What to do? Well, I could continue to read hacker news about people who are way smarter than I am. I could watch SouthPark or I could do a personal hackathon. I think you see where this is going all one of you who actually might read this (me included). I think I’ll choose AhHelpMe because, dammit if it’s not an easy design and a simple freaking concept; no users, simply models. What’s best is hackathons don’t really require testing just Proofs of Concept. What does that mean? RSpec, you can suck it for tonight.
So there have been a lot of changes since my last post. Basically ToTheMusic and TheCollegeNotebook are on hold until I regain my drive and figure out what I’m going to do with them. I seem to have these ideas for sites which solve problems but cannot seem to figure out what the problem is that’s being solved.
Seems to be about helping bands find shows… Okay that’s a problem; how do we solve it? I’ve tried making it so bands and venues could schedule shows. That would solve the problem but the only problem with that solution is that venues have zippy, zero, ziltch reason to use the site. Okay, scratch that. Next idea, have bands schedule the shows then put when they would have openings for other bands from out of town to play with. That would set up openings for bands to apply for slots…Whats the problem? You might ask. Well, the issue is that bands don’t normally schedule the shows with the venue then say “by the way, we might find 3 other bands to play with us” Venues seem to want to know exactly who’s going to be playing when they schedule the show. Okay that’s taken into account… Next idea: Make it so artists promise to find each other shows in their town. I don’t think this will work because I think there are a lot of bands who will make promises then just fail to go through on them. My solution for that would be giving ratings of how many shows the band has promised and how many they’ve fufilled on. This could give other bands and idea of who to try to schedule shows with but might also lead to bands setting up fake accounts to up their stats… I dunno what to do.
It’s been a while since my last post on here. I’ve done a lot of development work and have had quite a few major break-throughs and quite a few major break-downs. I’m starting this post in an effort to get back into the blogging scene. Today, as I walked to my new favorite spot in Charlottesville (Positively 4th St), I thought about my current status of ToTheMusic and how it relates to TheCollegeNotebook (yeah, I’m restarting that idea with a more refined idea too. That’s a whole separate post though. Stay tuned).
TheCollegeNotebook suffered because it was bogged down by features. There was so much stuff you could do that the great parts about it were not given the attention they deserved. This same problem can be said for ToTheMusic in it’s current status; I’m trying to please everyone when the bread-n-butter idea (help bands find venues, help venues book bands) is somewhat ignored. I don’t care what Susie I-Can’t-Play-Music thinks in SomeCity Tenn. wants to know about local music; that’s secondary. While promotion is important, the reason I started ToTheMusic is to help the initial reation (band-venue) interaction. Band-fan or Venue-fan interaction can happen on the site but is not a primary concern. It is to this end that I’ve cut out a bit of the site, namely the “shows” portion. This was causing me so much headache over the past few months because I thought “how can I display all the venues in Charlottesville with their full upcoming lineup” while still: 1.remaining completely fair to each of them and 2. Showcasing all the shows that the venue has coming up…”
I’ve decided its in my best interest to focus the site on what it was originally intended to do: Help a band in city A find a show in City X without having to rely on dumb luck. (There are too many great bands out there that do not get the audience they deserve because of the lack in cooperation between bands). KISS has become my new montra. The simpler the better.
So it’s no great mystery that show creation has been the thorn in my side for a while in regards to ToTheMusic; the ways in which specifying the information about a show and subsequently who is playing in it, when they’re playing, when there are openings and where the gig is happening have all been weighing on my head. I know I want the interface to be easy but with the multitude of ways to add, remove and update artists, how can I do this?
This was running through my mind last night as I lay awake trying to find a solution. Finally, at around 1am I think I came upon something that’s going to work great. I was thinking of the show creation all wrong. Instead of the show creation page being a separate page with adding artists on it, it should be on the main scheduling page. This will allow me to simply add the show then, once created, allow the creator to manage the artists right from the scheduling page with links (move up, move down, remove). The reasoning for this in my head seems to be that I want to make the steps feel as fluid as possible:
- You look at your schedule
- You click “create a show”
- A form pops up allowing you to specify when, where, what’s it called
- Submit (if you’re an artists it adds you)
- You click “Add Artists”
I’ve been compiling a list of sites that I feel are well designed, massively successful and share some sort of idea with what I’m going for with designing this site. The key ones to recognize are: Facebook (of course) for its straight forward work flows to creating events, Twitter for its home design and amazing use of space (also you may notice that my idea for notice bars derived from how much I enjoyed the way Twitter alerts users). Google for its incredibly simple home screen. Gigzee for its use of engaging new look and feel and finally, Github for it’s great use of HTML5 technologies when going between tabs.
I’m going to start working on the design for this new show creation interface and how it can fit into the home screen at lunch today if I can find the time. Gotta get this thing for my 9-5 hacked out first.
- People who don’t code ruby on rails.
- People who are not interested in coding on ToTheMusic for whatever reason (maybe they have their own project or don’t see the full picture).
- Too old. Not that I have anything against people who are old; we’re all going to be there and it’s one of those facts of life that some people were born before others and they cannot help it.
I just would like to find someone who I could grab a beer at South Street with and talk shop. Also, most of the time, older developers have a family and responsibilities which would not bode well for the project.
The verdict is in. Grad school, at least at the University of Virginia is not in the cards for me. I received my rejection letter on Friday and have been kinda dolling around as to what to do now. I figure my life has constantly been looking from one step to the next step, elementary school lead to middle school lead to high school lead to college lead to DC lead to Charlottesville. This is where I sit now; in my favorite coffee shop on the downtown mall which doesn’t receive nearly the clout it should (Splendoras). I am thinking that me not getting into grad school could be a good thing. Since I’ve reached the current pinacle and there’s no where else to go maybe I can start refining the things that are going on in my life now; namely ToTheMusic, Astronomers, Muay Thai and my relationships. Spending a little more time relaxing a little less time finding out how I’m going to get to the next step. I’m contemplating stopping working for my main job in the next year and focusing on starting my own projects into something that’ll make money.
Well, they did it. They finally did it. Myspace, the original social networking site turned spam generating music player has killed itself off. The site, at one point, boasted the ability to listen to nearly any record you wanted without having to pay a dime for it and being able to replay the same song as much as you wanted. Today, as I listened to Jason Mraz’s Mr A to Z and ignorantly went on with my coding I noticed that the music abruptly stopped. I clicked on the myspace tab to see some popup box telling me that if I wanted to continue to listen to music I would have to register or sign in with myspace. BLEH, myspace you did horrible things with my personal information last time you had it which caused me to delete my account; why would you think I’d create another one?
This leads me to belive this could be the ideal time for ToTheMusic to take off. While many artists are using Myspace to keep up with their fans in terms of shows, they also used it as a place to easily distribute their music while protecting their Intellectual Property (soundcloud is good for showing off music but they send your MP3 files over HTTP so it’s really easy with firebug to find the file and download it). ToTheMusic can now provide an easy implementation for creating show and scheduling show as well as getting your music out there. With the potential to track where in the world people are listening to your music I believe I can offset the cost of hosting MP3 files. Amazon is going to make this very easy and cloudfront should be a great way to stream the music via RTMP.
I’m just hoping bands think it’s a worth while attribute to be able to tell where in the world their music is being streamed and how much of it is being listened to. I figure if there is some way to monetize ads for this page then I will be able to offer the reporting up for free.