For the last month Christian Web Trends has been talking about MySpace. What is it? Is it safe? How can it be used for ministry? But we left the best for last. There’s one area use for MySpace that stands out in the crowd. There’s one group of people who can benefit from using MySpace far beyond any other. Can you guess who it is?
Bands have always gained a following by word of mouth. When I was in high school I would drive around after school with friends and someone would pop in a tape of a cool new band they had heard open at a concert the weekend before. If I liked it, I might buy a copy for myself (if I had any money), and then I’d be playing it for other friends until the tape wore out. Some of them might buy it and listen to it with their other friends, and so on. It was social networking in the pre-Internet era.
For most people, music is something to share and experience with other people. The social component of music is undeniable, and MySpace has tapped into this by putting a clear focus on music.
While the typical MySpace profile is designed for personal use, MySpace developed a unique member template specifically for bands and musicians who want to network with people. The template includes places for bands to list their members, influences, news, tour dates, photos, videos, blogs, and more.
Musical artists have flocked to MySpace and now you are likely to find a profile for just about every band and soloist you’ve ever heard of. Christian artists of every style and genre can also be found including Chris Tomlin , Toby Mac, Kirk Franklin, Stryper, and Natalie Grant
But MySpace is not just for musicians on major labels. In fact, MySpace is an even more valuable tool for those independent artists who don’t have the big marketing budgets behind them. It allows them to easily keep in touch with fans and friends, letting them know about upcoming performances, recording projects, and other information. It also facilitates the “word-of-mouth” social marketing that occurs when friends tell their friends about the bands they like.
A quick search shows almost 8,000 artists listed in the Christian and Christian Rap genres combined. I even found a few local artists I know in the Tampa Bay area: Carousol, Keith Roberts, Brian Jones, and Shattered Silence
If you’re a Christian musician with a MySpace profile post a link and tell us how MySpace has impacted your ministry. If you’re a Christian musician and you’re not on MySpace, why not?