Writing for a particular audience by contributing to specific communities online has allowed me to develop my own ‘voice’ through the language that I use, and what I post about. Through writing a music blog, I can post about music and artists that I like, and allow for some assumed knowledge that those reading the blog have some degree of an idea of who I am talking about, or are interested in finding out who they are. This also comes with the challenge to ensure that the posts that I make interest those in the audience, to ensure that they return to my blog or the contributions that I make elsewhere online.
The platform that I used to make contributions to was a Soundcloud group dedicated to the genre of Pop Punk, where users can post their own songs to an audience of people with similar musical interests. Contributions I made included posting the tracks that were already uploaded to my band’s Soundcloud account, as well as creating and uploading new tracks as well. Along with this, I also commented on other tracks within the group that I listened to and enjoyed. At first, this seemed have little success, as I was mostly gaining attention from spam accounts. From this, I decided to use the band’s Tumblr page and create an Instagram account to be able to create more contributions and a wider variety of media, such as images, as a way to gather more attention to the Soundcloud account.
I wanted people to interact with the media that was posted, however, it was unrealistic to expect someone to do something for you without first doing something for them. This usually took shape in commenting and liking other people’s music within the group on Soundcloud. While this may not have resulted in the original poster of the track listening to the song in return, it did allow for others who were commenting on the track to see my username and go to my profile, resulting in some listens. This also branched out into the Instagram and Tumblr accounts, where interacting with other users, typically by liking, commenting and following people posting under the ‘#poppunk’ hashtag, which often resulted in them interacting with our posts in return.
This approach was inspired by week 8’s reading, where the author discussed the idea of online communities being similar to cocktail parties, where you should be able to offer something as you join in the conversations. They also discussed who would be the best to approach in order to gain the most, for example, the ‘midfluences’, who have many followers, but are not at the very top in terms of follower count, as they will be more likely to respond (Otway, 2012, p 105). This was done through interacting with people active in the hashtag, often those posting text posts, and fan art and edits of bands, but were not getting thousands of notes or replies, as it would be more likely that my interaction would be noticed.
Overall I have found that the attention generated by my contributions in the online community has grown slowly. However I believe over a larger scale of time, this method will see more success, as I make more contributions I will gather more recognition throughout the various media platforms I have been using.
Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. 97-109.