Mailing List Comments

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them. I realize that many of you use email as your main communication tool and will miss the newsletter. We can meet here, on this blog, from time to time. No ads, no tracking, no data collection.

Your words make me feel better about having kept up the newsletter for so long, but there are the other folks who sent me email aggressively accusing me of spamming them, of having added them to my newsletter without their consent. I have never bought email addresses for my newsletter, so the only way an address could be added to my list was if someone signed up themselves. It is possible, of course, that someone else could have signed up another person without their knowledge… but I don’t have control over that.

I just deleted my Mailchimp account. I never liked how slick the interface was and how they seemed to push towards advertising and marketing. I guess I miss the old homemade websites and interfaces from the mid-nineties – before everything became commercial and efficient and so on… I am showing my age.

As I already wrote, come visit this blog. You can bookmark it or use RSS. I’ll make it worth your time by giving away some music, too. :-)

PS: I remember sending out emails to a few fans via a creaky CompuServe account. This would have been in 1994, when the World Wide Web was still a tiny tiny baby.

Newsletter + new music

I said goodbye to the mailing list in a last newsletter this afternoon. At the bottom of the newsletter I added a link to a new song I worked on for the last couple of weeks. This is what I wrote:

Here is the new piece “Fernweh” on Dropbox: LINK
Fernweh is a German word that means the opposite of homesick… it means far-sick. Fern means far and weh means ache or woe. The compound word means longing or aching for far off places. The melody that starts about 47 seconds into the song floats above and behind the rhythm. It reminds me about Italy, but I couldn’t tell you why. I make a good cup of coffee, but there is something special about walking into an Italian coffee bar early in the morning… perhaps a place like this one, near the Pantheon in Rome.

House Events

Musicians are looking at new income streams and one of them is House Events. Check this out.

A few thoughts about Mailing Lists

Let me first thank you for the comments you left on the post Mailing Lists. They are helpful and appreciated.

I am not a star nor do I have aspirations to be a star. I view myself as a craftsman. I play guitar and I make music. I have been fortunate to do this for the last 30 years – in March of 1990 I quit my day-job in Santa Fe. Making music, in my opinion, is a lot like crafting pottery or making a sword. It takes time and an understanding of the medium. I think my albums sound better than ever. The album Fete sounds amazing. This is puzzling because my hearing is not nearly as good as it was thirty years ago. Yet it makes sense, too, because hearing is nothing without the decoding that happens in the brain. My mixes are better. The sense of space, the locations of the instruments.

I am not a good salesman. I don’t like the process. I know many people seem to think that in this new economy every musician has to devote time to developing a social media presence and amass followers. Some musicians spent hours every day doing just that. Me, I’d rather play guitar, work in the studio, or take photographs.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about social media, and about mailing lists, and about the idea of taking an active role in promoting myself. I realize that I don’t want to… I just don’t. What my heart wants to do is to shut down the mailing list. A good craftsman doesn’t advertise… they make pottery and people come to them and buy their products. I don’t want to send monthly emails to thousands of people to advertise my work, the recordings or the tours.

If you like what I do, I hope you will return to my website, to this blog, and to the page that contains the Touring Schedule. If you are on Twitter, I will try to make announcements there. 140 characters – that much I can handle.

I don’t want to sell anything but I will continue to make stuff – music, photography, video, writing – and some of it you will be able to buy. If you want to.

False Ottmars – Update

This is a fake account. It’s a private account and I wasn’t able to get this one deleted. Facebook has their own rulebook and most of that is despicable and awful. This is another one. By using the word “fan” at the end of the name this account also escapes being deleted because Instagram, that is Facebook, thinks “fan accounts” are a legitimate expression of people. The latter account apparently told a follower that they needed to pay $1,700 in order to get a personal meet and greet with me.

Great article about Facebook

Simply Put…

This meme is going around and I think it makes abundantly clear what we need to do.

Mailing Lists

Using a mailing list has never been a lot of fun for me. I guess I really don’t like the medium and have never been comfortable with it. I am also frustrated that only about half of the recipients of a list email actually open the email. I am not sure why people sign up for a mailing list when they don’t even want to look at it? One thing I don’t like about having a mailing list is that there are always some people who aggressively question why they are on the mailing list in the first place. You signed up, or maybe a friend of yours signed you up, because it is not in anyone’s interest for me to sneak someone onto my mailing list.

Mailing lists are expensive. I generally send out about ten list emails in a year at a cost of about $700. Lately, I have been thinking about alternatives. There are several obvious options.

1. You can check this blog/Diary from time to time to find out about what I am up to
2. You can use a RSS reader to subscribe to this diary and lots of other blogs and news – this one is excellent and so is this one
3. You can check the Tour page for my schedule
4. You can subscribe to Songkick – this seems to be very popular as over 26,000 are following me on Songkick
5. You can follow me on Twitter for announcements

I don’t think I am a good salesman and self-promotion is not something I enjoy.

What do you think? Are you subscribing to my mailing list? Is there something about a mailing list that you like? Can you think of reasons why I should continue using a mailing list? Thanks in advance for your comments.

False Ottmars

On Friday I heard about two impersonator accounts on Instagram, who sent direct messages to several followers of my own account, claiming to be stuck in Canada with declining credit cards. The follower let the impostor know that they actually knew me and then warned me via email. I reported the accounts and both of them were deleted for impersonation by Saturday morning. Since then another account surfaced, which I also reported.

I was curious and checked Twitter and also found an impersonator account that had the handle liebertottmar. It was Spanish only and they stopped tweeting in 2012. I reported them anyway.

Later I was sent screenshots of a conversation between Ottmar LIBERT (misspelled last name) and a fan, where the impersonator offered a meet and greet and suggested that the fan should write to his management at… doubtlessly hoping to charge for the meet and greet in advance. Of course is a fake account, too.

I do not search for impostors and file reports every day, so I will not know about most of the scams that are going on.

Here is what you need to know:

  1. Check the spelling… my name is Ottmar Liebert. Impostors will often misspell my name in order to obtain an account
  2. I do NOT have a Facebook account. None. I am guessing that there are several impostor accounts on FB.
  3. I have ONE Twitter account and the handle is @ottmarliebert
  4. I have ONE Instagram account and the handle is also @ottmarliebert
  5. I do NOT have a second “Private” Instagram account
  6. I have a Twitch account and there the handle is also @ottmarliebert
  7. If you have any doubt about the authenticity of an account, or suspect an impostor, please leave a comment on this blog or send me an email