Haiti - How musicians can help

The earthquake in Haiti is not a Haitian disaster, it is a human disaster. A little bit from a lot of people adds up!!

Here are a few ways to use your talent to help out:

Benefit concert - This doesn't have to be a large event for you to make a difference. Grab a few folding chairs and have a simple house concert. Invite other local bands and jam on. You can either charge a cover at the door, or just have people throw their donations in the guitar case. When promoting this, make sure everyone knows that all proceeds will go to the charity you have chosen.

Gig proceeds - If you are getting a cut of the door or even a flat fee to play a gig, dedicate a portion of it to be donated. Let the bar/club owner know that a certain portion of what they pay you will go to charity. See if they will match it. If so, make sure to mention that in any of your marketing materials.

Write a song - If you're a singer/songwriter, grab your guitar and bust out a quick acoustic inspirational tune. Market it online and let everyone know they can download it for a donation.

Percentage - For the next week or two, donate a portion of all download, CD or merch sales to charity. Make sure you add some text above your Album Download or Store feature letting your fans know you are donating ___% of all sales to charity name that will benefit Haiti relief efforts.

Email blast - Send a mail out letting your fans know what you are doing to help. Also, include a few links to charities they can donate to. In your email, you can say something like, “Email me your donation receipt and I will email you my song/album for free”.

Donate personally* - Times are hard, but I guarantee times are much harder in the middle of devastation. Donate whatever you can. A little goes a long way. Here are some Haiti relief resources: http://www.google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/

*As a company, Bandzoogle will be matching all employee donations to support Haiti relief efforts.
Posted by Allison on 01/22/2010 | 38 comments

Brand new servers, zippier sites

Hey folks,

We just finished installing a new rack of smoking fast web servers to power your sites. We're happy to report that sites are loading much faster than before! Stay tuned for even more enhancements in this area coming soon.

Posted by Chris on 01/15/2010 | 28 comments

Custom style editor launching next week!

Hey folks,

We're happy to say that the custom style editor will be launching next week! The Zoogler team is looking forward to the cool sites you'll build with it!

To whet your appetite, here are some of our favourites from the beta testers. All of these sites were built right in our point and click editor without having to write any code!

Posted by Chris on 01/13/2010 | 159 comments

New feature: Send text messages to fans!

A great new way to keep in touch with fans has been added: you can now send text messages to mobile phones in the mailing list tab.

Text messages are a great way to connect with fans who may not be at their computer, or to send quick updates. Just like the mailing list, you can schedule messages to send later -- the night of a gig for example.

We're proud to say Bandzoogle is the first and *only* site builder (for bands or otherwise) to integrate fan text messaging!

Since a lot of you already have fan lists, we've made it easy for fans to add their mobile numbers. At the bottom of your mailouts, you'll now find a "update your profile" link that lets them add their mobile number, change their email address, and update their physical location. To get them started, you may want to add a note about that in your next mailout. You can also update your fan's mobile numbers manually by clicking on their name in the mailing list tab. To see which fans have mobile numbers, use the search function at the top of the Manage Members page and choose "mobile members".

A couple things to note; first, text messaging currently works to addresses in the US, UK, and Canada. We're working on adding more countries. Second, the delivery time for the message can vary based on the carrier. Our experience with the major ones in the US and Canada is that they are received within a few minutes.

Let us know what you think of this new feature!

Posted by Chris on 01/11/2010 | 64 comments

Happy Monday! Server failure this morning

Hey everyone, This morning, we upgraded our network to make room for new, faster servers. (Monday morning is the quietest time traffic- wise for most sites). We didn't post an alert for this upgrade, because our network provider Peer1 specified that the switch would be seamless. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Some technical problems required us to move to a new rack. Then, when we got everything plugged in, a critical piece of hardware was faulty and needed to be replaced. All told, this caused three hours of downtime. Happy Monday! We know how important your sites are, which is why we have many redundant systems in place so that if something breaks, there is a backup. The one big thing we rely on is our network provider. Peer1 is one of the biggest and most reliable providers, which is why we have been with them for over 5 years. With them, we have a record of 99.99% uptime, so this outage is really out of the ordinary. That said, this points to the need to have a better fallback for a major disaster -- we were not able to communicate with members other than via Twitter. We are making it a priority to have a better system to communicate with you that works outside of the Peer1 network. In 6 years of operation, we have had only a handful of serious outages like this. With each one, we learn and implement more backup systems. I sincerely apologize for the downtime today. On the positive side, the upgrade completed successfully. We have a bunch of blazing fast new servers that will be plugged in this week. It also created more room for us to grow, so future upgrades would not cause any downtime.
Posted by Chris on 01/04/2010 | 35 comments

Looking back at 2009

2009 was another year of big changes at Bandzoogle.

On the 'Zoogler front, Brad and Mike joined the team, bringing our number to 10. Brad is a talented programmer who has already added major functionality to Bandzoogle. Mike is doing a great job rounding out support, making live help available nights and weekends.

Internally, Bandzoogle changed more in 2009 than any year since our launch six years ago. In April we completely changed the "guts" of the system, paving the way for some big new design options this year.

Aside from the big stuff, we added more than a dozen new features in the last year. Some highlights:

  • "Pay-What-You-Want" and "Members-Only" music downloads
  • Mailing list stats
  • Scheduled mailouts
  • Event/blog posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace
  • Social network buttons
  • Mailing list signup incentives
  • Mailing list widgets
  • External Blog Sync
  • Music download codes
  • Drag/drop header image editing

In 2010, our focus will be to give you more control, more professional design options, and new promotional tools that will put you in front of more fans. We're very excited to launch these features, stay tuned to the blog for updates.

On behalf of the whole 'Zoogle team I would like to thank you for your support, and wish everyone a rocking new year!

Posted by Chris on 01/02/2010 | 4 comments