As a long time blogger, I know about the strengths of networking and how it can lead to higher exposure as well as socializing and making connections in the field you write in. It’s part of why I’m considered a pioneer in hockey blogging – it’s not just that I started blogging and stuck around but also by way of connecting with fellow writers and working in coordination with them in one way or another, along with simply being in contact and socializing with them.
The idea of SongBay as a social platform and market site for music at the very base of operations – lyrics, musical arrangements, demos – seems like a good place to actually try to take something you’ve done creatively and pass it into the industry in one form or another to performers or producers.
Yet here I sit, mere weeks after joining the site and what I’ve encountered amounts to crickets.
Along with Buy/Sell hubs and other tools, SongBay has a messaging service which is not surprising. It also works somewhat like chat as people can be verified as online. It’s really shots in the dark to contact someone that way if you’re just starting out. If you’re an experienced user it may be more comfortable, especially if you’re the one looking to do acquisitions of music content for yourself or your artists.
There’s another means of networking though and it’s presented as such: The Networking Zone should be the best of places to start communication and draw in interest to your work or your professional profile on the site. Yet it’s arcane and such a muted socializing zone that communication is delayed (if not thwarted) outright by way of moderation.
Let me go to a basic here and say SongBay’s Networking Zone is using vBulletin or a variation of that message board software. That’s truly ancient stuff; this writer was participating on message boards powered by that software in 1999/2000. Accounts aren’t synchronized between SongBay and their message board, you have to sign up a second time (or perhaps you can sign up without even having a SongBay account). It counters the site and personal profiles on there; your SongBay profile is not your SongBay Networking Zone profile unless you make it your website on your Networking Zone account.
I’ve already mentioned how moderation slows or thwarts communication in the Networking Zone and really, that ruins the whole concept of the message board being a networking zone. I tried replying to someone’s message last week and that text has yet to be approved and published. Days later, I tried posting my own message that talked about a specific song type (which linked to one of the songs on my profile). Again, the message has not been published and with thanks to that, the social concept of the networking zone has been marred at best.
The very concept of SongBay is sound (no pun intended). With how the music industry is extremely tough to access, a starting location online for those who want to be involved in the industry is fine, right and good. Yet the networking aspect, the action that could actually build up a career in the field, is a pit; its base of operations is not even modern or working in synchronization with SongBay itself.
There is more to SongBay than this, but with how the Dashboard itself stands, it seems as if having an account and what you make of your profile is more a priority than the accessibility of networking and the actual marketplace that the site is built around.
I can’t recommend signing up for the site or subscribing, which is frustrating and disappointing. That’s from my experience though as the would-be lyricist. If you’re more involved in composing music, you may find that there is a market or that other forums on The Networking Zone do lead to business opportunities.
UPDATE (March 5, 2018): Better late than never? My post finally went live on the Network Zone area, as have my comment replies…two sent to the same person because of how long it took for a reply to be posted at all.