You know what I’m talking about. It happens to you, too. It happens to all of us. I just experienced one of these situations again, for the millionth time! Three days ago, I received a private message on Facebook from a friend who is asking for another friend whether I know of a musician who can take a gig in three weeks. The information in the request is somewhat unclear, so I respond with more questions to clarify the request. Several hours later, I receive that clarification. The request is for a pianist, or a harpist, or a zither player. I tell my friend a harpist would likely not do a gig like this for the proposed amount of money; that the pianist would have to also have his/her own keyboard to bring. I have no idea who I’m going to find, but off I go in search of a viable candidate.
I think of one person right off the bat and send a Facebook private message to him. I hear nothing from that person until a full day later, and the answer is “No, thanks.” He then apologizes for taking a bit of time to respond, and reminds me that he no longer checks Facebook. Oops — yeah, I forgot about that. So, why have an open and active account? Nevermind.
I put out a general Facebook message to musicians in the area, and come up empty. I then realize I should post it again, this time tagging various FB music groups, so as to be more successful in reaching musicians. I think about Capital University, and search for a Conservatory of Music FB group to tag all the music students at once. To my horror, I discover that all the Capital University music students have segregated themselves into SIXTEEN FB silo groups. I decide I will not tag sixteen groups just to reach Capital University students. How many silo groups am I going to find for music students at The Ohio State University? For Ohio Dominican? For Kenyon or Denison? I do not want to tag all those different groups. Sigh….
I wait another day until my gig at Columbus State University, and I ask a piano teacher I work with, there, whether she has any students who would be interested in the gig. She thinks she does! YAY. But she doesn’t have the contact information with her, and could I please remind her tomorrow to send me that information? I say I will, and I set a reminder for myself to remind her. The next day, over a period of several hours, I receive the contact information I need.
I send all the information to my friend, for his friend, who needs to hire the musicians. I tell him I hope it all works out. But, after all that effort, I actually have no idea whether it will, or it won’t work out. I won’t be the one to learn the outcome.
IS THE BEST WE CAN DO FOR EACH OTHER? I say NO. It is why I created an online Musicians Directory. If we had a well-populated directory full of member profiles, my friend’s friend could have gone online, herself, and found a number of musicians to directly contact about her gig. She would not have had to call on my friend, he would not have had to call on me, and I would not have spent hours over a period of days trying to hunt down a musician match to this gig.
Have we been doing our networking the painstaking, long way for our lifetimes? Yes. Have musicians done it the same way for decades? For generations? Yes. One could argue that using social media is a significant improvement over our previous methods of reaching each other. But is it, really, if you’re simply asking around for suggestions, recommendations and contact information? Isn’t social media just another way of using the phone, but online?
Let’s move into the 21st century, shall we? Let’s all add our contact information to Anahata’s new Musicians Directory. It is not simply for those who need and want more work. It is also to simplify the search process that ensues when we need to reach each other.
Simplify your life! Help yourselves, help your colleagues, and help the public to find you more easily, and with less stress. Members are required to confirm their contact information on an annual basis, so the frustration of bad email addresses and wrong phone numbers is greatly reduced.
As always, I am available by phone or by email to answer any questions.
Peace to you!
P: 614.499.4132/E: firstname.lastname@example.org