Most of us usually put our music online in the hope that fans, managers, agents, publishers, venues, promoters, DJs, producers and potential investors are going to discover us and help advance our musical careers. It stands to reason that busy music professionals will probably want to drop you a line if they’re interested. But it also stands to reason that they won’t want to muck about with MySpace messaging capchas, or befriending you on Facebook just so they can write on your wall. If you’re serious about advancing your musical career your website definitely needs to include a contact email address.
And there’s the problem. Everyone knows how spam robots patrol the world wide interwebs harvesting email addresses from every page they visit. If you just type “firstname.lastname@example.org” or even “band(at)bandname(dot)com” you’ll be knee deep in spam in no time. The safest solution is to just embed your email address as an imagein the web page so human eyes can read it, but machines don’t even know it’s there. But the fact that it can’t be clicked, copied or pasted does make it that bit harder for for people to get in touch.
Needless to say spammers are getting ever more sophisticated in their approach, so none of the above is 100% foolproof or will last forever. But they’re all way preferable to typing your contact address openly there on a web page, which will drown your inbox in spam within a couple of months. There are many sites offering free encoding services to help you cloak your email address; here are two that I’ve found and used with good results:
- * Email-encoder.net can create a a .gif image of your address in customised colours and typeface to match your web page, or turn it into your choice of hex or html
Both of them are free and effective. So no excuses – you can now make your email address as widely available as possible to friends and allies – while making sure it stays a well-kept secret from the bad guys.