Daily Archives: September 2, 2009

Backhanded Compliments

davidsepia

It’s no secret that Entertainment Weekly was merciless in its criticisms against David when he was on AI, so of course, why should I be surprised that a PopWatch article, “iPod Embarrassment: The Artist Photos YOU Flip,” begins this way:

“I’ve had my iPod Touch for a month, and I’ve discovered an alarming trend: Anytime David Archuleta’s “Crush” comes on — which is apparently often, since it’s on my Top 25 Most Played — I hit the little tab on the upper right of the screen to hide his photo. Why? Because I can’t chance that someone might see his face in the 45 seconds it takes for the screen to go dark — and just turning the iPod over doesn’t seem quite safe enough. Is this something everyone does — flipping the screen to reveal the tiny track title only on the embarrassing tunes — or just me?”

So, uh, is this their way of finally acknowledging how awesome David is, while feigning embarrassment at such acknowledgement? Or, are they still just being giant asses? 

Or, is it just me?

What a Website Should Do…

Picture 3

Businesses that opt for an online presence are often told to adhere to 3 simple rules in developing a website:

1.  Tell Your Story.

2.  Answer Simple Questions.

3.  Add to Your List.

In other words, their website needs to communicate to their web visitors who and what they’re about in a way that inspires said visitors to join their mailing list or at least “favorite” their site.  The same applies to developing a website for a music artist such as David Archuleta.

Ever since David’s “official” website came out, I’ve heard nothing but complaints from fans. I’ve heard that it looks unprofessional, or that it doesn’t give enough updates or offer the right kind of information, let alone induct any new fans into the circle.  If you ask the average Archie which site they visit first for their David news, they almost always mention a favorite fan blog (and, of course, David’s twitter) and not the official site.  

As someone who has designed websites just for the purposes of teaching my various classes, I dare not call myself a professional web developer.  However, since I strive for an aesthetic eye, I have been self-educating on the best ways to develop websites.  I do know that the “information architecture” of a website should appeal to the way most people “read” multimedia sites:  It’s not as simple as “left to right” eye movement on a page, but more an F formation: left to right and downward, which means the main information should appear at the top and towards the left.  A website should provide easy navigation.  But more important, a website’s colors and simple layout of info should grab the eye and train that eye towards the main news you wish  a visitor to see.

Just going on those basics, we can immediately figure out what is wrong with the official page.  There is simply too much provided and not enough of a “grab you” location to catch your eye.  How does a new fan navigate her/his way around it?  Beyond the information, however, is the simple fact that David’s “identity” is not felt.  All we have is the cover art from his debut album – a lovely picture, yes, but we’ve seen more expressive images of David here.  Heck, Rabid’s site gives you more insight into David’s image and his music! 

While some music artists’ sites resemble the same generic and corporatized feel of their music (cough, Black Eyed Peas, cough) or appear too slick in its portrayal of said artist as a sellable commodity (see Carrie Underwood), others definitely display their uniqueness and musical identity.  Perhaps David is still searching for that musical identity, but considering that, according to fan accounts, a fan is running the official site, you’d think we already figured this out for him, no?  

Some really cool and banging music artist sites (just to get a sense of what a potential “official” music site could like):

Jason Mraz

Kanye West

Lady Gaga

Norah Jones

Maxwell

Destra Garcia (Soca-Calypso artist)