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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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Upgrading Skills to Match Today's Needs

Having sat in the middle of the internet revolution since its start, I'm convinced that the amount of skill required to get anything out of it today is more than it has been at any time in the past.
"To try and have it all means you'll end up with nothing."

You're not just required to learn the nuances of a few items like search engine optimization, online ad services, and new codes used to construct web sites anymore. Today the number of competitors occupying each space appears to have quadrupled over a short time. Some service indie artists, promising to get their music heard. Others focus on internet radio - such as stream providers. Each offers slight variations, so you need to "know" to inspect efficiently.

It's important to understand that you need not know how to write code, or initiate a software system, but you do need to understand what it is that this particular piece of work brings to you - to determine if it's worth being associated with.

Whether you're an independent artist looking for exposure or an online station trying to grow audience, doing it by yourself is a monumental task - and that's IF you have a background in computers. Trying to learn all that's needed from the ground up without help is something I call impossible.

An example is my recent attempts to install new Google Analytics code within one Audio Graphics web site and, at the same time, attempt to integrate Google's new Tag Manager system. Even with a decades-long background in computers, I had to spend three months understanding what was offered, the structural coding changes that needed to be made, and the implementation of code. End result: It's failing to work, and I need to go back for another round of upgrading my skills.

This single upgrade of skills is only a quick example. For me, there have been scores of software and program education required over the past ten years. For example, there's the time I spent 6 months studying Facebook, building code, and installing it across AG web sites. That ended up working well, until Facebook changed its coding requirements 3 months later. It was back to the Facebook Developers handbook for more intense thought.

We're in an era of continuous learning at a speed we've not seen before. When you begin something new online without solid computer skills, expect to invest a great deal of time just trying to understand what is being offered. Even if you have computer skills, the speed at which you need to upgrade them - due to each software vendor upgrading theirs - is staggering.

The biggest myth that everyone bought into when the internet started its meteoric growth was that it "leveled the playing field."

The hardest reality to accept is when that light bulb goes off on "why" major companies have IT "teams." Nothing is easy online.

Even with upgraded skills, if you're going to do it by yourself you must leave something behind. Focus on your main item of interest (i.e.; being found, selling music, providing unique programs) and pour your energy into mastering it.

To try and have it all means you'll end up with nothing.

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Today's indie introduction is to...
Pop artist Rene Byrd
sample song
More Than Words

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When an artist has the power to please they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Rene Byrd's "More Than Words" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free!

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