I was recently watching the Digg Dialog interview with Ozzy Osbourne and when asked what he thought of the current state of music, he said he didn’t listen to any modern bands, but he did comment on the current look of the bands today and how they don’t differentiate themselves from their fans. I heard what he said and thought about how it could be applied to social media.
Ozzy pointed out that in the 80s, hair metal was a bit ridiculous, but you knew exactly who the performers were. The guys with the make-up and the poofy hair were the band, without question. But then came the 90s and grunge and the band looked and dressed like the fans. Kurt Cobain wore his striped sweater and Eddie Vedder wore a flannel around his waist, and we fans emulated their style. As Ozzy said, you couldn’t tell the bands from the roadies fans. In social media, we all start on even footing. You can’t tell the experts from the “social media gurus” from the casual user when they first join, just by how they build and establish themselves. Do they remain on the floor? Do they get out there and build the rigging to support others? Do they take the stage and become rockstars?
Although Ozzy doesn’t listen to modern music, there was one current artist that stood out to him, Lady Gaga. Her flamboyant style that supersedes the music she makes even drew the attention of the Prince of Darkness then she must be doing something right. Her attire and antics make her stand out in the crowd so that she will be noticed. The same goes for social media. You need to do things to be noticed; be interesting, be inflammatory, be original. Lady Gaga may not have invented the unique things she does, as musicians like Madonna have done before, but she is the one doing it now and garnering the attention her contemporaries do not.
Ozzy Osbourne made a name for himself being outrageous. He bit the heads off a pigeon and a bat, urinated on the Alamo and other stunts that propagated him to the Prince of Darkness title. He knew how to create theatrics to gain the attention of the press and fans and became a multi-platinum artist that even now continues to sell albums. If everyone else around you is wearing flannel and dark clothes, be the one to rock the neon and glow. Everything is there for the taking, it’s just a matter of reaching out and standing out.