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Music Mends Broken Hearts
Inside AP.net: Friend Feed
06/01/11 at 01:25 PM by Jason Tate
Basically only one more thing to show from the new homepage, and that's the friend feed tab. It does basically exactly what you would think it does ... shows the recent activity of all the users you're following around the website. And it looks basically like you'd expect it to ... I mean, this is exactly what you think. Hahah. One thing I do like are the quick filters at the top that lets you quickly see if the people you're following wrote blogs, or album reviews, or started a new thread ...

At the moment my test account is filled with "following" stories because I was testing the filter options the other day and so I followed a bunch of bands.

But, of course, there are other feed types as well:

Look familiar? Yeah, it's not like I'm breaking any new ground here. But, that doesn't mean it's not insanely useful. Don't miss threads from the people you want to make sure you talk with, don't miss reviews from your favorite reviewers, don't miss blogs and recommendations from your friends. You get the idea.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: My News
05/30/11 at 01:41 PM by Jason Tate
Currently the filtering system on AP.net's news is elementary at best. Ever wanted to full on customize the news stream? Be able to filter based on what tags are being used? To make sure you never see news about Band X? Or that you never miss news about Band Y? That's the goal of the new AP.net. You'll be able to use a much, much more robust filtering system for customizing the news feed, quickly see and edit the lists of topics and people you follow/block. On top of that you'll be able to utilize a "my news" page that brings you just the news of the topics you are following. This page will also come with notifications when new news is posted (via your hub), a side module that alerts you to upcoming release dates from the bands you follow, and a customized top feature module highlighting bands we recommend you check out based upon the bands you currently follow.

The customization of your newsfeed ... coming soon.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: RSS Feeds
05/25/11 at 10:58 AM by Jason Tate
The wife gave me quite a look this morning when I said I was going to spend the day "creating RSS feeds." Maybe those reading my blog will have a different reaction!? I'm spending the day creating RSS feeds for the new website. Basically any artist profile or "topic page" (could be all news tagged for a record label, for example) -- will have its own separate RSS feed you can subscribe too. So to compliment the full homepage news stream you could also subscribe to "The Gaslight Anthem" news and have a separate feed that makes sure you don't miss anything from them in your Google Reader.

Some say RSS is dead. I like giving people the choice. And I use RSS on a daily basis and I'm making a site I'd want to use. Sooooo, RSS feed day it is.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: The Homepage
05/24/11 at 11:20 AM by Jason Tate
Ok, I'm back to posting some blog updates about the next version of the website. Had a few days where I was working on a new feature and it got me all distracted. Soooo, where were we? The last post was talking about the forum post bits and all that if I remember right. Well, let's head back to the homepage. Most of the page has been cleaned up extensively. Right now we sorta toss everything in modules all over the homepage, and well - my new mantra is simplify. So I am cutting way, way, way down on what is on the homepage. Instead of tossing the world at you - it'll be very simple.

1) The feature carousel. Five features at a time, all quickly editable by staff (whhhhhew), to bring you the best features front and center. More of the feature carousel will feature articles and specific sections of the website instead of just band exclusives or upcoming releases. Plus the new in-line editing will make sure that staff can keep it up-to-date on an almost daily basis. It also provides a quick link to launch a view of all our exclusives without leaving the homepage.

2) Search from the homepage. Search has been dramatically improved. And you can now search for whatever you're looking for from the homepage and get all that information on one page ... with tabs to help narrow your search.

3) A music player that staff can update. Finally we'll be able to bring you regular (like daily) streams right on the homepage. Maybe put that new exclusive right there ... or highly some new music. Basically what we have now on steroids because it can be changed out whenever a staff member wants to add something. Plus we can allow download of the songs (if given permission) as well.

4) I'm replacing the "forum feed" and "what's popular" and "content feed" with a "Trending" module. Basically pulling all of this together and doing some fun behind the scenes math to see what gets highlighted. Maybe it's an exclusive that's getting a lot of views and comments that day? Or a new forum thread that everyone is talking in. Or the hot review. It'll change with the tastes of the website and represent the parts of the site that are currently "trending" and worth checking out.

