I've always wanted DiS to be like a cabal of individuals with critical ears but love in their heart (pass the spittoon!). I guess we sort of create an outlet and aggregate opinions, rather than try to be a funnel or a sieve. However, it has always been a challenge to present this vision of things, and I guess the idea of our 'writers' being 'featured users' doesn't quite have the same credential-waving clarity that some people seek. But I guess we're nearly a decade into the whole 'blogging' thing, so perhaps this will make more sense in the not-too-distant future.
don't worry, we're not going to go too far down the blog route, but we might adapt the "news" to be more of a staff blog, with links, songs, vids and tidbits...
def some sluggish code that is already been culled - we've got a decade of half-finished ideas and the detritus of upgrading from various coding languages.
improve photo galleries (see a few posts above) and proper mobile site are two of the things i've spent a lot of time thinking about, and hope we can cleverly solve - hadn't seen the avclub on a mobile, so thanks for that.
if it was like a jukebox and you had to make a donation or earn the right in some way to SHOUT :)
Yes, yes, oh bloody god yes. Lists need to be presented a billion times better. So much great content hiding in the 'ran over two weeks ago' deathpool, which is saddening, especially when some of those takeovers have incredible things.
Really want to find a way to make them shine (for starters, they might appear below the footer, forevermore but I'm thinking of better ways to do it)
Some important issues raised here, so thought I'd get back to them one-by-one:
(a) I am old and am less understanding of technology than I used to be
- well, you managed to post on this thread so give yourself some credit :)
(b) I am not on FB or Twitter or any other social networking sites for reasons of point (a), job and stubborness and if the site becomes too reliant on these without being standalone I will suffer. And maybe others will too.
- We won't be centring the site around this too much and if you don't want personalization, you won't have to use it. Deal? But if you did want to try it, we'd try to make it as simple as possible and would be keen for you to help test it, perhaps with a laptop and a pint (on DiS), to see what does and doesn't make sense.
(c) (most importantly) the point of DiS is to discover stuff I don't know about and might be outside my immediate sphere of knowledge. From DiS I have discovered loads of bands who I truly love, inc Parts and Labor, Iliketrains, Twilight Sad, Okkervil River, TTT, etc etc. I don't want to tell you I like Mogwai and get directed to EITS and TWDY content and all that because I know about them already.
- Agreed. In my opinion, this is the biggest challenge for us and all music websites, to get away from dragging people either further down their own niche or telling them what they already know. I know this is something Last.fm and Echonest, who do a lot of data-driven recommendation are keen to avoid - in fact, I've had a few conversations with top-level coders about 'The Radiohead problem' when it comes to recommendations, which may sound quite dull but I found it utterly fascinating what they all do to combat it. What I'd like to do is to make the things we love stand out more, and to make it easier for people to browse, because I think creating an arena that is logical and simple is the key to aiding discovery, rather than sophisticated algorithms or anything fancy. Hopefully you will like the ways I'm approaching solving this problem when you see the new design.
- I think the site is absolutely fantastic as it is and is my one-stop music resource (apart from Songkick). Esp considering the number of people who work on it. happy to help on testing etc.
Interesting that you're against personalization but you like Songkick. I really like how Songkick 'just works' and this is something, in terms of any personalization we do with DiS, that 'just works' concept would be at the top of our list of criteria before it goes live.
Thanks for sharing your feedback, it's kind of reassuring for me that your worst fears are what I was hoping people would fear.
Be curious what issues people have had with these and the boards - as it's very rarely reported. Is it rudie words and nsfw links wot does it?
This is something I'd like to do. I quite like how Yahoo Answers closes things after a certain period of time. The main reason this may be useful is that it would speed up the database a bit, and also sort of encourage people to link back to previous discussions, starting them afresh, with the hindsight of a previous discussion - rather than bumping a lengthy old thread.
I also think filtering and browsability of the boards could be really improved and would be interested in any ideas for that.
In terms of the 'world of work' worries, I think this is a greatly exaggerated fear but I understand why folks have it. If you don't want to be personally connected, you can just change your name on your account to your username, firstname or a fake name, as you don't really NEED your real-name on there. Also, it's worth noting that Google now bumps the priority of sites you visit regularly, so the results you see are unlikely to be the same as what an employers sees - unless they're a regular on DiS.
