Limiting one's creative awareness by focusing only on music is increasingly as big a career mistake as avoiding understanding the world of business. Social media has turned musicians into publishers, business is embracing design and creative networks are offering additional opportunities for musicians to find community while marketing their artistic brand. Such creative networks range from digital zine platform Convozine to creative center The New Hive to Diaspora and its increasing focus on creative expression.
If you don't follow business news beyond the world of music industry blogs and related publications, you might not realize that design thinking as a business process and design as a source of creative inspiration are currently major themes for innovators. Business-related publishers such as Fast Company, with Co.Design, and Wired, with Wired Design, are making major commitments to this emerging trend. Since musicians are already creative individuals, one way to connect to such developments is to become involved in new creative networks.
[Above thumbnail from The Soulful Sound Lounge on Convozine.]
Convozine: Digital Zine Platform
Convozine is a unique new platform for creativity in the form of digital zines. You can post to existing zines or start your own. You can focus on publishing, networking or just hanging out and soaking in creative expression.
Featured zines are organized around a variety of themes including some related directly to music and others related to topics for which music can be easily considered an important aspect.
The New Hive: Blank Canvas for Creativity
The New Hive exists to offer a blank canvas for creativity. In fact, except for a grid to help you get organized as you drag and drop content, The New Hive literally provides a blank page with which to create.
The work you create can be kept private or made public. There are discussion and sharing options and you can even embed the work you create on other sites.
Diaspora: Creative Social Network
Diaspora has gone through a lot of ups and downs over the last couple of years, including the suicide of cofounder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, but they've continued developing the project.
Diaspora has moved beyond being an open source, distributed network with an emphasis on user privacy and data ownership to developing an additional focus on creativity. Users have a wider range of design choices and related apps, such as cubbi.es for the creation of photo collections, extend the creative possibilities.
Creative Networking Advice
Keep in mind that even if you're getting involved with something for marketing purposes, you need to get involved. Taking the route of joining and then dropping comments everywhere with a plea to check out your music makes you look kind of lame. Seriously, if it looks bad on Hypebot, think about how much worse it looks in communities that don't feature music marketing as a regular topic of discussion.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business Changes and about dance at All World Dance: News. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.