[I]f you’re a Ryerson student and a musician of any kind, you have probably experienced some level of disappointment over the university’s meager music scene. Ryerson isn’t renowned for having a stellar music program, to say the least. As a result, many music students have opted for universities with better-equipped music programs. But what about those of us who still want to get together and jam on the weekends?
A new social networking site, developed in part by a former Ryerson student, may be the answer.
Last year, Ryerson alumnus and Digital Media Zone member Rob Platek, along with Marc Carignan and Vlad Platek, launched BandLink, a website that helps connect musicians living in the same area.
Traditionally, musicians wanting to collaborate had to refer to messy bulletin boards at their local music and coffee shops, or search through endless drab and ambiguous ads on Craigslist.
“There was no real organization to it,” says Platek.
Being a musician himself, Platek became frustrated with the process, and created BandLink in order to simplify it.
“BandLink is kind of like a ‘Match.com’ for musicians,” he explains.
When musicians make a profile, they include what instruments they play, and which genres they are interested in. If they’re looking for a new band member, they can browse for, say, guitarists in their area, or “broadcast” to other local musicians that they’re available for a jam session.
According to Platek, some people are even forming entire bands through the site.
BandLink has only been up and running since September, but it already has a widespread membership, and with over 2000 followers on Twitter and Facebook, the word is spreading fast.
News of the site has been getting around mostly by word of mouth.
“We’re seeing these cluster sign-ups,” says Platek, “where someone joins the site, and then tells all their friends about it.”
The tool’s genius and appeal lie in how easy it is to use. Profile layouts are extremely visual and provide plenty of room for personalization.
Also, there’s nothing quite like it out there. MySpace has been a popular tool for musicians, but it doesn’t come close to providing the same possibilities for musical growth and connections that BandLink offers.
As the site’s founders explain on BandLink.com, “BandLink started out of necessity.”
The site is not only a medium through which local musicians can easily connect with each other, but it’s also a stage where artists can sell themselves and make industry connections. Users can attach their BandLink page to their other networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Currently, members can post their recordings to their page using SoundCloud and Youtube.
In the future, Platek wants to “take BandLink a step further” and make it a place where artists can connect with labels and professionals in the music industry.