Commentary

MOG Aggregates Music Passionistas

Had reason yesterday to touch base with an old friend from the days before there was social media, or at least the days when no one called it that. His name is David Hyman, and he used to sell ads on the music site Addicted to Noise, back when people thought banner ads were cool. Oh, and dinosaurs roamed the earth then, too.

David and I somehow fell out of touch -- probably around when I joined the dark side at Organic, but as David says, since his "knowledge is an inch wide and a mile deep," he stayed involved with online music. In the first part of the decade, he was CEO of Gracenote and then he started a new online music venture in 2005 called MOG, which gave music blogging its own particular spin -- among other things, MOG has built custom blogging software that allows, for instance, users to upload MP3s to their blogs, a feature I've never noticed in all the time I've spent on Blogger and Typepad.

The site aggregates what it calls "moggers," and so the home page features the top posts, recent reviews, hot songs to stream and the music news as seen through what I guess you'd call the mogosphere. (Today's top headlines include a post by "MrFrost" about Obama and McCain's favorite songs, and one by a Jonh -- that's not a typo -- Ingham about the Pretenders' plan to give away their new album.) Music and music posts are also organized into categories. "When [moggers] run something about Bob Dylan and 'Blood on the Tracks,' it also lives on our Bob Dylan page and our 'Blood on the Tracks' page," David explained. One nifty app, the Mog-o-matic, tells others what's been playing recently on your iTunes.

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The reason I was back in touch with David was that the company yesterday announced it would aggregate further, inviting independent bloggers not currently using the MOG platform to become part of its new MOG Music Network, allowing them to gain ad revenue from MOG's footprint, which is currently at about 1.8 million monthly uniques and obviously make MOG more interesting to advertisers. There's nothing earth-shaking here, but, especially for we bloggers who toil away endlessly for no money (I'm talking about my personal blog, Adverganza.com, not this one!), it's a model to keep an eye on. Not that MOG will necessarily make blogging a reasonable profession, but David believes that bloggers who join with MOG will do better than if they sign on with something like AdWords, and even if the bloggers continue to post away to no feasible economic end, theoretically, all passions online should be aggregated for a better user experience.

There are other reasons for me -- and you -- to be interested in MOG. The best, if you follow the music business at all, is that Rick Rubin just joined the board of directors. If you're not familiar with him, he's co-head of Columbia Records and was a New York Times Magazine cover subject last September. In other words, he's what you would call a big deal, and he, as much as anyone, is trying to wrestle with how the music industry survives going forward. Though it isn't necessarily through ad-supported Web sites -- in fact, Rubin believes in music having a subscription model -- wherever Rubin points is a direction you should look in.

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