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Category ArtistServer
Date Saturday, May 12, 2012 1:20:23 AM
ArtistServer Version 2 on the Horizon

It has been quite a long time since I’ve made a blog post. A lot has happened since my last post – mostly, I’ve been working, spending time with my wife and son, taking care of our yard, and occasionally working on music.


Since early February, I've been working most nights on the next version of ArtistServer.com - which will be a 100% rewrite.  Some features will be removed, others added, and many will be updated.  I've been grafting on features and updates while modifying other areas to improve performance for 10 years now, so the best thing to do is toss the old code out as a learning experience, and start again.

Here's a review of what has been going on so far with Version 2 of ArtistServer.com:

  • Planning Final Set of Features - my first task was sketching out a list of features I wanted to keep or remove, problems I wanted to fix, and goals I wanted to meet. I then browsed competitor sites, as well as other music sites, and took notes that further shaped the set of featuresReconsidering Platform - if you've been doing something the same way for a long time, it is good to ask yourself if it still makes sense to do it.  I code in ColdFusion, and have been since 1997, when the only other option was CGI scripts in PERL.  I looked into switching, which would require learning while developing.  I looked at PHP and Ruby as the Ruby On Rails framework. While both languages are much more popular, and have their own pluses and minuses - as well as larger developer communities, I decided to stick with what I know, and get better at it.  I'm going to be 43 this year, I have a wife and a three year old son that I love spending time with, so the idea of putting even more time into the relaunch didn't make sense.
  • Evaluating application frameworks - taking advantage of object oriented programming and the features available within frameworks.  ArtistServer 1.0 is for the most part a 'procedural' Web application.  While I have applied some object oriented design principals, the overall design is not.  Some features we'll gain: multiple language support, improved performance through caching and optimized code, and a separation of the interface from the data/logic.  This last point will better enable me to support a desktop site, smartphone site, and tablet site all from the same code base just by loading a different interface.  I'm considering using the Mach-II framework for the sites, and the Taffy framework for the new API, which will also power portions of the site.
  • Interface Design - I've designed new version of every page of the new site except for the MyAccount area, the dashboard, and a few other pages. This allows me to better visualize the finished product and experiment with ideas without investing time into development.
  • Site Object and Layout Planning - with the interface designs mentioned above, I've now been going over them, taking notes and planning out all the site objects and layouts necessary to generate and populate these interfaces.  This will then be used to drive development and serve as a checklist while building out the application.

What Happens Next?

With the above all worked out, I’ll have a full understanding of what the new site will look like, how it will function, as well as what generates it.  I anticipate this will greatly accelerate development due to consolidating most of the decision making into the planning stages. I'll then start building next month, June 2012.

I hope all is well with you - more posts to come.





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Category SocialNetwork.in
Date Sunday, May 31, 2009 12:02:20 PM
18 More Social Sites Added to SocialNetwork.in
I have added 18 more sites to SocialNetwork.in - the profile aggregator where you can add all your social profiles and generate a profile widget for display on your sites and blog. We now support 208 social sites!



Website: http://getsatisfaction.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/217/Get_Satisfaction

Get Satisfaction brings customers and company employees together to make things better for everyone. Great answers and ideas can come from anywhere; we just do our part to get them to the people who can do something about it.

 


 

Website: http://www.cafemom.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/216/CafeMom

Launched in late 2006, CafeMom is by far the largest social-networking/community site for moms AND the leading women's/parenting site on the internet - passing mainstream sites like ivillage, babycenter, and Marthastewart on the engagement metrics that matter most. With more than 145MM pageviews / month and 7MM visits / month, CafeMom was ranked the #8 fastest-growing site in 2007 by compete.com and has recently won awards from Mashable and AlwaysOn as one of the leading social networking sites. CafeMom has just launched CafeMom Plus, a boutique ad network of sites focused on moms. The launch of the Network increases CafeMom's reach from 4MM unique visitors per month to more than 8MM visitors per month.

 




Website: http://www.wonderhowto.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/215/Wonder_How_To

WonderHowTo hand-selects and curates the best instructional videos from over 1,700 websites. Explore the largest collection of free how-to videos. Whether you want to learn origami, how to dance, how to cook, how to tie a tie, ways to save money, some killer makeup tips, or ideas for Father's Day...

WonderHowTo is your one-stop shop to browse, search, or network your way through the world of free video tutorials.


