During my research yesterday I kept coming upon a “connection” symbol, and it held a couple of numbers nearby it. I decided to focus today’s work towards these connections. What are they exactly? What do the numbers mean? Below is an example of what I am talking about in terms of the symbol:
The caption above the pictures and below the “How to Connect” pretty much explains what these connections are. They are essentially Facebook likes or Twitter followers. If you remember, the band likes varied but usally were above 50,000. Twitter followers were similar, but generally smaller in number. So, with this new discovery we will be able to see the “following,” if you will, each band has on the new Myspace. I decided to focus the research on bands who released albums during the year that was 2011. This includes, in alphabetical order, Blind Pilot, Bon Iver, Broken Bells, Cage the Elephant, City and Colour, Cold War Kids, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Foster the People, Grouplove, The Head and the Heart, Manchester Orchestra, and The Strokes. Clearly there are other bands to choose from, but I narrowed it down to these 13 artists. This group varies in popularity, genre, age, and overall band activity. Below are their connections. Keep in mind that there are two different connection counts. One number is people the band is connected to, the other is the number of people connected to them. In other words, the first number is the pages the band likes/follows. I will not list that number because it doesn’t need to be presented until a little later.
Blind Pilot — 632
Bon Iver — 10,585
Broken Bells — 2,079
Cage the Elephant — 2,664
City and Colour — 2,976
Cold War Kids — 229
The Decemberists — 2,187
Fleet Foxes — 4,121
Foster the People — 13,897
Grouplove — 2,957
The Head and the Heart — 2,766
Manchester Orchestra — 2,672
The Strokes — 9,523
OK. First of all, only three of the bands have “people” they’re connected to. Foster the People, The Decemberists, and Broken Bells are all connected to one person. As a matter of fact, it happens to be the same person. This “person,” which Myspace is calling it, is a band resource page called “Artist HQ.” I looked into Artist HQ and found this description:
Myspace Music is proud to bring you Artist HQ, an invaluable resource for any band, artist or musician trying to make it big! With millions of artists on Myspace, Artist HQ is the place to find all the information you need to get your Myspace Music profile up and running, create a flawless design, and utilize all of the tools Myspace offers to start spreading the word about your band.
Check out great advice that covers everything from designing your profile and uploading music, to managing your stats and promoting your page. We’ll keep you posted with relevant product updates, promotional opportunities, new technologies, and more.
So, this resource helps bands “make it big” via Myspace profiles. It’s my guess that these three bands used this resource many ears ago when they were developing as a band and developing their Myspace page way back when they were relevant. So, basically these connections are meaningless. Actually, when you click on Artist HQ’s Myspace page it is practically vacant. It has no description, images, videos, or links. Well, actually, it has one link, but when you follow it you come to a dead-end. Artist HQ = dead-end. Connections = dead-end too? Alright, let’s forget about all that for a few minutes and move on.
What is there to learn about the numbers listed above? First of all, the 13 bands total 57,288 connections. Is this a lot? Not by a long shot. Let’s take into consideration that Foster the People, who had the most connections with 13,897, is followed by 690,881 people on Twitter and liked by 3.4 million. This example alone should prove Myspace’s inability to gather a crowd despite the recent renovations. Despite the lack of connections there are some serious correlations here. I can’t ignore the fact that seven of the 13 bands have between 2,079 and 2,976 connections. Let’s average out those seven bands and I think we have a very good grasp on indie band connections on Myspace. Before we do that, the average for all 13 bands is 4,407 connections. That’s not the best representation though, and I think you would agree. So, the average for the seven bands in the 2,000 range sits at 2,614. Could we perhaps find a better average if we take out the top two and bottom two? Let’s see what we come up with. That number is 3,549 connections. I’m actually OK with that number overall because of the fact that three of the bands did have 9,500 plus connections.
Now, here are some other things to consider and ponder. Bon Iver (now The Shouting Matches) and Broken Bells (The Shins) are not currently together, yet both have pretty good connection counts, especially Bon Iver. This blatantly points to this connections feature being outdated. Bon Iver split up almost a year ago, well before the Myspace switchover, yet still have over 10,000 connections. Not possible. I originally thought this whole connections idea was a brand new trinket, but it’s just old news. We are starting to see a lot of this. New Myspace seems to just be dressing old ideas in new outfits. I’m not buying in.
Another interesting development is Cold War Kids‘ tiny 229 connections. They have a halfway decent following so I find this odd, and can’t quite figure it out. Can they prevent people from “connecting” with them? If so, they are doing a great job keeping their distance from the Myspace generation fan-base. They are better off erasing their account and utilize the Twitter’s and Facebook’s of the world.
Another thing that points to these connection totals being bogus is that lesser-known Fleet Foxes has over 40,000 while Cage the Elephant, Grouplove, The Head and the Heart, and City and Colour are well behind. Again, doesn’t add up.
Today was an interesting session. It has been a roller-coaster week dealing with Myspace. The week got started with the old format, which clearly showed inactivity and uselessness. Then we hit the new Myspace, which at first appeared worthwhile, intriguing, new, hip, and possibly something to bank on. That slowly diminished as all the features were proven to be eerily similar to the old Myspace. Everything available back before the switch is what’s now available. Actually, some things have been pulled, and nothing (besides a remodel) has been altered. None of these bands are exploring the space either. They aren’t going to waste their precious time on a zombie site (something that has come back from the dead, only to be scared, smelly, blood-thirsty, mute, and unresponsive).