For an artist the on-line forum becomes that virtual club house where his or her fans can meet. The forum allows the artist to keep in closer touch. Tentative touring schedules can be posted. Samples of new material can be shared way before an album is actually ready for release. Depending on the artist , the genre of music and just plain availability, the forum can be a great place for the artist to interact or give back.
I just recently setup an on-line forum for Jon Raney. In Jon’s case, he loves to engage in discussions regarding the art of writing good music. The discussions tend to be about Jazz and the fusion of Jazz with Latin and other genres but even the pop composer will find some great advise here. Jon has been contributing to these types of discussions for years but now we have setup a venue where we can bring the discussions here. To the students of Jazz and those like myself that want to develop their skills in composing this forum is truly a great resource, not only because Jon is very knowledgeable but because he is willing to share and spend the time. These traits of knowledge and willingness do not happen very often.
As a composition student of Jon’s I have had the chance to exercise the forum. Already, I think that there are some interesting threads. Soon , and to coincide with the release of the second generation of Jon’s web site, we will be making announcements to colleagues and friends about its availability.
To conclude , the independent artist to be viable , must develop a loyal following of fans. Fans of the music but also perhaps students of the teachings an artist may wish to share about the craft of music writing. The on-line community as facilitated by tools such as forum hosting applications, is an indispensable tool in developing the artist’s fan base.