I guess one thing we could do, is make your post archive only viewable by signed-in users - as it's very rare that someone's realname will be mentioned in a thread. And to be honest, as someone who has googled people before job interviews, I doubt anyone would spend time trawling through 5,000 messageboard posts from 3+ years ago if they did manage to find you. I'd be REALLY curious if there are genuine concerns around this as an issue and will endeavour to investigate it if so.
I really like how http://www.albumoftheyear.org/publication/3-drowned-in-sound/ does it, and I want to try to pring in a way of browsing that's a little more like http://www.ted.com - not sure if it'll make the first iteration of the relaunch but this is certainly a plan. I'd also be keen to pull in reviews from across the web, as Wikipedia only allows 10 reviews per release page, and I love using metacritic to see what other people thought about a record.
The user-rating is actually on release pages already, we just haven't cleaning implemented it. This one of my priorities, as I want to turn DiS into something like the 'Rotten Tomatoes for music' and make our contributors a bit more like featured users, if that makes sense.
An ability to find people with similar tastes to you and follow their ratings, recommendations and thread posts (and possibly options to follow their music-related and opinions elsewhere on the web, via DiS, might come later!), is also something that I really hope we can pull off with DiS 11.0.
Hi svenrokk, totally agree. I hate pagination and want rid of it not just from DiS but the entire internet! Looking to do something more like this: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/09/burning_man_at_25_years.html - seen anything else good that you like? Possibly considering thumbnail menu with tags, fixed to the top of the screen to make browsing easier too.
For anyone finding this a big task to focus on the words, try installing http://www.readability.com/ to strip all the distractions in your browser. Or use Instapaper to save a text-only version to your phone or tablet: http://www.instapaper.com
it still feels a bit cluttered in my opinion but then I really like sites like this http://nowness.com
You're not the first person to mention this. It is something that comes up quite a bit on the boards, and also something I've discussed with our reviews editor again lately. However, I'm probably the worst person to speak to as my reviews this year have either been massively low scores for Jessie J and Anna Calvi, an average score for Gaga and a super high score for How to Dress Well.
Today is perhaps a bad reflection. Have a look at http://www.albumoftheyear.org/publication/3-drowned-in-sound/ who present our scores much better than we currently do.
In terms of why things get higher scores, is perhaps down to how we farm out records. We tend to send them to someone that we know is a fan of the band (or at least very aware of their catalogue to date) and people usually put their hands up for things they'd like to hear. We don't pay our reviewers and we don't tell them what they should thing, but we do often mark down or up, based on the tone of their review, how well they've argued their case, etc. I think we were much harsher when we had a small team of paid staff writers, but sadly economics won't allow for that at present.
It's certainly something we should be looking into, and perhaps paying more attention to in future. I'm sure Andrzej and some of our writers will chip in with some thoughts on this too.
I really love that Atlantic site and was something I'd been discussing with our designers. Also, the guys from Tastebuds.fm gave me some great ideas about using last.fm to put content to the fore for people.
HTML5 is something I'm keen to do (I love how the TED.com frontpage works, and some of the bigs Polaroid and BlackBerry have on their sites) but we're also looking at mobile very seriously, and also people in colleges and work places still trapped on IE6, which seems to account for a lot of the regulars on our social board, so we're looking at what sites like Youtube do for those kinds of users.
Thank you, this is terrific feedback. Really appreciate it.
Are there any frontpages of other sites (don't have to be music) that you particularly like?
In terms of reviews, we run 3-5 everyday and they're usually up by about 9am GMT (when Andrzej our reviews editor leaves for his dayjob at Timeout).
yes, yes, yes, we are looking at ways we can effectively 'archive' the old posts, sort of like Yahoo answers do when they close questions after a period of time. Hopefully this will speed things up a bit and solve some of the issues that have seen the site splutter over the past year or so in the absence of a full-time web developer (although we have only had about 20hours of downtime in total over the past 4 years, it's moreso the little bugs and occasionally slowness as 3million+ messageboard posts grind things into the ground).
I was thinking of possibly making this a function for regulars/premium users or perhaps just in one-off threads. As obviously there is a chance some folks will sign-up to leak things or for the lolz post public NSFW breakfast-bothering filth, etc, which is always a slight concern. There are ways we could do it tho, perhaps in terms of following users you like, and getting their vids and soundclouds in a 'dashboard' feed.
One concern I have, which I know is a priority for many of our regulars, is ensuring we retain the simplicity of the boards and not needlessly over-complicating them, as people love the speed and uncluttered lack of functionality.
