In the fall of 2006 I signed up as a musician on MySpace with the hope of marketing my songs to the world. This didn’t pan out, but I had one experience along the way that somehow made it all seem worthwhile.
Upon establishing my music site I thought it might be a good idea to start developing a fan base by inviting people from around the world to become my MySpace friends. For those rare folk who aren’t familiar with MySpace.com, it is a social networking site where people share information about themselves and collect friends from the two hundred million members who are signed up on MySpace. They can browse through reams and reams of photos from different parts of the world and invite people they think are interesting to post their photo on their site as a sign of their friendship. The degree of involvement between new found friends depends on their mutual desire to do so.
As a songwriter I signed up for the special musicians’ site which allows musicians to post four of their songs for the world to hear. It was free so I figured what could I lose?
I soon discovered that time was what one could lose. The hours can easily add up as one goes hunting for friends and checking out their sites to determine in a cursory way if they are suitable. As I went about searching I also realized that not everybody likes my particular style of songs. Although many of the strangers I invited to be my friends responded favorably, some actually told me things like “my music isn’t their cup of tea”. I was shocked because I was sure my music would appeal to everyone, but I’m starting to digress.
What I wanted to focus on was the fact that in my browsing I discovered that there are actually some people of both minor and major celebrity status who personally respond to messages from guys like me. I don’t know whether it was because they liked my songs, but a number of well known artists (both of the musical and acting variety) responded to my invites. Not only that, some of them sent me personal notes that indicated that they were the real thing.
One such artist was a major superstar who topped the country and pop charts for years before she took time off to raise her family. I was most pleased when she agreed to become a friend. But something else happened as well. Because my stage name is simply the shortened version of my first name together with “of T.O.” indicating the city of my origin (Toronto, Canada), I was pleasantly surprised when she also changed her MySpace photo. In place of the photo where she wore some kind of sweater, she replaced it with a photo in shich she donned a touristy shirt with big letters stating “I love T.O.” Now I know she spent time in Toronto, so I was quite touched when she did this.
I can’t say that my life has changed dramatically since that incident, but I thought it was simply nice to discover that some superstars are still accessible. They’re real people like the rest of us. It didn’t change my life, but it made my day.