Thursday, April 06, 2006

The web terms that can make clubbing better

It's somewhat of a trusim that the clubbing industry is behind the times when it comes to the internet.

Our customers at range from the highly technically savvy to those who just about know how to send an email. Their goal is always the same though - to make some money.

Avoiding the obvious argument that it's not about profit it's about the party, how do those working in the industry use the web to make money?

I have already talked about a few ways, but here is a new one:

Understand the terms

The web is awash with exciting and bewildering terms (it always has been). Here is a brief guide to the new internet (some call it web 2.0) and the potential to those who work in clubland:

Blogs: A blog allows you to save time, save money and strengthen relationships.

In simple terms a blog is just an instant, easily and frequently updated website. They are traditionally seen as online diaries for angsty teens. As this blog (hopefully) shows there is much more. There are plenty of people who agree, both online and in real, old skool books.

Can you use blogs to make money? Yes. But the best benefits are not direct. They allow you to start a conversation with customers/record buyers/DJs/clubbers like no other medium can. Since having this blog, we have seen a huge increase in two way communication between and our client base.

RSS: RSS lets people read their favourite websites without having to check them every day. Unlike email newsletters there is no messy mailing lists to faff around with. One click and you are subscribed. Another click and you are gone. No spam, no viruses. It’s closely tied to blogging (blogs have RSS subscriptions).

Is there money in it? Not in the medium, but RSS subscribers have bought in to you more powerfully than email lists or visitors to your website. They like you so much they want to be up to date all the time. They luuurve you.

RSS exposes you to your biggest fans. And you know how important they are right?

Podcasting: Podcasting is getting big in clubland. Pete Tong loves it. It’s taking the concept of the mix CD to the next level. It's like RSS for your favourite music.

Just like RSS, fans can subscribe to podcasts and get the latest editions of shows/mixes delivered to their computer automatically. They can listen when and how they want – on an ipod, on a CD, on their PC.

It's early days for the podcasters and they have not worked out how to make money directly just yet. There are a few methods knocking about. Again, it’s about finding and talking to your biggest fans.

So it's all about blogs, RSS and Podcasting? Not quite. There are plenty more terms to digest, but as the most relevant to clubland, those three should do it for now.

How many people in the clubbing industry are using these technologies to develop and stay ahead? Virtually no one. Instead we are stuck with user un-friendly, un-interactive websites that act as online flyers. The conversations go on ignored by the big players.

If the smaller industry people get their acts together and embrace the new, they might just nip in while the big boys are busy putting the finishing touches on their flash websites.