The pandemic is something we will remember for the rest of our lives. A sucky year, that's all we need to say about it. Right now, when the sprint has become a marathon, we're looking back at the one good thing to come from it; something that might not have happened if it weren't for this stupid virus.
We were working well on a project with a client. The case was Musikkontoret. MIR (Music industry's business council) wanted to collect all relevant information about upcoming and established artists, list over studios, how to get a record deal and all that. The project was supported by Kulturrådet and it was more or less ready to implement.
Then, Corona happened, the home office became the new place to be for most of us and everything got cancelled. As we know, this affected the music industry hard. Really hard. The music industry obviously needed immediate action, we had to do the year-long project later. The times changed day by day, which led to new questions - how could we change the project as fast as possible? How could the project answer to the needs? Is there even time to think it through?
These questions have been running through our minds during all of our projects this year. We quickly learned that these questions are the ones we should ask ourselves even when it’s not during a pandemic. Our processes need to be fast enough to shape the projects continuously, the pandemic just made it necessary.
We weren't alone experiencing this. Everywhere in society, the exact same thing occurred. The pandemic created a pretty obvious picture of needs. Even though no one knew how long it would last, how extensive it would be - a lot of us understood that something had to be done. It was a wildly innovative period everywhere in society, business-wise, and for the culture business - for everyone. Cabin fever and weare.live are just good examples, and we also got the chance to do some nice work for Henie Onstad and Arkitekturtriennalen.
Musikkontoret (the Music Office) became Musikkhjemmekontoret (The Music Home Office), with all the relevant content the music industry was in sudden need of. We found the budget for ten days of effort.
We asked Leif Haaland from MØST some questions about it!
Why only ten days? Don't you know we get paid by the hour and want plenty of work?
Well, it was only ten days we could take from the bigger project for this. In retrospect, we weren't talking about "the new normal" this early in the pandemic, meaning that ten days were actually a good deal. It is, though, amazing to say the least what we achieved in ten days from conception to launch.
The editorial staff produced 119 articles and worked closely with Henrik and Mathias, in order to align with the design and development process. It was an intense process that led to quick solutions, excluding all the unnecessaries. This made us intuitively choose good solutions.
Mmm. Solutions. Tell us.
Basically, we split the solution in two. The first part was the crisis information and the second part was about sharing the resources for all of the artists and musicians to do something constructive.
The first part had to be dynamic. The government guidelines and the compliance of the participants were chaotic, to say at least, and changed rapidly day by day. While everything was being cancelled, musicians and artists needed a place that gathered their resources. Streaming concerts and similar concepts appeared, and we needed more ideas to figure out how the musicians could actually have an income.
Musikkhjemmekontoret will live on like a mini version until we're launching the next platform, updated regularly with relevant information.
How did you come up with the solution?
The music industry craved a place to gather all their information during the corona pandemic, so we put together an editorial group in one day and worked from morning to night. The whole project took ten days from the idea stage until the finished product. It was an intense process that required us to find quick solutions.
It was really great working with Feed, and the Music Home Office became a pilot of what we were originally supposed to make. This also taught us a lot which we will bring with us for the further development of the Music Office.
How did it all impact the industry?
It was immediate relief from the industry. People could finally find what they'd been searching for and we experienced an immediate positive response. We had a lot of interest groups that did a wonderful job, and the information just became better and better. Someone actually told us that they found something in less than two minutes, something they'd been searching for about 3 months earlier. We are beyond grateful to all organizations that also participated in this pilot, we established partnerships with 15-20 organizations instead of 1 year. The wish for this was that everyone should feel ownership of the project and coordinate with others in the industry.
What are your thoughts about the Music Home Office when the pandemic cools down and things are 'back to normal'?
It will still be up and running, it will probably change if needed. Music Home Office will live until the launch of the Music Office.
Idea and solution - what was the starting point?
The starting point was to create musikkontoret.no, a process that was supposed to last over a year. But, when the pandemic hit, MIR asked if we could create something right away, that they required a place to gather all of the information - for the entire industry. And we were like "Well, of course, we can". We then talked with Feed about how we could solve it, and had an intensive workshop where we had to solve a lot of challenges in a very brief amount of time.