The Next Big Thing
The NBT email network
This is the homepage of the NBT email network.
NBT is the Next Big Thing, a mailing list for freelance music journalists and music photographers of all kinds. See The NBT story.
To join the list, fill in the form below.
Our apologies about the convoluted prose in the
computer-generated bits of this page.
Links for list members
| The NBT
(The current archive is only available to the list
| To send a message to the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
|As an experiment, we're providing list members with a list of other members' email addresses.
Go to your control panel - suspend emails, etc
The NBT list stylesheet
NBT is currently "moderated".
The job of the "moderators" - the list administrators - is to check applications to join the list - if you're unfortunate enough to be called Rupert Murdoch, we're going to want documentary evidence you're not him. With this in mind, please remember to provide information when you apply to join that will enable the list administrators to check your bona fides. Please tell us about clients and the titles to which you have contributed and contribute, and links to examples of your work online. This is very greatly appreciated and speeds up the application process. Last, please let NBT know how you heard about us. Tell us who told you about us - the name of somebody already in the forum, a college tutor (name and shame) or if somebody else recommended NBT to you. Or where you read something about NBT - maybe in another forum. Or perhaps you just got NUJ-curious and landed here.
The list stylesheet continues to evolve. To start with, on-topic
messages include those about:
- pay and conditions of work
- relations with clients in general
- tips about work on offer
- queries relating to PR contacts, release dates, etc.
- anything pertaining to copyright matters, particularly to alert other
list members to "rights-grab" type documents you may have received from
- tips about work-related, "royalty-like" income streams
- applied pedantry of all kinds - when was Gong's last gig, or did
they just forget to er, wossname?
- getting NUJ recognition from publishers etc
- anything else that's not too far off-topic, really...
Messages will not be distributed which:
- are actionably defamatory, obscene, criminally blasphemous or just too complicated to moderate for legal
- contravene the NUJ's Code of Conduct;
- have degenerated into "flame wars";
- are over 2500 words long; or
- attempt to include anything that's not plain text
NOTE that you must be careful and precise when reporting problems
with late- or non-payment. The worst libel you can utter about a limited company or plc
is to suggest that it may be insolvent. Reporting specific, documented problems - that you invoiced for this work on that date, and were not paid by this
date - is helpful.
Please keep the content of messages you receive from NBT confidential -
and see also The NBT story.
The plain-text-only rule serves to keep the time taken to download
list messages to a minimum. It also means that it is impossible (given
the current state of technical knowledge and dastardly invention)
for viruses to propagate through the list. The program that runs the
list also takes all plausible steps to stop your email address being
"harvested" by spam merchants.
Joining the NBT network
Join ("subscribe to") NBT
by filling in the following form. Please note that this form generates an email which will be sent to the list when your application has been approved. It is therefore a good idea to give enough information under the heading "Please introduce yourself to list members" to ensure that other list members get an idea of who you are, what you do and so on. You don't need to enter a full CV - just imagine you had bumped into a fellow music freelance at a gig somewhere and they had asked, 'So what do you do, then?' Like it says above, please supply information about clients and the titles to which you have contributed and contribute, and links to examples of your work online - your website, your blog, those divine examples of your prose or photographic portfolio. It will also allow the list administrators to verify that you are a bona fide music freelance writer or photographer and will speed up the approval process. So please do answer reasonably fully - simply putting "journalist" in that box will mean you being asked to apply again. And don't forget to tell us where you heard about NBT. What you write will be your introduction to the circle and the first stuff the circle reads about you. Advertise your wares and wheres.
List membership is open to anyone who contributes work on music topics in a freelance capacity to any title, regardless of whether they solely, mainly or occasionally cover music, and regardless of whether they have another job, as long as they DO NOT:
1 - commission music freelances in any capacity whatsoever
2 - work, either full-time or part-time, as a salaried employee of a music title or on a day rate basis at a music title, or for a title that publishes music coverage, or for a company that publishes titles that cover music
You should only post messages to the
list from the email address you give in the form. For the moment at
least, list members will see the address you give on your messages.
You will be sent email requesting confirmation, to
prevent others from gratuitously subscribing you. Once
confirmation is received, your request will be held for approval
by the list moderator. You will be notified of the moderator's
decision by email. This is also a private list, which means that the
list of members is not available to non-members.
Linkup with the NUJ so we can send client alerts
The Rate for the Job
The Freelance Fees Guide
Joining the NUJ
The NBT story
The list began in 2000 when freelances contributing to the late Music365
website decided to get together to resist a particularly nasty copyright
grab. Since then, it's become a general talking-shop for matters pertaining
to music freelancing, but the increased difficulty in dealing with a
succession of mail hosting sites and the gradual dwindling of members
forced a rethink.
Early in 2004, the Freelance Industrial Council of the National Union of
Journalists agreed to provide web space and pay for the software expertise
required to get the list running properly again. In return for their help,
and to ensure the list is as useful as possible, membership has been opened
up beyond ex-365-ers.
The intention is to provide a forum in which music freelances can
discuss problems, share information, gripe about pay and commissioning
editors who never get back to them, and generally feel less isolated than
we all tend to, stuck behind our individual keyboards and lacking the
interaction office-based workers have.
Given the sometimes sensitive
nature of working matters discussed, full-time members of editorial staff
are not allowed to join, even if they do some additional freelance work.
This is to ensure that everyone on the list feels free to discuss problems
with particular publishers without fear that their comments may be being
passed back to staff, and that no staff member, however well-intentioned,
would feel compromised by receiving such messages.
It is also expected that all list members will treat all list messages
in the strictest confidence, and will not pass on the contents of any list emails - whether they appear potentially sensitive or not - to non-members. The only exception to this rule is where permission has been obtained in writing from the author of the material concerned. Anyone found to have breached list traffic confidentiality will be removed from the list.
While most list members are based in London, and the discussion is
weighted towards the UK media, membership is open to anyone involved in the
music media, regardless of where they happen to be in the world, or where
the titles they contribute to are based.
You do not have to be a member of the NUJ to be a member of NBT; several
list members are NUJ members, though, and in general, the list administrators
would recommend it!
If you have any comments, suggestions or expertise you think would help
make the most of the list, please contact
Similarly, if you know of someone who would benefit from
joining NBT, please either direct them to this page - the easiest address
to give for it is www.londonfreelance.org/NBT
- or send their email address to
please wait a moment. If this message doesn't go away, it's up to
you to check you've filled everything in.|