You’ve Got To Ask

If you’re harvesting e-mail addresses to blast hype of your bullshit production around the world boy are YOU delusional.  To quote Seth Godin, we now live in an era of PERMISSION MARKETING!  Or, in the vernacular of the Web, PULL not PUSH!

That’s what’s wrong with the major labels.  They’re PUSHING their crap on us.  And we react by making fun of their acts all over the Web and stealing what wares of theirs we want (usually the OLD stuff, which wasn’t jammed down our throats.)

Would you barge into my house unannounced?  Say I’M HERE, and  YOU SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN WHAT I HAVE TO SAY?


But the funny thing is these same assholes who jam your inbox are the same ones who would freak out if you did the same in return to them.

In other words…

If you get my e-mail address, either because you’re on my list or you found it elsewhere, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SEND ME GENERALIZED E-MAIL!  This is SPAM!  And is treated as such.

It’s not only the wannabe bands.  It’s the PR companies too.  Proving their worth to their clients by e-mailing their CRAP to anybody’s inbox they can get ahold of.  Do you REALLY think I read this shit?  Do you REALLY think it gives me a good impression of what you’re hyping?

And then there are those who get names from conference administrators.

NO, the fact that I’m going to a conference in (city) DOES NOT MEAN I WANT TO HEAR YOUR MOTHERFUCKING BAND!  I don’t want to go to your hospitality suite, I don’t want a free CD, I want you to LOSE MY E-MAIL ADDRESS!

Only the pushy old wave pricks would use a new medium in an old way.  The only people who read junk mail are those under ten who are THRILLED to be getting any mail at all.  The rest of us just toss it.  But now, with no cost for sending e-mail, the hypesters are cluttering our inboxes with crap we have NO INTEREST IN and we spend all day deleting their ridiculous missives which are always html-based and contain a zillion images that we have to wait to open up before we can delete them.

I’m gonna let you in on a secret.  Just about ALL of what you’re selling is CRAP!  Unadulterated shit.  When we lived in a much-less connected world, maybe people in the boondocks were interested in second-rate tripe.  No longer.  EVERYTHING is available at our fingertips.  We only want the best.  And your shit sucks.  And NOBODY’S INTERESTED!

If I get one more e-mail from some delusional idiot telling me how hard it is to break his indie band, I’m gonna PUKE!  Bottom line, your act SUCKS!  If you were good, you’d be INUNDATED with positive feedback.

The world is filled with mediocrity.  If you’re good, the word will spread.

And then, probably like the prick you are, you’ll pour money into letting MORE people know about your act, KILLING IT, just like the major labels.

This scorched earth policy, which tries to reach EVERY LAST possible consumer, alienates the core, which receives the same damn message a ZILLION times and now believes that the act that was special to them is now EVERYBODY’S.

You want to keep that specialness.  You want to let believers own an act.  You want to give an act time to percolate.  Because, like I said, if it’s GOOD, these SAME PEOPLE will spread the word.  You can reach everybody in a DAY via e-mail.  Think of parodies.  With that speed, know if something’s good, it can spread just that fast.  And, if you GOOSE IT, you’re going to KILL IT!

I’m not saying you can’t send e-mail.  But it’s got to be personal.  And you’ve got to ASK!

Be nice to me.  Say why I should be interested.  Ask permission.  And then I’ll probably treat you with respect.  But when you bombard me in your scattershot manner, me being roped into a group with zillions of other faceless people, I get PISSED OFF!  At YOU and EVERYTHING YOU’RE SELLING!

Make no mistake.  This isn’t just about me.  It’s about EVERYBODY!  STOP FORCING YOURSELF ON PEOPLE!  IT JUST DOESN’T WORK!  Put up a quality site.  Put up GREAT music.  ASK your friends what they think.  If they LIKE IT, they’ll spread the word without you even asking.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.