Strum, the home of South African music
By: Russell Qually
South African music has a new home, the ground breaking website Strum. A free website dedicated to promoting South African music to the public and providing a platform for bands to interact with their fans and encouraging and facilitating citizen based journalism. The site is a bold but working mix of on-line music magazine, forum, MySpace profiles and gig guide. The site hosts a variety of features and services, both on-line and off-line that provide an unparalleled and excellent resource for musicians and bands.
First up are the band profiles, a section of the site structured very similarly to MySpace Music. An overview of the band is present which is entirely user controllable, a music player for their songs which can be organised by album and have track info included, details on the band members are allowed and the instruments they play or roles they perform, pictures and links to videos as well, and there is the option to befriend the band and to leave comments for them. This is the most basic interaction between bands and the public, yet it is effective. For more general communication the forum allows for a vastly more varied and expansive dialog and discussion to be established.
For more advanced and personal interaction there is an integrated forum allowing for discussion on anything music related or completely off topic. Existing discussions have ranged from under-rated bands, club discussions and general topics and events of interest to the music scene such as music downloading. Built into the forum are blogs, open to any user who wishes one, which can be linked directly to the band profiles for regular updates or stand alone for the dedicated bloggers.
As an added extra, the site features a fully functioning gig guide with details of upcoming gigs and concerts. Anyone can add in a new event, from users to band members, club owners and publicists. Journalism is one of the core focus areas of the site, with band interviews and reviews, event report backs and pictures being made available on a regular basis, both by staff and volunteers. In line with the current trend of Web 2.0 sites, the journalism is largely volunteer driven with any user being able to submit reviews or upcoming event information. Users can control and contribute to almost any aspect of the site.
Launched on the 14th April, Strum has grown substantially and found a universally warm welcome from the industry. Close working relationships have been established with several other stalwarts as well as up-and-coming players in the music business, ranging from music magazines to band merchandise suppliers, publicists and managers and more. These relationships and partnerships make Strum the best place to be for any one involved in the industry, more and more aspects and people in the industry are joining the site daily so the potential for publicity and collaboration is truly incredible,
So for any musician, band, artist, performer or a fan of music, check out the site today.
Russell is the founder and manager of the new music site http://www.strum.co.za
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