Friday, March 12, 2010 

Myspace Is (Still) Not Dead and Facebook Rocks!

by Madalyn Sklar

There are two social network sites that are a must for indie artists: Myspace and Facebook. I'm a believer in using these sites to push your buzz, build relationships and increase your fanbase.

Myspace Is (Still) Not Dead!

For some time now I've heard people (mostly musicians and a few industry peeps) say, "Myspace is Dead". Okay I do agree that Myspace is not the same as it was say two or three years ago during its peak. However, I'm here to say that I completely disagree with the statement that Myspace is Dead. Myspace has been and is still the number one music site for emerging indie artists and bands.

I recently spoke about this at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Memphis, TN. I moderated the "Building A Social Network" panel. There were seven of us panelists, which included a venue, a festival, several promoters and an artist. I asked everyone if they thought Myspace was dead and they all resounded with a NO. We all agreed that having a Myspace presence was important for indie artists and bands. All but one of us said that Myspace is the first place we go when checking out a band. Most of us agreed too that if we are directed to an artist or band's web site (their dot com) we are looking for their Myspace link on their homepage because that is where we want to start. Interesting I know! Many musicians in the room looked aghast. I'm sure some were thinking, "why did I delete (or stop using) my Myspace site?"

Now I do want to be clear that I'm also a big fan and advocate for Facebook and Twitter as well. Social networks should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. I strongly believe that all indie artists should take advantage of these sites and maximize their presence. By doing so you will no doubt strengthen and build a great relationship with your fans. I also highly suggest utilizing ReverbNation (great widgets!) and Fanbridge (great mailing list program).

We know that everyone has shifted their attention to Facebook in the last year or so. I love Facebook and am not discounting its value for indie artists. But let's face it, Myspace was designed to be a music site. Facebook and Twitter were not.

Here are some recent stats on how Myspace, Facebook and Twitter are faring in 2010 (courtesy of Inside Facebook, 2-24-10).

Facebook is growing dramatically. We all know that. But what's interesting is that Myspace is growing again. This shows you that it's not dead. I firmly believe your fans and soon-to-be fans are checking you out here. Because as I've said before, it's designed as a music site.

One of the things I talked about passionately in the social networks panel at Folk Alliance was to utilize all these sites to your advantage. At minimum, log into your Myspace regularly and keep your content up-to-date and fresh. Post bulletins and blogs. Add photos. Update your upcoming shows in the calendar. If you don't have time to manage all your social networks, use free sites like or ArtistData. If you spend a great deal of time on Facebook, you can have your status updates automatically post on your Twitter. ReverbNation and Fanbridge will also update your status on your social networks.

Facebook Rocks!

So now let's talk about Facebook for a moment. I love Facebook! I think it's amazing that there are over 472 million active users. Your fans are on Facebook. Let me say that again... your fans are on Facebook! If you do not have a presence there, you are missing the boat. You should be actively working Facebook with a personal profile and a Fan page. I spend a great deal of my time counseling people on how to best use Facebook. I also do a lot of Fan page customization for artists and bands as well as businesses. Click here to see some examples.

Below are recent Facebook stats. It's mind blowing!

I'm wow'd by the fact that 20 million people become fans of pages every day. That speaks volumes! If you have a Fan page, you need to beef it up with the ReverbNation application, a welcome page, buy music page, import your YouTube videos and Twitter posts, etc. There is so much you can do to boost your traffic and increase your content.

If you need any help with these sites or need one-on-one counseling, feel free to get in touch with me.

Copyright © 2010 Madalyn Sklar

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 14 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success in the biz. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

You can reach Madalyn at or madalynsklar AT


Tuesday, March 09, 2010 

"Invasion of the GoGirls" During SXSW Weekend, the oldest and most popular website for women in music, will continue their tradition of highlighting the best in independent women musicians at their 10th Annual "Invasion of the GoGirls," March 19-20 during Austin's annual "South by" weekend. We'll be broadcasting all shows LIVE on Ustream. You can watch us on your computer OR iPhone, iTouch or Android phone using the Ustream Viewer app.