5) Required reading. Completely simplified.

6) The news stream, which we talked about already.

Oh, and that's it. No fluff. I took this quote to heart while designing the new website: "Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication." - Da Vinci

As always, hit up the replies with any questions or features or whatever you'd like me to focus on in future blog posts.

Next update: My News page.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: Post Bits
05/15/11 at 12:36 PM by Jason Tate
This blog post is going to focus on the new postbits on the website. The postbits are what you see when you comment around the website. I kept it similar to what you currently see, but (hopefully) improved on a bunch of things. For me the "conversation" on a website is very important. I think a lot of sites get that wrong. I've always been pretty proud of our community and how we can keep the conversation on topics flowing pretty well.

The goal is for the look to be extremely simple. No real bells and whistles (especially on first look). Here's a basic post:

1) The avatar will dim if the user is not online. So you can quickly tell who in a thread is active on the website, and who isn't.

2) The time and date on the post is the permalink to the post. So you can send someone directly to a post via right click "copy link location" -- simple.

3) The little icon on the far right shows what kind of user posted. Instead of changing the color of user names, the badge will change. Clicking it will open up a small legend of all the different ranks.

4) The avatar and username are both clickable to open up the 'mini-profile.' The mini-profile contains all kinds of information on the user, and opens in-screen. Basically all the info that comes from the pull down menus on the current posts.

You can quickly message a user, follow them, block them, view their profile picture, view their larger avatar (click it), see who they're following, see all of their posts, and all that goodness.

5) Hovering the mouse over a post will bring up a few different options at the bottom. "Reply" is always visible. Clicking it sends you down to the quick reply box (just like now). Right clicking it opens a new reply page (just like now). The other options are the same as on the website at the moment. A quick edit, and the multi-quote:

Multi-quote comes with a new option as well. Clicking the MQ button (the one in the middle) will open a little notification on the left side of the page letting you know that you can reply to all of the selected posts by clicking it. People seem to have trouble with the MQ, and hopefully this will fix the confusion on what to do after you MQ a post.

6) The +/- feature lets you vote up or down a post. Based on some behind the scenes math your vote will determine if the post stays "open" or gets collapsed. It's a self-moderating system to help weed out the shitty trolls. If the post has enough people vote it down, it'll simply collapse on the page. In a way that's not visually distracting:

And you can still view the post by clicking it. And subsequently people can still vote on it, and if it was closed unfairly, be brought back. Democracy with math. Fun stuff. I think this will help keep the forums and comments "cleaner" in a sense - but not completely censor anything from being seen, or make it too annoying to have to see what's been closed.

Posts will have auto embedding of media:

Show bigger in-line attachments:

As well as a new "quoted" look:

So, that's basically the posts themselves (can't think of anything else to mention at the moment) ... more on threads and the inside of threads/content/etc. - coming in subsequent updates. That's where some bigger changes start to happen.

Now if only it wasn't rainy outside today. Ugh. This weather sucks. Well, guess I'll keep working.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: Tablet Friendly
05/10/11 at 02:28 PM by Jason Tate
As a follow-up to a recent post about the future of "apps" and AP.net, I was able to test out a rough version of the new AP.net on a tablet recently and am happy to say it works perfectly. It looks great, fits the form factor, and most of the technology works with it. I will have to spent some more time with it to see just how it works ... but it looks like, thankfully, there won't need to be a separate "tablet" version of the website. We're definitely ready for the future of computing ...

Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: Followed Threads
05/06/11 at 10:52 AM by Jason Tate
This post is mainly a terminology post update. On the new website, to make things all flow together better, I am changing what are now called 'subscribing to threads' to "follow the threads" -- just makes more sense with the way the phrase is used around the internet. I think people will understand more what this means.

You'll be able to quickly "follow" or "unfollow" a thread from a variety of places. From the forum homepage via a tools menu:

From within any thread via a tools menu:

From within any content thread (news article, review, blog, etc.) via a tools menu:

The options are also set to auto follow any thread you reply to (same as on the current site). So you can know to come back to it later and check out new updates or posts and things like that.

