As of a few seconds ago...Hank and I started this blog seven years ago. We've been good and bad. We've had very few readers and at times a lot of them (that one time Hank posted about Lady Gaga). The world of music blogging has changed over these seven years, but I still remember why I started WLFY in the first place. I admired and wanted to be like the music blogs I read for years. My Old Kentucky Blog, Aquarium Drunkard, You Ain't No Picasso, I Guess I'm Floating, Pitchfork, and others...these were the "celebrities" I looked up to. They shaped my life and appeared to be the gatekeepers of undiscovered sounds. I wanted to know how they did it and more importantly, I wanted to do it. A lot has changed and to celebrate seven years I wanted to list the SEVEN THINGS I HOPE MUSIC BLOGS WILL CHANGE.
1.) More emphasis on helping bands/artists. Instead of generating as much content as possible to pad the old page views, I would love to see music blogs (specifically the ones that aren't businesses...hits are irrelevant my friends) rally around bands/artists and go beyond just posting to help out the talents you believe in.
2.) Stop the fake news...it's making it hard to focus on what's important. An example of fake news would be "Drake lint rolls his pants at Raptor's game". Let the gossip and individual big celebrity fan sites cover this junk. Once again, this is for non-business music blogs...the big ones need these TMZ-esq posts to stay functional. For those interested in curating a music blog, do it to highlight the art and not the gossip.
3.) Bring back the Twitter love. Everybody talks about the epic "twitter fights" back in the day...but right when twitter was kicking off, music bloggers used to actively engage with each other about their writing. We're too lazy these days...a "favorite star" will do just fine as a pat on the back. I know all of our twitter feeds fly by second to second these days, but I do miss the long back and forth conversations and actual praise we used to pass on when a fellow writer really went above and beyond with their craft.
4.) Reading blogs. I'm saying "back in the day" a lot to refer to 2004-2008...but back in the day all the music bloggers used to read each others' writing. This was important because as a writer doing this for free, I felt like I was connected to something bigger than my own small site. The community seems fractured and disinterested. Maybe we should all pack it in...but I'm going the other way and trying to read more and more music blogs like I used to.
5.) Be less dependent on lists. *I know...I know.
6.) Time doesn't matter. Music news and reviews are moving so fast these days that posting first doesn't matter anymore. Once again, if you're doing this for monetary purposes then rush, rush, rush...but if you're not...take your time. Really let the album or song sit with you in life for a while. You'll never compete with the bigger sites when it comes to churning out content at lightening fast speeds...so why try? You can gain ground by making sure your content is smarter than the rushed posting of others.
7.) Can we have fun again? I'm not sure why music blogging has entered this current "down in the mouth" state. Even the high scoring album reviews these days spend excessive amounts of time condemning the rest of the music industry or the current state of music in general. This is coming from one of biggest sore sports of music blogging back in the 2007-2008 days...but I'm getting old and tired of us forgetting why we all do this time consuming endeavor in the first place...WE LOVE MUSIC. That music writer you hate LOVES MUSIC. That blog you think sold out LOVES MUSIC. Let's continue to debate and criticize (that's how we all get better), but let's remember that other half that seems to becoming neglected: have fun and show how fun music is with our passionate writing.
*NOTE: Hank and I are not claiming to have mastered these seven changes...in fact (I'll leave Hank out of this) I've probably shot off at the mouth and made more mistakes than any music blogger from 2007-2014.
We have to believe we can get better and the day I don't...this blog is over.
If you live near or in Louisville...come celebrate seven years of WLFY with us: