Promoting Anything That's NOT Individual Tracks?
In my opinion, part of what makes places like /r/music so mind-numbingly boring is that outside of news, there's just individual tracks and question threads that beg for individual tracks.
There's some value in this and if that's the way you consume music, then cool. But as someone who primarily listens to albums, I rarely want to discover music like this. Like maybe if I'm looking into a new genre, it's cool to get an introductory song to get what it's all about, but beyond that it's kinda a haze.
So others who value any kind of music listening outside of singles + loose tracks, what do you think we can do to shape this community into something that includes us a little more? Discussions on DJ sets? Album reviews? Games like the survivors done on artist-specific subreddits? I don't think this is something that just naturally gets fixed through the hierarchy system or something, like many of the other problems with /r/music. What can we do?
The issue you'll run into most often is that an album, by its very length, is a time investment that is well beyond the snippets of time your average user on a social media site has to spare. Long form content is always at a disadvantage, and a full album is very long form content.
Oddly enough, it does pretty well in smaller genre subs where there's little turnover, places like /r/darkjazz are always very welcoming to a new album submission - but that's probably because the submission rate is 3-5 posts per day rather than someplace like /r/listentothis (where it's 250) or /r/music (where it's 2000+). Also, new albums in the darkjazz genre aren't an every day (or every month) occurrence.
There are solutions to this problem, though. A lot of them. I'd like to see them start up here.
The top quality music sub on reddit is /r/letstalkmusic. They do weekly WHYBLT threads (which we should do) and a weekly album club, which we should also emulate. That wasn't quite enough for the /r/listentothis mods, so we started doing face-melting yearly bestofs. All three of these content types generally tend to feature full-albums rather than individual tracks.
What's missing though, and has never worked right on reddit, is a sort of new-release and hot-content radar overview of the submissions. See, posting a link here to music streams is just never going to be as good as being presented with a nice, big compilation of all of the submissions in an easier-to-digest format. We've tried out basic music charts but shoehorning them into existence on reddit is an impossible Sisyphean task.
Someday I'd like to see tildes producing monthly music charts automatically from the entire sphere of music submissions, sorting them all nicely by genre, and then serving them up on a silver platter in a wiki page, or as a submission. Then we export all of that to Spotify like we do for listentothis content already. That stuff can update daily too, doesn't have to be monthly. It's just been our experience that daily/weekly submissions are a lot less popular than monthly ones - it's too frequent for most people so they end up ignoring it. The wiki pages could be on a fast cycle, I wouldn't make the 'charts' themselves that fast.
At this point, submitting to ~music is just a method of getting the music into that system, and people who like the longer-form content have it all at their fingertips in the wiki, while everyone can enjoy and share the individual bits as they see fit. On tildes, it ought to be possible to subscribe to only albums posted to ~music and ignore the individual tracks, once the tagging is more robust.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it's really not. I've written up a little blurb here about how to do all this using nothing but the submission link itself without any user input. We've wanted to do this in listentothis on reddit forever, but - frankly - we will all be damned if we donate one more red second to building features for that website again. We'd rather build it all here.
Sorry if that got off on a rant. Spend ten years modding music forums and you'll develop triggers and peeves like me. :D
Really big fan of expanding on the content posted here, particularly in things like full on album discussions and reviews and stuff like that. Never really was too big of a fan of just posting loose tracks, but I admit that sometimes I'll post or look at them if it sounds interesting in name or title or something.
I really enjoy reviews from other people and writing them myself, it's one of my favorite things from music. I comb through reviews on rateyourmusic a lot just because I like hearing why something affects someone so deeply, or just seeing a stupid one-liner that perfectly describes an album.
One thing I really liked I think was the sub /r/albumaday? I think it was something like that. I think it would be really nice to have something like that, maybe in the future as ~music.daily or something, and maybe a weekly discussion of one of the really large and well-known albums (musical canon I guess?) simply because I definitely like talking about those, although not to the same extent as before (usually), and it offers a gateway for people interested in music.
