Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let's Talk About Blog

I've always been flattered and humbled by the number of people that I've met or had contact with who tell me how much my work at WOXY has inspired their interest in music and musical taste. Starting The Big Beat is my way to continue having a voice. It's different - very much a hobby - and I must admit to being a bit sad that I can't devote as much of my time towards creating daily playlists, sprinkled with discoveries new and old for listeners like yourselves, wherever you may be.

Ultimately, the blog is more an extension of my voice than a faceless music site, no matter how great and informative it may be. The Big Beat isn't about me but it is from me. I've always, always been an advocate of having an opinion, and the blogs and writers that inspire me are listed along the right side of the site. Usually, they're ones who put their own voice out there, crafting and curating their site, rather than just posting anything and everything they can find. They all come with my endorsement whether they're aware of it or not. So while I've stepped back a bit to double down on my next big discovery - a full time job - feel free to give them a visit.

To that end, I've been sitting on this for the past few weeks and it speaks to the whole notion of music blogging itself. The excellent Breaking More Waves blog posted a few thoughts and better still, audio (via Rawkblog), of a panel conversation on the subject that took place during last month's In The City Festival in Manchester, UK. Speakers included Pitchfork's Ryan Schreiber, The Hype Machine's Dev Sherlock, Oliver Clueit of My Band's Better Than Your Band, Rawkblog's David Greenwald and Sean Adams from Drowned In Sound.

They discuss the explosion of indie music media and the blogosphere, a bit of the differences between US & UK-based sites and, in their opinion, what makes a blog good. You may agree or disagree with some of the points raised. It begs the question (from me): what's important to you? Reviews, band profiles, photos, new new new, audio/downloads, contests...? For example, I don't care much for live reviews. Just don't. Your opinion may vary.

Listen. Enjoy. Discuss.

In The City: Music Blogging in the USA panel, 10.13.10


  1. Thanks for the heads up :)

    "Usually, they're ones who put their own voice out there, crafting and curating their site, rather than just posting anything and everything they can find." I agree with this statement absolutely. All of my favourite blogs inject the personality and opinion of the author into their blog - be it humourous, thought provoking, arrogant, articulate, artistic...whatever just so long as it's from their heart. Passion is an ove rused word but the best blogs are those that are passionate about what they do.

    I don't think there's a 'right' or 'wrong' format for a blog, providing that it represents the author. If it doesn't do that then its more of a standard website than a blog. Blogs for me have more of a personal feel to them, like sitting round in a bar with your friends and a few beers talking about music.

    I actually post live reviews because so much of my music consumption is going and seeing bands live and I want to share my experiences with my readers - it represents me. However, I like the fact that different blogs do different things - as long as its from the heart and the content is of quality, then thats all I want.

    Keep up the good work - your blog is excellent and I have pleasure in listing it on my blog roll.

    Robin @ Breaking More Waves

  2. I don't have the time or frankly the interest to listen to that panel, but I do want to take a bit to add my two cents:

    Just as a blogger's voice is the most importantly element in a "successful" blog for you, so your own voice in this blog is the reason I'm a happy subscriber. I miss WOXY dearly, but you starting this blog (and doing a fantastic retaining your voice I enjoyed on WOXY so much) has been an enormous help in taking the edge off the loss. Oh, and the return of New Tunes Tuesday, even if it has to be a much shorter podcast in form, is wonderful.

    Thanks, Mike! Your efforts here are much appreciated! And I wish you all the best in whatever you pursue in the days ahead.

  3. I will listen to the panel as time permits (probably this weekend). I personally find most music blogs boring and never really relied on them for new music.

    I do agree with the above comment regarding the reason I enjoy your blog. I trust your opinion and more importantly, it comes from a trusted voice.

    I believe that a blog that provides links to download music are much more valuable to me.

    I hate to keep going back to the demise of Woxy.com, but I never had to visit music blogs as I always had faith that the station picked the very best music out there for me to consume. Wow was I spoiled.

  4. I agree with everything Charles said.

    When WOXY was live, I was making new cd mixes monthly (sometimes more than that). Now, I think I've made two or three since March. The Big Beat is the ONLY music blog I've ever read.

    Mike, I hope you find success, happiness and security soon. I love hearing your voice and look forward to the next NTT (which I hope is soon!)

  5. Thanks,
    That was a very interesting discussion, that I would have never found on my own. Your blog does seem to have the qualities that make it special - a voice and pod casts - that will make it shine.

  6. hey, long time listener first time commenter...ummm

    Loving the blog and as Cathy says its clearly got it own voice and style. What I love to do is download the stream and play it in my car while driving around as its so much nicer to give it your full attention. Ok, maybe keeping a bit for the road or whatever but you get the point.

    Are there any plans to take it to itunes or wherever so more people can get into the blog or would rights really stop that kind of thing?

  7. Maybe I am a bit late here, but the first thing that came to my mind was: "the current year top albums list". I am living by this motto for the past four years, ever since I discovered the 97 best at WOXY.com. Along with that came the WOXYY board´s best albums, which are for me a major way to get to know new bands I would never listened to. So compiling lists like the one you did on one of your latest posts are a good way to go.