I am my own test case for DM and social media

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During the day (and occasionally evenings and once-in-a-while weekends), I serve proudly as the executive editor of DMNews -- assigning and editing a wide variety of features, supplements and online exclusives. But as many do, I also have another side -- I moonlight as a singer/songwriter, one-half of a pop/folk duo called Sweet Bitters. One thing that has been super-interesting since I began working at DMNews is that I have taken some of what I have learned about one-to-one marketing and building relationships and am putting it into practice as we debut a new CD, set up new shows and try to build a local fan base. We have all the typical online presences of a small local band -- an active Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, a MySpace page, an e-mail list.  I feel like a tiny little DM case study of my own.

But even in my music guise I am also a customer, taking advantage of a variety of vendors -- the company that is printing our CD, for instance, or the engineer who mixed and mastered our tracks.  And I am already experiencing some negative feelings as a customer that I hope I don't duplicate as an artist marketing my wares: The clearly commercial Twitterers trying to get me to buy their music-related services; the spammy MySpace e-mails I get from recording studios who seemingly want to be my "friend"; the e-mails I get from shady bookers who somehow found my contact info. None of these are great ways to get me to build a relationship with a music vendor -- and I hope to learn from those "don'ts" by making sure to target my missives and messages to those who truly want to receive them, through the right channels in the right way.

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