Last week on Saturday came a very special gift from the professional association Discjockey e.V. (https://www.dj-magazin.de/) A few copies of the current DJ magazine, packed with interesting articles. Of course, I was especially pleased to see the publication of my article on personal branding for DJs.
Welcome to the third part of my ordeal with the Surface Book. Without much preamble, we’ll get right into it.
Disillusionment part 5: the Windows Time Machine Clone.
I really liked Time Machine on my old MacBook. It always worked smoothly, in my case with a network hard drive. With Windows 10, there would theoretically have been something similar, but after just a month I gave up. It worked a maximum of once or twice with the network hard drive, then there were only error messages, but no more backup.
The disillusionment part 6: Fan.
It felt like the fan started at every little thing. And so I spent many hours with an annoying noise on the desk. My self-assembled desktop computer runs so quietly even under load that I can listen to music alongside, together with my Surface Book this was not possible at all. This was not a problem with the MacBook before, it got warm but never loud.
The disillusionment part 7: the audio quality.
My MacBook never had problems with a trouble-free playback of audio files. The Surface Book, on the other hand, always produced a permanent, clearly perceptible noise – regardless of whether with or without the docking station – so that undisturbed music enjoyment at work was not possible. Especially not with the loud fan. For the preparation of my THD DJ course, I always had to use my desktop computer, which was quiet. Apparently, Microsoft developers never listen to music. Nevertheless, my Surface Book was shown on the Microsoft website 4 years ago together with a DJ. In the context of audio performance, I could always have a good laugh at this depiction. It was probably a futile attempt to position the product similarly to a MacBook.
Disillusionment part 8: the quality of the device itself.
The quality of a MacBook is indisputably great. Nothing bends, the screen has a straight line, the device is simply super stable. The Surface Book, on the other hand, is definitely not worth its price. The tablet-panel showed a clearly visible bend at the upper edge. Should not really happen in this price range.
These were the main reasons for switching back to the Mac. Beyond that, there were many other minor annoyances that ultimately led to the switch. Now I’m happy to give the Surface Book back to our lab engineers at the THD after the move. Finally, here’s a three-month field report on how my new MacBook is working.
Welcome to the second part of my ordeal with the Surface Book. Without much preamble, we’ll get right into it.
Disillusionment part 2: tablet and laptop? Really?
The second reason for me to buy the Surface Book was the possibility to use the tablet independently from the keyboard. However, this was often associated with error messages, the operating system usually complained about an unstable connection when re-connecting the tablet. The usual solution with Windows: shut down and restart, sometimes awkwardly delete the drivers from the device manager and have them reinstalled. The main reason why I almost never used this feature in the end was the battery life of the tablet part. After 2 to 3 hours at most, the stove was off. My 349 euro iPad runs a complete day during intensive use. Minimum.
Disillusionment part 3: the performance of the Surface Book.
My Surface Book has a Core I7, theoretically the basis for a fairly high-performance device. Wrongly thought, the Surface Book was surprisingly slow in many things and that from the start. Whether this was due to the operating system or the hardware, I definitely cannot say. But what was interesting to me was that my favorite Dragon NaturallySpeaking software worked faster and smoother in a test with my now 8-year-old MacBook in a Parallels Windows 10 virtual machine than it did in the Surface Book. How embarrassing is that?
The disillusionment part 4: Windows 10 itself.
While Windows 10 worked amazingly well on the Surface Pro, on the Surface Book it had random dropouts, especially when combined with the docking station. The LAN connection disappeared at regular intervals, switching between the high-resolution screen and my stationary monitor did not work until the end. The operation with pen and fingers also showed quite clearly that Windows 10 is still more of a desktop operating system and less of a tablet operating system. You always come to a point where you need a mouse or a keyboard, quite in contrast to the iPadOS.
On top of that, the OS still has a problem with high resolution monitors. I was so often annoyed when all of a sudden an app appeared in a micro-window with micro-font. Sometimes the start menu disappeared in nirvana or only 200 pixel large single letters appeared. The same principle over and over again: log out and log in again or restart immediately. Simply annoying.
