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Bandzoogle
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The new release is super slick from the control panel right down to the API. Nice work!
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The bottom line here is that it is critical for bands to own their websites, and not rely in a third party. With your own site you 1) own the experience that fans have, 2) own the fan list, and 3) have a permanent resource that is not affected by the latest web fad. These days there are dozens of options, from Bandzoogle to Wordpress to Tumblr. Social networks definitely have a place in the mix, but your website should be the hub where you direct your fans.
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Sorry Kyle, great visuals do *not* equal a great (i.e effective) website. It is a huge misconception among artists that needs to be cleared up once and for all. I know first hand, since I am guilty of designing dozens of flashy websites myself at a big label. It is what the artists wanted, because they thought (incorrectly) that cool visuals would impress fans. When you look at the return visitor stats on these sites it's clear that there is an inverse relationship between visual flash and fans coming back. The sites that generated the most return visits were simple, almost plain. But, they showcased the artist's content (who posted content in their own voice), rather than hiding them behind moving images. Fans want to make a connection; that should be the ultimate goal of an artist's site. I get this at sites like http://www.jonathancoulton.com and http://www.amandapalmer.net/afp/ because they are focused on that connection, not the visuals.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on The Importance Of Great Website Visuals at hypebot
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Brenden: To be fair, commenters like Corey are asking for alternatives. The fact is, most musicians think the options are Bandcamp or nothing. And, we do advertise on Hypebot :)
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No service can be free forever and be reliable. Bandcamp has built some great tools, and to keep their service going, they had to charge. If a taking a cut of the sale isn't for you, check out Bandzoogle.com. We just hit $2.5M in no-fee music sales!
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To clarify my point, I'd change it to "100% flash sites are bad". Like you pointed out, flash is necessary to stream music and video now. But all-flash almost guarantees a site that is less user-friendly. Flash doesn't scale to fit screens, so on netbooks, you'll have content off the page. Also, flash doesn't render on iPhones or iPads, so you have to maintain a whole other non-flash site. With sensible design, a static site will always render better across browsers compared to all flash. I think that the best compromise is a hybrid of flash and HTML/CSS. So a dynamic element like the page header is in flash to add some visual interest, but it doesn't force the user to deal with flash based navigation and content.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2010 on 6 Rules To Make A Band Website That Rocks at hypebot
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JP, see points 2 and 3 regarding making content hard to find. I agree, I've seen plain HTML sites just as hard to navigate if they don't follow those points. Having a page a mile long will cause the page to load slowly, and isn't a great first impression. In terms of flash, many artists came to me as a designer wanting something fully animated. The stats prove that fans much prefer static sites, and they are far easier to keep updated. I still see a ton of all-flash sites that I wouldn't want to come back to.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2010 on 6 Rules To Make A Band Website That Rocks at hypebot
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JP: Flash music and video players are fine (and pretty much a requirement right now); what I meant was flash intros and animation which don't add anything useful for the fan experience.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2010 on 6 Rules To Make A Band Website That Rocks at hypebot
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Thanks for sharing those Daniel. I can see that they are mostly powered by Topspin. They are all clear and easy to navigate. I would say that some are more successful than others from a fan perspective. From my experience, the most effective sites balance the community aspect and the "conversion" aspect (selling, joining the fan list). Some of these sites could benefit from greater fan/artist interaction, rather than a heavy focus on sales/conversion of the visitor. Of your list, my favourite is Logan Lynn's site. It has great frequently updated content, which he writes himself. That kind of personal touch is expected by fans, but is surprisingly rare for accomplished artists. Many larger artists leave the website for managers or labels to update, and they lose the fan connection that way.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2010 on 6 Rules To Make A Band Website That Rocks at hypebot
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Bandzoogle is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 30, 2010