... and then you'll be able to keep up to date with all your followed threads via a control panel page. This page can be accessed by either right-clicking your username on the nav bar and opening a new tab (usercp). By clicking the "followed" thread link in your hub (which opens by just clicking your username), or by clicking the tab that is part of the full who quoted me page. These two sections of the website are some of my most viewed (WQM and the followed threads) -- putting them together just made sense for me because then I could quickly switch between them and see if anyone is responding to me, as well as stay up to date on any thread I am following/posting in:

For me a key part of the website is the conversations. And if you can't stay up to date on what's going on - you're not going to comment. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to stay up to date with what you've done around the website. To quickly see if anyone new has posted in a thread you have, to see the latest replies from people who have responded to you, etc.

The above is part of a series of blog posts about the next version of AP.net. We're currently undergoing a massive redesign and rewrite of the website, and I want to make sure to include the users of the website in the process. So if you have questions, comments, thoughts, or just want to say something -- leave a message in the replies. I'll be reading them all and trying to address the questions in follow-up blogs.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: News!
05/05/11 at 09:02 PM by Jason Tate
So the last update blog was about the navigational bar and didn't really directly discuss any content. To make Zachff happy, I'll spend this blog talking more about an actual section of the website instead of showing off new features. Haha. Might as well start with the news section, right? I mean: that is our bread and butter. That's the section of the website that means the most to most of our users, and is something I've spent a lot of time thinking about and looking at different websites to see how news feeds should be set up, what works best, and all of that. So here are a few things I'm really excited about:

The top of the news section is built into three tabs. I'll post follow-up blogs on what the other tabs do at a later time, for now we're going to be focusing on just the news feed tab.

(View the full feed image here.)

The feed is similar to what you now see on AP.net. You've got the title of the post and the content right there. I've enlarged the avatar (icon/image) on the left to highlight what the main topic of the news article is about. Easier to see, easy to update for staff, and you can quickly see what the news topic is about. When you first view the feed all of the "stuff" at the very bottom won't be seen - except for the # of comments link/icon. The rest is hidden until you mouseover the story. Similar to twitter in that way. Once you do, the other options pop-up. Clicking the name will launch the mini-profile for the user that posted the news (more on the mini-profile later), you can quickly "like" the story for facebook, quickly re-tweet it, or email it to a friend. Easy share options for the biggest sites compared to a billion share options for a bunch of sites no one uses all that much anyway. Designed to be simple to read, simple to use, and easy on the eyes. The heart icon is part of the "my news" feature, where you can quickly follow the main topic and have that news (just the topics you follow) appear on your 'my news' section of the website. You can also block any topic you'd like from the filter page (example) or the topic page itself. This will allow all kinds of customization for our news feed.

At the bottom are some helpful links; including an entirely re-written "submit news" page. Posting news from a staff perspective is going to go from annoying copy/paste to a really bad-ass simple backend. I'm pretty excited about that feature.

Some other new portions of the news feed are in-line embedding of media. Right now if we post an mp3 or video or whatever it gets shoved into the replies. Not the best for someone reading through the news and having to open new windows and whatnot. But I also hate when I view a website and it is full of videos all down a feed. So I decided to show a mini-embed for the video:

And then when you click on it, the full video opens right in the news post. Saves time loading. Saves precious screen real estate. Gives the user the media right where and when they want it. This will work for all kinds of embeddable content (including rdio streams). Plus it's easy for staff (and users in the comments) ... just paste a link to a youtube or other supported website, and it'll do the rest. No more button pushing or searching for codes.

Along with this, I also am doing a similar thing for longer posts (like track listings and tour dates). Right now that sort of stuff can quickly take up the post and shove it to a "read more" state --- again making someone have to load the full article page (which isn't a total bad thing, the new article pages and comments/forums look pretty damn awesome IMO). However, instead there will be a small more link you can click and the included information will expand.

This will be great for blurbs, quotes, tour dates, track listings, and things like that. For extreeeeemly long posts, it'll still truncate and have users move to the replies, but more of our news posts will be fully viewable. It's how I'd want to read the feed.

