The hardest part about selling permalinks to less-technical musicians is that the value proposition is very abstract. Myspace’s angle: “get a bunch of people on your profile and maybe they’ll come to your shows.” Compare that to the open web: “put your music out there where anything can happen to it, and over time your rewards will be greater.”
The open web seems scarier (the loss of control) and its upside so much more vague. Even for geeks, the value of URI-following can be hard to understand. Once you get it, you see that things aren’t “really” online until they are permalinked. The question is: How can we show artists the value of being really online?
The biggest single argument for the open web is the flourishing of conversation across the blogosphere. Music blogging is still in its infancy, but as MP3 blogs become the routine way for new music to break, I expect a change in the way artists and labels value being online.
We’ve heard a lot about how music bloggers are wading through crappy file-hosts and legal grey-water. Perhaps the best thing to do is build tools and examples that lead to communities of practice among MP3 bloggers, where permalinks and open standards can prove their value. If we want the creators of culture to respect the open web, the best strategy is to encourage music bloggers to understand and embrace those same principles.