 

Website: http://www.care2.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/214/Care2

Care2 provides powerful tools to make a difference in your life, community, country and world. It's driven by passionate people (just like you) who want to restore the world's balance.



Website: http://www.docstoc.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/213/docstoc

Docstoc is the premier online community to find and share professional documents. Docstoc provides the platform for users and businesses to upload and share their documents with all the world, and serves as a vast repository of documents in variety of categories including legal, business, financial, technology, educational, and creative. All documents on docstoc can be easily searched, previewed and downloaded for free.



Website: http://www.kaboodle.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/212/Kaboodle

Kaboodle is a great place for you to discover, collect and share great products online. It's a shopping community for everyone, from fashion duds to fashionistas! And best of all .. it's FREE!



Website: http://www.squidoo.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/211/Squidoo

Squidoo is the popular publishing platform and community that makes it easy for you to create "lenses" online. Lenses are pages, kind of like flyers or signposts or overview articles, that gather everything you know about your topic of interest--and snap it all into focus. (You're looking at a lens right now).

It's a supersimple, fun and powerful way to share your interests, build your online identity and credibility, and connect with new readers and friends. It's all free, and you could even earn a royalty for charity or yourself!



Website: http://www.travbuddy.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/210/Travbuddy

TravBuddy is a site for people who love to explore the world around them. You can use TravBuddy to find travel buddies, record travel experiences in travel blogs, or share travel tips with travel reviews.

No matter where you are exploring, we hope this site will make it easy and fun for you to chronicle your experiences, both past and present. We hope that it will also be an invaluable resource for keeping in contact with family and friends, and for making new friends from all around the world.



Website: http://www.mahalo.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/209/Mahalo

Mahalo Answers is the premiere knowledge exchange community on the web. Our members provide fast, accurate answers for any question you may have. If you have knowledge to share, you can earn tips by answering questions other users have posted.



Website: http://www.couchsurfing.org/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/208/Couch_Surfing

"CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance, and facilitate cultural understanding."

The CouchSurfing community strives to do individual and collective parts to make the world a better place, and believe that the surfing of couches is a means to accomplish this goal. CouchSurfing isn't about the furniture- it's not just about finding free accommodations around the world - it's about participating in creating a better world.



Website: http://www.indabamusic.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/207/Indaba_Music

Indaba Music is an international community of musicians, music professionals, and fans exploring the creative possibilities of making music with people in different places.

It makes finding other people, and working on recording, mixing, or mastering projects easier. For fans, Indaba provides unprecedented access to artists and to the creative process.

With recording hardware and software now available on almost any budget, it's easier than ever for artists of all levels and backgrounds to record and produce professional quality music. Artists are also harnessing the internet to get their music heard by more people than ever before. We think this is a big deal for the future of music, and we built Indaba to be an environment for artists to harness these trends and create music in new ways.



Website: http://soundcloud.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/206/SoundCloud

SoundCloud lets you move music fast & easy. The platform takes the daily hassle out of receiving, sending & distributing music for artists, record labels & other music professionals.



Website: http://bit.ly/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/205/bit.ly

bit.ly allows users to shorten, share, and track links (URLs). Reducing the URL length makes sharing easier. bit.ly can be accessed through our website, bookmarklets and a robust and open API. bit.ly is also integrated into several popular third-party tools such as Tweetdeck. A more full list of third party tools can be found on the bit.ly blog. Unique user-level and aggregate links are created, allowing users to view complete, real-time traffic and referrer data, as well as location and metadata.



Website: http://www.scribd.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/204/Scribd

Scribd began with a simple observation — that the desire for self-expression through the written word is as old as humanity itself. But even with the proliferation of blogs and other self-publishing tools, there was no easy way for average people to publish to a readership of millions.

Today, Scribd is the largest social publishing company in the world — the website where more than 60 million people each month discover and share original writings and documents.

Scribd’s vision is to liberate the written word — to turn everyone into a publisher and create the best possible reading experience on the web and mobile platforms.



Website: http://www.livestream.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/203/Livestream

Livestream is the most powerful online video broadcast solution available. In just minutes you can create broadcasts as polished as any multi-million dollar traditional television network — with full capability to easily broadcast Live, 24/7 Linear, and On-Demand content — absolutely FREE.