In the next days the third and final part will come, stay tuned.
4 years ago, I started a new 4-year relationship with a business notebook full of joyful expectations. I was happy to get rid of my business MacBook and eagerly awaited the first generation of Microsoft’s Surface Book. At that point, the press was just gushing with excitement. Some editors even used the term MacBook killer. Based on the articles, it was clear to me that this device was exactly the laptop I had always been waiting for. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but now there will be no spoilers. On the contrary, we’ll start with my (joyful) expectations.
The starting point and my expectations
I was always looking for a computer that could be operated with a pen. I like to draw, and I wanted to be able to correct study papers, drafts for articles, etc. myself in the computer, thus saving the environment by not having to print them. In 2012, I enthusiastically jumped on the Apple bandwagon and bought an iPad, but the pen operation didn’t really work well, as it was never really provided for by the manufacturer in the first generations.
Therefore, I flirted with the Microsoft competition, the Surface Pro. At the beginning, it was rather a disaster, but in 2016, the device seemed mature enough for me to give it a try. Let’s keep it short, I wasn’t 100% thrilled, but in the computer industry, you can already be happy if 80% is achieved. Windows 10 worked surprisingly well, the pen usability was okay. Therefore, the expectations regarding the Surface Book were quite high: a tablet PC and a notebook, and pen-operated as well, what more could you want. I also hoped that I could finally escape the Windows bellyache on the MacBook. Shortly before the end of the summer term 4 years ago, the time had come, the Microsoft MacBook killer was lying on my desk in a very fancy package. When unpacking it, my anticipation knew (almost) no bounds, especially with the list price of about 2900.- Euro.
Disillusionment part 1: where is my pen?
Disillusionment set in relatively quickly. While the deviation of the expected pen position to the actual position was relatively small on the Surface Pro, it was sometimes up to 5 millimeters on the Surface Book, depending on the app and the day’s mood. Drawing was impossible, and sketching, writing, and correcting was always a vabanque game and source of perpetual annoyance.The starting point was sometimes too far up, too far down, too close to the previous word or too far away from it. After a year and a half, I stopped searching the Internet for calibration options and silently simmered away.Most annoying were the failed calibration attempts, which usually ended with me having to uninstall all the drivers in Device Manager and reboot it.
In 2019, I bought the first affordable iPad with stylus controls and was really excited because the expected position of the stylus matched the actual position of the stylus 100%. The entry price of the Apple tablet was about €450 with stylus and everything worked on the first try. The list price of the Microsoft product was 2900 €. My iPad has already got a successor in the meantime, the iPad Air 2020. I never had to calibrate, the pen was always where it should be as expected. Actually, I should sue Microsoft for loss of life.
Why unfollow an artist on Instagram? The eighth and final part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.
We are entering the final spurt. An empirical study on social networks would definitely be incomplete without asking why people unfollow. Let’s jump in.
No surprise to me personally, the main reason for unfollowing is that the artist simply posts too much advertising. Number 2 is also obvious – if you review the previous results. Apparently, fans and followers on Instagram expect a permanent stream of new, creative ideas from an artist. If he/she no longer delivers that, he/she is almost certainly uninteresting.
A little surprise for me is number 3, but understandable. Numbers 4,6,8 also indicate that loss of authenticity and closeness to fans and followers will lead to termination and virtual friendship. The logical conclusion from this is that artists – especially if you are successful – should remain genuine and continue to interact with their fans and followers at eye level and without artificial distance.
Surprising for me also that the loss of the “certain something” of an artist lands relatively far behind in the ranking. Personally, I had expected this to be a more significant reason for unfollowing.
This brings us to the end of this series on personal branding for artists. But an end is also a beginning. A beginning for every artist who can now critically scrutinize their own Instagram account and optimize his or her own unique external image. Good luck with that, I personally will now start to actively distribute the results of this study in the social networks and dedicate myself to the exciting possibilities of artist marketing.
