Recently I have been planning some changes to my site. Or more accurately, changes to the name of the site. After three years of my site being known as Mr Scott:Music, it will now go under the new name of RW/FF, to tie in with this weekly music column of the same name.
Everything else on the site will remain the same as before, slightly improved in fact, but it's just the name that I felt needed to go. 'Mr Scott:Music' always was a pretty naff name for a website, after all it's supposed to be about the music, not about me. When I began this site, I didn't see much wrong with naming the site after myself, and my content was mostly reviews, news and music videos. A few years later and I'm literally writing the story of my life as well as writing about music new and old. If some people look at a website named after the author, where the author is also writing about themselves, it can feel a bit off-putting. I think a lot more readers (myself included) would prefer a site where the music comes first and where the personal side is an interesting touch that doesn't come across as too self-centred. Unlike Radio 1 DJs, I don't want to make myself bigger than the music. So to continue writing about my memories from a personal point of view and voicing my opinions with no holding back, I've had to change the name so there's no danger of it coming across as some sort of ego project.
But although I'm focusing less on myself by renaming the site, my posts will still continue to document the music I love, and therefore will still feature plenty of my memories and how my life has been shaped by the music I've been lucky enough to discover.
The new name also means a new address, which is a lot easier to remember too. So if you have the site bookmarked, you may want to update the url to:
My other intentions are to provide a music site that’s easy to navigate around and not too difficult to keep up to date with, and to hopefully build up a familiar (but unique) online presence to not only rival the likes of Drowned In Sound and the NME, but to massively improve on the quality. To do all of this while still maintaining the unique personal identity of the site is a challenge that I feel will improve my work. What I won't be doing is turning the site into a faceless brand with no soul or personality. The site's unique personal voice is something that sets it apart from the big music sites, but this doesn't mean that my site is any less informative or insightful when it comes to reporting on the music.
A lot of people ask me why I bother to keep the site going when I also write for God Is In The TV. The fact is that a lot of the other writers on the site also have their own music blogs, although there are a few people who write exclusively for GIITTV and therefore don't require their own webspace. For a while I was sending Twitter followers and readers of this column to my "author page" on GIITTV, a link that's supposed to show every single article I have contributed to the site. But a technical problem has meant that all the site's author pages aren't showing up with any posts from the last two months. I am also wary of the fact that when it comes to data and the internet, NOTHING is ever 100% safe. What if some unexpected catastrophe was to wipe out every single post on GIITTV? All of my work would literally be in the hands of someone else if I didn't also have all those posts backed up on my own site. It's not just an issue of security and peace of mind. GIITTV is a bit like the site the NME's could have been if they weren't ruined by IPC, a diverse and varied site with the articles are written by a large team of passionate, knowledgeable writers, all with their own opinions and individual writing styles. It's more like a collaborative thing. The sheer number of posts can sometimes make the site a bit difficult to keep updated with, and it's harder to build up reader trust than it is with a site like mine. Why? Because if you come to trust someone's recommendations and agree with their reviews, then you trust that writer. God Is In The TV has many writers, so being able to trust the opinions and insights of, for example, Bill Cummings or Simon Godley doesn't mean that you're also going to find my articles and reviews helpful. With a blog like mine, if you trust my opinions and share my tastes, then you'll find plenty more to enjoy on the site in future. From my point of view, it's also good to have a website that I have complete creative control over.
Recently a fellow writer at GIITTV has decided to take a break from contributing to the site, choosing to concentrate on his own music blog instead. Creative control may have been a factor, but the main reason for his decision was the fact that contributing written work to a website without expecting any payment can financially devalue the writer's craft if they do it for too long. After all, why would the likes of The Guardian or Q magazine pay you money for an article when you've become known for writing for free? With an endless amount of other aspiring writers doing it for free, a paid career in journalism is even harder to come by than ever before, especially when you're writing about music. I've only been writing for God Is In The TV since the beginning of this year, and it has certainly raised my profile as a writer. Therefore I will continue to contribute to the site as usual and re-assess the situation if and when I need to.
Returning to the relaunch of my own site, in some ways it's going to be like starting over again: after three years of people hearing the name Mr Scott:Music, it's suddenly disappeared from cyberspace, and regular readers who missed my announcement on the name change won't have a clue what has happened or where the site has moved to. Then there's the fact that three years worth of links posted around the internet on Twitter, Facebook and an endless list of websites are now all going to link to dead pages. There are in fact still pages on this site that contain more of these dead links, which are being fixed in due course. There are other reasons why I have renamed and relaunched the site... Since writing for God Is In The TV, I have spent less time on the maintenance of my music blog and have at times forgot to make necessary updates, leaving the site looking a bit uncared for at times. In addition to this, when sharing links to my articles I have been linking them to the GIITTV versions of my posts rather than the ones on my own site, meaning a noticeable drop in page views. A while ago I scrapped the music news posts in favour of a single weekly digest of top stories, which has also meant less daily hits. So now it's a case of replacing those things with better content, even if it does mean less internet traffic... I'm chuffed with the improvements I have made, and hope that you, my readers will be just as satisfied as I am. Here’s to the future…