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MetalAges.com - Heavy Metal reviews, interviews, band advice and random thoughts » Blog Archive » Forum etiquette

Forum etiquette

March 13th, 2006

First impressions are lasting impressions, wouldn’t you say?

Bands, if you agree, then please read this blog entry carefully. There’s no other sure fire way to shoot your band in the foot than to register on a new forum and start spamming about your band.

“Check out our new MP3 it’s ripping METAL!”
“We’re playing so and so festival check out our site for news and audio!”
“We have a new MySpace page up please stop by and leave a comment, add us as your friend!”

Now, I’m all for promotion folks, but come on! Don’t be such a noob! Have some courtesy to other forums and other bands (if you’re posting on another band’s forum). Act on behalf of your band professionally and with a bit of promotional class. This is where the art of having a good forum signature (sig) comes in handy.

Here are a couple examples of well crafted and effective signatures:

Will Bozarth, Distorted Mind, post #1
Why? Text based sig but contains lots of quick links to important places for his band. Web address for the band, multiple vendor CD sales pages, their forum link, a couple upcoming gig links. The signature is not too big, just about the right size. That’s another tip, do not make your signature fifteen feet tall for crying out loud! Talk about annoying.

Caotico, Dark Tranquillity, post #14
Why? Quick and to the point. Very visible. Doesn’t get much more simple than that!

Submasq, Subterranean Masquerade, post #3
Why? Once again text based, but with a larger font to emphasize the band name. Links to band site, MySpace page and Pure Volume page. Socialization is the new key word folks!

Vehemence, Vehemence, post #1
Why? There’s a good and bad tip for this sig file.

The good: He uses a couple animated banners to promote his bands. He also incorporates text based links with the images. The images grab the eye and force you to read them.

The bad: The animated files are HUGE! One is 736k and the other is 178k. That’s 3/4 of a meg. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue for broadband users but we still have some dial up users out there in the world, and remember, they are as much of a potential customer for your band as any other person. An appropriate signature file size should fall anywhere from 25k to 60k. I’ve actually already contacted Vehemence about reducing the files, which judging by the looks of them shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

So there are a few examples to model your sig files after. Be effective, don’t be pushy, and for God’s sake do not make your sig file seem like you are desperate. Maintain a high quality level of promotion, it can go a long way both in the short and long term.

Send me an email or post your comment here on the site so we can see what you come up with.

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