Clicking on the main topic icon will take you to that topic page (artist profile) - full of all the news from that topic. But, that's another section ... and I'll save that for another time.

The above is part of a series of blog posts about the next version of AP.net. We're currently undergoing a massive redesign and rewrite of the website, and I want to make sure to include the users of the website in the process. So if you have questions, comments, thoughts, or just want to say something -- leave a message in the replies. I'll be reading them all and trying to address the questions in follow-up blogs.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: The New Nav Bar
05/03/11 at 10:42 AM by Jason Tate
As promised: the new week brings more updates about the new website. I'm currently working on finishing up the "staff tools" section of the website. Basically a bunch of behind the scenes stuff that no one ever really sees. Things like the news queue, user editing, and at the moment the "image gallery queue." So that images added to the main image galleries and official pictures and such can be quickly approved by staff. Anyway, I figured with these blog updates I would just start talking about different sections of the website, introducing new screen shots, and talking about new features and stuff. Just so those that are curious can follow and see my thoughts behind stuff, leave questions/comments/etc, and also get sort of acclimated to the next version of the website.

One of the things I'm really proud of is the new navigation bar on the website. I built it to be extremely easy to use and give a user access to practically anything they want around the website from just a few clicks. That means we've got quick access to the sections of the website, and forums, without having a giant list of things at the top of the page.

Pretty basic. Pretty standard.

The end of the nav bar is set up pretty much like we have on this version: name, inbox, quoted.

But how it works is slightly different. Clicking inbox works just the same: takes you to the private messaging system. Clicking "quoted" will show you an in-screen view of the latest quoted posts. I like this better because you don't have to go to a new page to see what someone said to you. And you can quickly see the full post, decide to respond, or not. If you want to view the full WQM page, you still can (either from the pop-up or by right clicking and opening the page in a new tab).

The other difference is how the name portion of the nav bar works. Right now clicking it will take you to the UserCP section of the website. On the new website clicking it will open up your hub. The hub is new feature that basically lets you know what's going on with "you" around the website. Notifications, messages, updates - that kind of thing. It also has quick links to different tasks that are common for a logged in user to use. Now, if you want to view the userCP (basically your followed/subscribed threads) - you still can quickly access that either by viewing the hub and clicking the corresponding quick link - or by right clicking your name and opening up a new tab.

Ok, that seems like a good place to stop for today. Still a bunch more to talk about (search, other sections of the nav bar, etc.), but I'll save that for later. And then we get to the really fun part ... working our way down the page (yeah, that sounds dirty).

The above is part of a series of blog posts about the next version of AP.net. We're currently undergoing a massive redesign and rewrite of the website, and I want to make sure to include the users of the website in the process. So if you have questions, comments, thoughts, or just want to say something -- leave a message in the replies. I'll be reading them all and trying to address the questions in follow-up blogs.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Answering More New Website Questions
04/27/11 at 02:18 PM by Jason Tate
Next week will be full of screenshots/information of sections on the new website, so I wanted to take the time to answer the rest of the questions from this blog post before then. One thing at a time, right?

You have probably already answered this question somewhere, I'm kind of new to the site, but will there be changes to the user album ratings so that people can't rate the album before it's actually out?

Woah, I hadn't even thought about this until right now - but that's a great idea. I'm going to make a note to do that. I'm giving the release date its own little "fill me out" section when someone writes a review, so I can easily do this. I think this is a great idea. Thanks, agree completely with your post.

What's your target for when the new site might launch?

Would love to have it out by the end of summer. Depends on testing first though, to see how far along I can get with having people besides me play with it and then the changes from there. Also have a few other projects I'm trying to get off the ground (more on that coming soon), so while this is priority 1, priority 2 is pretty damn cool too.

Do you plan to phase in whatever changes you make to AP gradually, or am I going to sign into this site in 6(?) months from now and everything will have changed?

