9/17/08 – UPDATE: Will someone please leave a comment below explaining the wild upswing in popularity of this article? I have no idea where this surge of traffic is coming from or why. And yes, I am aware that you’re reading this article because you love Metallica, and not me. That goes without saying.
When Napster was around, Metallica strongly declared that they were against the sharing of music. So much, in fact, that they were releasing decoy songs on the P2P networks.
Now they’re trying to stop bloggers from reviewing their newest album. Seriously. I thought it was a joke at first, but one of the blogs removed the article to protect the author’s career. It is pretty mind-boggling that Metallica could make this kind of mistake twice.
Once again, Metallica’s image will be tarnished in the eyes of the people who truly matter: the people who talk about them. They’re the ones who will spread this story, making sure all of Metallica’s fans and haters hear about it.
The beautiful thing about the Internet is that anyone who works at it can have power. Power to critique, analyze, sell, etc. to a certain group of people. When someone tries to stop those who earned that power, it upsets the people who care the most.
Leverage the medium, don’t try to hinder it. Paradoxically, the best way for you to gain control is to make it seem like everyone else has some control. So give all the power to your customers/fans. Encourage discussion: your community will appreciate it, and you won’t lose credibility. Those are the rules. Learn to play by them.