Website: http://www.justin.tv/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/202/Justin.tv

Founded in October 2006, Justin.tv is the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video.  With more than 41 million unique visitors per month and 428,000 channels broadcasting live video, Justin.tv is the leading live video site on the Web, enabling users to create real-time connections with others around the world.



Website: http://blip.fm/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/201/Blip.fm

A blip is a combination of 1) a song and 2) a short message that accompanies it. The way you create a blip is to first search for a song that you want to hear (or a song that you want your listeners to hear), then add a short message (under 150 characters), finally you submit it. Submitting a blip is also referred to as "blipping", so from here on out, when you read “he blipped my favorite track” it means “he submitted a blip that had my favorite song attached”.



Website: http://www.reverbnation.com/

SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/200/ReverbNation

ReverbNation.com is a Music 2.0 company that is responding to the changing music business paradigm. The site provides services for artists, fans venues/clubs, labels and managers.



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Category ArtistServer
Date Monday, May 25, 2009 11:05:14 PM
Run Your Own Remix or Music Project at ArtistServer.com

ArtistServer provides a music project management system to assist you in creating and managing four types of music projects, including:

  • Remix: A remix project is where you have an original piece of media/music, and you want others to use it to make something new. You'll need to provide samples and loops, etc. from your song, even the midi file if you have one. For tips, visit the forums and ask.
  • New Song Project: With a 'new song project,' you start with a collection of samples and sounds, or a midi file, or even a concept, whatever works for you. Next, add some rules if you like, then finally, setup if the project has an end date. Be creative!
  • Cover Me: The 'Cover Me' project, is a request for people to do a recreation of your song, known as a cover version. Post any rules and prizes you have, launch it, and promote the contest. Artists can sign up, and post their version of your song. Once the contest is over, you'll pick the winner and grant any prizes you establish. This project is for cover versions, not remixes or mashups.
  • Theme Song Contest: A theme song contest is a great way to promote your brand or business. Post any rules or suggestions, launch it, and promote the contest. Artists can sign up, post their version of your theme song. Once the contest is over, you'll pick the winner and grant any prizes you establish.

Visit the Music Projects section on ArtistServer: http://www.artistserver.com/projects/

The music project management system is a simple set of forms that creates a site for your music project where you can control the following:

  • Project Site design - add a header, and set the color scheme
  • Start and End dates - plan for a project in the future, and or set it to close by a specified date.
  • Project Terms - define the limitations and rules for your project
  • Sign up Management - you can set your project so everyone who signs up is automatically accepted, or require approval before starting.
  • Winner selection - if your project is a contest, you can also select multiple winners, which will be displayed on your music project site.
  • Project Files - while we do not host the sample packs or raw files use in your music project, we do provide a means to link to external URLs and only provide these links to those who are members of your project and have been approved.

In order to participate, people simply need to join ArtistServer. We offer 'Freeware' accounts which allow up to 5 songs to be hosted on the site. In addition, we offer an upgrade account which allows up to 300 songs to be hosted.

All artists on ArtistServer can create a music project. Freeware accounts are limited to 5, whereas those with upgraded accounts can create as many as they wish.

All submissions by participants will not only display on the music project's site, but also on the participants own music site on ArtistServer, in addition to the charts and genre sections on the site. We also display an icon with each submission that links back to the music project.

Each music project will have it's own Web URL in addition to a 'short URL,' which is helpful when posting to services like Twitter or in emails.

ArtistServer does not charge a fee for your music project, we only limit you to creating music projects for music you own the rights to. We do not allow illegal remixed material and encourage artists to avoid sampling music protected by copyrights.

More info here: http://www.artistserver.com/projects/

Tips on how to run a remix project here: http://www.gideonmarken.com/index.cfm/blog/2143/How_to_run_a_Remix_Project



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Category SocialNetwork.in
Date Friday, May 22, 2009 3:08:18 PM
AudioBoo.fm and YouNoodle.com Added to SocialNetwork.in

I have added two more sites to SocialNetwork.in - the profile aggregator where you can add all your social profiles and generate a profile widget for display on your sites and blog.

I've recently signed up for both sites and am looking forward to trying them out and seeing how they'll integrate with my life both on and off the Web.

Below are the descriptions for each site,  Check them out and be sure to sign up at http://socialnetwork.in - see youthere!

AudioBoo.fm

Website: http://audioboo.fm/
SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/198/AudioBoo

AudioBoo is a site and service which allows you to post audio recordings captured from your iPhone, and soon other devices and your desktop.  You can think of it as a Podcasting platform where you can capture your podcast recordings, assign tags, post them to the site, and allow others to listen and subscribe to your podcast feed.


