Skip to content
October 25, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Moving on over…

It’s been a great year. I am preparing to submit my thesis tomorrow and in the spirit of graduation this year I have set up a new blog, Digital Red Dirt. You will be able to find me over then from now on.

Thanks for all the support guys, it really has been a blast!

October 5, 2010 / Julia Hughan

My interview on country music, social media and the industry’s shift online…

WARNING! Severe case of shameless self promotion!

Check out this interview at Upstart Magazine where I talk with Ryan Jon about country music going online (Note: I did not choose the title of said article).

September 19, 2010 / Julia Hughan

CMA Festival, brands and consumer impressions.

The CMA Music Festival successfully presented brands with the opportunity to connect with individual audience members. The following video provides an overview of how the CMA achieved over 700,000 consumer impressions through activities related to key audience demographics (namely families).

The ULTIMATE Country Music Fan Experience with the ULTIMATE Opportunity for Consumer Engagement!

Quick Stats:

  • 65,000 fans in attendance
  • 55, 000 visited the Exhibition Hall
  • Bigger crowds in free areas with River Stage and Family Zones
  • 56 hours of free concerts
  • A focus on Sport, Fun and Family Zones with ‘fun and friendly activities’
  • Overall, the festival generated 700,000 active consumer impressions through product samplings, dedicated registrations and brand impressions.


Corporate sponsors were able to benefit from an established community of country music brand evangelists through a series of activities and events tailored to engage the target consumer: families.

August 31, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Country music and social media? Look no further than the CMA Tweet N’ Greet

I wrote the following in an earlier post: “Social media allows individuals to form new communities (albeit often temporary and loose) around a collective interest. Twitter enables audiences to engage in a dialogue with complete strangers, express their thoughts and re-tweet to their heart’s content. This is a simple illustration of converging relationships between media audiences and content.”

If you are interested in witnessing country music and social media in practice then look no further than the CMA‘s Tweet n’ Greet:

The “Tweet ‘N’ Greet” will create an interactive feed between the fans and artists. Fans will have a direct connection to some of their favorite performers, not only allowing them the opportunity to ask questions, but also providing them with behind-the-scenes access. In addition, CMA (@CountryMusic) will be updating fans with information on the participating artists’ upcoming album releases, tour dates, and appearances. The official hashtag for the event is #cmatv. Fans using the hashtag will be entered to win prizes during the show. For more information, visit:


Please click here and here for more information.

Back to my case study chapter!

August 24, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Solid outside content: Is music losing it’s authenticity?

I am working like a government mule at the moment. However, I have stumbled upon some solid outside content.

I highly recommend checking out this blog post by Sedona Grisham over at No Depression titled ‘Transient Invisibility: Has Music Lost Its Soul’.

Happy trails!

August 16, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Don’t be a tape player hater and listen to the damn album. My self imposed music mandate.

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]

“Don’t be a tape player hater” – Luke Bryan/Galen Griffin/Patrick Jason Matthews

I have a confession to make. I spend hours and hours a week consuming information from HypeBot, Digital Music News, Billboard, Pitchfork, Mi2N and a bottomless list of blogs concerned with music futurism.

What am I reading about?

As music news goes, I am reading about whether Apple will finally introduce cloud-based technology and why songwriters can’t make a living and yet more music is being published now than ever before. In recent months my inner nerd especially enjoyed the blog post discussing the number of clicks it takes to access music content.

What else am I doing?

Instead of consuming the music product like a fan, I load the album (if I do in fact have the actual CD) into iTunes, grab my laptop and analayse. For example…

  • I examine the length of introductions to see if they sync with Jay Frank’s future hit methodology.
  • I consider whether the three verse model is still viable in popular country music.
  • I question why Big Machine Records opted to place Taylor Swift‘s “Mine” under the ‘pop’ category in iTunes.

I love music. And yet, I am more concerned with monitoring online conversations, engaging in discussions and analysing digital media strategies.  I admit it. I am 22 years old and I am already an over analytical musical cynic.

What am I going to do?

For one week I am putting forward a music mandate to enjoy the music and consume it.

I will buy Steve Forde‘s Hurricane from an independent music retailer, I will load the album into my car and I will drive until the last track is finished.

I encourage you to do the same.

August 15, 2010 / Julia Hughan

I’m not lazy, I am just writing a thesis.

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]

I promised myself that I would not enter into the blogsphere, invest a little time in a blog and then abruptly abandon the cause. I am not lazy (well, a little). I am not lying by a pool somewhere sipping mocktails and listening to The Mystiqueros. I am not even sitting on a couch watching ABC News 24 reporting on a group of Belgians who used 800,000 begonias to create a majestic flower carpet.

