Right, HELLO, 'APPY NEW YEAR... we're not gonna be back into full swing until next week and I'm spending this week reading, taking meetings and working on plans for 2010. A few people have suggested I write a manifesto for the year and I've made a start on it, as it's going to be useful for a designer who's helping me improve the frontpage and make the article pages less overwhelming with lots of distracting options.
I'd love to know what you'd all like to see more of, less of and introduce to the site throughout the coming year - especially as it is our 10th Birthday in October and there's heaps planned for that...
Here are a few of my thoughts
- make the frontpage more welcoming and succinctly explain what the site IS to first time visitors, who make up about 40% of our traffic. How to best explain the site? And should this explanation disappear if you're signed in? Probably.
- further blur the gap between editorial and community, possibly focussing on user submitted news, reviews (which you can already submit on records - or simply rate them out of 10!) and feature more user submitted content
- staff encouraged to post more info and quick thoughts/reactions on the board, making the music forum even more active (i've done this with a few stories over the break and it seems people like it, yeah?)
- provide more audio and video content, to include track of the day (as started on the boards today, talking to soundcloud about ways we can do this better too!) and more guides to artists. genres, topical topics, with video (we did a deal with muzu tv last year so there are now videos on most artist profiles - meeting Beatcast.tv tomorrow)
- provide more of a guide to this week's and forthcoming releases, possibly a weekly 5 must-hear albums with we7 players for people to listen to and debate
- improve our gig listings... we still plan to take a feed from Songkick but their data was a bit of a mess when we initially tried to do it
- offer more advice and insight into the music industry, starting with a week in Feb about DIY musicians/labels and a week analyzing the Live music scene.
- more specialist columnists like Armchair Dancefloor, Wendy's singles and The Insider
- more real-world events (I wanna do some conference type stuff, as well as get more involved in live music again as the nights in manchester and sheffield have been a great success - to start things off i've put this gig together with Icelandic and Norwegian embassy on Jan 21st http://seaninsound.posterous.com/a-date-for-your-new-diary )
other things i'm considering
- improving our coverage of local scenes, possibly with columnists in major and minor cities?
- more coverage of web sites, services and technologies... might just do this as a column myself, interviews with people from sites like the tech-no-logic column i used to do but more like the way Charlie Brooker writes about tv
Over to you...