Four showcase invasions will feature over 36 bands and performers. "We worked very hard to create a lineup that both exciting and appealing to a diverse crowd," explains Madalyn Sklar, founder of "We expect to see an electrifying blend of music industry professionals,
musicians and the general public at our event," continues Sklar.

Since 1996, has dedicated itself to bringing together independent female musicians from around the world and becoming a welcome destination for women in music through networking and events.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information and a list of performers, please visit

(all times are Central Standard Time)

Friday, March 19th
Invasion of the GoGirls @ Austin Java
Music by: Penny Jo Pullus, Laura McGhee, Jennings, Stephanie Nilles, Mo McMorrow, Camille Bloom, Havilah, Tawny Ellis, Jean Mazzei, Deborah Crooks
12 pm - 5 pm
1206 Parkway (12th/Lamar)

Friday, March 19th
Invasion of the GoGirls @ Trophy's
*Featuring Melissa Ferrick!*
Music by: Addie Brownlee, Laura Marie, Kathleen Blackwell, Staci's Edge, Radagun, Melissa Ferrick, Bo Peep, DaRezarekt, She Craves
9 pm - 2 am
2008 S. Congress

Saturday, March 20th
Invasion of the GoGirls @ Austin Java
Music by: Jan Siedes, Merry Ellen Kirk, Nicolette Paige, Heather Stewart, Sheila Swift, Andrea Nardello, Jonie Blinman and Red Car Slow, Janine Wilson, The Devyl Nellys, Spare Parts
12 pm - 5 pm
1206 Parkway (12th/Lamar)

Saturday, March 20th
Invasion of the GoGirls @ Trophy's
*Featuring Sara Hickman and Shayna Zaid & The Catch!*
Music by: gfire, Carol Plunk, The Mieka Canon, Shayna Zaid & The Catch, Sara Hickman, Sunspot, 3 Kisses
9 pm - 2 am
2008 S. Congress

Details at


Monday, March 01, 2010 

GoGirls Interview with Kimbo

by Madalyn Sklar

What drives your music? When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?

I'm gonna geek out here: I love the way sound waves collide. I love feeling goose bumps on the back of my neck when I finish a new song or hear an artist create something awesome with sound.

Music or bust happened in 2006. I had done ten years of performing before that...but not ten years of business. I merged the two together nicely and now I run both Sunny Groves Music Company and Sunny Groves Publishing Company. It's exciting and satisfying knowing that I built all this myself.

Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.

My musical style is a relaxed alternative rock groove. I want you to tap your foot and feel good when listening. But I hope my lyrics inspire you to look at the world, your world, my world, our world and think about what impact we all make, have made, and will make. I don't write Disney love songs.

My three:

Trey Anistasio (of Phish) because of the tone and quality he gives to his custom Paul Languedoc guitar. I have great respect for his ability and dedication to his craft.

Martin Sexton just blows me away. I have seen so, so many live shows all over the place and he's definitely in the top five. His live performance is absolutely electric. He's ALL IN and it shows. His voice, songwriting and guitar chops inspire me to work on my craft with sincerity.

Itzhak Pearlman/Joshua Bell: Okay, that's two...but have you heard the way these guys play the violin. I mean, holy crap! I've played the violin since I was three years old and I've never even gotten close to a note that they can play. Just astounding. Again, it's the sound waves thing. Goosebumps man, goosebumps.

What's your ideal venue atmosphere?

Medium sized clubs like Trees in Dallas (Old school Trees). I like venues where I can be noisy and the audience can too. I play singer-songwriter venues all the time but I prefer full band with freedom to move around. I rarely ever sit on stage.

Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.

