "... and stop calling me Shirley!".

 

Seems a lot less funny having written it out longhand 😟 !

 

Greg

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One last grenade lobbed into the midst ...

 

A Songstuff PODCAST !!!!

 

This could tick multiple boxes:

  • 'advertise' the site
  • if popular, attract advertising revenue
  • be of interest to both new and current members
  • allow members to get to 'know' each other beyond often anonymous avatars and the typed word
  • could be a valued incentive for mentors (e.g. mentor X people or mentor for Y months and you get offered the opportunity to do an episode)

I've previously listed several songwriting/production podcasts but in general the people or the music are 'famous' (except perhaps for "Songwriter Trysts" which concentrates largely on up-and-comers in Country Music).   Certainly I've never heard a podcast where each episode is hosted by a different person ... which could be the case if shared around Songstuff members.

 

The scope of the series is limitless and would be totally up to the individual ... philosophy, rant, skills, songwriting, production, using a song/album to illustrate ideas, a short live performance, snippets of recordings to illustrate points, likes/dislikes, real/fake interviews, reviews, analysis, problems experienced with performing or recording, etc., etc..  

 

If considered a good idea, I'd suggest John, staff and key members determine a Policy about the Podcast Series:

  • the Blurb for the Series
  • A trailer that is available on the site and the YouTube channel, etc.
  • The intro music (could be thrown open as a competition for members)
  • The minimum and maximum Episode lengths
  • Strict style control (e.g. G/PG, no misogyny/racism etc.)
  • Initial Admins
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Episode release frequency
  • Episode 1 (probably John and or staff talking about their own backgrounds and the Songstuff journey) and nomination/selection of members for Episodes 2-10
  • A mechanism for nominating/selecting for Ep.11 onwards to be advertised to all members
  • Tech specs for listening consistency - e.g. file format (MP3), sampling (24-bit/48K), bitrate (192Kbps), peak RMS or LUFS (-14?)

Provided nothing untoward happens in my world, I'll happily be involved if requested.

 

I've attached an exactly 10-min 'episode' I created as a part of a 1-hr radio station program/podcast on Climate Change.  Despite the subject matter, it was fun and challenging to write, construct, record and produce and I uses some of my own music :)  ("Never miss an opportunity"!)

 

Cheers,

Greg

 

 

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We’ve considered a podcast or internet radio station a few times. Also stream cast. You’ll be glad to know that we’ve been progressing these too. It’s a good shout. Doing a chat podcast is pretty straight forward with minimal cost implications and no real legal issues. Same goes for chat based video streaming. Include music and issues, costs and set up time go up, because we need to consider licensing:

 

  • broadcasting pre-recorded music
  • broadcasting live music
  • re-broadcasting live recordings
  • broadcasting video with pre-recorded music
  • broadcasting video with live music
  • re-broadcasting live video recordings

 

If we want to upload recordings to YouTube, Twitch & Facebook (we would) then we also need permission to be able to assign limited permissions.

 

It’s all do-able, but I am not a lawyer. I have a reasonable working knowledge for basic copyright permissions, especially as affects artists and writers, but much less concerning broadcast companies etc. In short we need to consult an Ents lawyer with experience in digital broadcast.

 

Common approaches are:

 

  • Pay for a broadcast license and play any music (pre-recorded music - artist)
  • Pay for a broadcast license and play any music (live music - artist)
  • Pay for a broadcast license and play any music (live music recording - artist)
  • Pay for a broadcast license and play any music (pre-recorded music - songwriters)
  • Pay for a broadcast license and play any music (live music - songwriters)
  • Pay for a broadcast license and play any music (live music recording - songwriters)
  • Have artists and writers sign a waiver with appropriate copyright permissions
  • Do all of the above
  • Do none of these and cross fingers
  • Don’t include any music

It’s late so I probably missed some.

 

We do intend starting a chat livestream/podcast while we sort out the rest, and we may well be looking for DJ’s/show hosts. Like you, Greg, staff concluded it would be a great addition.

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28 minutes ago, GregB said:

 

I'll enquire about this from the one podcaster I know and have met. I'll send a general question to the others and keep my fingers crossed for a reply.


I think many just wing it and hope for the best. If you just run a podcast from home I think many think they are too small to attract attention.
 

