The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

JCHRants

Let’s Go Shopping

New shopping cart. Same old whining about being an artiste. Outrageous French Accents. Fulfillment costs. More on Versions and Lord Of The Rings.

Roger CortonSo you have a new shopping cart, I see.

JCHYes, if you’ve tried ordering in the past few days, you might’ve noticed some (cough) ‘technical difficulties’. I had to change the entire order processing system as I started ranting about in here.

RCWell, I’m glad it’s fixed, but it also looks a lot better. I found the whole ‘digital’ versus ‘cd’ versus ‘songs’ thing confusing. My question is, “Why wasn’t I asked to beta-test?” (laughs).

Everyone seems to think it’s au courant to talk about Global Warming this and Black Lives that and Transgender the other thing, but the death of ‘art’ as a way to make a living? Ooooh, that’s so 2000!

JCHIt’s hard to get dis-interested testers. People who don’t know what they’re doing. But I made a ton o’ changes.

RCSuch as?

JCHWell, the first thing is that I finally shifted to SSL.

RCIt’s a rocket ship?

JCHThe https thingy. Everything is now encrypted. Not to get all geeky, but every site that collects yer data or sells you something should be https now. There’s just no excuse. People used to complain that encrypted sites were slower, but it just ain’t so now. And if yer on a site that ain’t SSL and it collects yer data, basically yer just asking to be victimized.

RCOK, back to the music. I’m glad to see you’ve made the song versions easier to get because so many of us love comparing the different song versions. I just don’t know how to explain it in twenty five words or less.

JCHWe started talking about this in the version control rant. I also wanted to explain the whole Versions thing a bit better. I don’t quite understand why this idea hasn’t caught on more. As I’ve said before, jazz enthusiasts just love to get different versions of a track.

RCAnd certainly lots of us have dozens of versions of (Yes) And You And I from various concerts. So maybe the deal is that ‘versions’ is about ‘live’.

JCHMaybe. I just revise stuff in the studio. But this seems so natural to me because, as I’ve said, I think of these the way a ‘classical’ composer does. And I know it doesn’t feel like it, but most famous classical pieces have been revised several times before they ended up in the version we know. Same with Shakespeare. Hell, think about Lord Of The Rings.

RCRight! I bought an early version as a present one year for a lot of money and it was very different. Give me my money back. It’s a forgery!

JCHEXACTLY. How many times did Tolkien tweak that story. It’s actually weird to me to think of an author delivering a book or a record and La Voila! “My masterpiece? She eeeeez feeenished. I shall not change a zeeeengle word. Ever.”

RCMon Dieu. What an outrageous French accent. Any other improvements to the shopping?

JCHHell yeah! It’s a lot -cheaper-!

RCDude. Talking about money isn’t good for the brand.

JCHStarving isn’t great for ‘the brand’ either, Mon Frere. I want to close on this because it has been challenging financially this past year and we, as artists, have to keep talking it up. Everyone seems to think it’s au courant to talk about Global Warming this and Black Lives that and Transgender the other thing, but the death of ‘art’ as a way to make a living? Ooooh, that’s so 2000!

RCWell, not as important. But point taken. The public just isn’t there right now.

JCHIt’s hard enough making a living selling these trinkets

RCFormally known as CDs.

JCHThose. And I think a lot of people have various cottage businesses they want to do. So I think they’d be interested in hearing about some of the mechanics they’ll need to handle. And in this case? Credit card processing and shipping are serious costs. We should do a whole rant on just how musicians get raped via iTunes, Amazon and all the other ‘fulfillment systems’.

RCLots of bands give up a third of their revenue on every CD or download.

JCHA third, you say? That’s actually good. Some morons (er, ‘musicians’ pay close to fifty percent! The past month I’ve been scrambling to find a way to get my cost back down to where it was. Namely under five percent.

RCLike a normal business.

JCHLike a normal business. So, with some elbow grease, I think I got it solved. And hopefully, it’s cleaner and that will also get some more sales because (and this is something else we could rant about) my ‘conversions’ have always been too frickin’ low.

RCConversions?

JCHThe number of people who start to buy something, get almost all the way through and then…

RCDon’t click.

JCHRight. It’s like fishing. I gotta get a lot better at figuring out why people don’t go that last distance. They nibble.

RCBut they don’t strike.

JCHWell, not to tax the fishing metaphor, but I don’t land ’em that’s fer sure. And unlike days of yore, that matters. Any small business person nowadays has to be tracking the ‘why’. People are a lot more fickle than they used to be.

RCIn what way?

JCHWell, even a few years ago, if a guy had some trouble with buying something, he or she would shoot me an e-mail and I’d still make the sale. Now? There’s just no patience. If anything goes wrong? They’re usually lost. And that’s so weird to me…

RCBecause you’re a niche market, right?

JCHRight. I mean, you’d think that people who want to buy what I have to sell want it bad enough to hit the old ‘contact’ button, right? I mean, it’s not like they can go across the street and get some other JCHMusic, right?

RCRight. They probably aren’t saying, “Screw this guy and his lousy web site. I’ll go across the street and get a Spock’s Beard record instead.

JCH(laughs). I would love to know if that happens. That’s such an inside gag. Well done! But back on planet earth, I think there are just some impulse purchases. And because it’s an ‘impulse’ by definition, if anything breaks the spell, they wake up and…

RCAct responsibly.

JCHMan, you’re on fire tonight.

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