Creating a Movement
How SoulShare empowers us to celebrate our talents and support one another
"We're in this together": if the SoulShare movement were to be summed up into one phrase, that's what it would be. While we're primarily focused on serving the art and music community, we encourage everyone to join together in appreciation of the incredible talent around us and be a resource to each other; read on to see how we help people do that.
Art and music brings us together, and the individuals that have spent countless hours perfecting their craft to create it should be celebrated. These artists and musicians, which we'll refer to throughout this article as creators, can be found spread out all over the internet. Let's face it though: for every one creator that gets noticed online, there are significantly more just as talented, if not more so, that remain unnoticed. It can be pretty difficult to appreciate what a creator is doing if no one knows about it.
Why do so many creators go unnoticed? There could be any number of reasons, but at SoulShare we believe a few significant factors have to do with how most online platforms are fundamentally designed:
- Following the crowd — most sites that creators are using to showcase their work will rank content based on the likes and shares of the general public, effectively creating a popularity contest. The problem with this is quality and artistic merit are not defined by popular opinion; if that were true, Baby Shark would be considered a musical masterpiece (no offense to it's creators, it's still a catchy song). Adding to the problem, creators often feel pressured to set aside their own creative interests and make their work fall in line with what's trending just to get attention.
- Unnecessary complexity — keywords, tags and hashtags unnecessarily spread out creators' target audience. As an example, if you type "guitar" into YouTube right now, you'll probably find yourself with completely different search results than if you were to type in "guitars." The example just used is by no means unique to YouTube; you'll see this pattern with just about any of the major platforms out there today. As a result, creators can at best make an educated guess as to which tags to assign to their work, and regardless of what they choose they'll reach less of their audience than they should.
- Lack of focus — many of the major platforms being used today aren't designed specifically for the purpose of showcasing artists and musicians. What this translates to is creators are oftentimes not just competing for attention amongst themselves, but with completely irrelevant search results. As a challenge, try typing in the hashtag #art into Instagram and see how long it takes you to find something that has nothing to do with art; our time: less than a second.
We've solved these problems by taking a different approach. We take into account creators' opinions in our rankings, keep search simple and straightforward, and focus our efforts specifically on showcasing the art and music community. The end result is more relevant, higher quality and diverse art and music rising to the top, with a better chance for newcomers' work to get seen. By making discovery easier and more effective, SoulShare is helping people appreciate more talented creators than ever before.
Supporting one another
If you're an artist or musician, at some point you'll probably want someone to help you along the way:
- A professional that can teach, inspire, and share their advice with you
- Peers you can find camaraderie with through similar experiences; people that understand your passion, and get what you're going through when roadblocks hit
- A collaborative partner; someone to work with on your next art project or join your band
Up until now, creators have sought out meaningful connections like the ones above without any obvious solution to finding them.
Sure, there's clubs, meetups, open jam sessions, art galleries, and the list goes on. But even if you attend all of these events, how will you know which people in the room are actually the right people to help you, and furthermore that they'll be willing or able to take the time to do so? You could try talking to every single person, and maybe you'll run into the right fit, but you'll never know what to expect going into it and in any case the process will likely take up a lot of your time and effort.
With SoulShare, you no longer have to guess what creators have to offer, what they're looking for or where to find them. Simply type in the search bar what skills the creator should have (e.g. drums), filter by the services you're looking for and how far from your own city that you're willing to meet.
Our simple, but powerful, search system empowers creators to collaborate with and learn from each other. On top of that, fans and venues can easily benefit from search while also supporting the community by finding top creators in their area to hire.
SoulShare is more than just a search tool though, it's a community. Ultimately, our goal is to foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie across the creative community through a shared passion for their craft; two of the big ways we do that is through our newsfeed and events.
You may be asking, "newsfeed? How will that foster belonging or camaraderie?" We're glad you asked! The newsfeed is what connects you to other creators in your industry. Simply specify what categories you're interested in, any creators you're interested in following if you know of some already, and instantly get plugged into inspiring new content and conversations within those subjects. Better yet, you're customized news feeds get saved to the left of your home page so you can create as few or as many as you'd like to cater to your interests.
As mentioned earlier, we also encourage SoulShare's members to get together in-person by supporting events. Creators can post their gigs, clinics, gallery showings, discussion groups or more; what events members post is largely up to them as long as they're in some way related to art or music.
If any of this interests you, we encourage you to explore the rest of the site to learn more about us, or sign up to join the movement. You can follow us on social media for relevant content, and updates on our Kickstarter launch scheduled this Summer!