Sunday, April 06, 2008

Announcement: The Garageband Meetup Group, Singapore

ANNOUNCEMENT: If you're in Singapore and you're interested in networking with fellow GarageBand/ Digital Music enthusiasts:

Join this group:
GarageBand Meetup Singapore | Google Groups

And/ or read updates at this blog:
About « Ga Meetup Singapore

Or if you're more active in Facebook, join the Facebook group (you have to be part of the Singapore Network though):
Facebook | GarageBand Meetup Singapore

I've had the idea for starting a GarageBand meetup group about a month ago. After sounding out the folks at Media Socialists about the idea, I received enough encouragement to go ahead.

Which I did.

Vanessa was the first to blog about it. A reader of her blog immediately started a discussion first at her blog post, and then at the group (details here).

The group has 17 members as of this post. Apart from four or five members, I don't know the rest personally. I'm hoping to organise a meetup soon, and meet some of the members in person.

In my mind, the GarageBand Singapore Meetups would be conducted like the meetups I've attended. Like Songcraft, the Ruby Brigade and WebSG, where participants gave informal presentations and just got to know each other better. Highly informal and informative stuff going on.

First thing was to start a mailing list.

Then the blog, as an additional publicity channel for people to find the group. Later, I started the Facebook group with a similar intent.

Starting the platforms was the easy part. Then not-so-easy part was in publicising and getting the relevant people interested.

Submitting to was one way to get the word out. And emailing to friends and selected mailing lists. When I spotted the right people in Gmail Chat, I'd invite them to join the group as well (see this and this).

I wasn't sure who would be interested in such meetups. But the beauty of using free online tools is that if the idea doesn't work out, the startup costs are negligible or almost nil (other than your own time).

I guess starting the GarageBand Meetup Group was a natural convergence of my professional/ personal interests in (1) creating social spaces in public libraries, (2) experimenting with digital and social mediums, and (3) making Digital Music as a hobby.

I've had my Macbook Pro since May 2006. I decided to get a Mac because I wanted to be proficient in using another computer that's not Windows-based. And I'd heard about GarageBand and thought it would be a practical way to continue with my music-making hobby.

I didn't start using GarageBand right away. I was learning how to find my way around a Mac. Then about a week later, I decided I was ready for GarageBand and started with the Apple online tutorials. And came up with this (entirely from GarageBand loops).

After slightly less than two years, and three music albums later, it occurred to me that I should seek out other GarageBand enthusiasts in Singapore.

I've not organised a meetup yet. Soon, I think, in a month or two. Most certainly in a library. One idea is that each session, perhaps 30 minutes would be devoted to trying out stuff (e.g. tutorials, features in GarageBand) from related books and magazines found in the library.

There must be a sociological explanation to this (my starting this new group).

Over time, I think I'm probably less contented with just my individual progress in creating music digitally. It's not about creating a larger audience base. It's about sustaining one's interest by seeking out more like-minded people.

A simplistic way to look at it would be to make more friends, though a self-selective process from members (i.e. similar interests).

It's apparent to me how social software is making all this person-to-person networking so easy. One hardly stops to ponder about it (just like how we don't think twice about how electricity works).

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