Certainly food for thought, so thank you.
it's ok. the cache doesn't clear quickly enough in some browsers. obviously if you want to increase your chance of winning, tell your 3 mates you'd take with you to enter.
i like the restraint and poise of the record. it's more like meeting an old friend who used to be a bad drunk whose now become this fascinating Hemingway-esque gent.
for an alternative view: http://yaarn.com/post/8606616592/the-wild-redemption-of-the-icarus-line
And yes, things may not be as perfect as they once were - but then, without wanting to make excuses, we no longer have five full-time staff. In fact, we simply have a team of volunteer contributors, and our reviews editor works about one day per week on DiS and sub-edits reviews and puts them live before going to his day job. We don't, sadly, have the resources to check every fact and triple check every apostrophe.
However, if you're going to complain about facts, it's worth noting that Klinghoffer played both drums and some guitar for Warpaint http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_Corpse_(Warpaint_album)
Founder, Drowned in Sound
we're compiling a Greatest Hits of Domino Records, give your favourite a nod over in this thread: http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/music/4301257
And share your favourite album, song or video, and we'll compile it as part of our special Bjork week http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/music/4301254
it's odd that the ones that came up more often in our staff picks were slightly more downbeat but it is a fairly balanced mix. i guess darker songs are often a little less surface which means they draw you in and connect that little bit more.
i'd have had 'Hawaiian Air' on there but I was alone in that choice (should probably just run this site as a dictatorship, innit) and Live Those Days Tonight was picked by 3 people, so that made the list instead.
there are blurbs and audio/video things over on http://drownedinsoundcloud.com - which one day will feed into this website
don't know why that album title mangles my brain so much. must be the the ahhh sound of past and martyred, and being from Dorset means they sound like one long Thomas Hardy-esque arrrr
everytime i mention How to Dress Well as one of the albums of the year, some pedant points out it was released last year in america - hence its lack of inclusion here. But for me, it's the second best album of the year, so far.
and by "at work" he means, he doesn't work for DiS full-time. there is plenty of comment about this track on the boards already.
in a word: meh
what's the point of writing if it isn't creative?
other websites are available...
and for the full event, here: http://www.peterguy.merseyblogs.co.uk/2011/05/liverpool-sound-city-full-list.html
especially as the limited edition version has 20 bonus tracks according to http://twitter.com/AidanJohnMoffat
Jimmy from Metric's guide to Toronto http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4136732
you don't need data connection for the premium service, you save stuff to listen to offline (and it's in higher quality than the free version) and you can listen to playlists and albums and stuff. I guess the fact people haven't grasped this is partly why radio remains so big.
i don't really think subscription is going to replace people buying physical stuff, in fact, i'm surprised you can't click to buy deluxe editions via Spotify but wouldn't be shocked if the US launch includes stuff like that and merch and myspace-ish widgets for downloads and tour dates and stuff...
and as folks have pointed out on Twitter and Facebook, it's only £4.99 to get Spotify Unlimited on your computer - hardly a rip-off for access to more music than you will ever have time to listen to, is it?
doesn't read like a 10/10. obviously this is a personal 10/10 as there ain't no such thing as a DiS 10/10 as we disagree about everything.
should have made it clearer that the posters are by http://www.laura-siragher.com/
she is very awesome!
My personal favourite of the year so far is this new Friendly Fires video http://drownedinsoundcloud.com/post/4776117799/friendly-fires-live-those-days-tonight-current
i woke up to my twitter feed full of american journalists blown away by that Suede show.
for our interview with Alan Sparhawk and acoustic tracks recorded especially for DiS.
I felt in some other faults. Errors making it more human ;-)
Bright Eyes, Cut Copy and How to Dress Well.
damn, i totally should have ended on that note!
absolutely obsessed with this at the moment. might be pushing 10/10 territory for me.
if you want to have a listen, it's streaming up on the NPR site (headphones recommended as some of the production is incredibly ornate!) http://www.npr.org/2011/01/31/133278431/first-listen-bright-eyes-the-peoples-key
seems to be an issue with Spotify, we're working on making the playlist work now.
yes, indeed. i always get those two muddled up! amended.
what stations did you hear that on? college radio in the US, maybe? I mean, like James Blake 'Limit To Your Love' being on daytime Radio1...
brain malfunction amended.