Music Blog – A Platform for Emerging Talent

Many of you might like making song covers and posting them on media sites like YouTube and sharing them on social media sites like Facebook, twitter. But if you want to do it professionally and make your own music then a music blog is the right platform for you.

A music blog is an online showcase which represents your songs and posts them on social pages and music websites like sound cloud, my space, etc. As a new singer or music producer, you can learn about professional music by showcasing your music on a well reputed music blog. Here are some benefits of posting a song on a these type of sites:

Representation on Music Sites

If you are new in music world, then music blogs can help you find the right platform to make your music heard. Music blogs create URLs of your song(s) and post them on social forums and online music sites. There is a high traffic of song listeners on these sites which increases the chances for your song to be heard.

Performance in Events

Blog owners often play their music in events. Blogs like hip hop music blog and dubstep blog are particularly famous in dance parties. This can earn you a golden opportunity to get your song popular. Live shows have large crowds so you can gain confidence and learn more about engaging the audience.

Free of Cost Publicity

Blogs and showcases are the most cost effective platforms to make your music public. Blogs promote songs on social media and songs websites. Mainstream industry does not have much space for new singers, so blogs can give an opportunity to gain the necessary experience before stepping into the music industry.

Chances of Label Representation

Sometimes blogs also have contracts with renowned labels or represent labels. Posting a unique song on a good blog can give you an opportunity to get represented by a label.

Self Production

If you are interested in producing your own music then music blogs can give you a platform to represent your raw music. You can learn about music trends and market demands by following the discussions and comments of listeners. There is a good market for DJs and mixed tape players, so keep a track of current trends and follow them.

How to Avoid Music Marketing Information Overload!

I want to give you a little mantra you can use in your music marketing that goes like this…

“I will spend 80% of my time producing amazing music, 15% music marketing and then 5% learning music marketing material.”

This is kind of like cutting off my nose to spite my face because I produce a lot of music marketing content myself, but if you spend your whole time eating up all the information it’s very hard to ever get around to actually producing any music of worth.

…and marketing crap music has a name…SPAM!

You need to think of all the online courses, guides and books like shiny objects that are pulling you in all different directions and stick with one method until you make it a success. But the fact remains that if you don’t actually make any music of worth you are not really a musician.

Have you ever been in music marketing information overload?

This morning I approached my computer with excitement after a long weekend away with the idea that I would pump out a bunch of blog posts and start work on my new ebook. But the plan seems to have gone all wonky…

I opened my Twitter client to see that my friend sent me a link to a great article about how to “sing like a rockstar”, and that led to another and then another.

So now I know the theory of killer vocal delivery but I’m no further on with my mission to give you guys the best music marketing info I can muster. 🙁

Note to self, never open Twitter in the morning, it’s a total bloody time suck!

There are a few things that I have learned over the years (but that I sometimes ignore) which have helped me be more productive in my music marketing and in music in general.

– There are only a very small number of things that really need your time. These include making music and marketing music, forget everything else or do it in short bursts of 25 minutes each day.

– Reading music marketing training does not count as work, you have to actually set a timer and start getting something done as well.

– Work in 50 minute bursts of focused activity with a short break in between. This will help you tap into your body’s natural rhythm.

– Don’t read your email until 4 O’clock and set a 30 minute timer for this task. Set your band email account to let people know that you are doing this to be more efficient and will get back to them as soon as you can.

– Give yourself monthly commitments. This can be anything from writing blog posts to calling at least 5 music contacts everyday.

What does an unproductive morning look like for a musician?

1. Read 20 articles on music marketing and music industry news.
2. Scanned Facebook and Twitter for 45 minutes and followed links at random.
3. Worked on the design of the music blog on an element that only the perfectionists would notice.
4. Spent 30 minutes in the music forums.

Now the thing is that none of that stuff is bad and you could be forgiven for thinking that you had gotten your hands very dirty in the music business and made a contribution. But unfortunately that is not the case because there was no focus and no planning.