The first thing I thought of reading your post was the weekly album discussions on r/letstalkmusic. I never was able to contribute because (1) I didn't have access to all the albums (like now where I have Spotify and probably will have access to 80 % of the albums) and (2) my music analysis consists of one word descriptions of the mood an album has and which one of my friends I could recommend it to...you don't want to know all that, why am I telling you.
Maybe the problem is, that many people these days don't discover music by listening to an album in its entirety when it comes out...last time I did that was when Jaylib's Champien Sound came out. It was quite a nice experience actually. But I already knew I'd like the music. But yeah, what I want to say is, the way to discover music these days is by sampling tracks. I think album discussions are the way to go. I'm not sure posting entire albums will get people going. Hmm...but I'll start recommending albums if you want me to.
Let's start now: Roger Sellers - 8 Songs
Yeah. Actually, what prompted me to post this was that @Infra posted The Mantle in its entirety and all I thought was...this doesn't fit the format, despite that being the way I consume music the most. That seems like a problem to me when the format of the site seems to encourage lower-involvement content.
I don't have the answer to how you encourage engaging with the art and discussion of the art on a deeper level than clicking on a youtube video and moving on, but it seems like a worthwhile goal.
Sorry, I think I didn't understand your original post the right way. I'm not sure I agree that checking out an individual track is not enough engagement. For example: An average track is 3.5 minutes long. Most news articles don't take that long to read. And after reading them, I honestly don't care about what I read most of the time (ugh, I'm a horrible human being). I engage with an individual track much more than I do with an article. I actually think about it even if only subconsciously. I attach an emotion to what I'm listening to. When a track is good, I'll remember it, I'll come back to it. It's art. Sadly I can't put any of that into words most of the time. But just because there is no discussion doesn't mean an individual track has no value.
I bring up level of engagement not because I think individual tracks are below the threshold for what counts as being engaging or in-depth enough, but because they're comparatively low-engagement and have the potential to be entirely dominant like in other spaces.
Also I'm just scared to see /r/Music again. Tracks alone have plenty of merit and something doesn't necessarily need to start a conversation to be worth posting, but a cold abyss of YouTube links with the only people commenting being those who already know the thing saying "i like this" would be a waste of what this platform could create, imo.
I didn't mean to demean you/others for finding value in listening to isolated tracks. Sorry if it came off that way.
Check out ehlzi - Elmatic. It's a take on illmatic that's extremely well done. I made a full album post through Google Music streaming a little bit ago. It's good, and prob on Spotify too. I'd also recommend Shades Of Blue: Madlib Invades Bluenote if you haven't heard it already. It's genius and the full album is a piece of art. If you liked Champion Sound and you haven't heard this you'll love it (I suspect you have though so hopefully someone else hasn't!).
Elmatic wasn't really my thing. Was it even J Dilla who produced that? I don't remember. I listened to it when it was released, and I think it's been a while.
If it wasn't for Shades Of Blue I wouldn't have made such a big deal out of listening Champion Sound
What about daily discussions on different music genres? Along with some samples of that type, to get people into variety of they do choose. I know I like discovering new things.
Maybe not daily since we're still so small but it would be really cool to see regular genre discussions, those are always fun.
Weekly would be good. Maybe have a schedule so people into that genre could anticipate and share their favorites?
I'd like that, but someone's gotta volunteer to do the legwork ;)
I'd help make the schedule if we could get it in the sidebar.
I have already posted a bunch of music related articles and news items, e.g.
Bangladeshi rappers wield rhymes as a weapon, with Tupac as their guide
Man invades stage and grabs mic during UK Eurovision song
Body found at a marina on the banks of the Firth of Forth confirmed as missing Frightened Rabbit singer
So I am 100% behind broadening the types of topics posted to ~music. Albums, Singles, Reviews, News... you name it, as long as it's music related I am down!
