In the world of music blogs — like most other blogs on the internet — it seems to be all about getting there first. Posting a new release, covering a hot story, or even reviewing an event are all about speed and timeliness. However, I’ve noticed a trend in the music world that is increasingly alarming, and might be holding us back from advancing as real journalistic entities: sourcing and accreditation. It’s time to start giving each other credit when due, and to acting together — it’s time to admit that we all won’t get there first.
I have had tons of blogs in my Google Reader folder for years now, and I think the amount of times I’ve ever noticed one blog explicitly crediting another is less than the number of tracks Bacau House Mafia posts on a given day. You see, in most other news industries, publications acknowledge eachother, and it’s common practice to give credit as a “via” or some other sort of link. Whether it be a tech story or something in the Wall Street Journal, it’s not only polite to take this action, but it’s something that’s usually expected.
As Dancing Astronaut continues to grow, we are trying to bring our readers more and more relevant coverage of the industry and greater EDM scene. We also realize, however, that we cannot do this alone, and often find ourselves using that very same Google Reader folder as a resource for many of the stories we post throughout the day. That’s why we’re implementing a system of sourcing and vias in all applicable posts — and we hope it encourages other sites to follow suit.
“What does this mean?” you may ask. To the end reader, probably not that much. You’ll see new “Via:” links at the bottom of our posts whenever we haven’t sourced a story ourselves, and those are yours to click on or avoid. To other blogs, this most likely means increased legitimacy and and potentially more traffic — unless they themselves have poorly sourced a story on their own. We’ll do our best to make sure we don’t post any impostor or fake tracks, but if it comes from a site that we’ve come to trust, that will certainly make us question similar “exclusives” or early previews in the future.
We also realize that our readers often have great tips, and we want to make it easier for you to get them to us. Effective immediately, you can email us to tips [at] dancingastronaut [dot] com and if we end up writing a story sourced by you, we’ll give you a shoutout — but DJs, keep sending promos to promos@. For sanity (and employment) reasons, we probably can’t be checking our Facebook page all day, but our Twitter is another great way to get in contact with an editor quickly and efficiently. Plus, we do have some entertaining retweets and other content that we push exclusively through that medium throughout the day.
At the end of the day, we’re trying to make sure that our coverage is as up-to-date and accurate as possible by involving our competitors rather than by freezing them out. There’s enough room on this Internet — and more than enough genres of electronic music — for blogs of all sizes, specialties, and formats. We just hope we’re lucky enough to be one of the many in your own Google Reader folders.
Editors Note: I’ve been a writer in the blog world for multiple years, not that you should buy this piece because of that. I have simply been trained in the proper ways of doing news coverage through first hand experience, and I hope to extend some of these practices to the EDM world. You can find me on Twitter, @jacobschulman, or email jacob [at] dancingastronaut [dot] com if you’d like to get in contact with me.