Category Archives: Web

Facebook Fan Pages vs. Myspace Artist Pages

Last year, a publicist set up a Facebook fan page for me but I didn’t get involved in it myself initially. Until January 6th this year that is, when I decided to kick start it by becoming active updating the page.

Here’s the link: Frederik Magle Music

A Facebook Fan Page differs from a Myspace musician’s profile in several ways. Put simply, Facebook “fans” cannot be compared to myspace “friends”.

First of all, you cannot add “fans” in the same way you can add myspace friends (that can even be done in bulk). The Facebook users have to find and add your page by themselves as a conscious choice (You can, however, send out invitations to your existing facebook friends, but if you’re like me you’ll have much fewer facebook friends than myspace friends and most of them are “real life” friends, family, and acquaintances).

When people become a fan of you on facebook they display that on their profile and in their news feed. Hence becoming a fan of something on facebook is significant thing – a statement for all your real friends and family to see, whereas becoming a myspace friend doesn’t necessarily signify any particular “approval” or interest in the new “friend”.

To make a long story short, a myspace “friend” is not necessarily a fan or even someone remotely interested in your music, but a facebook “fan” is most likely a real fan or at least someone genuinely interested in you and/or your music.

To me that makes the Facebook fan page more relevant than a Myspace page as a way of getting the word out and connecting with online listeners, even with far fewer “fans” than myspace “friends”. I’m not abandoning Myspace, but I will focus the time I spend of “social networks” on the Facebook page from now on (though of course I will always spend the most time and give highest priority to my own website.)

A Tale Of Two Music Forums

A little over four years ago (in 2002) I founded Magle International Music Forums. Initially it worked as a sort of glorified »guest book« in addition to my personal site. But very soon – within the first 6 months – I took it in a completely different direction and largely removed the affiliation with my person. For example by adding sections where other composers and musicians can promote their music and have it reviewed. Since the launch the forum has grown significantly and consists today of close to 16,000 posts covering a wide array of musical genre and topics: classical music, pipe organs, crossover & fusion, progressive rock, film music, etc.

In the beginning of 2006, my megalomaniac tendencies took the better of me, and I began considering ways to expand even further… One thing I considered was possibly buying other sites, and thus I went looking on the net. I came across a site called Talk Classical, which is a »classical music forum« of very high quality, but at the time it was almost dead. It had about 3500 posts and 200 members, but the level of activity was very low with only a few new posts per week. It sparked my interest – perhaps a chance to revive it? I went as far as looking up the owner of the domain and began thinking about how to approach him by email, but for various reasons I decided to leave it for the time being.

And then the miracle happened, only about a month after I had considered contacting the owner, in the middle of February, I stumbled across a classified ad (post) on a forum about dealing with domain names – completely by chance! It so happened that the owner had put up for an online auction! That was a sign I couldn’t resist, and it ended up we me buying the Talk Classical forum and domain name. It was the first time I had bought a website but the takeover went pretty smoothly.

To begin with I also took over the hosting account, but it was a so called »shared hosting« (running on a server with maybe hundreds of other sites) causing the forum to run annoyingly – sometimes unbearably – slow. Magle International Music Forums was also running on shared hosting (though at a different company) and also experienced low performance. So, on June 6th, 2006 I finally took the step all out and moved both sites to a dedicated server. It’s extremely expensive and causing me quite big “losses”, but (after some initial teething problems) both sites now run at excellent speed. So I consider it an investment in the future – it better pay of some day! 😀

After taking over Talk Classical I started doing small but significant technical improvements, besides moving it to the dedicated server. I also began a long term internet ad campaign that has brought in many new members. The first 6 months, things went slow. Posting rates improved but only at a relatively slow pace, and I myself had unfortunately only limited time for posting. Then in the fall the breakthrough happened! The rate of new members and posts began to increase exponentially, and here we are today with Talk Classical being a rather thriving and growing classical music forum.

As of recently, some days Talk Classical is even more active than Magle International Music Forums. My goal is of course for both forums to be successful. Originally I contemplated some sort of technical merger, but I have since abandoned that idea and will instead run the two forums as separate but somewhat interconnected »sister sites«. There’s actually a little competition between them on the subject of classical music, but I believe a little friendly competition can only be good thing.