Attach a site the size of Songstuff and I would bet they’d feel more nervous… especially when the site is at real risk of being lost, and that isn’t the end of what they are risking. It’s not like we’d even need to lose a court case. Just the cost of mounting a defence could close a site.

 

Still, it’s good to know how they handle it.

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On 1/10/2022 at 1:59 PM, john said:

Still, it’s good to know how [podcasters] handle it.

 

OK.  This is a longish one.  Firstly with the reported feedback then, at the end, my suggested solution which involves indemnity, no cost and low admin for Songstuff.

 

I’ve received info back from two podcasters, and include their comments un-edited for accuracy:

 

1.       Sodajerker” [UK] (https://www.sodajerker.com/).  

YouTube is quite different to podcasting where content is not automatically scanned for infringement, and where it is possible to obtain a license from a rights org like ‘PRS for Music’.

I’ve checked PRS for Music and it provided a ‘calculator’ to scope the license required (see https://www.prsformusic.com/licences/using-music-online/limited-online-music-licence) – usage requires an account.

 

2.       Songwriter Trysts” [Australia] (https://www.songwritertrysts.com/)

I have an APRA licence to use recorded music, just like a radio station type licence or any public performance venue.

I too am a member of APRA/AMCOS which is the combined songwriting/recording works registration, licencing and protection organisation in Australia with affiliations to all similar international agencies.  I’ve checked their licensing for Podcasts, https://www.apraamcos.com.au/music-licences/select-a-licence/online-mini-licence, and the relevant info gleaned is:

 

image.thumb.png.52ebd23feec3d7eeeab77fb24bc45227.png

image.thumb.png.6f00b04fc9a8fa418c7dc9b0b80ab47b.png

 

If anyone is interested, the myths of “it’s OK to use music if ...” are addressed here:
https://copyrightalliance.org/how-to-avoid-copyright-infringement-on-podcasts/

 

 

BUT ... things are changing ... e.g. Spotify’s Big News

So far, production music has been the most convenient way to get music into podcasts. However, this has now changed to a certain extent with Spotify introducing a new feature this month that allows podcasters to put full songs into their podcasts.

(full article at: https://www.synchtank.com/blog/how-spotify-is-upending-music-licensing-for-podcasts/)

 

But it appears, at present, the issues are that: a) you can’t talk over the track, and b) the WHOLE track must be played.  I’d find this a pain, especially if wanting to use snippets for illustrative purposes.

 

 

I SUGGEST A DIFFERENT APPROACH - Using YOUTUBE:

1.       Immediate availability

2.       Avoids annual licencing

3.       Allows flexible music usage, e.g. ‘mixing’ with talk, use of snippets, etc.

4.       BUT ... it requires the extra step of either ‘accepting’ copyright strikes or just waiting 30 days for the copyright claim period to expire.   ALL MY 50+ MUSIC VIDEOS featuring my music have had copyright strikes from YouTube!!  But I get almost immediate notification from YouTube to my registered channel email address.  I log into the distributor (CD-Baby in my case) and clear the strike.  Within an hour or so, the strikes are gone and the video is published.

5.       Individuals would post their YouTube Podcast on their own YouTube Channels.  Songstuff creates a new PLAYLIST called PODCASTS and simply links/embeds member episodes.  Copyright issues therefore become the sole responsibility of the Member and removes potential liability for Songstuff and its staff.  The only admin for Songstuff is the one-off creation of the Terms and Conditions by which podcaster will abide, providing the lead-in footage + theme for members to use, and expanding the Playlist as additional episodes are made available.

 

Although this is YOUTUBE, the actual ‘visuals’ are completely optional ... it could be any or a mix of:

·         you talking and performing to camera,

·         screen grabs of a production session

·         static image(s) ... or even a black screen ... the podcast can be just the soundtrack.

 

Anyway. Food for thought ... or indigestion :) 

 

Greg

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22 hours ago, GregB said:

 

OK.  This is a longish one.  Firstly with the reported feedback then, at the end, my suggested solution which involves indemnity, no cost and low admin for Songstuff.

 

I’ve received info back from two podcasters, and include their comments un-edited for accuracy:

 

1.       Sodajerker” [UK] (https://www.sodajerker.com/).  

YouTube is quite different to podcasting where content is not automatically scanned for infringement, and where it is possible to obtain a license from a rights org like ‘PRS for Music’.

I’ve checked PRS for Music and it provided a ‘calculator’ to scope the license required (see https://www.prsformusic.com/licences/using-music-online/limited-online-music-licence) – usage requires an account.

