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Need to add some more bits and bobs to this http://drownedinsound.com/lists/greatest-hits
For starters, how about this Steve Albini interview entitled "The Strokes fucking suck!" http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/3838
Short answer to your question: fuck knows, cos menu-driven navigation to anything isn't really possible, and the search function is borked. Unless you catch stuff while it's linked to via the homepage, it might as well not be there. Browsing the site is a chore.
Excuse me while I rant a little...
Question: How would I get to that 'DiS' greatest hits page' you just linked to, by way of navigation from the main page? This page exists http://drownedinsound.com/lists/new-york-week and there must be hunners of pages of theme week or specialist topic lists like it. But where are they? http://drownedinsound.com/lists/ doesn't lead to anything.
There's so much DiS content out there that I'd like to browse through but there's no apparent way to do it. There's an 'In depth' tab, but that appears to be some sort of ever rolling and incomplete list* of 'everything else' that isn't 'reviews', 'photos', 'news', or 'gigs'. The 'Recent Recommended Reading' link section to the bottom left seems to include some of the stuff that's not in the 'In Depth' section, but seems to be an RSS feed-a-like mish-mash of stuff.
*(i.e. the NY stuff isn't in the main 'In Depth' list, although it is tucked away on the right hand side 'In Depth/Most Read' box)
I'm trying not to be too negative, and to be as descriptive as I can be. So I hope I'm not coming across as just another snarky type. And I know you're not flush enough to pay for the man-hours to overhauls the site on a whim. But surely there comes a point where you say 'hang on', we're pissing away content here, without even coming close to the maximum exposure out of it. Or maybe not.
...I think all of those problems are related. Basically all the badness with the back-end means more badness.
i totally and utterly agree that this site is fucking useless. every single point you've raised is stuff I want to change. it's pretty depressing working every day on something that i know, given just a bit more money, could be so much better.
the trouble is, DiS was built with little foresight for what the web is now (not sure anyone truly could imagine which ways things would head when in '99 there was pretty much only livejournal and AOL and some fairly crappy websites on geocities, and then the million quid corporate sites - and all we cared about was building a forum and sharing our passion for music) and of the 10s of thousands of pounds that have been spent on developer time over the past decade, most of it has been focussed on making the site functional and search engine optimised, with some thought 5 years ago when we last changed things substantially, into providing people with easy access to what's going on NOW. the advent of twitter and facebook has changed a lot of that, and now people don't really use the frontpage any more (they have the boards as their bookmarks and click on the ticker or via the feeds on twitter or facebook or rss or google news or whatever), which means the task now is to get all the tagged content in one place. the bigger challenge is then getting more than a dedicated few people to want to read back through things which aren't newly published.
however, some good news, a lot of stuff has ways of being ordered and presented now, but didn't 5 years ago, we just haven't found tidy ways of providing this without making the site even more overwhelming or had much demand for it. whenever we have the funds available to do a redesign it is my priority to make the site a trillion times easier to navigate and search and stumble through. we have so much great content, yet it is so hard to access (I have to use google and put site:drownedinsound.com at the start of my search to find things!)
the web has shifted so far, so quickly and despite people's preconceptions, DiS is a tiny enterprise with a smaller turnover than a cornershop in a small town, due to the poor economics of the web, the lack of business models that would work for what we do and the investment of finance and resources required to make any leaps in different directions, away from the core of what we do (setting up theQuietus was a fairly worthwhile trip off piste and their design is pretty much what i wanted to do with DiS before the plug was pulled). to put things into further context, various sites which have raised money over the past few years have so much more resources than we've ever had, as well as heaps of the legwork done for them via various services which now do so much of what we've spent time building/developing.
currently, we have so many issues with the site and, partly due to the label not making any money but mostly due to debts post-BSKYB (we had 3months of no money coming in whatsoever and heaps of contracts with 14 of the 18months still to go!!) and currently only have the funds to pay a developer a day or so a month, and even when we had a full-time developer (tom__) so much time was spent plugging holes in immediate issues, that there was little time to fix the ongoing symptoms causing most of our woes. his job was more like the boy with his finger in the dam and he got very little sympathy for trying to fix things - which is near impossible when what's really required is a 10 man team of developers.
i hope this answers some of your questions and rest assured, i want to fix this mess more than anyone. expect a DiS relaunch sometime next year, and possibly ahead of that, me doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise some much needed funds to do the development properly!
p.s. does this all sound a bit like a church with a broken roof or a pub with broken loos that needs a fundraiser to anyone else? that's how it often feels to me.
it must be tough going to know you've got a bunch of great, but hamstrung ip.
all the best with it. and in the meantime, I'll catch what i can along the way.
but I would like to say 'all the best' cos, despite the problems, it is still the site I spend most of my online time on. It's easy to whinge, but this place is still where it's at.
