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Are you an Anti-marketer?

Special guest blog about the “Drive-by” from StreetJelly blues musician: Clifton Printy

An interesting phenomenon occurs every few months or so. I call it “anti-marketing.” There are those who for some reason feel entitled to viewers coming to their shows. Some are atrocious hacks and some are superb artists, but almost all of them are completely without a following. They get on StreetJelly and play for a short while.

"Did you just pull a Drive-by?"

“Did you just pull a Drive-by?”

As a passerby, they wander through other shows gradually adopting the attitude wanting… no demanding… other musicians’ viewers. Then :bam! They announce in someone else’s show for those viewers to come to their show. It’s the infamous “Drive-by,” the biggest faux-pas you can make in online live streaming.

There are regulars on the site who have shared so much of their crowd.  Like Larry, Lana, Image and Family, Heading West, and Kelly_Mark who have honed their branding and created a crowd. Larry brought his following with him. He still frequents other shows and introduces many to the SJ family. He advertises his shows on Facebook and talks directly with his followers. Beside him being a professional musician, Larry constantly checks out new artists and encourages them. Heading West spent months supporting SJ members before ever doing a show. Lana sends out tagged Facebook posts to her followers and her fans every single show. She supports other shows and engages the audience directly from her show. Image and Family has supported everyone, worked to solve problems, created events for other artists, and sends random swag to individuals. Kelly_Mark has done a few shows and has supported hundreds.

The examples are endless and exactly what it takes to relate to a crowd in the modern age. We deliberately build connections with our followers. It helps them identify with us and conversely us with them. We connect and support one another. There will probably be viewers at any given show, as it is at most venues. But we must not forget this is a stage. Your viewership here depends on you, your sound, your ability to perform, how well you engage the audience, and how well you treat others.

The problem I see with the drive-by is not only for the musician getting his viewers barked at, but also for that person committing the blunder. It is very hard to discern the talent level or personal attitude of the individual. They may very well be a person of quality and integrity with a great show to offer. Because of this I think a lot of us are willing to overlook the intrusion into our time, and the disruption of our show’s flow. We try to encourage the other artist to the extent that we pseudo endorse the encouragement of that artist. Our fans also reciprocate the same. So that person then some how has become part of our “brand.” Basically, the people on SJ are so nice that the offender may not even know he has trampled on others.

Further; there are many performers in these virtual settings that feel entitled to a stage. It is important to consider that these shows and the attendance is not always about talent. Sometimes we are talking about long forged friendships and value systems. As an example, would a Christian band’s fan-base be likely to attend a death metal band show? Probably not. So why would an artist expect to solicit viewers from a completely different genre? Also, it does happen sometimes that a great performer sits empty on SJ while at the same time a so/so artist has a great draw. It’s just something we have to accept.

Having witnessed the huge heart of our regular StreetJelly crowd, I know how hard it is for people to discourage certain behaviors. There is, however, no benefit for you as an individual artist to allow this bad behavior, i.e. the drive-by. Go ahead and say, “It is really not polite to come to my show and tell people your are going to play in 10 minutes.”  My friends, it is not about attitude nor is it rude. Would you go to an amphitheater and ask the people to come to the parking lot for a show? Would it be polite to walk up to the stage at a local pub and ask people over the microphone to come next door in ten minutes? It is an unethical practice that steals from the moment of the performing musician, and puts the offender in an unfavorable light. The dreaded Drive-by is the opposite of marketing. It’s anti-marketing!

What is a Family Friendly Site?

“What is a family friendly site, Frank?”

A few people have asked me this question, and I suspect many more are thinking the same thing.  Here at StreetJelly, we often tell newcomers that we are a “Family Friendly Website.”  Inevitably, that has caused some confusion as the definition of family-friendly is as diverse as the community on StreetJelly.

First, let me say that family-friendly on StreetJelly is not a set of specific rules about what words or phases someone can or can not say on air or in the chat.  It is, however, all about common decency and respect for others.

Once upon a time, we were taught as children about a crazy thing called manners.  Some say manners are lost today, and especially lost in the online world of social media.  I say they aren’t.  It’s not hard to remember when online, or in regular public, that we think about our behavior and how we are perceived by others.  When online, it is very easy to offend others and make ourselves look like idiots.  This is made true by the lack of full context in our communications (body language, abbreviated text, misspellings, etc.).  Family-friendly means to think about what you say …or type …before you spew it out to the world.  One can be incredibly rude even if they don’t use any swear words.  (Yes, I’ve heard a few very offensive and despicable people use the excuse, “but I don’t swear.”  As if that makes horrible behavior ok. Oy!)

