Pianodao has a new policy relating to guest posts and interviews which aims to equally respect the interests of contributors and of the site’s readers. Please read on to find out more.
When I launched Pianodao back in 2015, I intended it as a simple blog on which I would share my thoughts on piano playing, teaching and personal wellbeing, including topical comment on the piano news of the day. I was joining a vibrant community of supportive bloggers, many of whom also wrote guest posts for one another’s sites.
In the intervening years, much has changed within the blogging world. The idea of running an independent site that provides a platform for disparate views, with or without editorial input, is understandably no longer as fashionable as it once was.
In the piano education space, music publishers, exam boards and education businesses often now include blogs on their official websites, making good use of the format to communicate news and deliver expert insight into their products and services.
Independent sites have either tended to decline, or have adapted to a new internet landscape in which blogging plays a different, more professional role.
A couple of years ago I took the decision to close my separate teaching business website and merge all my interests on Pianodao, developing a single professional identity online that befits the needs of the present decade.
This has involved updating and refreshing much of the site’s legacy content, honing Pianodao’s specific focus on piano education, and quietly retiring older content that lacks ongoing relevance to my professional goals. Pianodao readers are right to expect that the information they read here is accurate and up to date.
In short, I have sought to create a lasting resource that both benefits my own students and equally supports the many players and teachers who follow Pianodao around the world, and who increasingly look to this site for balanced, contemporary and supportive expertise.
Perhaps the most obvious example of Pianodao’s evolution has been the repurposing of the large and continuously growing number of sheet music reviews as the Pianodao Music Library, a unique online resource that informs players and teachers everywhere, while giving valued support to professional writers, composers and publishers.
I know that for many, Pianodao has become the go-to platform for repertoire suggestions and ideas. Alongside this, the site continues to host hundreds of free articles to support players and teachers, while commercially offering regular tuition, consultation lessons and online video feedback.
The question is, how do guest posts and interviews fit into this package?
Like most blog sites from a decade ago, Pianodao benefited from the Guest Posts friends contributed, for which I am hugely grateful. But it is clearly not for me to alter or update articles others have written in the same way that I refresh my own.
And what about Your Stories? This 2019-20 series gave readers the opportunity to write about their own piano journey. Most were written by people I have never met, and whose perspectives and desire to share may well have changed in the intervening years.
Interviews from yesteryear pose a similar problem. Reading magazine interviews from five years ago, we are usually aware that they offer a snapshot of opinions which may since have evolved or changed. Reading an interview on a website does not necessarily convey this timestamp so well.
For any site dedicated to offering professional support with transparency, the need to verify included content and take responsibility for the material published has only grown. For some time, I have questioned how I can continue to provide a platform for guest content, with all the responsibility for maintenance that properly involves.
What’s the solution?
From today, all content written by (or in collaboration with) others will be removed from Pianodao two years after publication unless otherwise mutually agreed.
I believe that this policy reflects the changing internet, while still providing a sensible ongoing mechanism to ensure any third-party content provided on the site respects writers, remains relevant and accurate, and complies with guidance on data protection.
Older guest posts on the site (including the Your Stories series) will now be retired except in a few cases where the writers and I agree to make a special ongoing exception.
I would like to thank all who have previously contributed or collaborated in any way. I am confident that as our platforms and professional work continue to develop, there will be many more chances to do so!