Napsterize Your Knowledge!

There's a popular phrase that's popped up in marketing circles: "Napsterize knowledge." What the heck does that mean? Simple: if you know something useful or interesting, share it and watch it spread, and build your reputation in the process. How does that apply to the aspiring musician? Here's a prime example from my own backyard:

I got to know veteran street performer Howlin' Hobbit about a year ago when I was trying to jump-start a Just Plain Folks chapter in Seattle. Hobbit's specialty is ukulele, which is pretty unusual to begin with, and he capitalizes on that uniqueness by sharing his expertise with his audience.

Sure, Hobbit's got CDs like most musicians do. But he also sells ukulele chord booklets that he created himself. On his website he has instructions on how to make a uke felt pick. There's a page of ukulele haiku. And recently, Hobbit launched UkeWiki.org, an entire website dedicated to sharing ukulele knowledge.

And as a longtime performer, Hobbit is never shy about sharing some hard-boiled wisdom. The guy knows how to work a crowd and a tip jar.

So many artists make themselves the focus of their careers. But to paraphrase Kathy Sierra: one of the ways to inspire passion and loyalty from fans is to help them kick ass. You can do this by becoming a resource for information, tips and advice on a subject you're already passionate about.