June 26, 2007

An Informal Poll...

by Chris Randall

I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal the other day; the interview won't actually be published, it seems, because I didn't Say The Correct Things to be worthy of that esteemed organ. The reporter I spoke to was basically asking me to back up her premise, which was more or less as follows:

A person has a small business. They start a blog to drive traffic to that business. The resulting traffic doesn't make the business do any better.

I think the entire point of the article was to say "see, blogs are worthless from a business perspective." What she wanted me to do was either agree with her, or refute her Fact with other Facts. I couldn't do either; I know for a fact that _some_ of our sales at Audio Damage are as a direct result of this blog, but the only reason I know that is because people have posted it here or emailed and mentioned it as an aside.

But the whole event got my curiosity piqued. I mean, the entire point of this blog isn't to drive traffic to Audio Damage; I'm not entirely sure _what_ the point is, but it isn't that. It is, if anything, a side effect. But here's our topic for the day: in your buying habits, SPECIFICALLY as it relates to music products, do you find the information from the four main gear blogs (AI, MatrixSynth, CDM, and MusicThing) informs your buying decisions in general? And specifically with AI, do you find that you're more (or less) likely to buy an Audio Damage product as a result of my not-infrequent mentions of same here?



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Jun.26.2007 @ 3:00 PM
I wouldn't say a blog has ever convinced me to buy something, but certainly in the case of AI, it raised my familiarity with the AD plugins, although I believe I was a customer before I read this blog regularly. And, certainly, knowing something cool is coming makes me want to have it, even if I don't need it. Similarly, the Sonalksis dev blog gave that company a much needed personal face on the web.

As for Matrix, CDM or Musicthing, I can't say they've ever made me want to buy something, other than perhaps creating an illicit desire for gear acquisition in general. Musicthing, though, strikes me more as comedy than a sales pitch of any kind.

A company's presence on a gear-specific forum probably has encouraged me to buy stuff more than any blogs.


Jun.26.2007 @ 3:08 PM
Yes, I became an AD customer 100% based on this site. I get my new gear news from the sites you mentioned, and they influence my buying practice. I could see why the Wall Street Journal would prefer the other viewpoint, however.

Badge of honor! Too 'new media' for the WSJ!


Jun.26.2007 @ 3:17 PM
Q1: No
Q2: Yes (more)

Jun.26.2007 @ 3:35 PM
I also became an avid Audio Damage customer based on reading this site. CR's "unique" personality convinced me this company made interesting tools of quality.

I read the other blogs, but it's more to find news about what's out there - none of them have enough of a "voice" to help me make any buying decisions.


Jun.26.2007 @ 3:58 PM
Answer to Q1: I would never buy something soley on the recommendation of a blog post. There are products I learned of via a blog though. Some of the blogs are just a rehash of various mailing lists or forum posts, so it's pretty rare that I see something new or unusual on a blog. (this site excepted)

Answer to Q2: The only plug-ins I buy are physical ones that plug into my racks - Daking, API, ADR, Quad Eight, Purple, Focusrite, Moog, Blacet, MOTM, etc. That said the first plugins I would buy are Audio Damage. The delay based plugins do useful stuff that is hard to replicate with physical hardware. (and I have some serious modular gear and CV controlled delays)

There are some really lame blogs out there that the writers actually believe are useful marketing tools. Sun immediately comes to mind. I don't see the same lame marketing in the music world, or at least not the hardware and music I'm interested in.


Jun.26.2007 @ 4:10 PM
the blog is a good read, and I'm much more prone to throw money at people than companies. The blog puts a human face on AD that makes it that much easier to cough up the $$$ for the plugs.

Jun.26.2007 @ 4:10 PM
As for the Audio Damage products, AI doesn't make me any more or less likely to purchase (although i do believe i have purchased them all save one) an AD product. the previous ones i have purchased have basically ensured my (near) blind brand loyalty. as long as the quality stays high and the prices stay low i will be purchasing. oddly (perhaps) enough, AD has the reverse effect with me. As, for my money, CR (and Adam) have illustrated to me through their AD work that they know what they are doing and can, in fact, "walk the walk", i am much more likely to put creedance in the recommendations and rants i read here. not just any disgruntled hump with access to the internet and spell check, but one who just may know what he is talking about.

As for the others:
MatrixSynth - i skim, only use for the ebay auction links (that Notron will be mine!), kind of unfocused
MusicThing - can be funny. If i want a stylophone i would think MusicThing
CDM - occasionaly points out good MAX alternate controller stuff. I have a KYMA and occasionaly stuff there has worked well for me. I actually do follow some of the leads at CreateDigitalMotion, their "sista" site


Jun.26.2007 @ 4:11 PM
Question 1 : Yes. Finding trust-worthy info on music gear is an arduous process. Forums are useless. Reviews in the major magazines are useless. I am more likely to look into a piece of kit if I read a compelling review that includes real-life application. Your blog does that, and very well.

Question 2 : Yes. Your blog lets people connect personally with a product. Sure, we could go download one of the thousands of free vst plugins out there, but we may never actually use half of them. If you have a personal connection with the product, like the trust created from reading about someones musical or equipment likes and dislikes, you are more likely to use that product.


Jun.26.2007 @ 4:18 PM
mike kiraly
Without a doubt, this blog has raised my awareness of the AD stuff, and I would say I am more likely to buy a new AD product because of this blog. As for non-AD stuff:

Matrix Synth - Love it. Read it everyday. Have never been influenced by it to make any sort of purchase.

Music Thing - same as Matrix. They're more for entertainment value.

CDM - I am not sure I have ever been influenced as a consumer by CDM, although he always points out interesting and unusual harware and apps, so there are definitely items I have demoed or researched because they were brought to my attention by CDM.

AI - For some reason, the discussions on this blog have pushed me into commercial transactions. Specifically, the Evolver and ADAM A7's were brought into my studio because of discussions on this board (btw CR, you still like the A7's?). However, these were items I was considering prior to reading discussions about them on this blog - but reading some "man on the street" opinions about these items tipped me over the edge.


Jun.26.2007 @ 5:01 PM
beauty pill
I don't read blogs as a general rule. I just find this one entertaining.

A couple of blogs I visit regularly (just for my own personal amusement):

link [journal.davidbyne.co...]">link [journal.davidbyne.co...]

really interesting and well-written

link [tiny.abstractdycs.or...]">link [tiny.abstractdycs.or...]

jessica hopper's exceedingly eccentric insights into chicago hipster life

The idea of blog (ostensibly a private diary made into public forum --- how 21st century!) being a promotional device is frighteningly cynical to me.

If I can sense a kind of promotional energy in a blog, I will simply stop reading.

Even when you post about products you're developing, it always seems "innocent," i.e. sharing the triumphs and frustrations of coding innovative music software.

Don't start to get self-conscious about what is essentially a nice, innocent forum for exchanging ideas. Mainly your ideas.

It's just a blog. Y'know?



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