Now let’s look at a morning to be proud of…

1. Spent a solid 50 minute period working on 2 new blog posts.
2. 10 minute recharge.
3. Spend another 50 minutes editing blog posts from the previous day and posting to the blog.
4. 30 minute recharge.
5. 50 minutes songwriting / recording a video for YouTube to bring traffic to the blog.
6. 10 minute recharge.
7. Added a couple of emails to the newsletter sequence that automatically goes out to the fans.
8. 30 minute recharge.
9. Called 10 venue managers and booked 2 gigs.
10. 10 minute recharge.
11. Spent 50 minutes answering email and learning new music marketing tactics in my focus area.

If you make a commitment like that everyday you will find that your work increases ten fold and then you can spend the rest of the day reading your email or learning new music marketing stuff if you like.

The problems can come when you use that early burst of energy in the morning to just consume material, and then when you get down to doing some actual work you totally forget what you were doing and have no focus.

It’s very hard to start producing great work half way through the day because your body has run out of will power and energy.

To be honest it’s all about focus and you really can achieve more in 4 hours than most people get done in a whole day, if you just shut off all that crap pulling you away from the task at hand.

But this article is sooo important

A lot of times you might even find that you are reading something that seems like it’s going to change your life, and you will tell yourself that you really are making progress with your music career if you just get the hang of the information.

Well…I will let you into a little secret.

You know enough right now to become a professional musician if you just use what you know and make progress each day. We all know what to do, because it’s not rocket science.

So when should you feed your brain?

Now if you have read up to this point you may be thinking that I’m suggesting that you never take the time to learn or plan and that you are always blindly just mashing away at your keyboard. This could not be further from the truth because the mind is kind of like a car, if you are going to run miles and miles you need the right amount of fuel at the right time.

As musicians and music marketeers we need to know what others are saying so that we can form an opinion and add new ideas to our songs and marketing plan.

Here is what I would suggest if you have a full time job:

Find 4 hours a day to work on your music marketing then think of it like this:

– Hour 1 – produce content be it music, blogs or videos.
– Hour 2 – use auto-posting sites like Ping FM, Onlywire, Social Oomph and Tube Mogul to push out your content fast.
– Hour 3 – Edit your new music and blog posts and get it ready for publishing tomorrow.
– Hour 4 – Refuel, use this time to check your email, read blog posts and make notes.

Have a rest…

Another important part of this is that you need to have time each day when you totally turn off from everything and just do something that does not take any brain power at all. Sometimes TV or video games can work. You will not feel guilty now because you will know that you have done great work that day!

I remember when I was making my first album I convinced myself that if I really wanted to make it work I should focus 22 hours a day for the period of the recording and put everything into making it the best thing we ever did. I would spend hours and hours a day just listening to the recordings like some kind of freaky Howard Hughes dude.

NOT GOOD!

But what I did not realize at the time was that a break can actually make things work better and give you more perspective. While on your break you are more likely to think of an amazing new guitar hook or a lyric that is going to resonate deeply with your fans.

If I had just taken a little step back I think I would have made a lot more progress and enjoyed things a lot more.

I now take regular breaks throughout the day and this keeps me focused on the task at hand and my energy levels stay high throughout the day, which is great.

The musical grey zone (A massive problem!)

If you take anything from this article just let it be the fact that you want to avoid spending your whole life eating up all the music marketing goodness without ever making the cake. (Wow I’m churning out the metaphors today like a cow makes milk!)

People think that there is some big secret to this stuff and if they can just learn it everything will be OK and the record labels will take care of them…

THIS IS A MYTH!

I cant’ tell you how many times I’ve spoken with musicians who moan about the following problems:

– I’ve got a job, so I have no time to work on my music career but loads of time to play angry birds four hours a day.

– Music marketing confusion if you try and do everything you will get nowhere, just focus on what you understand.

– I spend 3 hours a day reading every single piece of information and then I feel too confused to do anything just stop it, this is the evil grey zone.

You need to break out of these traps now otherwise you will get to the end of another year and your music ambition will seem even further away because you will tell yourself that you are a failure.

This is one of the main reasons that most people never make it because they never make a commitment to work at it everyday doing important tasks that will have a real impact.

Use what you learn

The first step back for the music marketing junkie is a little bit of focus. If you are working on YouTube to bring hits to your blog at the moment spend your learning time looking for bigger and better ways to become the next YouTube superhero. Then when you hit the computer next morning use what you learn.

