Jump on the FanTrail at SXSW, and Radio Berkman talks to Nancy Baym

Frankie Barnhill Mar 10, 2011

The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival starts tomorrow in Austin, and the hippest of the hip will be descending on the city. For the musical portion of the 10-day extravaganza, iPhone users will get to try out the latest in social media technology.

Just last week The New York Times wrote about FanTrail, a new app that will be given away to all of the bands at SXSW. The app will make it easier for artists to engage with loyal fans, in a more personalized way than MySpace or Facebook. But is this kind of socializing just inviting stalkers? I wonder…
The New York Times

Our friends at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society have also been thinking about how social media has changed fan-artist interaction. They recently interviewed Nancy Baym, a professor of communications at the University of Kansas, for their Radio Berkman series.

Baym has written about the new digital artist-fan relationship, and how Twitter and Facebook have created a more engaged (and a more demanding) musical audience. Although fans have more opportunities for interaction with artists these days, Baym pointed out that making online socializing a priority is a dramatic shift for artists.

“[B]eing good at socializing online and being good at making music are completely different skills sets,” said Baym. “In some sense, I think it’s kind of unfair of us to expect musicians to suddenly be good at talking to us.”

Baym also talked about the music recommender service, Lady Gaga’s wardrobe, Rosanne Cash’s Twitter feed, and the best SXSW panel ever (spoiler alert: the panel was led by Devo!).

Download the podcast at the Berkman site:

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.