Scott Andrew and Bill Wilson are riffing on some tools that we could use in the independent music community to get more meaningful artist promotion work done. I like Scott's idea of automating gig swaps -- the kinds of things that used to be organized by booking agents and by clever managers could easily be ported to a platform.
Bill emphasizes the importance of learning where your records are actually selling. Wouldn't it be great if I could pay Amazon a fee (or maybe waive some of my associates payments) in exchange for an opt-in box on the checkout page that would add that purchaser directly to my mailing list? I'm almost shocked and surprised that record labels aren't trying this with large retailers like Wal-Mart and Target who easily catalog purchases tracked with their store credit cards. Amazon.com has a one-way kind of offering with "Plogs." If I got my act more in gear, I could easily push messages to folks who purchased my books through Amazon, but I still can't get my hands on their personal information. (And that's a good thing, from a privacy standpoint.) That's why bounceback cards and special "registration" offers are still so critical.
I've got a programming bug in my own head these days, and that's to weld the functionality of a 1ShoppingCart style commerce system with the APIs of iContact (to manage mailing lists) and Highrise. How great would it be to log the sale, get paid by PayPal, offer someone instant mailing list signup AND automate the process of sending a thank you note or other followup while tracking a potential street team member? Who's gonna build this for us?