Hi, I'm Liz, the owner and operator of Scottish Music Source, and on this page I would like to tell you a bit about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
First off, I am not a musician. I know this is off-putting for some(!) - I've got friends who basically can't see non-musicians when they are in the room, but I've always thought that's a them problem not a me problem. I am however a music fan and enthusiast. I was hit by the pop music bug when I was nine years old and I saw A Hard Day's Night for the first time. The years after that are a blur of taping music off the radio, reading biographies and sleeve notes, spending my pocket money on bashed up vinyl and Record Collector magazine, and then when I was old enough, sneaking out to watch live bands and go to nightclubs.
It's actually because I'm not a musician that I'm doing this project. If I were a musician, I'd probably just be double tracking detuned guitar all the time and never leave the house. As it is, sexy though it isn't, I'm an administrator and organiser at heart - I've always dreamed of creating an enormous index of everything cool in the whole world, and this is the closest I think I'm going to get.
The purpose of this website
This website is to gather and store information about bands, venues, promoters, studios - any person or organisation active in Scotland's music industry. There are lots of reasons why I am passionate about this project and feel that it is useful to you, the reader, whether you're in the industry yourself or a fan of music like me.
Comprehensive neutral information
It's a tough world out there for music makers. There is now access to basically infinite content, which means it is much harder to stand out and make a living. When you are writing your EPK or preparing your artist bio, all the advice you'll be given is to keep it simple, keep it punchy, focus on your Unique Selling Points and remember that the person you are sending your message to probably won't read it. Pretty great, isn't it?
This website is for people who want to read the information. People who would like to know about your influences, your best ever gig, how you got together, your favourite bits of kit, where you made your first record and everything in between.
Weirdly, this is also the information that journalists, bloggers and other information disseminators need to write anything deep or interesting about you. But they can't get it just now, because most people have a stripped down official website like a business card and all the interesting and juicy fun stuff is buried in social media posts which are basically unsearchable and a real pain to navigate. So this site is here to make that information available - to music fans, to journalists, bloggers and interviewers.
This is probably a good time to explain - I'm not a critic. I have very little time for most criticism of creative content - I've always felt like, it's quicker just to check it out yourself than to read or listen to someone else's opinion of what is good or bad about a piece of art. I'm not interested in making my voice heard, being a name in music journalism or any of that stuff, I just want information about music to be easily accessible for whoever wants to see it.
Breaking corporate hegemony
Most people these days primarily use social media to promote their project - while I'm on the subject why not nip over to the Scottish Music Source Facebook page and hit me up with some of those sweet sweet likes!
As the years go by, more and more internet traffic is concentrated in the hands of a few corporations - Alphabet (Google and YouTube), Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) and Twitter. This is understandable but ultimately regrettable. These corporations have unprecedented control of your communications - they can make or break your business, they can unilaterally censor your content, and their only real interest is their bottom line. I've been working on social media for a long time now, and I've observed that these websites actually delete useful functions in order to make businesses (and artists) more likely to pay them money.
If you post a thing on Facebook that you want to get eyes on, Facebook will downgrade your post in order to force you to advertise to get it seen. This frustrates me beyond measure. Here we are with all this technology, and social media and communications services are deliberately hiding the things from me that I most want to see. What gives? It's mind-blowing to me.
In addition, more and more of my feed as a user is taken up by advertising for things I don't want to see. I'm not a good advertising subject. I enjoy things which are dark, unusual, non family friendly and obtuse. I don't want to see adverts from Tesco or whatever it is. I want to see updates from the pages I have chosen to follow. This principle is now lost in the world of social media advertising.
So this website is a tiny attempt to kick back at that world - a little bit of the feeling of the old internet, where websites were made by people who are passionate about their subject and who want to share that passion with the world.
If you know anything about SEO (search engine optimization) you can sit this section out :)
Basically, the way the internet works is this. There is content which links to other content. Pages with lots of links to them are seen as more important by search engines, because those links are kind of like a vote of confidence in that website. Links are read using robots which scan the internet indexing content and following links to see where they go.
If you link directly to a site from your website it will look a little something like this <a href="https://example.com">Website</a>
This is nice and easy for the robots to read. It says the website address followed by the link text (the text which is actually displayed). If you are linking from a social media site, they use their own linking system to obscure your link and to make it so that all links from their site are really links back to their site. Twitter links for example are always something like this - https://t.co/WNFtcCysLh - t.co is Twitter itself and it simply redirects to the real link afterwards (in this case Awayday Gigs).
One of the motivations for this website is to provide nice clear links to artist content to help the search engines create links between acts and associates.
(To be continued)