by Clare-Marie White
OK, so I know you *need* your Myspace pages, with their flashing lights, ugly wallpapers and comment boards strewn with lols and ZOMGs (and in SS editor Steve Dean's case a stream of pretty ladies offering pictures), but there's more places out there. Sites that I, for one, would actually venture on to without feeling disorientated...
Sellaband. Nice simple concept which has been getting a bit of media attention lately and will no doubt upset the record companies a bit more. All you need to do is get 5,000 'parts' (no sniggering at the back) invested in you and you get to make an album, get promoted and the rest. Then you and your army of 'believers', or investors, get to sell the album, hang out and generally enjoy the road to fame and fortune together, with Sellaband taking the other third of your profits.
Blip.fm. Very quick to get started on, this site is about becoming your own DJ and connecting with people who like the same kind of music as you. Bands can upload their own MP3s, so once you've amassed a few hundred listeners who think you're witty with fantastic music taste, drop a few of your own in and you'll be heard instantly by everyone tuned into Blip as well as all your new fans. With thousands of listeners connecting to each other daily, your music could get very far, very quickly.
The North Staffs scene is abuzz with talent and loyal community spirit. In a place without a lot of money, small contributions make all the difference and in the world of web 2.0 it's the passion of the crowd that could propel artists to the top. If you're trying out these or any other sites be sure to let us know whether you think other bands will find them useful.