 

2.       Songwriter Trysts” [Australia] (https://www.songwritertrysts.com/)

I have an APRA licence to use recorded music, just like a radio station type licence or any public performance venue.

I too am a member of APRA/AMCOS which is the combined songwriting/recording works registration, licencing and protection organisation in Australia with affiliations to all similar international agencies.  I’ve checked their licensing for Podcasts, https://www.apraamcos.com.au/music-licences/select-a-licence/online-mini-licence, and the relevant info gleaned is:

 

image.thumb.png.52ebd23feec3d7eeeab77fb24bc45227.png

image.thumb.png.6f00b04fc9a8fa418c7dc9b0b80ab47b.png

 

If anyone is interested, the myths of “it’s OK to use music if ...” are addressed here:
https://copyrightalliance.org/how-to-avoid-copyright-infringement-on-podcasts/

 

 

BUT ... things are changing ... e.g. Spotify’s Big News

So far, production music has been the most convenient way to get music into podcasts. However, this has now changed to a certain extent with Spotify introducing a new feature this month that allows podcasters to put full songs into their podcasts.

(full article at: https://www.synchtank.com/blog/how-spotify-is-upending-music-licensing-for-podcasts/)

 

But it appears, at present, the issues are that: a) you can’t talk over the track, and b) the WHOLE track must be played.  I’d find this a pain, especially if wanting to use snippets for illustrative purposes.

 

 

I SUGGEST A DIFFERENT APPROACH - Using YOUTUBE:

1.       Immediate availability

2.       Avoids annual licencing

3.       Allows flexible music usage, e.g. ‘mixing’ with talk, use of snippets, etc.

4.       BUT ... it requires the extra step of either ‘accepting’ copyright strikes or just waiting 30 days for the copyright claim period to expire.   ALL MY 50+ MUSIC VIDEOS featuring my music have had copyright strikes from YouTube!!  But I get almost immediate notification from YouTube to my registered channel email address.  I log into the distributor (CD-Baby in my case) and clear the strike.  Within an hour or so, the strikes are gone and the video is published.

5.       Individuals would post their YouTube Podcast on their own YouTube Channels.  Songstuff creates a new PLAYLIST called PODCASTS and simply links/embeds member episodes.  Copyright issues therefore become the sole responsibility of the Member and removes potential liability for Songstuff and its staff.  The only admin for Songstuff is the one-off creation of the Terms and Conditions by which podcaster will abide, providing the lead-in footage + theme for members to use, and expanding the Playlist as additional episodes are made available.

 

Although this is YOUTUBE, the actual ‘visuals’ are completely optional ... it could be any or a mix of:

·         you talking and performing to camera,

·         screen grabs of a production session

·         static image(s) ... or even a black screen ... the podcast can be just the soundtrack.

 

Anyway. Food for thought ... or indigestion :) 

 

Greg


 

Hi Greg

 

Thanks for reaching out to podcasters. Very much appreciated.
 

We actually already do playlists, both with Songstuff and Songstuff U.K…. on YouTube and Soundcloud. We also have playlists on Spotify.
 

You are right that we can evolve the format to fudge a podcast, completely under YouTube’s license. We had considered this but thought it a bit clunky, but workable as a short term answer. We could then evolve towards something more integrated.

 

We thought to evolve the format to have live performances, for example an open mic. I believe the YouTube license covers us for livestream too… but only live… not for stored recordings of those live performances.

 

Ideally, we want to supplement our existing playlists with interviews, perhaps with live performance as part of the interview. Like some other YouTube channels we also thought to include webcam performances on our channel. We had also wondered about creating lyric videos for artists on our channel.

 

We planned to heavily promote this content and the artist’s channels and other projects. We would promote through our websites, newsletters, social media and blogs etc. This way it would be very worthwhile for artists and our site. Artists get improved reach and discovery and the site gets to build an audience.

 

Although we would be promoting Songstuff artists, we want to promote other indie artists too. Even a small number of more mainstream artists… not top flight, but people who are indie just now, on the way up or down. It’s all about audience. If we want artists to improve their reach to find a new audience, then we need artists who attract an audience on our playlists, being interviewed etc. Then we have a chance of introducing our artists to their audience.

 

Either way, introducing a podcast styled element could happen pretty quickly in the format of your suggestion. :)

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