If you just follow this simple rule you will suddenly become much more efficient because that time you spend reading now has a purpose.

If you just eat all the information like a greedy pig you will get fatter and fatter and slower and slower until you become a beached whale and will have to settle for a crappy job that will melt your brain.

Let me save your brain guys

Learn once a day in a focused area and become the master of it…SIMPLE!

Final Thoughts

To finish off this article I would like to share my commitments for this month so you might get inspired to make a few for yourself.

As I said before the worst feeling in the world is getting to the end of the year and thinking that instead of making daily progress and achieving something cool you just played Call of Duty for the whole time and are still working for a boss that you would secretly like to kill.

– Create content that matters and makes a difference.

– Help as many people as possible use their musical talent to find a happier funner life.

– Add to the Twitter and Facebook chatter rather than just spying on that dude I went to high school with.

– Blog everyday.

– Post a podcast everyday.

– Post a YouTube video everyday.

– Add valuable comment to the music marketing community.

This is what I’m doing, now it’s up to you, let me know what your are committed to in the comment box below?

Look forward to hearing from you,

– Chris

*Get Your FREE Music Promotion Guide Worth $197*

Chris Rockett is a Music Marketing Consultant from London who Helps Musicians Build a Fan Base Fast.

How to Promote Your Band With Blogging and Social Media

Artist promotion before the Web 2.0 explosion was largely based on traditional marketing methods that have been successful for hundreds of years. This style of marketing, commonly known as interruption marketing, involved swamping the potential consumer with messages in a variety of mediums. For example, television, radio, and billboard ads often heavily promoted new artists and their singles. While this style of marketing may have been successful in the past, it is extremely expensive and typically requires a big financial investment from a major label entity. However, thanks to useful social media tools, artists today don’t need to break the bank in order to draw potential fans. Coupled with a strong blogging presence, musicians can practice inbound marketing, a type of marketing in which compelling, unique content draws other people to actively discover new music. By using these blogging and social media tools, musicians can more effectively spend their time promoting their music.

Music Blogging is Crucial

The music blogosphere is often one of the most neglected niches of music marketing. The average person spends about 2 to 3 hours just searching for information on their favorite blogs. One great way to really tap into the power of blogging for music is through actually creating a blog of your own. Instead of mass-mailing your press release to thousands of disinterested press publications, try actually responding to other like-minding bloggers in your posts. It’s easy to find music bloggers of all shapes and sizes, whether you’re a country artist or an alternative metal act. Use content management systems like WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr to post trackbacks to other bloggers’ relevant articles. In doing so, not only will you gain a valuable backlink (which has the potential to move your articles up in search engines), but you may also make a significant connection in the real world. The music business is all about networking, so use blogging to promote your music and establish valuable contacts who may already be involved in the industry. Interestingly enough, very few major label artists work to maintain a relevant and interactive blog. Instead of sitting back and waiting for a big break, be proactive and get in touch with the blogging world.

Social Media Promotion for Bands

Social media is a relatively new tool for bands to utilize. One of the first tools developed specifically for bands was MySpace. However, most bands still take an outbound marketing approach to their social media, sending out mass spam messages on Purevolume, MySpace, Facebook, and any other site that they can find. Unfortunately, this method of using social media becomes saturated quite quickly, and may even turn off some listeners from even checking out your music. A more effective social media strategy to promote music would be to connect it with the previously mentioned blogging platform. Instead of using social media to send unsolicited messages, use tools like Twitter and Facebook to really connect with the people who are talking about your music. Set up a Google Alert for your bands name, and send a personal greeting to everyone who blogs about your site. In doing so, you help to maintain a friendly spirit of community and establish yourself as an authority figure in the blogging world. If you have relevant, exciting content, people will discover your music blog. Social media tools work hand in hand with blogging to encourage a strong sense of community, which will ultimately drive people to listen to your music and recognize your band name.

