ArtistDataPress Version 0.4 released!

Version 0.4 brings major changes to ArtistDataPress.  Most noticeably, you’ll see tabs on the options page now, with one dedicated to your choice for how your show listings appear on the page.

ArtistDataPress Layout Settings page
ArtistDataPress Layout Settings page

 

I’ve added a second layout option there and you should also notice the preview uses your actual data!  FYI, if your feed is empty or you don’t have a feed entered, I’ve got some example data in there to show you what it would look like with data.  Underneath, I’ve built a templating system, which will make it easier to add new layouts for both the page/post version and the widgets.  Version 0.4 includes two layouts for the page, Classic and iCal, and one for the widget, Classic.  I’ll be adding new layouts from now on, hopefully adding some cool options that will make displaying your show listings much more visually interesting.  Or at least different.

ArtistDataPress "Classic" Layout
ArtistDataPress “Classic” Layout
ArtistDataPress "iCal" Layout
ArtistDataPress “iCal” Layout

On a related note, if you’ve customized the CSS for your shows page, it will need to be updated.  I changed the CSS naming scheme for ADP to make it easier to add more layouts in the future.  The scheme for IDs and classes for all ADP properties is now: slushman_adp_(layout name)_(property name).  For example, the div containing the date and time on the Classic layout  for the Classic layout would be: slushman_adp_classic_date_time.  For the iCal layout, it would be: slushman_adp_ical_date_time.  Make sense?

I also fixed a bug relating to the Google micro-formatting I added a few updates ago.  Google can look at your page and, based on the formatting and meta data, can display your events in search results.  Part of that micro-formatting requires knowing the zip code where the event takes place.  Some artists use their “past” feed instead of the “future” feed, which causes an error with the zip code because ArtistData only started adding the zip code to shows in February of 2010.  Meaning any shows before then would throw an error.  Now, it simply comes back blank and no zip code is provided.  Which shouldn’t be a big deal since we’re talking about shows that have already happened. 🙂

So there you have it, ArtistDataPress 0.4.  Oh yeah, I also added some support links and a Paypal button on the General Settings page, in case you’re feeling generous.  It’s been a long two weeks and I know my wife will be happy to have me working on something else (or not working at all after hours).  Happy updating!

Sonicbids buys ArtistData!

Sonicbids, the company that helps you get gigs, has acquired ArtistData, the company that helps you promote gigs. Read on to find out why this is a good thing.

Sonicbids, the company that helps you get gigs, has acquired ArtistData, the company that helps you promote gigs.  Brendan Mulligan, CEO of ArtistData, published a letter to ArtistData users talking about the transition and what it means.  When I first read the news, I have to say I was pretty pissed.  I have a Sonicbids membership and while they have some good exclusive gigs, parts of their system desperately need improvement.  My fear was that Sonicbids would screw up ArtistData and/or lock it up for members only.

Fortunately, Brendan relieved these fears.  Part of the acquisition deal was a free option for ArtistData’s services.  The paid parts of ArtistData would become standard issue for Sonicbids members (yea for me!).  He also said he’d be helping improve the Sonicbids system.  If the amazing work he’s done with ArtistData is any indication, we can all look forward to a vastly improved Sonicbids!  I’m very happy about the change in this case.

What does this mean for you?  Since there will still be a free option, we can still publish our gigs through ArtistData for no cost.  If you have a Sonicbids membership as well, like I do, it will mean getting the extra features for free.  I think the biggest thing will be having Brendan and his team working with Sonicbids.  I sincerely hope they are able to help Sonicbids improve their system.

Here are some suggestions for Brendan as he helps improve their system at Sonicbids:

More granular options for gig listings.  Nashville is only a four-hour drive from Cincinnati, so I have to include Ohio in my options for gig listings to see shows there.  Unfortunately, Ohio is lumped in with Michigan and Pennsylvania, so I see tons of gigs that too far away for me to consider.  Not to mention seeing gigs for Cleveland which also too far away.  It would be nice if you could select not only which states you’d like to see, but which parts of states like southern Illinois vs northern Illinois or eastern, middle, or western Tennessee.  Or maybe by city.  I know several musicians who fly back and forth from Nashville and Los Angeles, so it would benefit them to see gig listings from those cities, but not every city & state in between.

Improved email notifications.  I’ve changed my email preferences several times and I still get daily emails with gig listings (I’ve asked for a weekly digest instead).  For the last three weeks, these daily emails have included all the same gigs.  While I understand why you’d relist the same upcoming deadline, if you’re going to send a daily “new listings” email, it should only include actual new listings.  Not listings from two weeks ago that  you’ve already either submitted to or decided to ignore.  Same thing for deadlines.  Maybe try sending a third email when a listing is half way over to remind people about it.

What about listing venues, period?  There’s a site called indieonthemove.com that lists venues and allows bands to give their feedback about the place and their experiences there.  Sonicbids could allow members to submit venues and their contact info, which could then be verified and listed in the Sonicbids database.  As part of the verification process, SB could contact these venues about possibly accepting peformance offers from their members.  Keeping in regular contact with venues would also give SB the most current, up-to-date venue listings around; that alone would be worth the SB membership fees!  I do the booking for my band and I can’t tell you how many closed venues still have sites up with no news about them closing.

AD improvement:

Have a form to submit media.  I have a habit of picking up out of town newspapers and periodicals and such, but there’s no easy way for me to submit them to your database.  Crowdsource this part of the process to make your life easier!