As part of my involvement with the Rhythm Changes project, I’ve been doing some research into the ways in which different national jazz agencies around Europe use the internet as part of what they do.
At the 2011 Jazzahead conference, I interviewed delegates representing music centres and national jazz agencies from the UK, Netherlands, Slovenia, Iceland, France, Hungary, Finland, Estonia, Catalonia, Denmark, Belgium, Norway and Sweden. From those interviews, I was able to discern a number of shared concerns, overlapping strategies and common goals and approaches that these organisations have used to think about their online offerings.
While each national agency is essentially interested in the promotion and propagation of the jazz music of their own country, this basic commonality of intent is not uniformly reflected in the strategies each brings to the Internet in order to achieve that aim. In fact, in many ways, the approaches differ substantially. In part, this is attributable to the various differences in the cultural, economic and political objectives that underpin the activities of these organisations, but it also reflects differences in audience demographic profiles, access to financial, technical and human resources to develop the online offerings and the levels of online experience (and interest) staff members of the organisation possess.