Four Simple Steps to Start A Blog

Many people spend a considerable expense to have their website built for them. They pay very high prices for contents, designs and, inevitably, its routine maintenance. What if you are very enthusiastic to have a website, but unprepared for such a significant financial expense? Well, blog is the answer. Contrary to the high cost web building, creating a blog can be totally free. In addition to it, you can start a blog in an instant. So, it is not only entirely cost-free but also instantly set-up. Now, take some time to read the following four steps explaining how to start a blog. You can follow each step immediately or after reading completely.

First and foremost, choose a niche you are seriously passionate about. It can be your main interest or creative talent. Writing about what you truly know can be very practical and resourceful. Moreover, if you write something you are very enthusiastic about, it will reflect in your writing. In fact, your readers can notice and may find your blog very interesting. If deciding your niche is still difficult, browsing some blogs on personal interests can inspire you with certain niches. You can visit blogs such as travel blogs, fashion blogs, music blogs, photography blogs or weight loss blogs. These blogs are all showing personal hobbies, interests or passions. Now, find out your niche, and you are ready for the next step.

Second, sign up to a free blogging site. While going through the signing-up process, you will be asked to type in a blog title. Make sure you choose one that is relevant to your blog niche. Once the blog has been created, customize its appearance by choosing a theme relevant to your blog niche as well.

Next, write a blog post. After completing the sign-up and theme customization step, now you have to write your own post. In your post, make sure you develop a specific topic. By elaborating one single topic, your writing will undoubtedly be concise and intact. In fact, it will also encourage your viewers to read the article to the end. Before publishing, make certain that your post title is clearly stated, and it reflects the topic you are writing about.

Finally, build social networking. Since your blog is just a brand new one, you will probably have a very limited numbers of readers. So, to make it visible and well-acknowledged, you need to do social networking. Join some social media sites. You can consider signing up to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Search out for more friends and people. Invite them and then share your blog. In building social networking, you are basically making your blog widely known. However, the social sites you join are not merely for posting blog links, they are also useful for maintaining good relationships. This might benefit your blog when it comes to sustaining committed readers.

Instead of spending considerable amount of money for website building, you can just consider creating a blog. Most widely-used blog sites are free; besides, starting a blog is tremendously easy and fast. As long as you are serious and enthusiastic, you can create your own blog without difficulty. Just follow the four initial steps above, and shortly afterwards your blog will be all set.

Online Blogs Explained

Introduction

Blogging isn’t over, but Twitter has obviously taken the place of short form thoughts, linking, news, titbits, whereas blogging will increasingly be about longer form pieces. Blogging is like writing an open, social book, bit by bit.

Blog

Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software, or on regular web hosting services. Blogging can fit into your life as much or as little as you like. Posting as often as possible allows you to fill your archives with content, while attracting traffic naturally from search engines.

Post

POST FREQUENTLY: Minimum of 1 post per week and if you can manage it,3 to 4 posts a week is great.Posting comments is one of the most exciting features of blogs.Comments Are Content: Make sure comments speak well for your post, your blog, you, and your readers. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read. Move The Reader Through the Story: A blog post or article has something to say.

Writing

Writing is important – you need to be able to communicate your thoughts effectively… but trackbacks, pings, and comments are far more important. Some sites, such as Twitter, allow bloggers to share thoughts and feelings instantaneously with friends and family, and are much faster than emailing or writing. Visualize Who You Are Writing To: Writing to the “air” is fine for some, but most people need to know “who” they are writing to, and for, in order to begin. Your writing should give the illusion you are speaking directly to the reader without including all of the stutters, “ums”, and “likes” we hear in every day conversation.

Video

Videos are a terrific opportunity for you to be able to put a face on your business unlike any other media. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (Art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (Video blogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). You need of course to write a few things around the video, so the visitor can decide if he/she want’s to view the video. Plus videos are viewed on YouTube etc which spreads your message, brand, name etc in the web.

Traffic

You can start to generate traffic to your blog by getting it indexed quickly with search engines. One thing I realize is that if we guest post on popular blogs (with more traffic than our own) it’s a great opportunity to build a relationships with the commenters by reaching out to them. Keeping the conversations going tends to keep the comments (and traffic) coming.

Blogs: Why, How And What?

