I don't like marketing to my friends.
Yes, I said it, and my myriad of recently added social media-focused acquaintances are rolling their eyes at me, scoffing at the "old media guy hopelessly stuck in the past."
"Don't you know that it's all about relationships?" they'd likely chide. "Everybody shares, everybody benefits, blah blah blah."
Perhaps. Perhaps this is all the wave of the present. But it still feels weird.
Case in point: Today I went to a reputable music site run by people I know and trust and like (NoiseTrade.com) to acquire music by someone I know and trust and like (Sarah Masen's 2007 EP A History of Lights and Shadows).
The NoiseTrade model (as it exists now, but will change in the very near future) espouses two modes of acquisition: "Pay What You Like," enabling direct payment to the artist, or supply them five email addresses, and let the system send out your recommendation of the music you just downloaded to friends of your choosing.
I pursued the latter course, because I am, after all, a full-time freelance writer (read: bereft of cash).
But two of the email addresses I gave weren't so much bogus as they were, well, me. (Sorry, Sarah.)
It's not that I don't think many of my friends wouldn't enjoy Sarah's music, because many of them already do.
It's just that I feel bad for sending them even more email, unbidden, in yet another piece of the omnipresent marketing puzzle that has become our everyday lives.
However, I want to continue to discover music, to support NoiseTrade and the artists they serve, and to help spread the word of the good things I find.
So, then…I'm asking your permission. Who wants to be a member of The LargeLandMammal Five? Who wants to be alerted when I find something on NoiseTrade (or similar services) that allow free and legal music downloads, based on email acquisition.
(I will, in return, serve gladly as one of Your Five, if you so choose.)
If I get enough response, I'll even break it down further, creating Fives for different styles of music, like singer/songwriter, power pop, rock 'n' roll, Brazilian goat herding, etc.
I just want to help serve a community of music fans that wants to be served, rather than just scattershooting random emails at friends and running the risk of denting our relationship by becoming "that guy."