Just when you thought every possible niche had been served, Kansas-based Waxx Inc. unleashes Skywax.com on an unsuspecting world. The service offers free web design and management of the web construction process from start to finish, but only for bands, djs, and other musicians.
According to Waxx's own literature, the service Makes History by being the "The world's first and only free web designer". Highly debatable (if not completely untrue), of course, but still an eye-catching hook.
Hyperbole aside, the model works like this: you have a band and your MySpace Music site just isn't doing it for you anymore. You sign up with Skywax and they, though their network of some of today's leading artists in the designing industry, will build your website from scratch.
Waxx's proprietary web cms is then employed by clients to facilitate website management. Available functionality includes such features as MP3 stores, photo galleries, tour information, band bios, "and other promotional items necessary for artists to generate revenue and promote their product".
"Our work is no different than what a customer would have to spend well over $1,500 to get anywhere else," says David Temple, founder of Waxx, Inc. "If a customer likes the service we provide, all we ask is that they host their website with us. For $7.95 per month, we provide bullet-proof hosting with free email and all the other standard benefits."
Ah yes. And there it is. The dreaded $ symbol lurking inevitably in the fine print of a 'Free' product.
My Spidey BS detector is tingling here, I must admit. Not regarding the service or the model, merely regarding the way it's presented.
Breathless marketing guff about Historic this and Ground Breaking that is all very well. But if the service isn't actually free, then please don't pretend that it is.
A nicely designed and powerful website for $7.95 a month, including hosting, plus features tailored to your business is totally worth it. In fact it's cheap as hell, assuming the product is up to scratch. But is it free or is it not? Can a band get you to build their website for free and then host it somewhere else? Clarification on this issue, please.
Also, I disapprove of this "Create Good Karma" rubbish that companies aiming for the dizzy teenage dirtbag market tend to brand their products with.
Skywax has just a touch of this on their (surprisingly sparse) website - but at least they aren't Treemo - an organization that has leveraged its brand to the hilt on the tree-hugger angle. Then laughing all the way to the bank in their Hybrids while smoking fat cigars.
Musicians and everyone else who is interested should visit the website and register.