I used to wonder why anyone would have a blog. Now that I’ve had one for several months I am playing quite a different tune. Having a blog is a must! Anyone having a reason to share something can use a blog to spread the word about their passion, product or service throughout the world! It’s cheap, it’s fun, and you can make it look as fun and professional as you want.

Do you have a story to share? Is it ongoing and ever-changing? A blog is perfect for you! How about a product or a line of products? You can use a blog for marketing and educational purposes. Is there a service you offer and you need to let people know you can help them? What better way than a blog to get the word out and describe to people what you can do and how it will benefit them!

Who would benefit from having a blog? Individuals who want to write and get their word out! Corporations can use blogs to nurture their internal communications and culture or for marketing, public relations or branding purposes. Clubs and societies can design blogs to promote their interests and causes. There are political blogs, project blogs, music blogs, technology blogs, travel blogs, skiing blogs, photographic blogs, and on and on the list goes. The possibilities are blogless…okay, I mean endless.

Blogs can be set up for free or professionals can be hired for a more high-tech look or for interactive capabilities. A basic blog can be set up in around 60 minutes, even if you don’t know anything about the process. Just follow the steps, and 1, 2, 3…., you’re up and blogging! Blogs are actually pretty easy to use and your information or content can be added or modified at any time. You can be as low-tech or as high-tech as you desire.

How do you get started? There are many different platforms out there. Two of the most common and easiest to use are http://www.blogger.com and http://www.wordpress.com. Tutorials and support are provided and both platforms are flexible, having various design templates and capabilities.

“Blog posts” are the content you post on your blog. If you’re trying to gain marketing exposure, do some keyword research and be sure to use the results. Your blog posts can end up being shown in Google’s search engine results when people are searching on specific keywords. In other words, with a little research beforehand, you can reach your specific target audience.

How do you get the word out? There are numerous ways to get your blog out to the world. First make sure your blog is ready for “blast off”. When people visit your site, you want them to stay a while and get to know you. Share your personal story on your blog. Make sure your profile is complete. Personal pictures are a great way to help people get to know you. If you’re in business, you can combine your personal story with business blogging. Inspirational quotes are a simple way to begin. Share your knowledge and information to help people, which will cause folks to spread the word. Inspire the world! After all, word of mouth is an extremely powerful form of marketing, especially in today’s internet interactive world. Combine this with the power of pictures.

You can and should include your blog site in your signature on all emails, articles, videos, actual letters and so on. Invite your friends via email, on Facebook, with Twitter to become an official follower of your blog. Share your excitement, opinions, valuable and helpful information. Improve your copywriting skills. Post your videos on your blog. If you like to write, post your articles, press releases, stories, etc. on your blog. If you think you can help solve someone’s problem, post it!

The ways in which you can use or market your blog go on and on. Always make sure you are honest and ethical. Yes, you can certainly be humorous if you have it in you. Start small and keep learning. When someone links to your blog, be sure to leave them a message of gratitude on their blog. Their readers just may check out your blog too!

A blog can serve as your “Home Base” where people go to find out about you, find helpful information, laugh, reflect, share, enjoy, discover ways to solve their problems….. whatever it is you want them to do. You set the goals and parameters. Stay on top of your newly found tool and be sure to consistently update your blog, stay in touch with your followers and the sky could be the limit.

I became an Internet Marketing Mentor and Coach because I wanted to make a difference. Not for any single cause, rather for individuals anywhere in the world who need and want to change and improve their lives.

Tips On How To Get Music Featured On Top Blogs

It’s the dream of every musician to be featured on the best music blogs in the world. This is because being featured not only makes the musician famous, but it also increases the amount of money to be made.

While being featured is of great importance, many musicians don’t know how to go about it. To help you out, here are tips that you should follow:

Be aggressive

You can’t sit in your house and think that people will treat you like a rock star and feature your music. To be featured to need to let people know about you. The best way of going about it is contacting the owners of the best blogs and asking them to feature you.

When contacting them you should be polite and have a positive attitude. In your email you should explain the songs that you have done. You should also give links to the songs so that the blog owners can listen to them.

In addition to this you should also send your photos, Mp3 and other things that will make it easy for the blogger to find your music. You should remember that the easier it is for the blogger to find your music, the easier it will be to be featured.

