With 17 years under our belt, we've become the most trusted jazz resource on the web. But in order to support Jazz Near You (our second website), we have to re-tool and expand the All About Jazz technical platform. This involves cleaning up legacy code, developing new code and a new framework, and creating a handful of new subdomains. Jazz Near You, a local event-focused website, will operate as a separate domain (and app), though it was built on the AAJ platform and shares the AAJ database. So that's two websites and one app powered by a single technology. Brilliant!
Ramping up to support JNY has taken a good portion of a year, and despite some significant challenges, we're getting there. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would do it! And though we're running a little behind schedule, we should still soft launch sometime in September.
The upside of improving the platform to support a second website is the positive impact it has had on the first website, which now improves almost daily.
2. Breaking Up All About Jazz
AAJ is a big, sprawling website that oftentimes overwhelms new readers and our goal is to greatly simplify how we present our content. As a result, I've decided to break AAJ up into separate subdomains where each subdomain acts as an independent website with its own custom navigation bar. We'll create new websites for news, musician profiles, and photos. The subdomains will be fully integrated with the "www" domain, but can exist on their own.
3. AAJ Road Show
I was able to travel and present the AAJ/Jazz Near You platform over the last month. I was a guest delegate of the Kongsberg Jazz Festival where I had the opportunity to talk to about 30 industry professionals. I'd like to thank Music Export Norway for giving me a chance to share my plans and vision. I also want to mention the terrific job John Kelman did in curating the All About Jazz portion of the festivalhe was four for four! (read about it here). I was an invited guest of the Jazz No Parque Series in Porto, Portugal and attended two concerts over the third weekend of July held on the beautiful grounds of the Serralves Museum. And I just recently presented to Philadelphia area musicians.
I'm attending the Dutch Jazz & World Meeting 2012 conference in Amsterdam the first week of October. If you are planning to attend, please contact me. AAJ will have a booth.
4. More Columns
We launched several columns this year and I'd like to recognize two recent additions: Skip Heller's stand out Hardly Strictly Jazz and Dom Minasi's On and Off the Grid. Skip's encyclopedic knowledge of all things Hollywood, jazz, punk, country, Philly and lounge, come together in an amalgam of astute observations and some seriously witty prose. It's a gem of a column and well worth following. I was first introduced to Dom Minasi with his Takin' the Duke Out album back in 2001. Dom is a gentle soul with deep insight into the music, teaching and the human condition. He's invited many people into his world and I feel privileged to have him further shape the editorial voice of AAJ.
5. Editorial Staff Expansion
We are actively recruiting more daily editors (four total) and a good 20 spot editors in an effort to spread out the editorial workload. It's a Wikipedia approach and one we must adopt for the sake of our existing staff. We've recruited one daily editor in Rosie Hanley and she's stepped in big time while John was away this month. Thank you, Rosie!
If you know of someone who can help All About Jazz, please put them in touch.