Internet Component

The Zen Guitar Dojo @ Educational Entertainment

Everyone talks about the coming age of broadband and what it will mean. Here's what I see:

Anyone with a website will essentially have his or her own TV/radio station/magazine/learning center, and it will be interactive, giving visitors the opportunity not only to receive, but to participate in the creation of the site's content. The challenge, as always, will be to attract visitors and give them a reason to keep coming back.

What attracts people to a website?

  • Information, entertainment, and/or products they want and can't get anywhere else;
  • a community they want to be part of;
  • a chance to have their voice heard;
  • free stuff;
  • the opportunity to discover new music they like, for free;
  • special events.

What keeps them coming back?

  • the music, if it's good, will create a fan base;
  • regular updates to site's information and entertainment;
  • continuity of community;
  • a sense of ownership/investment in the site, i.e., they become a known voice at the site.

Those are the keys to a vibrant website, condensable to three C's: Content, Community, and Commerce. In a broadband universe, will be a place where people can come for unique, high-quality content--to hear music, learn, practice, jam, interact, post, download, create, exchange in real time. By creating a strong sense of place, the feeling of belonging to a club, a community will grow wherein people want to return again and again. Commerce will flow from subscription fees, referral fees, product sales, micropayments, sponsorships, and advertising.

The path for ZG's growth will be grounded in community building, simliar to the model followed by the Grateful Dead. Nothing in the spirit and principles of ZG precludes the opportunity for profit; but it does necessitate an organic form of growth, built through a sense of mission and inclusion. As a organism, ZG can grow very quickly in the Internet age. It is an idea with global reach and a global audience; already the book has a worldwide audience with several foreign editions in Europe.

The Dojo would be divided into several "rooms," including:

Practice hall: People jamming with each other live online in real time.

Classroom: A database of lessons, plus live interactive lessons. Lesson/referral fees could apply.

Library: ZG'zine (original, online magazine); suggested reading with links to booksellers. Referral fees.

Stage: Live performances, also archived for later download.

Gallery: Moving and still images provided by dojo members; music videos.

Meditation room: Spiritually oriented material, not specific to music.

Common room: Chat rooms, bulletin boards, etc.

ZGers on Tour: Guide to the road from ZG members, with info on clubs, venues, accommodations, eating spots, etc.

Listening room: ZG picks of the week, links to record sellers. Referral fees.

Store: Books, CDs, videos, posters, clothing, logo merchandise; links to other vendors, e.g., custom ZG guitar makers. Retail sales, referral fees.

One Sound One Song: participatory art project (see next page).