[Dixielandjazz] Re: Website justification

LeslieMRag at aol.com LeslieMRag at aol.com
Thu Mar 11 22:36:03 PST 2004

Hi, Everyone:
The Mississippi Rag has had a website since November1998, and it has proven 
to be very beneficial in terms of reaching a new audience. We get many new 
subscriptions through the web site, as well as renewals, so it's definitely worth 
the effort, though I admit it's not much fun to face a website update deadline 
right after meeting the print deadline.
And here's a word to those bands or musicians who don't have a website -- 
you're missing a chance for reciprocal links and hyperlinks on other web sites. 
As we do in the print version of the RAG, we try to provide free publicity to 
musicians on our web site, placing as many hyperlinks as possible on the pages 
which list the contents of the various RAGs. (Plus, we have an extensive links 
page.) What's frustrating is to run a story on a fine musician but then 
discover  through extensive searches that he/she doesn't have a website so we can't 
provide a hyperlink. Fortunately for some websiteless musicians, Don Mopsick 
has some good biographies of musicians who've appeared on Riverwalk, so we 
hyperlink to the musician's page on the Riverwalk web site. The Riverwalk page 
provides background on the musician, but naturally it doesn't provide the 
booking information that a personal website would supply.
The RAG's website gets about 3,000 hits per day (sometimes more) by an 
average of more than 2,000 visitors per week. Although a lot of hits are lurkers on 
the bulletin board, many more are new people visiting the current issue page, 
the back issues pages and the links page. We find that many visitors use our 
web site as a base for extensive surfing, staying on the site for as long as 12 
hours! We get many calls and e-mails from people looking to find a specific 
band or musician, and it's great when we can refer them to a website. Today, 
for example, we got a call from someone not on the web but looking for the Real 
Dukes. We were able to supply a phone number based on the phone number for 
Mike Marois listed on www.therealdukes.com.) So, if you are serious about 
publicizing your band, get a website, get busy in terms of reciprocal links and make 
it easy for people to find you.
Another suggestion: Put your snail mail address, phone number and fax number 
on the web site. Many people who want to purchase CDs (like the person calling 
today) aren't on the Internet or don't want to order on the Internet, so they 
want to phone or write the band or musician. We don't supply snail mail 
addresses from our subscriber list because we don't want to violate subscriber 
privacy. (Our list is never rented out or used for anything but the RAG.) If a 
musician posts his/her address on a website, however, we know it's okay to give 
out the address or phone number, so that helps us help him/her.
I might mention, too, that we provide hyperlinks to festivals and jazz 
parties on our "Festivals" page, and again it's frustrating when festivals or jazz 
parties don't have an Internet presence.
Will close with an invitation to you to visit the RAG's web site at 
www.mississippirag.com. Through our site, you can check out the websites of the 
musicians and festivals who are taking advantage of some free publicity. There are 
some terrific websites out there!

Leslie Johnson
editor at mississippirag.com OR
lesliemrag at aol.com

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