Thanks to Hypebot for bringing ArtistData to our attention. This is a service which allows bands - by which, of course, we mean whatever intern the label has charged with going online pretending to be the band - to automate their social networking posts.
Yes, yes, I can see the appeal - why go and change tour dates in ten different places when you can get a machine to do it for you? - but the side-effect is to remove the 'social' from the 'networking'. Surely what made MySpace a big attraction for music fans in the first place was the chance that you could go on line and write 'OMG I LURRRVE YOU LIL KELLY!!!1!!!!' and know there was a chance that Lil'Kelly (or at least one of his proxies) might see the post.
It's slightly less thrilling when you know that the closest anyone associated with artist ever gets to their MySpace is giving its password to a robot, isn't it?
So, then, the internet has come along and, for the first time since recorded music started, it's possible for the artist and audience to be intimate, regular contact, and ArtistData have come along to try and save the artist from this nasty threat.
And is the outsourcing of contact such a sweet deal for the artist anyway? The company promises 'Post once, publish everywhere' but offers neither Bebo nor Facebook as part of the 2.0 realm in which it operates. So you'll still need your interns, cutting and pasting, cutting and pasting.
What's most fascinating is the last line of ArtistData's pitch:
With all the time you saved go do something more useful and move your career forward.
Because, of course, there's no way interacting with the people who buy your records and come to your gigs could possibly be considered career development, could it?