INDIE TOOLS (Hypebot) – Every week brings the launch of another online service to connect musicians and fans. Beyond spending endless hours on MySpace and Facebook, what are the best online tools to communicate with fans and monetize the relationship? Here are our picks in no particular order:
1. BANDZOOGLE – It all starts with a great web site and these guys give you the tools to build one quickly. If your site doesn't do everything Bandzoogle does, ask your designer why or switch.
2. SONICBIDS – Easily and affordable create a robust emailable electronic press kit (EPK) with bio, photos, mp3's, videos and more.
3. CD BABY – The granddaddy of D.I.Y. music empowerment. Sell your CD's and downloads in a large community that supports indie music.
4. NIMBIT – A one stop shop to help you sell CD's, DVD's, downloads, merch. and e-tickets with very fair commissions. Plus they offer great tools to spread the word.
5. GYDGET – Everybody's got widgets, but these guys get it right by enabling you to grab info, music, and video and spread it across the net. Free.
6. REVERBNATION – Communicate with fans, build a street team, widgets, Facebook apps, sell stuff. Tools do do it all and most of its free.
7. TUNECORE – Affordable flat rate digital distribution to major download sites around the world with no strings attached.
8. TUBEMOGUL – You made a great video for a $23.57 budget. What to do with it? Simultaneously upload to 18 sites including all the biggies then track how they do. Basic service is free. (Bonus: A list of viral video sites.)
9. ARTISTDATA – Update tour dates on your website, MySace, Pure Volume, Last.fm and a dozen more sites all at once plus submit tour dates to local media.
, BAND TXT ALERTS (tie) You could use Twitter to communicate with fans, but not everyone wants an account. Every cell can accept text messages. Mozes is free (carrier rates apply) and robust, but pays for itself with ads that could upset some. Band TXT Alerts costs a little, but takes a way the ads.