musician blogs are mules

What’s missing from these three excellent musician sites, all of them full-fledged blogs, as well as from my own musician blog?

  1. Brad Sucks
  2. Jonathan Coulton‘s blog
  3. TweedBlog

All of them take advantage of internet standards. All of them have a strong centralized hub for their own presence, which they use to point outwards to any presence they maintain on distribution points like Myspace. All of them publish their own music on their sites in MP3 format with full songs rather than 30 second samples; none of them limit their music to pointers into sale outlets like the iTunes store. All of them develop momentum by publishing regularly.

But none of them link to other musician blogs.

And why should they? Playing is essentially selfish, and player’s blogs are naturally inward looking rather than outward. A player blog which pointed outward would be just another music blog, except that it would corrupt the flow of recommendations with bias for the player’s own creations.

The problem is that successful blogging is recursive. Blogs blog about blogs. It’s not an accident that there’s an echo chamber. Blogs which attract links are those which generate links to blogs that may link back to them. It’s a Darwinian fitness test. Does your blogging get other people to blog about your blogging? If so, you’ll get links. If not, your blog probably won’t generate enough attention to sustain itself.

Musician blogs are like mules. They’re a final generation that can’t breed more generations.

Obviously I wouldn’t be doing it myself if I didn’t believe in it. I just don’t know how to tackle this issue. MP3 bloggers post what they have gotten from CDs, filesharing networks, or other MP3 blogs. I have never seen a blog post music from a musician blog or a social site like remixfight unless the blogger was directly affiliated with the source. Why would anybody link to a musician blog?