Peeking in

in Uncategorized

Ran into some webfriends at BarCamp Dallas yesterday, and heard a common theme that folks didn’t realize I had a new blog.

I do. I talk about a lot of the same things I did here, but with a little more localized focus, and a little less mediasnark. My reasons for the shift are detailed here.

We’re learning a lot on the TexasGigs relaunch. First full month out, we’re hitting around 3,000 visitors a day, and will hit about a half-million pageviews. We have 165 non-staff registered users. (The only features currently requiring registration are comments and custom playlists.) We had 115 user comments last week.

Early lessons:

  • There are way more active local bands than we ever thought about imagining. We currently have full profiles on 602 bands– all local. We’ll have over 800 before we’re done.
       
  • The more we create, the more user interaction we get (via story submissions, Flickr-posted photos, comments, music submissions, etc.)
     
  • People are really impressed by video. Even if they don’t actually watch it.
       
  • The local hip-hop community rocks. They’ve supported us like crazy, partly because other local media doesn’t cover them very well. Long tail.
     
  • Speaking of life in the long tail, our referring search phrases are nearly meaningless. After the first couple obvious ones, it’s lots of 3’s and 4’s for many of those 602 bands.
     
  • Lazer is the next U2.
       
  • This has become very clear to us: As we’ve said all along, there is no user interaction and community growth in news without a critical mass of staff-generated content. The way to have that and still be "scalable" is this: Create a mass of "evergreen" content– Band and venue information, for instance. Supplement that with easily updatable data– show information for instance. (Note that names, URLs, and addresses aren’t enough.) That sort of info-transactional data is what brings people back day after day. Then, the rest is icing. (No one wants cake without icing, mind you.) The whole trick is getting that core of data built and getting shifted into maintenence mode ASAP. We’re six weeks in and the site currently requires is taking up roughly 250 manhours/week. Once all the bands/venues are in, we think we can get that number down around 40. Then, we can attack the next local niche. And the next. And the next…

Oh, and while I’m here, another shill: We need some 3G Ipods and are willing to pay $100 for ’em.