So the obvious answer is profanity, lewdness, pornography, and gratuitous disrespect are not allowed on StreetJelly.

We are not trying to “silence people,” impose censorship, or restrict someone’s right to express themselves.  Far from it.  Let me repeat, that is as far from the truth as possible.  I will defend anyone’s right to freedom of speech, regardless of what country they are from.  I think my pedigree as a soldier and veteran speaks to my resolve.  But I will also vigorously defend everyone’s right to enjoy music and art without the disruption of a few who can not conduct themselves properly in public.

Here are some simple guidelines to make this easier to understand.

  1. Remember George Carlin’s “7 Dirty Words you can’t say on TV.”  Stay away from them.
  2. Use the movie rating of PG-13 as a guide for topics discussed in shows and chat.

Movie Raiting PG-13

And for musicians, we give you much more latitude for your music.  If your art includes a few swear words, dark topics, etc., you are fine.  We are not judging anyone’s art.  Please take a sensible approach, however, to the diversity of the StreetJelly audience, would they likely be offended, and perhaps give them a warning of your content.

Thank you everyone for letting me rant for a few minutes.

Frank Podlaha,
Founder and CEO of StreetJelly
a.k.a King Frankie

ps – For all the narcissists out there that think I wrote this article specifically to you, that is incorrect.  No wait, if you think that – then YES – this article is totally about you.

An Online Venue is still a Venue

A special message from Martina, StreetJelly co-founder.

An Online Venue is still a Venue

Store FrontsThe Internet has become a big part of our lives and is often viewed as one big entity. In reality it is an enormous collection of services, businesses and venues. Frequently it is free to users, but it is not free to those who decide to make it their medium of choice to conduct business or offer a service. Instead of paying rent for a physical location, virtual venues pay for bandwidth and hosting. As soon as an individual logs on to a website this person enters a space very much like a physical location. When someone walks into a concert hall or store, it is widely accepted to conduct oneself in a respectful manner and comply with a few rules. Everyone understands a customer walking into a restaurant cannot simply go up to someone’s table and scream insults at a stranger. Online venues are not really that different from conventional locations especially if they offer live video and the opportunity to chat. Live communication among participants closely resembles an actual gathering place. StreetJelly falls into this category.

We are a small company created by music lovers and musicians who pour our hearts, time and financial resources into this undertaking with the intention of making StreetJelly a pleasant, welcoming and fun entertainment venue for musicians and viewers. It is our mission to be all about the music. The musical performance is our focus of attention and the chat was predominantly designed to offer a way of communication between the artist and audience.

We would like to thank our musicians, viewers and all the volunteers behind the scenes from the bottom of our heart and are grateful for all your support and feedback. Constructive criticism and suggestions are always considered and taken seriously. However, no matter how hard we try it is impossible to please everybody and meet the entertainment needs of every single person visiting the website. We are all individuals with varying likes and dislikes and no venue on this planet will be able to satisfy 100% of the population. Over the course of the last year our staff was repeatedly confronted with some extremely rude and disrespectful treatment behind the scenes simply because we did not accommodate the personal entertainment needs of a very small group of our users. We are doing our very best 24/7 and personally go out of our way to be polite and respectful to our musicians and viewers. StreetJelly offers musicians the opportunity to showcase their music and earn some money. We do not charge for broadcasting and pay the fees to songwriter associations to enable musicians to play covers. For those of you who believe StreetJelly is not the right place, be assured we understand. We appreciate the time you spent to give us a try and sincerely wish you the best of luck in finding a venue fit for you. It neither helps us nor does it help the few who spend a vast majority of every day on the website simply to inform us over and over how much you dislike our business model. MartinaHow many people would frequent a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner which serves a type of food they don’t enjoy just to tell the cook every time how much they disliked their meal?

I can’t mention enough how much we appreciate the vast majority of wonderful musicians and viewers. Many of us have even made cherished friends. For those of you we can’t accommodate it is time to move on and search for your perfect place to spend your time.

Thanks again to everyone who shares our vision of creating an online space of mutual respect and extending this respect to our staff and team of monitors who have a very ungrateful job. Hope to see you on StreetJelly very soon. This is not just a business to us, but also a labor of love.