Fresh start

Hey guys,

Long time, no see! As most of you noticed, it has gotten a bit quiet over the last few months. To be honest, I was ready to quit blogging. And it took me months to think about whether to continue writing or not. Here’s why.

The lack of time certainly was an issue for me. With the blog being a side hustle, I realized I let my family down regarding spending time with them. I usually came home from work, ate something, and then started working on the blog for hours. Obviously, that was not the right thing to do.
The second biggest issue for me was (and still is) AI being on the move throughout the industry. As it’s the fate of humanity, once again we made the same mistake: we took something good and used it in the wrong way, making it something bad in the process. Bloggers use AI to artificially generate reviews when artists just ask for an honest opinion. By cheating with AI, these bloggers are making reviews useless, and they’re dragging the reputation of the blogger guild itself through dirt just for the sake of being lazy and taking money. But more and more artists are not innocent as well. As funny as it may seem to have Johnny Cash sing a version of Barbie Girl, it highlights the fact that from now on, anyone can make a hit song with only investing a couple of bucks, telling a machine to “create a pop song that everybody likes in 2024”. And I found so-called “artists” out there who dare to call that creative.

It’s not creative at all. AI was intended to be a tool, to help make things easier, and what did people do? They misused it right away, making things worse and sucking all the fun out of the whole topic. In my opinion, and to put it drastically, AI is the atom bomb of the music industry. The tech was supposed to support, but by so many using it wrong, it has become a weapon. I’m not the only one being concerned about the development. Artists are pissed because all they get out there is generic feedback, and bloggers are pissed because they can’t tell who did what on the song, and if the tune originated from the heart – or the wallet instead. Seriously, I don’t get why some people are so stupid. It’s about creativity, folks! Music has always been about creating something that comes from within. And only then does music make other people feel something.

Or does it? This question is the third point why I was driven away from blogging. Let’s take a quick look at nowadays’ average music consumer. With literally everything available instantly through streaming, it seems that people lost focus on what’s important. Doing a little survey, I found out that the average listener doesn’t really focus on music when it’s playing. Sure, there are diehard fans who know every line of every song of their favorite artists, yet in general, there’s a feelable “meh” vibe going on out there. Due to the surplus of content, people start to lose interest in general. Music is in danger of becoming white noise in the background for more and more people. They don’t care about the creative work and process of others, and they certainly don’t care about second opinions on it. Over the last two years, this was also shown in a huge drop in reader numbers on the blog. Interactions are non-existent at this time anymore. That of course raised the question for whom I was writing anymore. With a shrinking reader base, the work was in no relation to the reward anymore.

Maybe it is time. Maybe it’s time to change MY point of view. Several of you guys out there reached out to me, you talked to me and gave me reasons and opinions about why it would be a mistake to step away from writing. The most convincing fact probably was that my writing meant something to artists out there. They want MY opinion, and they like to see and read what their work triggers in listeners who care. Seeing it this way, for me it cannot be about reader numbers anymore. In today’s musical landscape, I simply can’t rely on a blog’s fan base of fellow music lovers because it vanishes. I’m not writing for guys and girls who are searching for fresh and new music anymore, because they won’t use their skills and minds anymore. And why should they? They have algorithms now to offer them what they want to hear. No one (not even me!) searches for music today like he or she did five years ago. Phrases like “you may also like” in any App killed what I was trying to aim for when I first started the blog. So maybe my point of view should be to write not for any reader, but for myself, and the artist. What the artists do with my honest handmade opinion from there on is totally up to them.

I tried for several years to be seen out there. I invested time and money. I fell for scam advertising offers and got severely punished by Submithub for being an idiot. They stripped my opportunity to use Submithub playlists for sharing tracks, and Submithub itself on two occasions blocked my playlists for whatever reasons (they didn’t even care to properly explain). I tried to open a dialogue with all of them but wasn’t heard. What all of them didn’t get is that I’m a writer, not an advertiser. kms reviews is a one-man gig with just me trying to keep it all together: creative content, advertising, webpage design and maintenance, social media connectivity, and accessibility. Once again, I’m a technical writer working a 40-hour week, and everything I do with the blog has to fit into my free time.

I tried hard to chase numbers with paid advertising and handmade highlighting on socials but failed miserably, because we’re talking money and time here, both of which I do not have enough of. But also because it’s a failing system out there, giving aspiring artists (and writers as well) no chance at all to make it on their own. If you think that’s a bitter point of view, you’re absolutely right, it is! I’m mad as hell about the development over the last few years! I want to see so many gifted artists out there succeed because they are awesome and beautiful minds, trying to spread the word, yet in the end this is a fight for a lost cause. And who wouldn’t be frustrated about that fact?

What became clear to me at this point is what several artists pointed out to me: if I quit, the system has won. And I would be one of the reasons why there’s more generic, dishonest content out there. Less personal opinion. More quantity, less quality. More shallow text, with less heart and soul. This would be giving up and letting the serious artists out there down. Leaving behind what I was building for almost ten years. And it became clear to me that I’m not ready to do that yet. But I have to make adjustments to continue:

  1. I’m done with advertising. Whatever I’ll write in the future will have a minimal reach from my end, because I’ll focus on the content, not the spreading. If you want my opinion, you’ll get it. I’m here for the words, what you do with them, is up to you.
  2. The blog has to be self-sustainable. It takes money to keep the website running and up-to-date, namely server and domain fees, update fees of the WordPress template, and used software and hardware. I’ll stay on Submithub to cover those fees.
  3. I’ll only write when I’m able to, not following a one-per-day review schedule as I did in the past. As soon as the reviews become a chore, the content is degrading, and no one wants that. This will result in less frequent new reviews.
  4. Although I would love to continue the interviews, I won’t do so. These are a massive time eater, and it’s time that I don’t have anymore. For the same reason, I won’t review EPs and albums anymore.

I hope these immediate actions will result in the blog getting a relaxed restarting phase.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all of my ramblings. Now let’s do this, shall we.

Check Also
Back to top button