I will probably invite some long time users to check it out first, get feedback, allow them to invite people, get feedback, roll out to a small % of the users, and then change. Or, I may just say fuck it if the feedback is great and force people to change. Hahah, there will be some backlash if I do that, so I want the process to be one of working with long time users. This is the biggest change I've made to the website in years. And definitely the biggest I've made since we've gotten this big.

Has there ever been any consideration given to premium AbsolutePunk memberships that would offer premium content or special features (i.e., unlimited ability to change usernames, more blog features, exclusive content)?

Yes, but it would probably come after the release of the new website. One thing we're doing is using images instead of name color changes to showcase what "status" a user is (staff, vip, prestigious, etc.) and I have a variety of these I would like to add in time -- and some of them are along those lines.

How about AP.net "sponsored" podcasts (maybe not necessarily done by yourself, but other staff members that would be hosted on the site)?

Possibly, I think that maybe something talking about the biggest news stories of the week would be cool. I haven't looked into how we could maybe do this over skype or something with staff.

Any plans or thoughts on expanding the AP brand into other markets in music?

Other markets, like genres? I think we cover a pretty wide range now. I have some thoughts on how to focus on other genres without specifically making that a part of AP.net's news feed.

are you planning on expanding the music streaming platform to maybe compete with sites like purevolume?

Purevolume are our brothers, so not particularly. I'd like to compliment their service with our news/content more. I don't see AP.net being a place where any band can create a profile and upload music. There are plenty of sites that do that (bandcamp, pv, myspace, twitter, etc.) - I see AP.net as more being the place that you go to find out about which of those bands you should be checking out. And of the bands we cover, a smaller subset than every band ever, I'd love to have music and media on their pages and profiles on our website. I don't really see us as a "every band" kind of site, but more specialized. The goal will be to add players and music from the bands we DO cover and make profiles for on the website in a better way though.

What will the format be for the rating system on album reviews? Sticking with 100% scale?

Currently it is coded (and this is something not completely finalized yet) to allow the reviewer to rate 1-10 in .1 increments, and everyone else 1-10 in .5 increments. I have other things I want to do toward the score, but need to think them through. I want to remove it. Haha, but that's probably not going to happen.

A very generic one, but will 'news' always be the focus of the AP homepage?

Yes. 100% yes. While we could make a p4k like homepage, for example, that's not what I want when I view AP.net. And what I am looking for in a music news website is what I want to create. For lack of a better way of putting it.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: Mobile
04/27/11 at 08:08 AM by Jason Tate
I've had a lot of people ask me about the "apps" for AP.net, so I wanted to take a moment and address those questions. First, I want to say I believe in mobile in a big, big way. We've had a version of an AP.net mobile site since back in the WAP days. It's seen a few iterations and I actually really like the current version (from an aesthetic standpoint) for browsing the website on my phone. I use it pretty frequently from my blackberry (opera mini browser) and have played with it on friends' iphones and android devices to make sure it works well. I simply don't have the time right now to work on any native applications or even work with other companies to create native applications for AP.net. I just don't think there it makes sense when it won't be nearly as polished or capable of what I would want in a mobile app. So, that's why I am focusing on continuing to enhance the mobile website interface. I sort of see the road-map as something like this:

1) Finish up the new AP.net web interface. This is a #1 priority for me.
2) Maybe clean up and make some minor improvements to the current mobile website (m.absolutepunk.net).
3) See how the new AP.net works on tablets, see if there's a need for a tablet version of the website.
4) Improve in a big way the mobile website to use more of the new technology. Probably have 2 versions running, one for the more advanced smartphones, and one for the older ones. Similar to how facebook has "mobile" and "touch" sites for their website. That way we can take advantage of all the tech available to us and all phones can access the website. QR, editing, MQ, and other goodies should all be accessible.

Hope that answers the questions I've been getting about the mobile site. I really do believe in mobile, and think that in a few years we will have more people viewing the website on mobile devices (I'll include tablets in that category) than from a stand alone computer. So, it's important to me that you can get your music news + discussion from wherever you are.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Suspending User Artist Profile Submissions
04/19/11 at 02:39 PM by Jason Tate
Due to the fact that artist profiles will be completely changed in the new website, I am suspending user submissions of them for the time being. It just makes sense in the long run.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Step One: Answer Questions
04/17/11 at 12:26 PM by Jason Tate
I posted a blog a few weeks ago asking what people were curious about in the new AP.net world, so as I pick up blogging more on the subject of what is in store - I figured I would start with these.