The challenge now is to build on the momentum and keep the growth of Talk Classical and further expand Magle International Music Forums. In fact the latter is probably the one requiring the most work right now as it has seen a slight slowdown as of recently. How do I differentiate the two forums, and how do I use and expand their individual strengths to mutual benefit? Those are some of the challenges facing me.

One thing’s for sure. Running a forum, yet alone two, is a big job. I constantly have to consider how to do it without it taking time away from me composing – I guess I’ll just have to stay awake a few more hours a day 😉 Without the help from dedicated moderators and co-administrators it would be outright impossible, luckily for me (and the communities) there are some great moderators/co-admins on both forums. No matter what, the joy from seeing such a project succeed is immense and will make it worth it all.

I will keep you posted on the progress

Best regards,
Frederik Magle

Back in business…

Well, the title is a little misleading since I haven’t actually been out of business this summer (I’ve been composing, more about that later), but I’m now back in the internet business as well :)

That means I will be updating this blog more ofen (hopefully) and also that I am now much more present at my forums. Speaking of the forums, I just upgraded Magle International Music Forums to the latest software. And that includes a cool new “trackback” function, which I will test on this post.

More coming sooon…

Interesting Websites (part 1)

I must admit that besides the time I spend working on my own sites, I have somewhat limited time for surfing around the net and visiting other sites. Still, I’m going to start a list of places on the net which I find interesting and well worth a visit.

(Just a little disclaimer: 1. The fact that I find the sites interesting does not necessarily mean that I agree with the opinions expressed on them. It means exactly what it says: I find them interesting and worth visiting that you may form your own opinion. 2. I’m not going to list them in any particular order, but rather randomly as they come to mind and as I surf by them. Thus sites not mentioned in this first round is not in any way less interesting or important to me than the ones I mention below)

Alright, today I’ll start out with three very different sites (all of them of course free of charge to view and use). I’m not going to mention any of the music sites I frequent this time around (there should be something to look forward to the next time ;)) but instead I’ll touch on a few other topics.

First, I think most people have heard about this site by now, but it does deserve mentioning: An encyclopedia written by its readers – anyone can write and edit the articles! If you write something wrong (willfully or not), chances are it will be corrected by others within few hours, or even minutes. A fascinating idea, and even more fascinating that it actually works (for most parts). Like everything else on the net one should always excercie caution about the correctness of the informations, but with that in mind it can be a very useful tool. Actually when I said I was not going to mention any music sites this time it was not 100% true as there are a very large number of music articles, some of them of high quality, to be found on wikipedia.

Next is a discussion forum called »The Rant Page«. A place to let out some steam! Things can get pretty heated, as it tend to do when people of various political views join in discussions, but it is generally very well managed so it’s certainly worth a visit.

Third, and now to something completely different: A web cartoon that I read from time to time: It’s written by the quite talented cartoonist Scott Kurtz. I don’t know him personally but I tend to like the humour of that series.

Well, that’s all for this time. This is just the beginning, I could mention many other sites that I find interesting, and I will.. :) Until next time, happy surfing – and remember, always use your intelligence, common sense and remain critical of whatever information you get through the net (or elsewhere for that matter)

Major transition of music forums almost complete

The last couple of days I’ve spend many hours doing a major software transition of Magle International Music Forums from the now old and obsolete software UBB.threads to the modern and much more advanced vBulletin.

The switch itself took place in the weekend and went well besides a few glitches. I imported all threads, posts, attachments and members to the new forum and that went well, or at least as well as could possibly be expected. However, I must admit that one thing I had significantly underestimated is the time I have to spend updating all the links pointing to the old forum. It may not sound like a big deal (which is probably why I underestimated it in the first place), but it needs to be done (or else people will keep ending up in the old forums and the new forums will not be indexed as well by the search engines), and it takes a looooooooong time to do… So far I’ve only done the most important links and that have taken at least 12 hours of my time in the last three days – just editing links. There are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of the nasty little buggers that needs to be fixed! Aaaarrggh!

The activity has not yet taken up on the new forums. There can be several reasons for that just after a major switch, but I expect (*crossing fingers* ;)) that it will return to the normal level soon, and in time grow to surpass it. Anyhow, go take a look. It’s really nice and a lot of care and work has been put into it :)