Instead, I am permanently attached to my ergonomic chair, sitting in front of my iMac and performing a textual analysis on two notable country music websites.

Every morning I wake up at 5am, check my Blackberry for emails (because it makes me feel like I am working), catch up on Google Reader, browse my Twitter feed, brew a cup of coffee and return to my desk for eight hours of academic neurosis. This has been my living pattern for the past sixty days and will continue for the next sixty.

In the meantime I will post some solid outside content, some random quotes and function as a non-automated link farm. Why? Because I have 22,000 words due in less than sixty days. I am also too much of a realist to know that I simply can not commit to maintaining this tiny little blog in the way that I would like to.

With that said, here is some solid outside content from my own daily source of inspiration, HypeBot:

Marketing To An Audience With An Audience.

Brian Solis, recognized as one of the most prominent thinkers and published authors in new media, is always insightful and thought-provoking. In the video below, where he talks about the troubles that marketers face when marketing to an audience with an audience, is a small snapshot into why his opinion and books are so influential:

July 30, 2010 / Julia Hughan

A fitting thought for the day (not mine).

“Good communications is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]

July 28, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Video: The State of Social Media in American Country Music straight from the horse’s mouth.

I have my own thoughts on this topic (which will be discussed upon the submission of my methodology chapter). However, this video is straight from the horse’s mouth and is the State of Social Media in Country Music according to the CMA.

Ben Bennett of the Country Music Association and speaker at Social Fresh Nashville discusses the state of social media use within Country Music as a whole. Some standouts include Taylor Swift, the Zac Brown Band, and Rascal Flatts.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

July 25, 2010 / Julia Hughan

The Johnny Cash Project: Where country music, art and new media collide

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]The Johnny Cash Project is an online collective project that employs crowdsourced art to produce a video for Johnny Cash‘s “Ain’t No Grave”, a track from Cash’s posthumous album American VI: Ain’t No Grave released earlier this year.

Music and art have the potential to be about participation, engagement and collaboration and this project is a testament to that.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

July 22, 2010 / Julia Hughan

A fitting thought for the day (not mine).

“If a song can’t be written in twenty minutes, it ain’t worth writing.” – Hank Williams

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]

July 22, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Steve Rubel and David Armano present Six Digital Trends To Watch

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]My recommendation is to find a pen and write this down or simply take a moment to ponder. You will definitely not find this on the Amazon Kindle:

Source via HypeBot.

July 21, 2010 / Julia Hughan

The Current(ly) Essential Country Music Reading List

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]There is plenty of content out there to be found on Google Scholar, blogs, YouTube, online articles and even Wikipedia. However, when you want to get down to the nitty gritty of learning about country music, there is nothing like diving feet first into the deep end.

These are a few of the books that proven to be invaluable to me as I navigate my way through my own country music research:

Any suggestions?

July 18, 2010 / Julia Hughan

RIP Hank Cochran

Legendary songwriter Hank Cochran passed away earlier this week at his home. Cochran penned a number of iconic hits for Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, Merle Haggard and George Strait including “Make The World Go Away“, “She’s Got You” and “I Fall To Pieces“. RIP.

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]

July 17, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Australian Heritage Series: Buddy Williams

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]The second artist to be featured in Australian Heritage Series (following Reg Lindsay) is Harold “Buddy” Williams, also known as The Yodeling Jackaroo:

Buddy Williams was the first Australian born country singer to reach national prominence.

Williams (alongside Tex Morton) played a central role in establishing the Australian hillbilly song and sound which became “a ballad, with a simply major key tune, accompanied by pick-and-strum guitar with a few bass runs” (Smith, 2005: 89). Graeme Smith (2005) compares Williams’ role to Jimmie Rodgers in delineating American country music describing Williams’ music as featuring “direct narratives of rural life, often romanticised through stereotypic images such as the horsemen and cattle, or the old wattle tree” (2005, 88).

His most popular tracks include “Music In My Pony’s Feet”, a celebration of the Australian outback, “Where the White Face Cattle Roam” and “Mareeba Rodeo”. Astonishingly, Williams released his first single in 1939 (“The Dappled Grey Bronco of Mine”) but didn’t release his first full lenght album until 1973 with Aussie On My Mind. As you will hear below, while Williams’ vocals were limited, they were also soulful and emotive.

Williams toured Australia widely for over three decades and was added to the Country Music Roll of Renown in 1977 alongside Tex Morton and Dawson.

Thanks to Smith, Graeme (2005) Singing Australian: the history of folk and country music. North Melbourne: Pluto Press.

Listen to Buddy Williams singing “Music In My Pony’s Feet”: