Should be promoted properly, and pinned to all forums, and we should collectively try to increase the number of contributors each month (whilst keeping the whos and whats private so people don’t feel they have to if they can’t, etc)
I like regular/weekly mailing list emails. I wonder if that’s a way to distribute short form content/reviews (e.g. the way Norman Record’s do for reviews) along with links to medium or whatever for longform pieces from contributors. Could also provide a curated set of links to weekly ‘top topics’ from the community, updates on rolling things like the listening clubs.
We used to have 90k people on our email list, however it was impossible to export it into any whitelist service. I moved over to MailChimp but only about 10k rejoined and it was really expensive to keep up a subscription to MailChimp, especially when advertising continued to drop and we don’t really have a product to sell.
I’ll give it a rethink. Maybe there’s a clever way of doing a DM to all forum users that also goes to their email?
Are any pure review sites successful in any area? In some ways politics sites are often reviewing and critiquing politics and sometimes sports sites but they’re also “news” and “information”, which is no longer relevant to music as big stories break on social media and people just google for information.
I think having too many voices and not presenting our coverage as an individuals take on Record X or Idea Y, means things are presented as “Drowned in Sound” and are less clickable, especially for lesser known artists that may benefit more from intrigue than their name as the title to click on.
I think I’m far more interested in ideas and conversations around music than artists, and I have a hunch I’m not alone.
I think you should deffo scale back on the journo stuff, unless your stat’s tell you otherwise, as a community I think the forums are the website and focus on more discover friendly features.
I always thought a ‘surprise album of the week’ idea would work well for discovering new music you’d perhaps not be exposed to. Maybe if you just put a button somewhere with ‘discover something new’ and segregate said button into playlists that you update daily/weekly/monthly and have the page land onto a genre-specific playlist that just has an album on it that you’d normally designate to a member of the review staff (not a curated playlist) and has that land onto a site with a community rating and discussion thread would be a good way to aggregate new music and essentially outsource the reviewing process to the community which will make it far more interactive and unique. It’s different to the Rateyourmusic model as you aren’t just going in to review and upvote your fav artists. This can then play into end of year playlists/charts etc and maybe you can offer some insentives to the highest regarded contributors (non financial)
Interesting idea. I did build a Spotify app (just before they closed their apps section) that had 6 album covers of 8+ scoring albums that you could click on from our archive and you could click roll the dice and it gave you 6 more. I really like the idea of presenting recommendations to delve into.
You do realise the bulk of our contributors are (former) messageboarders, right?
The site has had Cate, Sara, Gen and more as section editors over the years. At the moment we have no funds to employ anyone and we haven’t had any guest editors / takeovers for a while, mostly because artists now have less and less time.