A Wiki for your Rock Band?

Aug 27 2008

I gave Toussaint, our summer intern, a little creative, free-thinking time and here's what he came up with... I hope you'll enjoy it !

OK, there we go. There's this festival going on in Glastonbury and you managed to get to play in it. When I say you, I mean your crazy drummer Charlie, the lonesome acoustic guitar player Bill, your gorgeous piano master Mary calling herself "Queen of the Hills", John the saxophonist, Alison and Sarah the chorists, Sean the bass player, your sound engineer Mike... AND you.

After a first minute of bloody excitment about all this, you start wondering how the  you are going to prepare it. You don't even manage to make those guys meet once a week to play all together! How could you possibly get ready to play for thirty-five minutes in front of two thousand people who don't even know your names...?

Calm down, chill out, take a deep breath and start thinking about what a wiki could do for you, you will see things get a lot easier.

You got an issue there...

The real problem is called organization. Surrounded by messy fellows who are never on time and can't stand having a talk about plans, you don't know how you could make sure everything's ready on time with everyone working on it.

A wiki presents here all the features to make your work much more pleasant. You want everyone to participate, and to check that none of your mates is doing absolutely nothing? Every user of a wiki can create, edit and comment pages to work as a team. You can see who did each modification and therefore... who didn't! You need a place to organize all your tasks without mixing them all and forgetting half of your work? A wiki is structured by you through easy-to-create links between independant pages that can be grouped in spaces. Let's see together why a wiki is the best way for you to play better than you ever have in that festival...

What has to be done?

First of all, let's sum up together all the tasks you want to realize. You will need :
  • a way to see the latest news, modifications and works of your friends and yourself
  • a way to list all the equipment you need to use, with a way to know which is available and ready and which is not
  • a way to talk to each member of the band, see what they are working on, and get information about them (email, phone number...)
  • a way to let your music be heard by you and by others, to start conversations about the improvements that could be made and to let your fans express their admiration...
  • a way to make sure you can organize repetitions and that everyone will be there!
  • a way to spread informal information about the band (news, messages...)
  • a way to keep a memory of your concert

The Wiki Solution

There we go. I think it's time you realize a wiki is the best way to fulfil your need. A wiki is easy to use and allows you to start efficient collaborative work. Let's see what features are particularly interesting for you here :

  • A home page, easily accessible, allows you to present briefly the purpose of your wiki, and the way it works.
  • The "What's New" page displays the latest modifications that were made by any user to make sure you are up to date and you know exactly how far your band got in its preparing work
  • New pages can be created very easily, for example to list the equipment you need. As you can edit it very easily, you can always strikethrough the things that have been done, or highlight the urgent ones.
  • Each member of the band has a profile where he or she can add a photo, personal information, a quick description... This tool allows the members selected by this user to see this information and be able to contact the person easily.
  • Thanks to a strong user rights interface, you can easily choose to let your wiki public, but preventing any public viewer from editing pages or even add comments if you don't want them to. You can also leave some pages public to make yourself get famous, while you restrict the access to more private pages (such as the ones you use to organize your concert) to the members you want.
  • Wiki pages are not simply text pages. If you want people to know what your music sounds like, you can easily attach your songs to your wiki and let them be heard by your future spectators!
  • What's really cool is that even though you never manage to talk about your songs with all your mates because you always want to start playing when you manage to meet, you can now start conversations about them thanks to the comments available at the bottom of each page... where you will give your impressions and tell about the improvements you reckon have to be done.
  • The calendar allows you to insert events and that way to organize in advance your repetitions and remind your friends about the concert without having to spend the night trying to get them all on the phone...
  • Thanks to the blog available in your wiki, you can regularly spread messages or news about the band and your music.
  • You can also use the photo album to display your photos on stage to show everyone what you've done!

A Wiki really is the solution for your problem, as it will help you organize your concert in a simple way, allowing all the members of your old band to work together and be efficient, without having to take time on your repetitions...

What are you waiting for mate?! Start your own wiki, get organized, get known, get chilled... Wiki is the way to go. And your band will definitely thank you for having had such a great idea!