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Monday, 2 February 2009

Should modern musicians use Twitter to promote themselves?

Don’t force bands to Twitter, says EMI’s Ondrejka

As senior VP of digital strategy at major label EMI, much of Cory Ondrejka’s job involves finding new ways for bands to engage with their fans online. However, it seems there’s no question of artists being forced to get all Web 2.0 against their will.

“If you’re a band, you’re using Twitter because, y’know what, it’s really kinda fun giving your fans this blow-by-blow account of getting to the stage, or your bus breaking down in a snowstorm,” he told us at MidemNet this week.

“Sharing stories is what builds communities, and for some artists that is really enjoyable. But if Twittering is work for you, maybe you should have someone else doing it for you. And that’s okay.”

Indeed, he says the question of whether or not bands should be on Twitter reminds him of being asked about Second Life, in his previous job as CTO at Linden Lab.

“People would ask if they should use Second Life or what they should be doing, and I always said they should do Second Life if it was making some part of their life better,” he says. “Is it making your job easier, your studies easier, your social life better or your leisure time more fun? I don’t really care what the reason is, but use it because it’s making something more fun in your life, not because I told you to.”

However, Ondrejka says he’s lucky to have a number of artists at EMI who are keen to get their hands dirty with new web technologies and tools, in order to engage more directly and regularly with their fans.

“If you’re building something to help artists who blog to fans, and from the very beginning you can build it with artists who are blogging to fans, guess what? You’re going to build a better product, the fans are going to get something better, and the artists are going to have more fun. We’re very fortunate to have artists at every level who are excited about different technologies, and want to explore them.”

Our full interview with Cory Ondrejka will be published in this week’s Music Ally Report on Thursday. For a free trial subscription, click here

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