What type of stuff should we be looking forward to in terms of a user's profile?

The user profile is based off the leader in the space (Facebook) with a large helping of the current AP.net features and a whole bunch of new ones. The layout is pretty basic (the entire layout for the new website is based on being simple and clean with very little graphic impediment): On top there is a set of tabs. The first one is a "feed" tab that keeps track of everything the user has been doing around the website. This means tracking bands they follow, album reviews the post, threads they create, images they upload - things like that. Very Facebook meets AP.net like. I've added a filter option to this feed to make it easy for someone to find what they are looking for (ie: all reviews from a user). This is really just the next step of what currently is on profiles, but flushed out. The next tab is the "wall" tab which is basically just like the commenting system on the current profile. It gets its own tab to reduce clutter. You can leave messages for someone (public), have conversations (wall to wall), and things like that. Basically a public messaging system for users. The next tab is the "info" tab which has all the same kind of information displayed on the profile now, in it's own tab. Contact information, favorites, about me info, things like that. All the info about a user (including links to their other pages, etc.). And last is a "blog" tab where the user's blog resides. I decided to pull the blog into the user profile so that it didn't have to live in its own section anymore. That kinda sucked for logistical reasons. The blog is more like a feed, for people to post thoughts or whatever they really want. They will have the same inner-layout as news posts and things like that - so they work really well for extra articles that don't belong on the main page as well. The commenting system in the blog also works exactly like the forums. So multi-quote, quick replies, subscription to blogs you reply to, who quoted me, and all of that stuff works exactly the same in a blog as if the blog was a newly created forum thread. More consistency and should help with discussions people would like to have in blog replies.

On the sidebar of the profile pages you have the profile picture, some information about the user (posts, bdate, you know), a random list of the bands and users that member is "following" and some tools for the user (follow them, message them, block them, etc.).

That's the main idea of the profiles. Updated. Better. More information.

will you ever, EVER, make podcasts again?

Maybe more of a "question/answer" thing here on my blog via mp3. Maybe I can convince Mebs to do some stuff every once in a while as well. It's not a priority, but they are fun.

How big do you think AP can get realistically? Can the site double in size? Increase tenfold?

We do around 9 million pageviews a month on 2 million visits, right now. I realistically think we can hit 15m pageviews in 2 years, and I want to hit 25 when I would consider my "goal" reached. The registered members stat isn't as important to me, but I think it will continue to increase with the new (and better) commenting system. I think that some community moderation and more staff tools for moderation will lead to better discussions and that can lead to more time being spent on content as well. I don't think we're ever going to be facebook, but I'd love to rival the full MTV.com website stats wise. I don't think that will happen because we're never going to be putting out as much content as they do. Realistically, I think rollingstone/p4k are the level I'd be happy reaching. In the end I am more concerned with good content, good bands, good community.

Are you planning on incorporating Twitter or FB in any major way? Just curious. I personally don't care. Just seems like something you might be doing with the new AP.

They will be implemented in little ways. Pulling tweets into band profiles and member profiles, things like that. Much easier sharing of articles and pages. Instead of 500 ways of doing it it'll just be twitter/fb and email. Going to focus on those sites for sharing our articles instead of everywhere. Just easier.

Absolutepunk chat...? hmmmm?

We are tossing around some ideas for larger band chats having a more robust system. Either with coveritlive or video chat.

This is a little random, but will the site still have a winter theme in December?

Always. That's always a fun thing to do.

What are you doing with the blogs? Are you planning on making them a better featured part of the site?

Kinda answered that above. If there is a follow up question about them, hit me up.

APradio? That would be really cool.

There will be a first iteration of something like this on the new website. The very first barebones version will simply pull X random songs from our database into a playlist on a page. In time there will be more options added, but that will be in the future. The album/song streams will appear in different ways as well. Not only on the profile pages - but also on a separate "music" page that will have all of the album streams listed for people to check out.

