Use Twitter to let your fans know what your doing.

Twitter logo

The dynamic between artist and fan has changed in recent years. It used to be if you were an artist you wanted to seem out of reach, high on a pedestal from your followers. However, today fans want a personal relationship with you. It’s not good enough to give them a monthly or even weekly update. They want to know what your doing right now! One of the best tools to give a window into your life is Twitter.

Twitter - Things to Come RecordsSo what is Twitter? To start head to Twitter.com and sign up for an account (it’s free). Click on Profile and give yourself an avatar. Next under where it says “What are you doing?” type up to 140 text characters. In a way it’s like a mini-blog letting the world know what’s going on with you at that moment. These moments you enter are called Tweets.

If you have friends on Twitter you can follow them and vice-versa. Besides the archive of all your own Tweets you can also see a master timeline which shows your Tweet and your friends Tweets.

Now comes what I think it the best part. Click to www.twitter.com/badges and create a widget that displays your Twitter updates on any web page you place it. This is great because you only have to put your Tweets in one place but instantly wherever you have badges your updates will show.

I have Things to Come Records studio Twitter badges on my MySpace page (www.myspace.com/oliverchesler), Facebook page and artist website (thehorrorist.thingstocome.com). If you notice they all look different because you can customize the badges to fit any site. If you notice on my artist web site’s studio page my Tweets are not even in a widget but customized into the look of the page itself using CSS. You can also have your Tweets injected into a WordPress blog as posts using Alex King’s Twitter Tools.

Twitter Tweet - screenshotIf you find going to a web page to input your Tweets cumbersome and your on a Mac try Icon Factory’s very nice program Twitterific. There is also a nifty Dashboard Widget called Twidget. I am sure there are Windows Twitter applications too. There are also methods of sending Tweets by email and Instant Messenger clients.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that Twitter has some competition. Google has a similar service called Jaiku and Kevin Rose and the Digg crew run Pownce. Unfortunately they are all incompatible. Come and follow my record label on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thingstocome

10 Macintosh Dashboard Widgets for pro-audio.

Apple Dashboard IconWhen Apple first released Tiger one feature I didn’t really like was Dashboard. It looked pretty but on my 12″ 867 G4 every time I hit F-12 the computer would slow down to a crawl. Even when the widgets would appear they would all take a good 20 seconds to fill up with whatever info they were grabbing from the internet.

As my computers and internet got faster I started using Dashboard for games like the great Asteroid clone from Christopher Marks. Lately I’ve been adding in useful little helper widgets on the recording studio machine. Here’s 10 Macintosh Dashboard widgets for pro-audio. Please note I took the descriptions of each widget from either Apple.com or the developer.

10. GuitarChords. Just pick a note and type of chord. Then watch as the widget displays how to fret that chord on the guitar. Scroll up the neck and see alternate ways of playing that same chord. Next, press the play button and hear what each of these chords sounds like. When you get tired of that, flip the widget around and change the tuning on your guitar. Ever wondered how to play a E-flat augmented chord in Open G tuning? Now you can find out. Download

9. Scales. Get lazy, and look up your major/minor scales or go crazy and write all your songs in Super Locrian and Six Tone Symmetrical. For a reminder, the widget says “Learn Your Scales”, in case you don’t have a music teacher to tell you that everyday. Also for your displeasure, this widget has the look and feel of Macintosh System 7. Download

8. Chord Reference. You choose a note and chord type. This ergonomic widget will display simply the notes composing that chord on your guitar. Your ear is the limit. This is a port of the original classic shareware for Mac OS in 1994. It hopefully offers an ergonomic interface for chords, one you’ll find useful and easy-to-use. Download

7. ittyBittyMIDI. A Dashboard Widget for Mac OS X that allows you to quickly monitor MIDI signals on your computer. You can use it to either monitor all MIDI devices or Continue reading →