In this blogs very first post I mentioned how I tried to differentiate the various projects I’ve got going. This blog should be my main blogging platform for tech related stuff, with the occasional guest appearance of my other interests. The part of my old web site that was dedicated to my small one-man business was to be moved to another location. Also my music
[would] find it’s own place. The time for this place-finding is now.
A few days ago I purchased a few domains. One of them was synvila.se, the new home for my music. Synvila has been my monicker in music-making for the past two or three years (during which time I haven’t written much music). It’s a tongue-in-cheek misspell of the swedish word synvilla which means mirage. The music is melancholic pop/rock songs. For the past couple of years I’ve been writing all my lyrics in swedish, however I think that is about to change now.
That said, now it is time to actually make a web site to put up at synvila.se. Right now it’s just a temporary page with links to my SoundCloud-account.
Inspired by the recently launched second season of the Boagworld.com podcast I’ve decided to use this blog as a public eye into my design and development process. In order to have some sort of structure in my work (working for myself is usually very sporadic and messy) I’m planning to loosely follow the work-flow that’s presented in that podcast. Hence I will start with the purpose of synvila.se, the so called Business objective, Success criteria and Calls to action. (If any of these words seems strange or unknown to you and you are curious about them I’d advice you to listen to the boagworld podcast and read as much as you can from that blog. It’s really great stuff for anyone who designs, develops or runs web sites.)
The Why and How
This is always hard to admit when it comes to any kind of personal web page. Off-course it’s mainly rooted in some sort of egomania. I make music because it makes me feel good and I spread it via the web because I want people to take notice of my work. If I could earn some money on it that would be just great, because things I get paid for I can consider work and therefore spend more time doing. If not, thats fine too because I want listeners, that is really the main objective, the money-part is just a possible (but improbable) bonus.
In order to at least enable myself to make a few dimes on the music (and also expose myself to a bigger audience) I plan to put some of my music up on iTunes Music Store and Spotify.
So here’s the why as a list of business objectives, in order of prioritization.
- Increase the reach of my music/build my personal brand
- Get people to download and listen to my music
- Get people to pay for my music
Setting up these objectives would be pointless if there where no way to measure whether they’re successful or not, so here’s a list of ways to do that.
- A rise in the number of downloads of my music.
- Increase the number of my twitter-followers and people tweeting about my music (hash-tag #synvila).
- A rise in the number of scrobblings on last.fm.
- A rise in the number of purchases in the iTunes Music Store.
- A rise in the number of listenings on Spotify.
Most of these will be hard to measure because my music has been spread in so many places and I’ve been bad at collecting the statistics. The number of iTunes-purchases and Spotify-streamings can of course only go up since they are zero now. To get some kind of statistics to compare the results of the new site with I will look at my number of listeners on last.fm and MySpace, my number of downloads from the same services and from my old podcast-feed.
Right now @synvila is my catch-all twitter-account. There I write about anything and everything from my life and link to a lot of other content. I will have to make a choice whether to continue like that or to start a new account for the music.
As of this blog post I have decided to consider MySpace dead. My old MySpace-page will be kept, but its sole purpose will be to link to synvila.se.
Calls to Action
In order for the visitor to accomplish my success criteria and my objectives to be met I need to provide some sort of calls to action. This is a prioritized list of what they will likely be:
- Subscribe to updates via RSS (or maybe e-mail).
- Follow me on twitter/SoundCloud (and maybe Vimeo?)
- Download tracks
- Twitter about the music
- Purchase in iTunes
- Listen in Spotify
The reason I put subscriptions and followings at the top two spot is that I want people who listens/downloads/purchase more than one song. This also helps fulfilling the first objective;
Increase the reach of my music/build my personal brand.
A few things
The design process of the site will mostly be done in the browser. I’m not primarily a designer and my Photoshop/Fireworks skills are virtually none existent. As a matter of fact, I don’t even have a copy of Photoshop.
The site will probably be based around either WordPress or Perch as CMS, though I will try to do as much integration with other services, primarily SoundCloud, as possible. The bulk of the code that I will produce in this process will likely be available on github (MrHenko).
Let’s wrap this thing
That’s all folks. With this as ground-work I will start working on synvila.se. The process will continue to be documented here in the blog. I don’t know whether it will be a quick or slow process. Right now I feel very inspired and want to get to it, but life have a tendency to come up with other things that needs attending.