I am Blas Yaselli, founder of The Music Ninja. It is unfortunate that I feel forced to write this post, but at the end of the day, The Music Ninja is my pride, my joy, and my baby. As a proud parent, I will do ANYTHING to protect it.
I will keep this short because there isn’t really much to say.
Recently, Hype Machine was made aware that there are PR companies and labels trying to infiltrate themselves into music blogs in hopes of pushing their artists. They are making an effort to crack down on this, and I support that.
A month ago, they approached us and expressed some concerns about writers within our team. Someone got singled out; a person had only posted nine times in four months, with each and every post vetted and enjoyed by our internal team. Regardless, evidence was gathered and we dealt with the party involved.
Following an internal investigation, we identified an additional account that warranted removal.
Case closed! (we thought)
We felt good about the situation, as well as our relationship with the Hype Machine.
As such, it came to us as a complete surprise that yesterday, Hype Machine stopped indexing the site we’ve worked so hard to build over the past six years. After a few heavy sighs and conversations with Hype Machine, it all came down to a person using a pen name, a practice which is otherwise commonplace in journalism and writing. Again, we understood their concern, but there was nothing we could do about it.
In light of that, I want to publicly disclose our system for publishing new music.
Only five Ninjas on our entire team have the ability to publish a post, all of which have multiple year tenures with our site. Their job is to filter submissions by other contributors, and ensure that we continually bring you the latest and greatest music.
So what happens next? Well, we are still optimistic and hope for a positive resolution in the near future.
Are we banned from Hype Machine? No.
Did Hype Machine stop indexing us? Yes, but we are working on fixing that.
Are we irritated with the nonstop drama and rumors flying around? Yes. We graduated high school over a decade ago.
Will Hype Machine index us again? That will be determined by what we do next. So what’s next?
Even though we wholeheartedly love and appreciate every post that each Ninja has written through the years, we have to make some changes. Despite people not wanting an onslaught of press release emails, IMs, texts, tweets, and smoke signals, all authors will be listed by their full name. We are also going to roll out detailed author pages with links to people’s social media (twitter/facebook or whatever they are comfortable with). This way, everyone is completely accounted for and there’s absolutely no confusion with who everyone is within our team.
The Music Ninja and Hype Machine go way back. We’re consistently ranked one of the top blogs on their site, and were even featured as blog of the month within our first year of being online. Not to mention all our wonderful fans that ONLY listen to us on their system. We want no drama and understand their concerns, which is why we are taking steps to address them.
Thank you for everyone who has sent words in support. We hear your concerns and we are working to make the universe whole again. And for people that listen to us on SONOS… My heart goes out to you because that is how I listen to my own baby.
Here’s to discovering new music. Every. Damn. Day.