Dave Wiskus is a self professed content creator and musician. You might know him as part of the team that built Vesper (a notes/ideas/to do collecting app) or as the vocalist and guitarist for an emerging band called Airplane Mode.
Creating music is hard. Promoting that music is even harder. Writing for his blog, Better Elevation, Dave lays out the difficulties in being an independent artist and his hopes for Connect, Apple’s second cut (remember Ping?) at a social network for artists and fans.
As Dave explains, the interface is rough, the Mac side feels like an afterthought, and the social side feels broken. All that said:
These are early days, and there’s hope. I don’t like complain-y posts where designers pick something apart and either offer no meaningful ideas or, worse, presumptuously redesign someone else’s work. So instead I’m going to break the fourth wall and make a simple suggestion to Apple: consult with independent musicians. Talk to bands who have succeeded on social media and see what worked for them. Talk to bands who have made great YouTube videos and find out how they get their audience to share stuff. Talk to bands who haven’t made it yet and ask what tools they might need to get there.
Or, maybe talk to a rock band from New York that happens to be made entirely out of iOS designers. We’d love to help.
And that’s exactly what happened. Dave’s post appeared yesterday, and by last night, he added this update:
I got an email from Trent Reznor this afternoon. Apple is aware of the growing pains and is working to address them.
I’d like to add in this suggestion. I’ve been working with an iOS developer named Matt Abras who makes a social music app called SoundShare. Matt is from Brazil, and SoundShare has a phenomenal following there. SoundShare gets social right. You can follow a musician, see what they are listening to, follow your friends, see what they are into. You can listen along with musicians you love, or with your friends.
To Trent, I’d say: Follow every move Dave Wiskus makes, learn from his pain, figure out what works for him. At the same time, download a copy of SoundShare, talk to Matt, get his take on social.
The potential for Connect is huge. But only if you get it right.