I wonder how this scales once the hierarchy system is in place and if we see some growth.
Like, can these kinds of things really compete? There's people trying to do the same thing on /r/music I'm sure but obviously they get drowned out by the singles posts. Is there anything about ~ or its plans that can prevent that future? I can't think of anything at the moment, it seems more or less like the natural future is a more varied (because of the hierarchies) list of songs.
I guess the easy response is that it's up to the community to support different kinds of content early on, but it seems like one of the goals of ~ is to discourage easy clickable "upvote and keep scrolling" content...but I don't know how that will happen here.
We have discussed this a bit, though we don't have any concrete plans yet to deal with this issue... however I made a comment earlier that is relevant:
That weighting method could easily be applied to ~music.news, ~music.albums.reviews, etc. to allow their most popular posts to "bubble up" to the parent groups.
Oooh, I saw that comment but I guess I was mostly thinking of lower groups as being just subgenres here. That seems like it could be an effective solution.
...maybe I should do my part and not just post tracks from albums I like, lmao.
I'm cringing at all of the single tracks I've posted just today. I'm already behind!
That makes sense, actually. Just give the places that are taking a more intelligent tact more weight in the groups above them. This also dovetails nicely with that suggestion earlier about allowing users to set the weight of their subscriptions in the ranking algorithms themselves.
I also feel like, following the discussion here, art-related groups do somewhat suffer by only allowing a link on its own without any input from the user.
While when posting a news article it may not be appropriate for the user who happened to post it first to get a soapbox, I don't really agree for the case of art. In fact, the ideal (for me, and I hope others) would be to have users explaining WHY they love things or otherwise think they're worth posting. A link to music (in any form) without context is essentially the same as bumping around into things randomly, and I just really really don't want it to feel like a cold, disconnected mass of links all over the place.
Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. I think that's a Zappa quote (or at least, I usually see it attributed to him). Most people put the music on and never come back to the thread again (or even remember to vote on it) unless it utterly blows their mind and they have to geek out about it.
I think that's the main reason for the overall lack of 'active users' in the music subs on reddit. Most people pop in, hit something they like, and fly right back out again. Discussions about music also have a terrible tendency (when they occur) to devolve instantly into genre-tag nitpicking and a trillion variations on "I saw these guys live last week at $[venue] and they $[rule|suck]." Seriously, that's like 95% of the comments, and I wouldn't call it discussion worth having. The more popular/visible the post, the worse it gets.
The bits that are worth saving are typically people talking about and recommending similar artists, sharing personal anecdotes about the artists, and discussing aspects of the music itself or artist catalog, which is, I'm sad to say, the least common comment type excepting subreddits like letstalkmusic or listentous that are explicitly dedicated to that sort of thing.
I can tell you this - if you require a comment, 1) most people won't submit, and 2) the comments they do submit will usually curl your toes.
How to turn ye random music thread organically into this sort of experience? I have no solution for that problem, no idea how to do it. Hopefully the planned rep/vote weight systems here will have a better chance at pushing the good comments to the top.
Or wandering into a record store and kinda poking around.
Not that I necessarily disagree with you--I do enjoy the commentary that comes along with people sharing their music taste, but I also don't think it's quite as bad as bumping around in the dark.
I like @deimos explanation at the top of that topic. It makes enough sense that the commentary of the OP is mixed with the reactions of the other posters, and visible on its own merits. Buuuut yeah it gets weird with "art-related" stuff like you said. If you're posting in ~creative for example it definitely makes sense to have both. In that case uh, text post but include a link?
In all honesty, I don't put that much stock into wandering into a record store and poking around or the whole record store discovery mythos in general. Obviously I'm just speaking for me, but it seems that there's a whole lot of places that are just lists of things you could check out with no context.
You're a lot more limited on places to find what a record means to someone and have it meaningfully sold to you. I'm just projecting what I personally want to see this place be, though.
I also agree with deimos in general, and I express it there...I just think it's a little shakier on different topics.