Top End Tuesday: MusicNT jams with online tools

MusicNT Hot Shots Entry: 'Rehearsals' by Mathew McHugh Artist: Wildflower Mamadawarre Outstation

MusicNT Hot Shots Entry: 'Rehearsals' by Mathew McHugh Artist: Wildflower Mamadawarre Outstation

Our profile this Tuesday is on Music NT, not so much for its specialised usage of a particular online marketing tool but for its multi-channel approach to online resources.

And what better time to profile the site than in the lead up to the iNTune Conference and the National Indigenous Music Awards, both taking place in Darwin later this week (August 18, 19 2011).

Music NT Inc. is the non-profit, member-based music organisation for the Northern Territory, representing, developing and serving the Territory’s original music industry.

So let’s see what online tools they use for doing this.

WordPress website

The base of Music NT’s operations is a WordPress website. This is what gives the site great flexibility to incorporate numerous ‘widgets’ and services in an easy and cost effective way, which we would expect from a non-profit organisation.

Take a look at the home page and you will see a number of these ‘extras’ at work, from the scrolling feature box at the top of the page, to the row of smaller feature links, columns with latest articles and a box for displaying the latest Twitter activity by Music NT.

To be far, a number of Content Management Systems (database-based software for running a website) allow you to achieve this mix of information, it is not something unique to WordPress. What makes it easier for WordPress users is that WordPress and most of its ‘extras’ are free and there are tens of thousands of such ‘extras’ to choose from.


Click on ‘Forum’ and you will be transported to a site within a site. This is the Ning platform.

Ning is a low cost forum service that allows subscribers to create discussions and incorporate even more online technologies.

In the case of Music NT, it seems to be the ‘membership’ function that has attracted them to service. Here, visitors can become members and take part in discussions, form groups and develop an online community.

The calendar function of Ning is also being used so that members can see when the Music NT rehearsal studio is booked or available.


For events such as iNTune, Music NT used a service called Eventbrite to host and manage sales of tickets.

While there are some good ticketing plugins for WordPress, the Eventbrite system is well known and handles the backend responsibilities in exchange for a set commission.

I do note that for free events the service has a free option.

Gig Text

Something a little out of the ordinary is Music NT’s trial of an SMS alert system, Gig Text, so that music lovers in the Territory (Darwin to begin with) can get a list of the upcoming weekend’s concerts sent to their phones.

Users simply text GIG to the GigText number 0434 170 222 and then they are added to the database. At any time they can also text LIVE to see what’s on in the coming week.

It will be interesting to see how this self-funded services (musicians pay a small fee to have their events in the database) will be adopted by local music lovers.


In summary, Music NT is a worthwhile site to visit to see what these services look like and determine whether they could play a role in your business or organisation.

One omission (unless I just couldn’t find it) was an area for watching or listening to local music. There might be prohibitive copyright issues but I certainly would find it hard NOT to share links to the site if I could see and enjoy some of the local music itself.

Let me know if there are other aspects of the site worth noting and share your comments too, below.






Speak Your Mind