I've learned a tremendous amount about my niche. I definitely do not fit the singer-songwriter mold very well. Again, I really tend to lean toward the jam band, expressive groove. It took me a lot longer than I thought to figure this out but the journey along the way was tremendously insightful and revealing. I know when I'm most comfortable performing and writing now.

How would you describe the music scene in your area?

The music scene in my area (Austin, Texas) is experiencing some changes. There have been quite a few growing pains as we, the musicians, learn to have dialogue with the downtown loft community and the city who has some pretty stringent sound restrictions. There will always be the mainstays on sixth street, etc...but we are also going through some loss as it was just announced that the legendary Cactus Cafe is closing. But those active musicians that take part in this process really get a voice and I know that within a few years we'll really have a reason to say we're the live music capital. SXSW submissions (up to more than 11,000 this year) and ACL Fest continue to be a good gauge for this 'improvement'.

What was the inspiration for your latest release?

My son (who is now six) began singing my song "Fly With Me". Trains are used to represent the metaphorical longing. Well, my son loves trains and just loves that song so it really encouraged me to get my act together and record this song well.

What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?

Budget: This is absolutely key. If you don't know how much it is going to cost from start to finish then you shouldn't be recording...unless you have FREE access to a studio, engineer, producer, graphic artist, label or disc manufacturer. If you don't have a budget you're going to throw money away. If you don't have a bottomless budget you better know all of your songs that are going to appear on that cd. You better know them better than you know your own name. Surprises can happen when you're solid and prepared. That's where the magic happens.

What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?

Consistency, Hard Work Ethic, Tenacity, Creativity, Kindness, Respectfulness and Assuredness. Must haves for this business!! You won't get very far if you have a few of these and you're a jerk. And you won't get far if you have all of these but you don't step out of the box (creativity) to make your shows happen. They're all key and they all take work, work, work day in, day out. It's repetitive, but when you get in the groove it's a beautiful thing to watch what you've created.

Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.

My toughest moments are when I am balancing my music 'hat' with my mother 'hat'. My son has special needs and sometimes this career is very overwhelming for him. I've had to give up big shows and have done so without hesitation for my son. We'll see if this changes as he gets older. Right now it's quite challenging and we work as a family every single day on this delicate balance. I do try to only play at venues or events where I feel comfortable with him being there.

What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don't give up?

Plan ahead. If anything set yourself a six month time line. If you bust your ass for six months and not much is happening...take a week off. You owe it to yourself to recharge. It's amazing how many songs have popped in my head when I pre-scheduled a vacation from my 'job'. You really need the break. I actually take two months off a year. This sounds like a lot but when I'm rehearsing, booking, traveling, playing, etc. etc. etc....I really need that time off to 'check in' with my family, friends, myself. If you do feel like you need to give up, then listen to your soul. Don't lie to yourself. If you're meant for music it doesn't matter how many times you 'think' you'll will come back to you or you will go back to it.

Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.

I put Cheetos inside my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I'm addicted to Funyuns...I think they have crack in them.
Oh, oh and that I have a bone to pick with Barbara Mandrell.
But you'll have to get back with me later about that. :-)

What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?

A tattoo on my 30th Birthday! Good times Madalyn! Good times! Ouch.
Seriously though. Lifelong connections to amazing people making their lives work in this crazy world we call the music business. Community is really the important word here. The GoGirls Community runs the whole gamut: young women just starting out, seasoned artists making a solid living, women rocking every genre of music there is and that is a powerful thing. And the community has so much to share and experience with each other. When I organized the 8th GoGirls Music Fest here in Austin I learned so much that I am now able to offer assistance and advice to those who write me asking for help. And it was my drive and GoGirlsMusic coming together that made that happen. I will always be grateful to Madalyn for starting this wonderful community.

Find out more about Kimbo:

Copyright © 2010 Madalyn Sklar

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 14 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success in the biz. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

You can reach Madalyn at or madalynsklar AT



    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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    contact: madalynsklar(at)


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