One of the biggest problems with the guitar community is a lack of marketing. Sure we have our various online communities and forums and blog, but it’s hard for a nation or international community to tell you about local concerts.
You could head to your local news sites and search for “Classical Guitar” every day, but that’s a lot of work. So why not automate it?
Google Alerts: A Way to Search without Searching
Google alerts are “emails sent to you when Google finds new results.”
In other words, while google is crawling around a site, and find something with your search terms, the system will send you an email about it (or deliver the result to an RSS Feed).
In short, google alerts is a way to keep up with things happening on the web. That’s how I find out about the guitar concerts and festival and anything else posted on classical guitar news.
Try An Alert on For Size
Head over to Google alerts and type in “classical guitar” for the search terms. Preview the results and see what comes up.
Chances are a whole bunch of stuff you don’t care about. The point is to keep track of stuff that’s near to you.
Refine Your Alert(s)
Find your local newspaper’s website. If you’re in a bigger city, you can find probably find two or more newspaper websites. If you live in the middle of nowhere (like my home town), you may want to find the newspapers in the nearest, bigger city.
Once you have a list of website addresses, you can refine your search.
Try this out on google: site:classicalguitarblog.net “john williams”.
You can refine search queries to only display results from a single website. And you can do this in alerts as well.
Head back to the google alerts page. Instead of just “classical guitar” in your search term box, use “site:YourLocalNewspapersWebsite.com “classical guitar”.
You’ll have to set up an alert for each website. I highly suggest having these alerts delivered via RSS feed. (And you can, of course, subscribe to the CG Blog while you’re at it.)
Finding Other Websites with Music Information
It’s also a good idea to find local arts community websites. For instance, the local NPR station in Dallas runs Art and Seek, which has a community calendar. So I can search Art and Seek for classical guitar. If you have a local NPR or classical music radio station, check out their site for community calendar information.
Another good source is usually your local arts council. These would be the folks who give money to the various arts nonprofits around town. Some of them run websites that feature community calendars.
Finally, you can find local calendars by searching for [Your Location] Arts Calendar or something similar.
Set up a new alert for any site you think may give you some good results. It’s easier to test things out and cancel alerts than to try to refine the website list first.