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?

 
 
 

36 comments:

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Jun.26.2007 @ 5:02 PM
brandon daniel
The more conservative mainstream media organs (WSJ among them) have developed an irrational dislike of blogs in general, and they alternate between talking dismissively of their possible impact and decrying them as the end of the media world as we know it.

It's no real surprise, then, that when you couldn't be used to support the premise that had already been decided upon, your material was left on the editing room floor.

That's how journalism works these days, folks. Decide the thrust of your piece, find material to back it up, disregard anything that might contradict your intended argument.

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 5:19 PM
matrix
Silly. I think she is missing the point. People don't generally buy because of what a site posts, mine (Matrixsynth) included, but rather they buy what interests them. I think a lot of people would find Audio Damage products very interesting if.... they only knew about them. That's were the blogs come in. They are informative in the sense that they simply let people know what's there. I NEVER recommend anything when I post. I just post what I come across on a daily basis. I found Analog Industries one day and I liked what I read so I subscribed to it. Now whenever there are new product anouncements, I simply put them up because Matrixsynth is about everything synth, and if I read about something new in the world of synths you can be sure it will go up. So... People that read my site will find out about the new product. NOT because I'm trying to sell it but because it exists. The buying part is totally up to the reader. If they find it interesting enough to buy they will buy it.

So... in short it's pretty commond sense. It's not about a blog trying to sell something, it's about checking out a site that puts up information on new gear. You check it out just like the site that puts it up checks it out, and if you like it you just might buy it. It's about exposure. So the answer to her question actually is, yes, blogs do increase sales, but not because it's some sort of trick to get people to buy the stuff, but rather just visibility. I get about 7k hits a day now, so that's 7k hits a day on whatever I put up. I don't discriminate btw. As the slogan for Matirxsynth goes, Everything Synth is game.

The online world is moving forward, whether traditional print wants to admit it or not.

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 5:28 PM
Stream723
I have seriously considered getting the little avantones because of your analysis. I'm willing to trust your ears (as it were) just because I know that you have the Chicago Industrial background and i have always loved that sound and in one way or another it creeps into my work.
Although in the interest of full disclosure I wasn't a big fan of SMG, but that had way more to do with a particular fan of yours and a personal conflict (cough! rexxarcana! Cough).
As for your plug-ins I still want to try Phase 2, but I got a little burned on production recently and am spending all my free time playing WOW.
Maybe it'll be a birthday present to me next month...
 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 6:26 PM
penZoil
The feeling I get here is definitely not promotional.

None of the blogs have ever influenced an equipment or software purchase. Funny how the recommendations of friends and colleagues tend to trump other web chatter when it comes to buy time.

CR, you finally got people saying on Gearslutz that SSL Alphalink sounds better than Rosetta, but you probably won't be convinced unless you check it out yourself or if someone whom you trust does the same, right? That's how I am, anyway.

I did check out your H910 plugin as a result of a posting here, but it just wasn't for me as I find the controls very mouse-hostile, and I found myself wishing it could do a cleaner downshift without major artifacts, although I'm sure you coded it to sound the way you wanted.

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 6:42 PM
puffer
Well, I bought some positron & Micronaut music because of this blog. Does that count?

Gear in general? Well, I guess my evolver counts in that you and Matrix made me aware of it and let me know it wasn't complete crap, regardless of its overall usefulness. Most of the time I can't afford/track down/have no immediate use for the gear that is listed on the big 4 blogs, but I'm a big geek so I like knowing what I can about "it" and what it does. And y'all have your strengths & virtues.

As for my AD plugins, chances are I would have come to them eventually just because of my software fetish and the totally sensible price tag. But reading articulate, honest writing by the developers (both of you) that I almost always respected if I didn't agree with certainly helped make it a no-brainer. Were that the only point of the blog my interest would have wained.

Take it from a blogger who is read mostly by people looking for cracked software or eBay information, a blog in and of itself does not generate anything more than glancing interest no matter how strong the voice; some editorial acumen and/or vision is also required. Companies that think it will automatically raise their profile are misguided.

I wonder if the WSJ talked to the Consumerist?

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 9:28 PM
Dave McAnally
Man I think with any marketing/communication idea that falls outside of conventional wisdom (including a blog), there's this whole catch-up thing going on with people who come from the "old school" of doing business (especially in the music industry) so they are forced to justify why things they don't understand aren't as effective.

A couple of my best friends run a fairly successful hosting company and check out how this professor tried to paint them "not as successful as they could be" because they don't have a college education

link [www.chicagotribne.co...],0,925673.story?coll=chi-business-hed">link [www.chicagotribne.co...]

(it bears mentioning that just about EVERY company who tried to secure outside capital in the dedicated server realm has gone under if they were around when those two started the company)

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 9:45 PM
Michael Moncur
I've bought one AD plug-in directly because of this blog, and will undoubtedly buy others. Not because you're promoting them but because you've put a human face on them and given me a behind-the-scenes look at their creation, both of which make them more memorable.

I've bought a few things based on what I've read on other blogs - CDM in particular has sold me a few things.

Oh, you've also PREVENTED me from purchasing a few things, most with the name Behringer on them. I'm definitely better off, so thanks!

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 10:33 PM
meeglosh
I hate to say it, but much like the arguable genius that is the hype driven apple marketing machine, somewhere deep down inside we all know that CR's sneak peaks of AD plugs have been tapping into some primal, least common denominator consumerist zombie inside all of us. Or that what happens with me, at least. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Either that, or AD plugs are actually worth buying.

 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 10:37 PM
giantm
The blog helps me know when I am going to be buying Audio Damage products. The quality makes me want to buy Audio Damage products. The value (price/quality) is what makes me pull the trigger with essentially no second thoughts.
 
 

 
Jun.26.2007 @ 10:59 PM
inteliko
If there is one thing I picked up from the major blogs its no matter how good a roland demo sounds the shit is still garbage(the new stuff that is).
 
 

 
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