English translation of the questions:
01 too much advertising or sponsored posts. 02 the content of the artist bores me, because he posts the same thing over and over again. 03 the artist has a strongly differing opinion from me and expresses it constantly 04 the artist does not seem authentic anymore 05 he/she posts too much 06 the artist is too arrogant 07 the artist simply gets on my nerves 08 the artist is too aloof 09 the artist becomes increasingly uninteresting for me 10 the artist has lost his/her “certain something”. 11 she/he posts too little 12 there is too little interaction between the artist and his/her followers 13 the artist is too distant 14 other reasons
But now we’re back in the loop. Let’s take a look at what character traits an artist needs to show in order to be attractive to fans and followers.
As you can see in the chart, there is one front-runner: artists should be humorous. This means, of course, that candidates who take themselves and their art too seriously cannot appear so attractive. English translation of the questions below.
Behind this front runner, there is a plateau with 3 rather heterogeneous character traits. Unsurprisingly, if you look at the other results, in 2nd place is creativity. Has a lot to do with the work of the artists, boredom should not arise. A surprising 3rd place was taken by the characteristic of an artist to make fans and followers think. An exciting challenge, which can be seen in the actual work (music, painting, etc.), as well as in the self-presentation of the person (private life, travel, hobbies, etc.). The 4th place is also a surprise for me personally, because the fans and followers expect a person with weaknesses, a normal person. Here you can excellently show the stony path to being an artist yourself, as well as the ups and downs of your private side (if you want to).
The perfect character: approachable, humorous, positive thinking, and being more normal than excentric
Rank 5 is an excellent complement to rank 1. What could be better than the combination of humor with a positive world view? Conversely, this means that artists who enthusiastically whine, lament and are too serious tend to have a harder time.
Number 6 also complements number 4 excellently. An approachable artist who also shows weaknesses puts him at eye level with his fans and followers, combined with the subliminal statement “look, I’ve remained a completely normal person”. This is a great way to communicate credibility and authenticity.
The next surprise is 7th place. I would have expected the participants to prioritize these qualities of an artist significantly more. Now this does not mean that the activity itself is devalued, only other character traits are prioritized higher.
Places 8, 9 and 11 also landed surprisingly far down the list. This means nothing other than that the fans and followers what of the artists do not expect a mental striptease and that also the interaction with the fans and followers is not valued as highly as one would assume in view of the character of Instagram.
Also a surprise is the second to last place. If you look at a lot of artists’ Instagram accounts, you realize that they might take their art far too seriously and thus could have a lower level of attractiveness.
English translation of the questions:
I like humorous artists
I like creative artists
I like artists who make me think
I like artists who also show weaknesses sometimes
I like artists with a positive way of looking at the world
I like approachable artists
I like artists who show what they can do
I like artists who openly show their feelings
I like artists who engage with their fans
I like artists who always surprise me in a positive way
I like artists who are attractive
I like spontaneous, impulsive artists
I like artists who like to party
I like serious artists
That’s it for today. There will be more next week.
Burn that track! At least that’s what Luca Debonaire says.
Hey, the dance floor will burn again, when the clubs are allowed to open again. And then we will play house until the early morning, we will groove until we drop and – if we still have the strength – we will boogie all night long.
Have fun with my house set, the may edition.
Coconut Love – Tiam Wills & Jugement Dernier Get Down – Angelo Ferreri & Angelo Scalici Wanna Be Happy (Thomas Gold Mix) [feat. Max’C] – The Viron Ltd. Give It Up (2011 Edit) – The Good Men Close To My Lips – Franko Ferreri Discoteca (Original Mix) – Block & Crown, Luca Debonaire Hey Hey (Riva Starr Paradise Garage Club Mix) – Dennis Ferrer Burn That Track (Original Mix) – Luca Debonaire Rockin (DJ Delicious Presents Phunk-A-Delic) – DJ Delicious & Phunk-A-Delic Got Raw (Club Mix) – My Digital Enemy Deep in the Groove (Club Mix) – Block & Crown House Music – Kid Massive Long Train (Andrey Zenkoff Remix) – Jo Manji Aerobic Martini – Charles Feelgood Relentless Boogie – Pitch Deck Don’t You Feel It – Full Intention Get Up – Menini & Viani I Feel It (Original Mix) – Chiqito
Which photo makes fans and followers curious? The sixth part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.
