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#1January 28th, 2007 · 03:02 AM
1 threads
18 posts
United States of America
Your BandAMP
As many of you have noticed, BandAMP has no ads, no dues, no fees of any kind. And that's great. But, we are limited to working in our free time. There are a few new programmers on board, you may have met them, but they keep rather quiet. Expect a few updates in the coming weeks.

There's been some talk of upsizing BandAMP. Part of this is a reaction to our absence, and part of it is a reaction to BandAMP's success. You've all made this a great site, a resource for talented musicians and a source of pleasure for music enthusiasts. We certainly don't want to stand in your way. At times it may feel that technical issues (bugs) are holding you back. You've been patient and we will address (squash) these obstacles.

The BandAMP culture is our greatest pride. And so, before upsizing, we'd like strong consensus from members. Do you want more exposure? A larger audience? Do you want to see more musicians on the site? Would you like the community to stay just as it is? BandAMP may be obscure, but its link is seen by several million people each month, on the top of several high-traffic websites (noted simply as indie music). We can interface with myspace, posting data from the forum / blogs to an account. We can find a larger audience by expanding our linking. But do you want us to?
#2January 28th, 2007 · 03:10 AM
160 threads / 88 songs
1,666 posts
United States of America
I personally
Love the obscurity of it.... I would like to see some actual interaction with some actual recording labels and musicians..   I think there are many on here, who are ready to be signed, but that have not been seen and don't really know how to go about it....

  as for myspace, I could take it or leave it.... I am on Myspace, and have no real issues with it... other than, I think we need to watch just how we bring it forth, because we don't want the idiots, and hacks on here...

    know what I mean?

            JimK
#3January 28th, 2007 · 03:27 AM
1 threads
18 posts
United States of America
Labels
I've an account with BurnLounge http://burnlounge.com/, but I don't trust them. I'd love to see a few  (more?) professional musicians on the board.. but agents... Perhaps as some of you are signed, you may learn together, about labels and the trustworthiness of agents. I'm hessitant to make suggestions, we (mud and I) are amatures, and labels can quite easily take advantage of any good intentions. I'll at least, put a little note on the todo list, so that users may flag "seeking a label" on their profile.
#4January 28th, 2007 · 03:42 AM
160 threads / 88 songs
1,666 posts
United States of America
I was thinkin
More along the lines of Indie labels....  Nothing too major....  Major labels are hounds, evil doers that run amock and ruin a good thing...

    I just think it would be nice to have some input from them.... Just to help out... Some, Like JBP, can do great work from home, and with the right backing, i.e. Indie label, could probably sell quite a few albums for them..

    Just a thought...
 
              JimK
#5January 28th, 2007 · 06:58 AM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
God is in the details! So the closer you look the less obscure it seems!

Downchuck wrote…
but its link is seen by several million people each month

Is this 'seen' or 'visited' ? I have noticed that there are on average 100 people on line most of the time and sometimes up to 10/15 members at best!
The lack of any financial backing/incentive makes the nature of this site one of good will and belief in, but the natural common denominator of anything created is that it will grow!
Sorry got to go and C&C with my son!
#6January 28th, 2007 · 03:19 PM
6 threads / 6 songs
52 posts
Canada
My BandAMP
this is tough to answer. i always welcome the possibility of exposing more and more new and talented musicians and being able to discover them here on BandAMP. it's one of the aspects that brought me here in the first place. that being said, with the somewhat recent mass awareness of "social media" i find that the signal to noise ratio (noise being haters who just want to tell everyone they suck) decreases with an increase in community members. MySpace is a great example of this. JimK has a good point that there are quite a few talents on this site that could use the help of a small label to produce and sell their music. the trick is how do you maintain the grassroots community feel while still increasing exposure? i don't know if MySpace is the place to expose this community? i know there is a great online forum community here in canada (http://www.stillepost.ca/) that would be a good place to attract other musicians to BandAMP. i'm sure there are other places like this out there...
#7January 28th, 2007 · 05:28 PM
34 threads / 16 songs
538 posts
Mexico
hehe I think the "obscurity" of this site is it's brightness.
#8January 28th, 2007 · 07:22 PM
91 threads / 11 songs
881 posts
United States of America
I, like some others on this site, would prefer not to pursue a "recruitment campaign" in order to dramatically increase our membership, for several reasons. Bandamp is a worldwide community of people who have come together not only for the pursuit of music, but they have also developed genuine friendships. We are unusually "tight knit" (think of it... this occurs in a world that seems so fragmented) I believe this is aided by our ability to use the chat room, where we have time (and space) to talk, not only about music, but about life, culture, individuality, etc. I for one, have found great camaraderie among the members here (members who have turned me on to music I would not have normally experienced). When the occasional person gets "out of shape", the community can respond (we don't have to rely totally on the moderators). This ability encourages stewardship of the site (among all members) and promotes a safer, healthier environment. To dramatically increase the membership (particularly through "recruiting" measures) is more likely to bring in people who have little or no personal investment in the site or the community (I believe Syntax is correct when he says, as I understand him, that the incidence of abusive, irresponsible behaviors will increase with a dramatic increase in members) and will likely overwhelm the ability of anyone who attempts to moderate it. In fact, we have had the incidence of abusive, arrogant, irresponsible behaviors on the site (brought about by people who were simply "cruising through" with no apparent interest or investment in the community that exists here), and the response of the community helped to quell the problem. This would be much more difficult with increased size. Downchuck, I appreciate your support and your willingness to ask us for our opinion. There are many more positive features of Bandamp, as it exists now, that warrant protection and careful thought before any major changes in membership are pursued.
#9January 29th, 2007 · 04:43 PM
159 threads / 32 songs
1,956 posts
United States of America
Look at other big sites
If you look at Garageband or Purevolume or any of these sites (yes i have accounts at these sites). You get a lot of negative feedback on your songs and very little critique.  Or you have a bunch of  Aholes that just go into the site and type in crap just to be obnoxious.