Also, any cool new things the users can do? Or is this just gonna be a UI change and that's it?

I think that the UI overhaul is the main thing. Some other things I really like though are the "following" feature. You can follow (or block) any news topic or member. Then you can use the "my news" tab to see all the news from just the topics you are following. Much easier to make sure you don't miss news on your favorite bands. That information is also used other places (highlighting release dates that are upcoming from your favorite bands, etc.) and where and how it's used will expand. The "friend feed" tab will have the same sort of features for the members you're following. To see what reviews or blogs they're posting. Images. What threads they are talking in. If they're following new bands. Things like that. So from the main page you can view the full news stream, my news, and friend feed -- that's pretty cool to me. I also like the new threaded PMs. The "hub" which is what happens when you click your logged in username - showing some quick tools, notifications for all of the above and more. The revamped "quick" who quoted me - and a vastly improved full site search feature. Lemme know if you want any specifics and I can follow this up.

Hope this answers the original questions, I'll be posting more about parts of the website in the next 2 weeks.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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An Absolute State
04/15/11 at 10:14 PM by Jason Tate
You know, it's been a while since I've been really active in the AP.net forums. I've been extremely busy behind the scenes of the website building, from scratch (seriously, there is zero code from the current website in the new one) the next version of the website. It's important to me to get it right, and to build the website I want to run for the next 10 years. It's close to being done. It's close to being the vision I've had since I started this back in my parent's basement. It really is something I'm quite proud of -- and I am almost ready to start doing the final push to finish it up. Little things to finish. Optimization. Testing. That kind of thing. And while I am finishing it up I am going to be blogging a whole lot more. I want to start sharing everything with the readers - for advice, to get some opinions, and to let all of you see what's being done (and why) for the website and community you (hopefully) love. The goal is a community that is super easy to use, super fast to access, and gives you the music news and information you're looking for ... but more on all of that, soon. I'll start showing and sharing full pages and implementation for discussion.

In the meantime, I think now's a good time as any to say I'll be returning to the day to day activities around the website (including news, blogging, forums, features, and things like that) on a more consistent basis. The past few months have been a mixture of running the website and coding the website, and the "coding" aspect was taking up more of my time than the other .... that's going to be shifting as I wind down the coding process and start testing and making minor improvements to the code before the official launch (3 months maybe?). I've spent the past few days in a spiral notebook and the future of AP.net (like 5-10 years) is written out. I know where I want to go, I know what I want the website to be, and I know how we're going to get there. It's interesting that the timing of all of thiscoincided with two different things online that happened today - call them the catalyst:

1) The kickstarter newspost. Too much to really get into here about the actual post, but some of the comments in there showed me that I've been behind the scenes a little too long. And to be honest, I took some of the comments about AP.net, our traffic (which contrary to the ridiculous accusations from an ex-staff member has actually been increasing), and our place online, personally. I am motivated in a way I haven't felt in a long time. From knowing what we have in the pipeline, to knowing what I want to achieve: I am no longer content with standing still. I am no longer ok with slow gains. I want to be the techcrunch of the music world. More stories. More research. More investigation of articles/releases/bands. I want to aim higher.

2) A really interesting discussion between Thomas, Scott Heisel, kinda me, and some other people happened on twitter. It really made me think about the state of the "scene," the state of music, the role we all play - and what we can do in the future. I want to be better. I want to bring the music that matters to me to more people. I want the staff to be able to bring the music they love to more people. I put some things in motion today to reflect this. More on this soon.

Ok, well, I needed to get that off my chest. Keep checking back (add me on twitter or facebook) if you want more. The next 12 months are going to be very interesting.

Oh, and in case you wanted some music stuff ... this album is awesome:

Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Whatcha Curious About?
03/10/11 at 03:38 PM by Jason Tate
What would you like to know about the new AP.net? Leave a comment for me and I'll respond in the next few days with information. The goal for launch is by the end of 2011 at the latest, hopefully by the end of summer though, so you don't need to ask that one.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related, questions
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