it's quite rare to hear niceness about the site (maybe a lot of it goes unsaid and often the web only really is an outlet for negativity and criticism) and it's easy to forget what it is and what it means to people, especially when it's all in your face and the grumblings are amplified, so thank you.
but I agree with what terminus_est says, in the past five or six years this site has got me into a large array of artists from various genres that I would never have heard otherwise. So, without blowing too much smoke up your arse, despite its issues, thanks, this is still the music site I come to first and spend time on (far too much my old boss would probably say).
also summat of mine. maybe the frightened rabbit review as there was a nice little arguement in the comments too.
funny that all the suggestions are articles that got a lot of reaction - which is odd because of the "best" stuff gets nearly no reaction, mostly stuff that was risky or appealed to a small amount of people but caused an outrage, is currently being highlighted. interesting...
http://drownedinsound.com/news/3912933-an-open-letter-to-ryan-adams (my first day back at DiS and its been a continue path downwards ever since, etc...)
...it's the band you'll remember - but the writing has served its purpose in doing that. Whereas if it's something like BJM or whatever, then the actual article is the draw. Obviously that doesn't apply so much to interviews, although if they're verbatim/transcript type things then maybe.
how about Mike Diver's Silent Type review? probably the best actual review on here.
Mainly for the comments in both cases.
I like trying to guess who wrote which ones...
Who would've thought Idlewild could provoke such strong emotions!
pretty sure i was drunk / angry at the time
that lead up to ISIS - Oceanic and Bjork- VEspertine. Was it like 66 records from the last six years or something?
Anyway at the time I thought - wow! Somewhere where they like ISIS and Bjork - I will do well here. Been here ever since. At the time I just used to browse Amazon lists and comments for music recommendations so maybe I was easily impressed, but whatever, I felt a lot of love for that list.
and now probably only agree with 30% of it. still think the top 6 is pretty bang on for a list that is compromised by democracy (was just the core staff involved at the time picking it - with myself, mike and crablin arguing about the ordering of it for a few weeks)
been trying to do a follow-up list but it's just a personal favourites list, really, so not sure it'd be that representative of the site and the 200+ people who've written for it and a millions of people who've read it over the past 10 years. any list that is capable of being that representative would be pretty dull tho and would either reflect things based on popularity or tokenism, rather than passion.
maybe, although i think i could probably do an approximate DiS list but it'll inevitably be peppered with personal prejudice, which is always the way.
obviously everyone's going to say 'why is x higher than y' or whatever, but to me that's not the point. It was good to see lots of records I loved, but it also made me investigate other ones too.
that was exactly the point. it could have been in any order (apart from maybe the top 10)
Seriously. Not like £300 or anything, but SOMETHING to say thanks for all the hours I've spent / wasted on here. I'm sure some other folk would do too.
Why not set up an account and let those that want to stick something in?
thank you sir, i may very well do this.
Another idea might be to call in a few favours from 'DiS bands' and put on a decent sized gig somewhere like the forum or (if you could get someone like Bloc Party) Brixton Academy even.
both the donate (i'd give) and the gig (i'd try to go)
Ahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahaahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Ahahahahaahahahahaahahahahaahaha. Haha. Ha. Oof.
Seriously though - what bands owe DiS any favours?
I'm not flush, but I'd chuck in a few quid. I'm sure a few people would if you had like a paypal donation thing.
or.... or... T-shirts???
I'd buy a non-shit t-shirt. Maybe even some other merch, too. Might even donate if it'd beef up / speed up / freshen up the site. I'd subscribe, if there were some incentives worth having (not just crappy last.fm intangibles, but my username in lights or whatever, like they do in galleries, would be a start).
Dunno if you're aware of it (no reason that you would/should be), but http://www.craftster.org/ is a pretty bustling forum (for crafty ladies). They do a subscription http://www.craftster.org/subscribe.php that offers a few perks and seems pretty popular. No idea how their traffic/backing/userbase compares to DiS, though.
yeah, the products would have to be limited and high quality but even a nice £20 t-shirt would have a bit of profit we could use. i'm investigating it a lot more now.
craftster seems to be about the same size as dis according to alexa http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/drownedinsound.com (although because Alexa uses approximate measurements and because we don't get much US traffic which is what it's based on, our stats are somewhat lower on there!)
5. step up 3d soundtrack
You may be interested in...
"Charlotte Gainsbourg" Yes, yes I am.
"Joanna Newsom" Yup. That too.
"Spotify Playlists" I guess.
"Zoo Magazine" :-)
"Compared with all internet users, its users are disproportionately childless, and they are disproportionately college graduates and men under the age of 35 who browse from work."
a cool article wheer black lips and bradford cox discussed something? or am i getting confused/making this up.
in the meantime, i'm gonna spend the next week putting this Kickstarter project together for "restoration and re-launch of DiS"