Not everything is what it appears. Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash.

Muezin: So Much Promise … So Much Illusion

May 20 · 4 min read

Illusive offerings tied up in wishes

I am a musician who played for three hours last night, hauled equipment for another hour, and gratefully got paid a minor amount along with tips. A total of $70, plus a pizza, and a glass of wine. Not bad in my area. But … then the gig was over. A one-time gig. Maybe another gig opportunity will arrive soon?

Fun for the ego, especially when the audience enjoys the outpouring of energy. Once the lights go down … that’s it. Not a lot to base a retirement on. So, we musicians mostly play as a hobby … not a bad hobby. Just a hobby putting a little spare cash in the pocket.

Music is a passion. Art is a passion, and all of us, at times, question our sanity. True economic prosperity in the arts is reserved for the few. Celebrity is so much a part of our culture, and every artist I know, even though they never admit, reaches for a piece of the cloud. The machine picks the perfect solution, then burps it out for consumers to devour. This is reality, and it comes at every level of competence.

Some artists actually make it, most quit, leaving behind a passion, that maybe if they could have kept up, would have built a rounder, happier individual. After all, creative expression is inherent in every person. Those who find their lives restricted by reality, often land up doing things they might have reconsidered.

This is where the internet comes into play. Promise. Fame. Grandiose claims and a lot of willing participants ready to waste time wishing and hoping. Problem is: Time is Money.

With the above sentence, one might think I’m just a disgruntled artist. I am not. I see what is real, along with many others who share the same doubts of unrealistic promises. I see a lot of very talented individuals struggling with their craft, producing very entertaining and fun creative projects. Then spinning their wheels trying to break the glass ceiling.

I also see older marketing machines continuing to dominate conversations, “This is how promoting your music is done,” “Enroll in this new magazine, and have a chance to be featured,” and just recently this con job from Reverb Nation, “John, congratulations, you are number one in your market. Now is the time for you to join our playlists of local artists.” The last one is a deal where I pay $30 a month for nothing. No thanks.

Nevertheless, we musicians strive for our little cloud of success. Even small steps can build. My crossed fingers are getting cramped up.

I believe strongly the internet is just beginning to show promise for many people to grow on. How data is gained, and how information is used does make a difference.

Facebook gathers data. Facebook, along with its many offspring, have become incredible sources of market information. I won’t get into the problems here, exasperated by companies trying to be everything for everybody. User information, or user data, is a harvest our world has never experienced … ever. We truly don’t grasp the immense power data holds, nor understand the channels built around similar interests, has. The results are avenues of exposure both good, and awful. What if we did understand? Would we be more cautious? Would we search for alternatives? Could we benefit further?

A long time ago, I joined the Green Party, until I found out that the opposing party was subtly funding the Greens in order to split the vote. I am a green Democrat today. Often, all isn’t what seems.

The internet is prime for deception, and value information. It is the value portion which has become hard to discern. This is why skillfully selecting reputable sources helps to sort through the piles of potential miss-information. Weakness remains everywhere.

How data is used and displayed, does matter. These days I have become less tolerant of beating around the bush. When I want something, I get it. When I feel like searching, I do. A discerning data consumer can learn to discover, through the chaff, what matters. Each one of us has choices to make. For me, getting bang for the buck, whether it’s valuable time or literally the dollar amount, matters.

Artists … the internet continues to change. I believe for the best. As we discover the shortcomings of what has been the beginnings of data management, newer better beginnings will rise out of the crud.

See the illusion. Choices matter.

John Cole, founder/lead developer Muezbiz.com

Working hard bringing music publishing back from the brink by paying neighbor representatives a share of member published music.


Muezbiz is a startup.“Pin to your MusicHood BULLETIN. Discover everything musical in your hometown, and in hometowns everywhere” Buy from someone local with interest media filtered by region.

All new members joining are forwarded to Santa Fe Folk/Americana conversation social timeline to see how the site works. Defaults can be changed at any time via the Preference menu under member’s name at the top.


Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

John Cole

Written by

John Cole

Exploring possibilities furthering opportunities for musicians everywhere. Founder/Lead Developer Muezbiz.com.

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity