MC Skibadee


The story of the App – by MC Skibadee A number of months ago, I was trying to give a promoter my details so we could hook up online. Like most serious music artists, I have joined all of the main social sites, music sites, video sites and music networks as they sprung up. As an MC I have been at the top of the game for over a decade and have so many profiles set up around the internet, I was losing track of what material and content was where. It was taking hours and hours each week keeping everything updated.... I turned to the promoter and simply said, “you can find me on Facebook, drop me a message.” It is hard to imagine how many times a similar conversation goes on every day, but it is fair to say, 'hooking up on Facebook' is now the most common way of connecting to people. For keeping track of friends, family and general acquaintances, this is proving to be one of the defining phenomenon of our generation, but for music artists, it is proving to be a bit of a nightmare.... simply because most music artists want to be seen where the largest audience is, but facebook does not distinguish between a serious musician wanting to project a carefully cultivated professional presentation of their image, music or videos and a spam crazy teenager, determined to show the world his hairy rear end poking out of a car window. I have built my success on always being one step ahead of the rest; my career has spanned an amazing 15 years, from the very birth of Drum and Bass, through to its current status as one of the biggest music genres of the day. My Facebook Fan page is about as good as anyone's and has attracted over 20,000 'likes' or fans. However, the simple problem of trying to make my profile look great whilst being effective in linking to my fans was proving just about impossible. Since the demise of the Facebook 'groups' which allowed me to message my fans with upcoming releases, gigs and videos, the only way I could get information out was to post it on my wall, which would be visible for an hour or two if I was lucky before all the other random posts would drive the important post further and further down the page. My only way of publicising links to other social networks such as Twitter, Blogs or even YouTube was to put the links onto my Info page and hope that people would take the time to fund them. More frustratingly, I have spent large amounts of money on photo shoots and my image, only to find that anyone could tag my name into a picture and it would appear alongside my own images often replacing them in priority. Flyers can be tagged with my name in for events that I am not involved in as unscrupulous chancers take advantage of every loop hole in Facebook's platform to piggy back their marketing onto my name and profile. I needed a solution. A friend of mine introduced me to a group of innovative web developers, who were working on a number of projects for record labels, mostly concerned with producing user friendly and effective viral marketing tools for music promotion. After the very first meeting, it became clear that I was not the only artist searching for an answer to the many problems facing musicians with a minefield of options and opportunities for online promotion, so a team of developers was put together for me by the team at Basepage and we set out to produce the world's first custom Facebook App designed specifically for music artists that would effectively connect all of the myriad of social network sites and music platforms through a simple, easy to use and interactive portal. Using myself as the guinea pig, we took days scouring the internet for all of the sites where my biography, music, flyers and videos had been posted or linked to. With such a body of work and history in the music scene, it was quite a task and amongst other things, I was amazed to find I had now got a page on Wikipedia as well as several specific websites set up by my fans. It also became clear, that over the years, my image had developed a life of its own, with fans amateur snapped pictures often being featured on sites instead of my press or official pictures. It was decided as part of the whole process of producing a unique App for me, there should be an App experience, which involved a studio photo shoot, new logo, individual and creative image design as well as a full video interview, to create the exact content that I wanted to be my online presentation. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. As the project developed, I was able to advise on the things that were proving frustrating to me as an artist, help design the look, the functions and the overall functionality of the App. It was decided that the App should have features that combined all of the big platforms. A controllable audio player which proved so successful with MySpace, a video player to match YouTube, flash picture and image technology, simple link buttons to other social network sites such as Twitter, simple and direct l