Hi everyone! From now on in the Bandzoogle blog, we will offer our members the opportunity to ask questions to some top music industry experts. Our first "guest" on Ask an Expert is Ken Lewis.
Ken is a Producer / Mixer / Engineer / Musician /
Songwriter for over 14 years. He has worked with top selling artists like Kanye West, Beastie Boys, Usher, Lenny Kravitz, Janet Jackson and Bandzoogle's own Small Town Sleeper.
His credits include 2 Grammy's, 38 Gold and Platinum albums and singles, 19 #1 albums and singles, and 18 more Grammy nominations.
He has started an innovative Pay Per Download service called IndieTunes.com which caters specifically to independent musicians.
This is a great opportunity to learn about recording, improving your mixes, working with a producer, as well as the whole pay per download issue.
Please post any questions you may have for Ken here. We will ask him to answer as many as he can!
With all of the updates planned for 2006, we soon realized the need for another programmer to join our team. We've finally found him!
Louis Galipeau has joined us from Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Louis is a Coldfusion programming guru and part time digeridoo player (Didgeridooer?). He'll be working closely with Eli to revamp Bandzoogle and add much requested features in the near future.
Some members have noticed that mails sent to AOL.com addresses from their mailing list have been getting blocked with an "554 - TRANSACTION FAILED" error.
We have contacted AOL about this, and they were surprisingly helpful. They couldn't say why we were being blocked (we don't send out "spam", and member mailing list mails conform to their email policies). In any case, we are being added to their "whitelist" in the next 3-5 business days, so mails will not be blocked in the future.
In the short term, emails sent from your mailing list and also confirmation emails to AOL accounts will get returned. I suggest manually confirming any bounces that you get from AOL members, and hold off on sending mailing list messages if the majority of your members are on AOL.
Weedshare is a new way to sell your music online. Once you encode your track in the Weed format (which is based on Windows Media), people can listen to it up to three times before being prompted to purchase it.
The neat thing about weed files is that they encourage people to share the music (legally) by sharing any profit evenly with anyone who refers friends to the file.
Weedshare is a new company, but since it is based on Windows Media, anyone on a windows PC should be able to hear the tracks. When you purchase them, you can burn them onto CD. The tracks can also be submitted legally to Limewire, so they would show up in searches there.
You can read more about weedshare at http://www.weedshare.com.
I would like some opinions on adding Weedshare to Bandzoogle. Would you use it? If we add our own pay per download system, would ou also consider weedshare files, or would you use one system over the other?
Ladies and gentlemen, your forums have been thoroughly spiffed!
They now feature a more professional look-and-feel which all of you phpBB junkies have been requesting. As well, you can now organize your forum topics into multiple groups, or "boards". All of your existing posts have been put in a default board called "General Board", but you can create other boards and move topics around as you see fit.
We've gotten a number of requests to make the forum use your local time zone. We decided to go one step better, so now all dates in your website as well as all dates in your control panel are displayed using your local time zone!
To set your time zone, click "Set time zone" under "Design & Options" in your control panel. If you don't set a time zone, you'll just default to using US/Central time, unless you've set a time zone in your guestbook before.
If you're ever confused about what time zone a certain time or date is in, just hold your mouse pointer over it and the time zone should pop up.
On Friday, we will be adding a new forum feature. This will happen between 12 and 5PM eastern time. During the update, the forum on your page may not be accessable (there will just be a message saying we are updating the forum). The rest of the page will display normally.
Another important note: a new feature is multiple "boards". Boards are like categories for topics on your forum. When we add the new forum, all your existing posts will go into a board called "General". You'll be able to rename this board, add new ones, and move posts around in the control panel.
We will post a message here describing the other new features as soon as it is ready.
Its usually around now that people take stock of their past year. To see how they've grown, and where they want to grow in the future.
I've been doing the same with Bandzoogle. Re-reading all your posts in the community, and your email suggestions. Seeing what we did in 2005, and what still needs to be done. Checking out how Bandzoogle members are using the system to make sites, and what can be improved.
Bandzoogle will be 3 years old in October 2006. We have grown very fast, adapted to our members and added new features. The speed of development had some downsides too. By the time that Eli joined us in August 2005, many internal system components were a tangled mess. Many cool features had to be delayed while we cleaned it up.
In 2005, the bulk our the work happened behind the scenes, cleaning up and organizing the core system. Increasing security and backups. Stuff you may not notice, but has contributed to the stability and order of the whole. Now that the re-organization is done, implementing features will be easier and faster than every before.
We have big plans in 2006: The template system will be much more flexible. If you want to make your own design, you will be able to. Templates will incorporate Flash animation. You will be able to make animated flash intros and email-able EPKs. We will setup a pay-per-download system where you keep 100% of the revenue. Page features will be revamped and expanded. In short, 2006 will be a year of major upgrades.
Thanks to all our members for your support, ideas and feedback. I wish you the best success in 2006!