  I don't do any other chats than  the one here because look whats happened to lets say, Yahoo music chats. There is no music  talked about, just lots of filth. I have a myspace page I can't see that It's done anything for me at all.

   I think the best idea I've heard is maybe see if we can't contact a   industry expert, to lets say, visit the site and give honest advice about songs and connections.  Maybe set a date for that expert, and have a vote for (or use battle winners) who the site sees as  the top performers (those most ready for labels ect.).  Much like the website  Artist PR.com  only they charge money.  There you pay to get your music heard by A@R from top labels (so they say). 

   These are just some Ideas, as far as bandamp goes, I like the way it is that's why I spend more time here than on any other site.

  You have experienced musicians, and recording people, interacting and helping  new and inexperienced   musicians and home recording people.  plus the collabs are fun.  If this site becomes like one of the other sites
(like Garageband) I probably would not spend much time here.
#10January 29th, 2007 · 05:52 PM
163 threads / 18 songs
2,320 posts
United Kingdom
fishy thoughts a response 2 downchuck
Dear DOWNCHUCK

OK u include a lot of questions and statements in the last paragraph of your post

Q.    Do you want more exposure? A larger audience?
R.    Yep.. of course… I think so…. exposure is good……….. but guaranteed exposure to the music industry would be a truly great feature. It’s the one thing that has ticked me off……..a celebrity reviewer every now and then would be great

Q.    Do you want to see more musicians on the site?
R.    Yes and no…OK NO.. not really  it would be great 2 get back some of those who have gone quiet or are (as I reckon) watching from the sides
It would be fantastic if issues such as the battle and voting could be resolved before the site wanders off into bigger projects.
In other words bandamp needs to  sort out its own backyard.
It will be pretty difficult holding on to the ‘family’ ethos if loads more contributors arrive into an unfocused arena
The existing bandamp community is a true goldmine.

Q.       Would you like the community to stay just as it is?
 R.          No of course not……………….evolution is good…….

You said ---‘BandAMP may be obscure, but its link is seen by several million people each month, on the top of several high-traffic websites (noted simply as indie music).’

Please supply some data…………..say last months traffic data (as we never see it)………and I'm not sure what  ‘on the top of several high-traffic websites (noted simply as indie music).’ Means, please explain.

To quote you
‘We can interface with myspace, posting data from the forum / blogs to an account. We can find a larger audience by expanding our linking. But do you want us to?’

My response is yes I would love u 2………..but not yet………there are issues within the existing community and programme that need to be sorted before we get inundated by visitors (welcome though they will be)

If we go wider at the moment the site will probably become very blurred………..especially to our newer inexperienced members

Bandamp needs to build on what it is and not cave in to what is expected

A true home for indie artists that care enough to listen 2 each other not just what is created by an algorithm that declares wot is cool

Well that’s my biggest post  ever


If you support this view………..some part or all please let MUD and  DOWNCHUCK  know
#11January 29th, 2007 · 11:02 PM
42 threads / 1 songs
556 posts
United States of America
I support your views, swordie.

We cannot act to hastily in this, for the good of this community - and i know that we can all agree that that is what we want : whatever is good for this community. What we may not agree on is what that is.

