The next generation of social networks may not have 900 million users but they would be based definitely on interests. We are already seeing them grow and one great example was Instagram before Facebook acquired it. So depending upon your interests or liking, you would have a network to join and interact with like-minded people. Catching this sentiment fast, Ray Business Technologies, a company that provides IT services and solutions, has built a social network for independent artists and music lovers known as Songdew.com. The network, which recently won awards at Advantage AP 2012 summit claims to be India’s first social network in this space. In other words, talented singers can sing, publish it and spread it sitting on their laptops, no need to run behind music companies or music directors. Reading these words, I was on to the network to give it a try and find out how it can benefit independent artists.
How does Songdew work?
Songdew is an open network for all music lovers and performers. It has integrated Facebook login thus making creation of your profile simple. A profile is created along with a dashboard on the network. Even if you are not interested in creating a profile, you can listen to the Songdew charts that provides a list of tracks and videos from artists. You get the entire snapshot of the network from the home page as shown in the below screen grab.
Profile Page: It is a snapshot of your entire profile which includes a list of your favorite songs, achievements and photos, all of which is public to others in the network. The profile page that is known by your profession i.e. as a musician or DJ or lyricist allows you to show your favorite videos, artists and events. Songdew also allows you to share it on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (not sure why MySpace is listed here) along with messaging facility. To know more how a profile page looks, check out a the screen grab of Kavish Mishra. (Give me a wink if the profile page reminds you of Orkut!)
Dashboard: It is your space that allows you to build your profile. Besides providing you with a control panel to tweak your profile, the dashboard provides features like,
1. Activity Snapshot: Total number of profile views and followers.
2. News Feed: Similar to what you have on Facebook you can see all the activities of your network.
3. Messages: Your mail box.
4. Recommendations: The network suggests you people whom you can follow and interact with. Besides this the network also provides you the details of the Featured Artist on the network.
In addition to this the control panel gives you full control of your page. Manage is a section that allows you choices how you want to display the page giving you full control on your network. You also have sections such as Events which gives you list of upcoming events, Classifieds is a section that allows you to create your own classified and My Store gives a view of the Songdew Store and list of orders that you might have placed on the network.
What’s cool about Songdew?
1. The profile page is easy to create and gives full control to the user. In addition to this, I found the search really cool and allows to look for profiles based on categories such as singers, bands, event managers, etc. This feature comes handy when you want to organize an event on a particular city and it becomes easy not only to search for a talent in a particular city but check out his performances from his profile.
2. Store is a great feature that has been added and it gives a chance to independent performers to make some money.
3. Apart from being a network, Songdew provides some other features such as Gigs and Classifieds. Gigs provide the list of events happening and Classifieds that are free to use gives an opportunity to advertise skills and thereby creating source to earn money.
4. Contest is another feature where the network is providing bands, artists, etc. to engage with fans by running contests. For example, right now Parikrama is running a contest where it is rewarding fans with goodies. Tomorrow Songdew can tie up with brands to find good talents like TalentHouse.
5. Providing opportunity to regional artists to share music is a great move and would make the network grow.
Comparison with other social networks related to music
AritstAloud is another network that allows you to share your music and reach out to fans but still I won’t consider it as a social network. Feature wise Songdew scores high on ArtistAloud.com but not in design and user experience. Features like classifieds, contests, etc. are also not present in Soundcloud but then Soundcloud has worked on technology. It has apps for the popular platforms and integration with Dropbox to store music.
Songdew is definitely a network for people who want to build their career in the music industry and also find ways to earn some money. However it would be great if Songdew really works on the look and feel and user experience.
Do give a spin to Songdew and if you are on the network then do let us know your experience.