Come across as a blog reader

Bloggers like people who read their content; therefore, when contacting the bloggers you should let them know that you read their blogs. For example, you can mention how you liked a review on a given band and how you would like your music or band to be reviewed.

When you show that you read the blog, you will attract the blogger’s attention and you will have very high chances of your music being featured.

Hire a PR company

If you think that you don’t have the skills to get your music featured on top blogs, you should consider hiring a PR company to do the work for you. The good side is that many PR firms have good relationships with the blog owners; therefore, if your music is good, it will be featured almost instantly.

If you don’t have money to hire a PR firm, you should consider hiring an independent promoter.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to get your music featured on the top blogs. For you to reach the right audience you should do your research and ensure that your music is featured in the blogs that are relevant to your style of music.

Blogs, MySpace And A 600% Increase In Music Sales – The Ultimate Secret

There is a little study that was released from the NYU’s Business School. They decided to check out the music marketing arena specifically about Blogs and do they actually increase sales. This occurred from Jan 07 to Feb 07. It is important to note that it was done over one month!

They tracked 108 albums sales. They compared people who did nothing and promoted their albums normally (this would be the base line) with people who promoted using blogs and MySpace.

The results were quite shocking.

They found that people who had MySpace friends and did promotion between them increased sales. However the amount of friends that you do have does matter however, they found one other little thing.

MySpace was good, but blogging was much better.

If the album they were talking about was released by a major label, sales increased by 5 times.

If there were about 40 posts, then sales jumped by 3 times. However, if there were over 250 posts, then sales jumped up 6 times.

Now this is hugely significant especially about the power of “word of mouth”.

Online chatter that is free seems to create a better sales pitch or a better advertisement than the traditional blatant advertisement method.

Something to think about. We have to think about the type of blogs that were used, but I would suggest that they must have been very relevant (i.e. to specific genre) and the post must have been in a promotional area or the writer must already have been known to the blog.

One just has to look at the whole issue and see that it is astoundingly easy for a “non label” musician to do exactly the same as their labelled counterparts. I would assume though that time is the main problem. However, fo the indi musician who should already be blogging and MySpace friend making then this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

I know that you are screaming out about blogs and have I got any tips for you. Well I have 🙂

Here are just a few tips to increase subscribers and have a cool blog:

1: Make sure that your blog is updated and relevant. Seems obvious, but people seem to use a blog just for advertisement. Forget that notion. It needs to be updated a least twice a week. Not too many times as people just won’t have time to read all your text.

2: Link your blog to your website and tell people about it in your newsletter (you do have a newsletter right?). Also use ping services (go into Google and type in Blog ping) after each post. Make sure that people can bookmark your blog as well. There are many services on the net that allow you to place code on your blog to subscribe via RSS and to bookmark.

3: Too many words are just plain boring. Add graphics and video. This just makes your blog seem…more professional and also subconsciously increases your knowledge.

4: Promote your blog like you would your site. Post into blog directories, make and post articles and include a link back to your blog. Relevantly comment on other peoples blogs, including a link back to your site.

5: Make your blog keyword friendly. Your main keyword/ tags should be in the headline and like an hourglass throughout your text (more at the top, little in the middle, more at the bottom). Oh, and make sure that you have a hyperlink with your keyword.

Remember though that a blog is a build up mechanism. One post won’t bring you legions of fans but regular posts over time will get people alerted to your presence. You need to turn a stranger into a listener and then into a friend.

Just remember that people are giving you their time, so reward them with good content. This is so as well on MySpace, make sure that your friends are given what they signed up to: information about you and your group not just constant advertisements.

Joss Wins Another One – Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog

An Ode To Joss…

I’m obsessed with Joss Whedon. I mean, most of you know I’m obsessed with a lot of things, but Joss Whedon takes the cake. He gave me my three favorite television shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and even Firefly. It’s hard to isolate the key component that makes his shows better than others, but here are a few to start with: His witty dialogue is by far the wittiest, he never gives you what you want…never fearing a heart smushing ending, and all the problems the characters face, no matter how bizarre, can easily be related to by the audience. For example: sleeping with a boyfriend and having them turn evil. Yes, it’s happened to most of us at some point, thankfully without the trying to rip out my friends’ throats part of the story.