YouNoodle.com

Website: http://younoodle.com
SocialNetwork.in Profile: http://socialnetwork.in/index.cfm/site/199/YouNoodle

YouNoodle develops innovative ways to bring together the information, people and technology that help startups succeed.

We provide a platform for so far 50 of the world's top university entrepreneurship clubs and competitions, serving tens of thousands of members and thousands of startups. Our tools help to effectively manage business competitions, events, mailing lists and community development. If you run a group and would like to join the platform apply and we'll get in touch.

Startup Predictor is the first in a series of decision-making tools YouNoodle plans to introduce for the startup industry. Our development team studied thousands of current and past startups, using both publicly available and proprietary data, to determine patterns of predictive factors for early-stage companies' success. You can try the test for free.



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Date Wednesday, May 06, 2009 4:26:52 PM
mp3tunes.com - no option to close your account

When you put a site online where people sign up and create an account, it is very important that you also create a means for people to either close their account or close and extract their data.

Michael Robertson's Mp3Tunes.com site is apparently staffed by smart people, they have a nice looking API, the site is clean looking, etc. - so when I found out today that there is NO WAY TO CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT, all I can do, is conclude this was a CHOICE made by their upper management.  Why? because competent developers that really like the Web, tend to not do evil things to users unless they are forced by the upper management. A good developer knows the importance of placing the user in control over their information.

I went to their site for the first time in more than a year, trying to locate a means to close my account. I signed in, looked under "My Account" and find nothing. I click on "Support" and try searching their Knowlege Base, again, nothing.

In addition, if you stop paying for your account, it remains active as a free account, and they take the stance that you are also unable to unsubscribe from their mailing list. Then again, even if you are a Premium member, you still can't unsubscribe from their mailing list. Here is the text from the bottom of their emails:

 

This email was sent to me@notMyAddress.com. If you are a Premium subscriber and do not wish to receive further communications please reply to this message with the subject UNSUBSCRIBE. All company and product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners. © 2009. All rights reserved. We are located at 5960 Cornerstone Ct. Suite 100, San Diego, CA, 92121

 

If you reply to the email as stated above, it will fail:

Unknown user: no-reply@mp3tunes.com

RCPT TO generated following response:
550-5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist.

 

Yes, I know the address is to no-reply, but that is exactly how they sent it out.

I looked around their site to see if there was any other way to close the account or remove myself from their mailing list, and all attempts were redirected to a page blank page to "Renew" the account: http://store.mp3tunes.com/renew They do have a link for editing my email address, but when I clicked on it, all it does is present me with an option to upgrade.

I'm now trying their contact form, hopefully this will work: http://www.mp3tunes.com/cb/contact/ If that doesn't work, I'll try their phone number: (858) 202-1600.

I have received an automated reply, stating that I now have to wait 3-5 business days, so hopefully next week, I can post an update that they have removed my account.

UPDATE - May 08, 2009 : Apparently the only mention of being able to close your account is buried in their Privacy Policy: "If you would like to close your MP3tunes Free account and stop receiving promotion email messages please contact support: helpdesk@mp3tunes.com"

UPDATE - May 08, 2009 4:00 pm: Hooray! My account is closed:

Hi,
As you have requested, your account has been canceled.
If we can be of additional assistance please let me know.

Best regards,
Kendall

I replied back:

Hi Kendall,

Thank you!

Yes - I think you should be more kind to people by making it obvious how to close one's account - for example, a "Close Account" link or button in the My Account area, and adding a statement in your Knowledge base as to how to close it. The only place on your site that mentions closing one's account, is buried within your Privacy Policy page.

Have a good weekend,

- Gideon

And they kindly wrote back again:

Hi Gideon,

Thank you for the feedback.I appreciate you taking the time to share this with us. We are going to work to get this problem resolved. I do apologize for the inconvenience.

Have a great weekend.

Kendall

Very cool! I'm happy to see a positive reaction.

BTW - I stopped using their service as it was extremely slow uploading my huge music library, so I instead purchased a second external drive and backed it up locally. I don't need my music 'in the cloud,' since my Creative Zen mp3 player w/ a 40GB drive is plenty of music for those times I'm not at home.



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Gideon Marken
Web Technologist & Electronic Artist

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