As someone who has been happily riding the wave of online performance technologies for a while, I have not forgotten how intimidating a lot of it can be to set up. Second Life, particularly, has a very steep learning curve – one which had me tearing my hair out back at the beginning – and even U-stream and Facebook’s new Streamjam application can seem very tricky if you haven’t done those sorts of things before.
Even if you know this already, it’s worth pointing out that online shows are wonderful opportunities to play to audiences you would otherwise never reach if you restricted yourself to terrestrial gigs – particularly if you are geographically challenged (eg. you live in New Zealand, Madagascar, Siberia, etc). They have almost zero overhead costs, and (perhaps paradoxically) enable far more intimate interaction with listeners. So for those of you who want to explore the joys of online performance, I’m going to be doing a How-to series on how to set yourself up, starting with the one that is the most difficult to figure out alone – Second Life. Part One coming very very soon.