And he continues to delight me…

So, last summer when I read Joss was making a 43 minute musical to be posted online I was immediately interested. When I found out it was called Dr. horrible’s sing along blog I was mega interested. And when I found out it was starring Niel Patrick Harris (Barney from How I Met Your Mother)….do I really need to throw out any more adjectives?

What’s it about?

The project began as a response the the writer’s strike. It stars Dr. Evil (played by Harris) in his quest to prove his evilosity and join the Evil League of Evil. Meanwhile, he has his eye on the lovely Penny (played by a Buffy alum, Felicia Day), his Laundromat crush. In his first evil act, he inadvertently puts Penny in danger and she is ‘rescued’ my Dr. Evil’s arch nemesis, Captain Hammer, (played by Firefly and Buffy alum, Nathan Fillion) a character who is hilariously unaware and obsessed with himself. This spontaneous rescue inadvertently puts Hammer and Penny together, spurring more delightful and hilarious (and musical!) schemes from Dr. Evil.

Wait, did you say it was a musical?

Moreover, all the songs are beautifully well done. My favorite is the light and funny “Freeze Ray” that takes place in a laundromat where Dr. Evil awkwardly tried to summon up the courage to talk to his crush. But the songs range from the romantic (My Eyes) to the funny (So They Say) to the utterly bizarre (Bad Horse) to the captivating and chilling (Brand New Day, Slipping). Preview the songs for free here.

Now go see it!

In summary: funny, emotional, musical, Neil Patrick Harris, and touching. I recommend it with everything I have. Check out the links below and decide for yourself. This is one impulse purchase I definitely recommend. I’m personally holding out for DVD version (right-most link), so I can check out the musical commentary and other special features (I am obsessed after all…). Watch for free at Hulu.com.

A Basic Guide to Blogging

A blog is basically an online diary or journal that digitally records about anything you would want people to read. “Blog” is short for the term weblog and a term coined in humor in the late 1990’s. They come in different styles and formats, support and settings, all depending upon user preferences. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting).
Of the numerous topics displayed by blogs, perhaps the best known are political, personal, niche, travel, health, religious, and educational. All serve to be a collective of a specific topic written or produced by an individual or by a group of people.

Is Keeping a Blog for Me?
There are any numbers of reasons to start a blog. Once you see how easy it is, you can keep one for just for fun. Or you can use it to advertise yourself, much in the same way social bookmark sites promote individuals. Other reasons are to promote an already existing website, and make money!! Blogging is simple, and if you can type, click a mouse, and have internet connection, then you have what it takes to get started. The best part of blogging is that it is inexpensive.

How Do I Start a Blog?
You can create a blog for free. There are many free blog hosting sites you can locate by searching for ‘blog’ in the search engine. Blogger.com is a popular, but remember, Google owns your content, and can shut you down for any reason. The plus side is that it is easy to use, great for beginners, and takes all of 5 minutes to up and running. As with other blog hosts, users are provided with pre-made, ready to apply, templates. Users are also provided with easy to follow instructions on creating posts and options such as allowing comments, social bookmark site buttons, and uploading photos and videos. Beginners will also get a first-hand exposure to a blogging community and the wide variety of blogs on the internet.

Another very simple blogging tool is WordPress. WordPress is free, open-source software, simple to install, and has a lot, I mean A LOT, of online documentation. Don’t let the phrase “install on your own website” scare you. Most hosts have the Fantastico application in the cPanel, and one click later, you choose the WordPress to have automatically installed. If you get hooked on WordPress themes, and there are hundreds of thousands available for free, learning FTP (file transfer protocol) is another easy skill to master.

WordPress themes do vary in complexity, so start with something simple such as ones found at AlexKing.org. Some folks concerned about how much they need to know html and php. Again, there is a tremendous amount of help and tutorials on-line. When I first started with WordPress, all worried about my lack of expertise, here is what one business associate shared with me about her perspective on code: “a little goes a long way.” So, once you start with WordPress, with all the controls and options you have over a platform such as blogger.com, you are sure to convert to WP, or the like, for life.