How I Did a Stupid Snarky Tweet and It Actually Worked Out Just Fine
by Roy Peak
I’m a songwriter and musician and a while back I decided to open up a Twitter account to help promote my music and dove into the perplexing world of the Twitter-Verse. Facebook makes sense to me as it’s mostly friends you already know or get to know online, with similar interests and view points. Like-minded souls. Except when it comes to politics. I try to stay out of politics on Facebook, much like with family—life is so much more peaceful that way. But Twitter always seemed crazier, much more “fly-by-night” and—for lack of a better term—“louder” than Facebook, as if everyone was constantly trying to shout through the din of “tweets” to be heard. The shortness of the tweets (Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet) causes everything to fly quickly past in a jumble much like those flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. But I took the chance, slowly, trying to get a feel for it, posting sparingly at first, a few words of introduction, replying to some people I personally knew, posting a few photos and the links to a couple of recent reviews of my album. I scanned through the follower lists from some musicians of a similar type to myself, looking for folks to follow, especially music blogs. I came across several blogs that were new to me, checked out their websites and noted their contact information for future use.
I send out emails every week to music blogs—a short bio of myself, links to my website, my album, an introduction of sorts—to try gather some interest out there in the cold world of the Internet. Sometimes I hear back from them, most times not. I understand that my music is not for everyone, I know that some of my emails probably end up in the spam folder, or just never seen by the recipients, and that not every one has time to listen to every piece of music sent to them. But it's nice when you get a response back, and even nicer when they give you a well thought out review. Even if they don't like my music I appreciate when I can tell in their review that they actually listened to the songs, and have something intelligent to say about them.
So where were we? Oh yeah—the TwitterVerse. I came across a music blog out of the U.K. going by the name of the Rocking Magpie and liked what I read. Well thought out, intelligent, passionate essays on music. The Magpie liked several bands I was already familiar with and introduced me to a few more. Nice. I wrote a short introductory email about myself and my album All is Well and sent it off. No response. No problem. I waited a few months and sent another email about the single I had released of the Gillian Welch song “Look at Miss Ohio.” Still no response. Okay, no hard feelings, I figured the Rocking Magpie was busy with more important matters and I went on to other things.
A few months later and I see a post on Twitter from the Rocking Magpie. A poll, asking for information about whether their reviews were effective for artists and labels as far as actually selling albums. Hmmmm. I typed a short response: “Give me a review and I’ll let you know,” along with a link to the album on Bandcamp. I actually expected to get no response at all, thinking it would get lost amidst the countless other tweets out there just like my replies to John Murry and Neko Case had, but within a few hours this showed up from the Rocking Magpie himself on my feed: “That's not how it works. Contact me in the correct manner via the website and you will go on the to do list. #simples” Oh great, not only had my snarkiness irked him, he’d used a hashtag to say I wasn't half as smart as I thought. I felt that I had really screwed up. Now I was never going to get a review from him, much less a good one. The moment of truth was at hand. Do I ignore it? Forget it ever happened? Who else had seen it and had gotten a big laugh at the little upstart musician getting owned? I resolved to swallow my pride and send another email to the Rocking Magpie—the “correct manner.” At this point what could it hurt? I apologized for my snarky response to his tweet, sent a link to the album, and a short bio. Short and sweet, I hoped, and thought that was the end of it.
The next morning I awoke and the first thing I saw when I turned on my iPad to check my email was a response from the Rocking Magpie himself who apologized for not getting the earlier emails I had sent (which he didn't have to do, I'm sure I miss the occasional email or message from someone—it happens, simple as that) plus informed me that not only had he listened to my album but quite liked it and had already uploaded a review to his website! I checked it out and was pleasantly amazed that he had gotten so many things right and had taken the time to write a really informed and thought out review. I felt that he actually “got” some of what I was trying to do and say with my songs. How often does that happen? A few more emails back and forth and the Rocking Magpie sounded like a very cool guy indeed. So my ill-timed snarky tweet had actually enabled me to meet a kindred soul online and had won me a well-written review, one that I would be happy to show to anybody.
Now if only I could get more listens on Spotify.
If you feel inclined
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copyright 2017 Roy Peak