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Blog: Into The Digital Future

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Yesterday I sent out loads of review copies for Dinosaur Planet.

"Eh?" you might stammer, possibly spitting your tea out as you do so. "How is that possible? I thought you said you were still waiting for the CDs to be re-done?"

To which I would reply "Get with it GRANDAD! These were DIGITAL copies! YEAH!" for LO! I have grasped THE FUTURE and worked out not only how to do DOWNLOAD CODE for our bandcamp site (where the album is currently secretly stored, waiting to be UNLEASHED soon) but ALSO how to use the capabilities of this very website to send out TAILORED EMAILS, like some kind of crazed online marketing machine!

It's VERY exciting! As anyone who knows me will be aware I am WONT to get all GIDDY when thinking of new ways to combine SQL, php programming and ROCK, so when I realised I could use all of these to send out formatted emails... well, if I DIDN'T have a new album to promote I would have run out and MADE one just so that I could do this!

After MUCH testing (with a HUGE amount of help from The @ In My Email Address, who has done TONS of work behind the scenes for this and MANY MANY other aspects of this Campaign - SALUTE HER!) I sent the emails out yesterday... followed by another one from my NORMAL email a couple of hours later to tell people I'd sent the first one. This felt a bit like when emails first started and people would RING to check that it had worked properly, but I'd heard that some of my emails were going straight to SPAM folders (as automated emails often do) and wanted to ALERT people.

The FUN didn't stop there though - after spending much of last week checking the YouTube page for Theme From Dinosaur Planet every hour, on the hour, to see how many HITS it's had I spent yesterday clicking REFRESH every ten minutes on my bandcamp TOOLS page to see if anyone had downloaded the album. I've set the systems up so I can even work out WHO has downloaded it, it's ACE!

The trouble is that not everyone in the world is quite as EXCITED as I am about the album, and after almost a DAY since the email went out the MAJORITY of people I sent it to haven't been and GOT it. How COULD they? Don't they known it's a science fiction rock opera concept album? Haven't they READ the press release?

The PLUS side of doing things this way is that it's a LOT cheaper and you can tell straight away who's listening to it, but I do wonder if the lack of a Physical Item and the fact you do actually have to download something means that Busy People In The Business Of ROCK are just not likely to bother. All the GUIDELINES for doing publicity these days say that people prefer to get downloads, but maybe that's just because they're easier to ignore than ACTUAL CDs?

It's early days, but we'll see what happens. Obviously I was half expecting EVERYONE to download it STRAIGHT AWAY and then start GIBBERING in EXCITEMENT at how AMAZING it is, but it'll be interesting to see how the reaction so far compares to what happens in (hopefully!) a couple of weeks when we send out the Actual Albums. It would be nice to think that in the future we won't have to go through all the PALAVER of paying someone to make physical items, but I think we're a bit of a way off yet!

posted 9/11/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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