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Marshall’s Techdirt Profile


About Marshall

I'm an entrepreneur in Austin, Texas, and I have been a hobbyist musician for 14 years. I founded http://Uvumi.com which provides free, intuitive, and transparent marketing tools to artists and bands, including Uvumi Press Kits which are true PDF press kits that can be built in a matter of minutes using professionally designed templates that we developed.

I strongly believe that there are some big, overdue changes coming in the world of music, film, art, patents, and copyright. And I want to be a part of it!


Marshall’s Comments comment rss

  • Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Well said (as Marshall Stokes)

    Mike, I couldn't agree more that Andrew Dubber's comment is dead on the money, so to speak. Love how deftly he points out that the opportunities for musicians today are leaps and bounds beyond what was ever available pre-internet. Also, I had to smile and nod when he described the recording deal game as little more than a very expensive lottery. Excellent!

    On the topic of musicians as entrepreneurs, there is definitely still room for the classic band manager position, and many independent bands and artists work with managers to handle the marketing and business side of the whole thing. Like you said, that hasn't changed, but the opportunities have changed. And more and more artists and bands are tackling their own marketing campaigns and doing everything they can to gain exposure and book tours, and the results they get out of it depend almost entirely on how much effort they put in, which is of course how most businesses tend to work. Bands and musicians certainly do not NEED marketers and business managers to handle everything for them, and indeed most indie acts probably can't afford to hire someone for that stuff anyway, but it seems to me like marketing skills are in some cases just as important as artistic talent. Which brings us back to the running theme around here, that artists need to connect with fans and give them a reason to buy, and that can be done independently with great ease.

    In terms of entrepreneurship, musicians and bands that start out doing their own marketing have a much better shot at succeeding financially than those who don't take the initiative from the start. So many services are out there now to help by providing truly free tools that can add real value to a band's tour or marketing campaign, like the obvious ones (twitter, myspace, facebook), and the lesser-knowns (uvumi, betterthanthevan, do512). With tools like these, artists really do have the power to reach large audiences quickly, to build free press kits, book tours with free lodging, and get their tour dates out where targeted audiences can see them. Make sure the audience can hear the music for free on as many music websites as possible, thus giving them a reason to buy tickets to a show, which may then lead to people buying t-shirts, CDs, stickers, whatever.

    Anyway, there's not a whole lot to say without repeating what has been written on Techdirt for years, but I do believe that, slowly but surely, the marketplace really is changing, and the opportunities that indie acts take advantage of today will eventually become the norm in the future.

  • Jul 8th, 2009 @ 8:32am

    Isn't Chrome OS based on linux? (as Marshall Stokes)

    It says in the Google Blog that "The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel."

    So this is actually a rebranded and somewhat modified linux distro. Google hasn't invented their own OS, as so many of the commentors above seem to think. They have just taken an existing opensource linux distro and modified it to suit their needs.

    This is great for modern internet users, especially when it comes to netbooks and aging laptops. I am very excited to try this OS out on my old thinkpad, and I hope it will breath new life into my old hardware. The only thing I really need a laptop for these days is travel, and when I travel it's all webmail and web-based collaboration tools or social networking sites, so this is really going to be great for people with similar needs.

    Mike, I definitely agree that Chrome is not perfect. It has some major shortcomings, but I do think it's a great browser. However, I have to use FireFox still for some of the more advanced web browsing needs, and Flash seems to run better in FF on my work machine. There is also an odd problem with the browser history on Chrome that only seems to show itself after extended browsing on ajax heavy websites, but I suspect it's an issue with WebKit and not specifically Chrome.

    Anyway, this isn't turning a browser into an OS, it's modifying linux for the purpose of running only a browser application. I think it's going to be hugely successful, and I sincerely think Microsoft should be scared to death of this product! Windows 7 is great and all, but it's still a behemoth compared to what Chrome OS claims to be...

  • Jul 8th, 2009 @ 8:18am

    Re: The Secret 'Profits' Of YouTube (as Marshall Stokes)

    You're definitely onto something there. The overall value that an asset like YouTube adds to Google, and the internet as a whole, is very high, albeit difficult (or impossible) to quantify. But this is the case in so many online ventures now, especially those like Facebook and Twitter. There is no doubt that those two sites are in possession of a valuable user base, but that value hasn't been converted into revenue yet. That doesn't mean it's worthless, it just means that it's a different kind of value.

    Not that I want to get into it in depth here, but I would like to mention that I think Facebook is going to find a harsh reality down the road when they discover that their users really aren't in a mindset to be marketed to while they are socializing online. However, the data they have on their hundreds of millions of users could be of great value to a larger partner, like, say, Microsoft...

  • May 22nd, 2009 @ 10:44am

    It's not free, it's annoying (as Marshall Stokes)

    I don't think this is a good idea at all. It looks like just another way for a profit-oriented website to shove ads down your throat. Piggybacking advertisements on artistic works is not a positive model, and will do very little (if anything) to add value to any artist's brand or career. Artists do not necessarily need to sell out like this to build successful careers...

    As Techdirt mentions quite often, I sincerely believe it is high time to abandon this type of business model, and instead embrace the more realistic concept of using the art itself to attract valuable fans who will buy merchandise and concert tickets. The music is the hook, make it freely available without any catch, and artists will gain trust and respect from their fans.