Building Your Band's Fanbase Outside Myspace

Social networks like MySpace and Facebook are great ways to build your fanbase. But, you don't own and can't save your "friend lists". What if your account got cancelled or hacked? Or, your fans stopped logging in regularly? You wouldn't have any way to contact the fans that you worked so hard to get!

How about every time a friend request is exchanged between yourself and another {MySpace, Facebook, etc.} user, you send them a note back thanking them and also including this message... "I'd like to include you in my group of friends outside of {social network}, please reply with your email address if you are ok with that". The majority of those people are all about keeping in contact, so they don't mind replying with their personal email address. This simple habit will help you build your mailing list which you own and control.

Make sure you always have access to your peeps, no matter what!

Posted by Allison on 01/23/2009 | 45 comments

Major internal changes coming soon

Over the next few weeks, we'll be changing the way that the system creates your pages. These changes may not be noticeable, but the code in the back end powering your page will be completely different.

The goal is to make the internals of Bandzoogle more flexible so that we can add cool new features in the coming months. At the top of our list are customizable templates, the ability to upload your own designs, and flash-based headers.

This project has been a long time coming -- almost a full year in planning and development. Even though we are excited to add new stuff for you to play with, we wanted to be sure that any changes would not adversely affect your sites.

We'll keep you posted on the progress. For the next few weeks, we won't be posting a "template of the week" so that we can focus on getting this update complete. Thanks for your patience, neat stuff is coming soon!

Posted by Chris on 01/19/2009 | 50 comments

Template of the week - January 11

Posted by Chris on 01/12/2009 | 22 comments

A look back on 2008

2008 was an exciting year for Bandzoogle.

Four new Zooglers joined the team - Stacey and Allison are our new support gurus. They have helped thousands of bands make the most of the Bandzoogle system. Nick has taken over the design end. He defined a new look for Bandzoogle and is now helping to sketch out our new template system. Dave is a talented programmer from the UK. In just a few months he has made major contributions to the Bandzoogle system with features like newsletter templates and a new help system.

We also added some major updates. The biggest changes were ones you can't see. We've added more backup systems, monitoring, more reliable database and file server infrastructure. Not very exciting, but they keep your site running without interruption. Some updates you can see are:

  • Improved the Album Download feature - Building on the simple MP3 store we had, the revamped feature lets you sell albums (including downloadable artwork), and automatically makes preview clips with fade in/out. Since we posted back in January, an amazing $700,000 of music has been sold using this feature.
  • Improve Store feature - Visitors can buy physical goods and digital music in the same cart and checkout. The control panel lets you keep track of items to ship, and print packing slips.
  • New page layout system - Removed the limit on page features. You can also move features to different pages, or change the layout to be in columns in a couple clicks.
  • Revamped the Bandzoogle front end - A fresh new look for our home page.
  • Added easier mailing list management - You can now groups members, add custom data fields, and import/export your list.
  • 12 times more email space - We switched to a more powerful web mail system called Zimbra, and also increased storage by 12 times.
  • Instituted a "template of the week" - We're listening to your feedback and creating new styles based on your requests every week.
  • Added podcasting - a popular new feature, you can easily create a podcast by adding tracks to the blog feature.
  • Increased website storage by 10x - After upgrading our network to be on Amazon S3 (one of the best around) we boosted file storage by 10x for all members.
  • Added mailing list templates - Create customized newsletter templates with graphics in just a few clicks.

We have some great new features planned for next year, and will post about them soon. Here's wishing everyone a happy and successful 2009!

Posted by Chris on 01/01/2009 | 19 comments