Rockstars and musicians have ideas of their own when it comes to proper decorum. Invite them to perform at a party and they are just as likely to lay down an obscenity-laced, hip-hop style roll call of everyone who has ever showed them disrespect.
That’s why it just seems so darling that Apple is trying to get artists to conform to a nine page list of guidelines if they plan to use Ping, the social network no one really wants or needs.
Here are some of the rules:
• Posts should not include advertisements or links to sites outside of iTunes.
• Posts should not contain links to other content providers.
• URLs should not be included in the About section of your artist profile. This includes official artist website URLs. URLs can only be posted in the Event feed.
• For the Music I Like section of your artist profile, we recommend that you don’t pick the same album multiple times, and that you don’t pick only your own music. Fans are eager to find new music that their favorite artists are listening to and downloading.
• Do not create your artist profile until you are ready to make a post or two. Fans will be far more likely to follow you if they can tell that your profile is active.
Over at Fast Company, Austin Carr makes a really good point about these rules:
The best part about social media is the unfettered access that fans gain to artists. It’s why Lady Gaga can start an online campaign against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for her 6.7 million followers on Twitter: They’ll click the links she tweets to see what provocative antics she’s up to on, say, YouTube. We friend artists on Facebook to get access to behind-the-scenes footage, Twitpics, or live streams…
This is what happens when Apple creates a social network: Ping has been designed to be as sanitized as an Apple store. Can you even think of another social network that hands VIPs a book of rules before joining? Does Facebook tell Justin Bieber he shouldn’t link to his own music? Does MySpace require Katy Perry to keep links out of her About section?
It’s true: a social network in and of itself just isn’t Apple’s speed. Ultimately, that’s why I think Ping is just a middle step, laying the groundwork for something more… the initial attempt to sketch a web between users that will be used for a streaming cloud service down the line. Until Ping pupates, we’re going to keep scratching our heads and wondering aloud just what we were thinking.