It is true that there may be some changes due. For instance, those bugs downchuck was talking about. There are plenty of improvements that could and should be made before "upsizing". The chat needs work, the voting system needs tweaking, and other things need attending. It is also my opinion that some of the forums (i.e. recording, gear talk) are in desperate need of stickies. They are too often clogged by newbie requests for recording software and such.
#12January 30th, 2007 · 01:48 AM
118 threads / 55 songs
3,077 posts
Netherlands
For the site itself it's mainly important to get the bugs fixed, and have the battles up and running again (with or without prizes). And a bunch of people have asked to have a "lyrics" tab on the profile pages, somewhere between "music" and "my album", that would be cool. I mentioned the rest of my thoughts in the upsizing thread itself - the main part being having a links section with links to sites that are more aimed at increasing one's chances, so BandAMP can be the great community that it is without becoming like any one of those commercial sites. And also having links to external resources sites. The rest (about the marketing team) is just a thought, I doubt it is very realistic, but it would be nice if it could get off the ground.
#13January 30th, 2007 · 07:05 PM
12 threads / 10 songs
64 posts
Germany
Difficult
I find this an interesting issue. Expanding the site and promoting more users to sign up is a double edged sword. More is not necessarily better. If someone critiques my music, I can QUANTIFY that critique by clicking on that user and have a look at what THEY have done / said and get a feel for how much weight to give the critique. More users definitely does not mean more VALUABLE users. Please do not get me wrong, no arrogance implied or meant.

On the other hand,  posting a song and only getting 1 or 2 comments AT ALL is not the way either. I think expansion needs to be selective insofar as a user needs to somehow "prove" they are a willing and positive member of the community.  I have no idea how to do this, but one could start by being selective about what kind of web sites advertise or mention bandamp.

With many more users, you would need to reconsider how the music is classified - Right now, the "New MP3" section lists 7 songs and the bottom one drops off as a new one comes in. This is a day or 2 or "front page"  exposure for any one song. Now imagine 40 posts a day. 100 posts?  This exposure goes down drastically - I know one can always go in and listen to whatever they want,
but the point is:
With the current site design, it won't take much more activity before the daily posts will exceed the limit of a single person's ability to keep up with it.

This points to being able to classify by genre, musical influence etc. and being able to search and classify the posted music so the mass of content is "filtered" for the music that the user is interested in. Perhaps you could do this by author - classify the "type" of music you make, but I'm not sure about that.  There are good models for classifying and searching musical content.  Most music sites that sell music have viable models to classify and find thousands if not millions of songs.  One would need to be careful not to promote micro-communities within bandamp that are separated, but rather offer the option to search for certain types of music while maintaining the feeling of community and camaraderie.

That's my 2 cents.
Cheers
#14January 30th, 2007 · 09:21 PM
42 threads / 1 songs
556 posts
United States of America
I see exactly what you mean by increased activity limiting exposure, and agree that that could present quite a problem. But your genre sorting idea worries me; one of the key elements in this site is the diversity. I don't come here to listen to the music that I always listen to. I can do that with iTunes or my mp3 player. I come to expose myself to as many different styles and genres I possibly can and be as open to them as possible. For example, I was never a heavy metal fan, but there are a bunch of those types of songs on here that I have found I really enjoy.

     This exposure and expansion is critical, I think, to the growth of a musician. And that, I think, is what we're all about.
#15January 31st, 2007 · 05:34 AM
12 threads / 10 songs
64 posts
Germany
I agree... but
I totally agree with you from an artistic and communal standpoint.  But usability, although a dry and soulless term, is critical in keeping the family happy.

I am the last one who would trade off the community / family aspect for more volume.  My point is only that it will be very difficult to FIND those online relations AND keep good musicians interested in the community aspect if there are a huge number of posts every day, or if musicians feel their work "slips through the cracks" in a barrage of incoming content. (i.e. 0 comments)

Part of the beauty of this site is that one can "monitor" it in real time - I see posts trickle in, listen to them and have my say  (or not) and do not have the feel I am missing anything. A few fun hours a week (or more) of browsing and listening, commenting and enjoying.  That's enough to "keep up". This is the beauty of having it the size it is.

I do see your concern with the genre classification, however if the number of posts / uploads per day increases  much more, the current site will be unmanageable for the end user. The listing by song title is inadequate. Don't get me wrong, this site is lovely as are most of the people who use it - and I mean that - but further classification / indexing of the content is a must if volume increases. 

Perhaps a bit of "outside the box" thinking is necessary here (on my part)  - Maybe we don't classify the music as such in any way, but index and group based on other criteria. Band ? Duo? A guy and his guitar? ..  I see your point about diversity and I am exactly the same when I browse and listen.  Maybe we can have it both ways. Browse/search by author, title, date of post, genre, musical direction, arrangement, etc.

To your last sentence, YES, definitely - growth as a musician with support, critique and presence of peers in this  music community IS exactly what this is all about, however I think we jump too far by assuming that site and user expansion will support this end. Not that it won't, but it's not a given.

If we were to state a global purpose for this site, what would it be?

Something like 

To provide an online community where musicians give and receive artistic support and critique to and from peers, in a tolerant, positive and multi-cultural  environment.

This seems obvious, but stating it is important in making decisions about how to move forwards.  This (or the agreed goal)  is the end one needs to have in mind when making decisions.

The last thing anyone wants is to feel is that the community element has gone missing. There is no returning from such a mistake, so lets make sure it doesn't happen.

(ok, that was 4 cents this time)
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