Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Residents Speak: DJ Nexeus Fatale

If one thing has been made clear over the four years since Second Life launched, it's that residents like music. And they like music at events.

That means, of course, that while it's possible to pipe in Internet radio or some other canned type of music, there's something a lot more compelling and personal about having a DJ to spin tunes at clubs, parties or other events.

And if you're the DJ, and you have a regular series of gigs and people you spin for, you can make a decent amount of money, all without needing some of the technical skills--PhotoShop, 3D modeling, etc.--that are required in many of the other Second Life businesses.

Of course, however, DJing has its own set of required skills and techniques, and so for the corresponding section in my book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life--which arrives in the warehouse on Oct. 22, just 13 days from now--I turned to one of the most prolific DJs there are, Nexeus Fatale, for expert advice.

Nexeus, as you might imagine, was full of great suggestions and ideas. And here, I thought I'd cover one of them, and discuss it a little bit:

"Interact with the crowd at your events. Every DJ should make their listeners feel as if they are paying attention and interacting with them. This means talking inbetween every song or every two songs (not talking OVER songs)."

If you think about it, this is great advice. It kind of goes to the core of what makes Second Life such an interesting and interactive environment: The idea that the content that is entertaining you doesn't have to be static; It can be a person spinning tunes interacting with and responding to cues from the audience.

Think about it for a second. Imagine you go out to a club in the real world and dance the evening away. Think about how much fun it is to lock eyes with the DJ, letting him or her know how much you enjoy the song they're playing. Or maybe that you don't. There's a feedback loop going on there, made up of watching the DJ bobbing his or her head while playing the tunes, responding to requests and basically being an active participant in the audience's experience.

The same holds in Second Life. If you're at an event and the DJ is just silently spinning tracks and not talking, not answering questions, he or she might as well be an Internet radio station. But on the other hand, if the DJ is talking, commenting on how some avatar is dancing or what someone is wearing, it makes it feel so much more dynamic and exciting. It makes it feel two-way, and makes it more likely that you're going to stay and continue dancing.

And the more the DJ can keep up that kind of interaction, the better. As long as it doesn't interfere with the music. That's why Nexeus added the caveat, "...this means talking in between every song or every two songs (not talking OVER songs)."

If this is something you can master as a DJ, if you have a good and wide taste in music, if you can commit to regular gigs and if you are responsible, you can make good money as a DJ. But success starts with mastering the little things, like how to get your audience on your side and feeling like you're as much a part of their experience as they are.

1 comment:

Archer said...

Yet nowhere is there a mention of the licensing cost for dj's in SL.
I'm afraid a number of people are going to operate under the terribly mistaken assumption they can just use the music in their libraries to make money as a DJ. Either the nightclub you perform in is paying a license to the RIAA or ASCAP/BMI...or the DJ has to cover the costs of a performance license.
Remember...you're streaming your copywritten music out over the internet to a public place for a public performance. And that could ultimately land you either a cease and desist from the RIAA, and possibly a lawsuit for copyright infringement.