Last week we looked at the question which categories of photos the participants in the survey like the most. But this is only one aspect of visual communication, because an artist should not only entertain fans and followers, but also actively promote the artist’s activities or events. Therefore, it is only logical to also ask which visual content arouses curiosity/interest. For this reason, two photos were explicitly selected from the portfolio of the artist Federika Rubartelli: number 6 and number 13 (many thanks again to Federica Rubartelli [https://www.instagram.com/federikamusic/] for the permission to use the photos).
The results were partly sobering, partly positively surprising. Let’s start with the sobering results. Picture number 13 unfortunately only moved from last to second to last place, picture number 6 from seventh to fifth place. However, these results have to be put into perspective a bit, because I think that the artist’s fans will react differently to both the announcement of the podcast (picture number 13) and the announcement of a series of events (Number 6, Kicks by Federika) compared to the survey participants, to whom the artist was more or less unknown.
Now to the surprising results: image 16, which shows the artist in a club while djing, has once again landed at number 1, number 9 has moved up one place and – surprisingly – image 8 has made up a lot of ground and landed in third place. However, the gap to number 2 is quite clear and the distance to 4 and 5 is relatively small.
Also surprising to me is the performance of image number 10 in this second round. It slipped from second to fourth place. Image number 15 even slipped from a middle position to last place.
The conclusions in a nutshell: as long as it is obvious that the artist is concerned with his/her art, a picture triggers not only liking but also interest (e.g. image 16).
On the other hand, beautiful photos that are not recognizably related to the artist’s activity trigger less curiosity than those in which the artist is shown “in action.”
To sum it up in one sentence: fans and followers want the 100% perfect, they should be beautiful, appealing, and at the same time include the artist’s activity.
That’s it for today. There will be more next week.
What is the best photo? The fifth part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.
If you’re into Instagram, then it’s natural that you try to figure out which visual styles you can use to attract your fans and followers. That’s why we selected some photos from a real account (many thanks to Federica Rubartelli for sharing the photos).
The photos can be sorted into the following categories:
Category 1, the artist at work: number 1 (work unrelated to music), number 8 (the artist in the studio with a colleague), number 9 (the artist at home in the creative process), number 16 (the artist during a DJ session).
Category 2, snapshots of the artist: number 10 (a rather spontaneous, very positive photo), number 15 (a rather professional photo from a photo shoot)
Category 3, photos directly related to the artist’s work: number 6 (a reference to a podcast), number 13 (a reference to an event of the artist)
Category 4, a photo of the artist with acquaintances/friends.
Now to the results (bigger photos please see at the end of the article). In the questionnaire there were 2 different questions dealing with these photos. This week we’ll take a closer look at the results of the 1st question “which photo do you like the most?”. For those who have read the previous posts, there are few surprises. Number 16, number 9 and number 1 land on the 1st, 3rd and 4th place. It is directly recognizable in these 3 photos what the artist is doing or it tends to look like work. Herewith also again the consistent confirmation that the work is in the foreground.
Interesting, however, the placement of the image number 8 in penultimate place. This can be explained by the fact that it is not immediately apparent to every viewer that the artist is in a studio. This is most likely only recognizable to experts.
Also no surprise is the cut off of number 10 and number 15, whereby the natural-spontaneous character of the 1st photo was probably the decisive factor for it landing in 2nd place, while the other photo only landed in 5th place.
On the other hand, the placement of the podcast (number 6) and the announcement of the event (number 13) was interesting. Whereby I believe that fans of the artist react quite positively to these announcements.
On the other hand, the photo of the social event only landed on number 6, which was a surprise for me personally, because I would have thought that this would rather land on one of the front places.
That’s it for today. There will be more next week.