The Slappy Will Be My Shepherd: An Artist Comes To Grips With Social Media,… please “like” me.

Slaps-ShepperdHello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

Readers, I’m such a tease. Two weeks ago I got everyone all excited by introducing the “School of Danderfer” and then I left you hanging without an SMNP for two weeks. It’s just plain cruel really.

But lean in, ’cause the thing is,… “School of Danderfer” is big!

So big, I can’t unveil it all at once but only piece by piece. The first piece I intended to get in order was this website of mine. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but it’s missing a few big things and I have no idea how to update it myself,… hence the music and photos from 2008.

So I went to my guy; web-master, designer, photographer, and proud, proud member of The Hummingbird Brigade (on trombone), Steve “Slappy” Mynett for guidance on how to tackle this first step...

“You’ve got a good website, what do you want to change?” he asked.

“Well,” I began, full of giggly excitement, “I should have facebook and twitter links added, updated photos, video, an “about” page, announcements of upcoming records on the ‘home’ page, and…”

“Hold on! I’m not sure you want to have facebook and twitter links.”

Stunned pause. “I don’t?”

“You don’t use either of them properly, so there’s no point in directing people there.”

And so it began. What I thought was the first step was not in fact the first step; I had to look backwards from one simple website change and ask myself “James Jacob Danderfer, what do you want to with all this ‘social media’ business?”

Because I’ll tell what some artists think of using social media: “It’s great, it helps me promote what I do and stay in touch with my ever developing fan base without any cost.”

Now I’ll tell you what the rest of us think: “Fuck that. Artists who spend time promoting and worrying about their fan base instead of practicing or generally furthering their art are salesman, not artists.”

Me, I’m somewhere in the middle I suppose. I understand how hard it is to survive in this business and that these people are trying to make a living, however, when I hear about an artist who is constantly tweeting to his followers, let’s say, between takes in a recording session, I’m thinkin he’s kinda salesman-y,… kinda bullshit. Unfair? Maybe. But I somehow believe that for art to transcend beyond “look at what I can do” the artist (and I’m thinking of musicians in particular) needs a certain amount of separation from everything; they’ve gotta go deep within themselves at times in order to express something worth listening to. The problem is, I/we tend to put artists into one category or the other; i.e. their 1st priority is quality of art vs. their 1st priority is getting more “followers,” and for that, I might have to call “bullshit” on James Danderfer!might.

So I’m going to see for myself what it’s all about, and whether or not such a fine, distinguished ‘artiste’ as myself can wade into the waters of fan pages, tweets, sites, and all things webernet related with my dignity, and the respect of thousands, hundreds, tens of fans in tact. Since I have already nominated Steve Mynett to shepherd me in the ways of social media, my work has already begun. My first tasks are as follows:

1. Start a “fan page” on facebook. (DONE … I think. I need 25 people to ‘like’ the page before I can get a URL and link to it.)
2. “follow” 20 more people on Twitter by Wednesday. (I’m at 4 so far.)
3. TWEET 3 TIMES A DAY FOR 2 MONTHS (…sonofabitch!)

Okay, here goes! Thanks for reading everyone, and if you want to check out my progress, go here for my Twitter feed and here to ‘like’ my fb fan page. Have a great week! jd

  • Steve

    Yeah! Happy to be your shepard leading you close, but not over the cliff! One thing to tag on to our conversation the other day was that above all, anything (be it personal conversation, blog post or twitter) should be authentic. If you feel its salesy, and it comes across as salesy then it’s going to be disingenuous. Make it authentic and it’s a valid and worthwhile outreach.