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Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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2011: Extreme Makeover

Michael Ricci By

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Dear fellow contributor,

2011 proved to be a transformative year as we undertook several steps to completely rebuild All About Jazz and expand its focus. And the improvements and expansion will continue long into 2012. Please read on and don't forget to submit your year end lists in the next 2-3 weeks.

Index

1. Year End Lists Wanted
2. What A Year!
3. Expansion Effort Continues
4. "Reassessing" Reviews Wanted
5. Thanks to One and All!

1. Year End Lists Wanted

To submit your top ten list, choose from either our table format, our vertical list format or our multi-review format. We'd like to have all lists in by the third week of December, though we'll publish your list whenever it arrives—even after the New Year.

2. What A Year!

We worked some serious magic this year restructuring our technology, making it more scalable and adaptable to support both All About Jazz and Jazz Near You. Improvements were steady and we plan to release more features and improvements before year's end.

Some of this year's highlights include new services like audio.allaboutjazz.com and our calendar feed reader, along with a bottom up restructuring of the web site resulting in a snappy new look. Check out how we looked LESS than a year ago. That's night and day, baby! AAJ has been optimized and employs more modern technologies to improve page speed and security.

We redid the sign up / sign in process, we improved private message handling, and we more effectively engage our users with improved comments handling, user-initiated recommendations and social media plug-ins. We restructured the calendar and fixed some longstanding bugs, added a scrollable archive to the landing pages, made significant changes to the photo gallery which now supports a slideshow, redesigned and optimized the musician profile pages, and launched the iTunes Playlist feature.

3. Expansion Effort Continues

We're currently working on a new article submission form that will simplify the submission process and reduce editorial prep time. A double whammy! We plan to release the new form in phases so look for upgrades starting in the next 3-4 weeks.

We'll also continue to improve and expand other aspects of AAJ—in particular, our geo-targeted content sections like the calendar of events and the venue directory, as we build towards a Jazz Near You launch. If you have any questions about Jazz Near You, please contact me direct.

4. "Reassessing" Reviews Wanted

It's the slow time of the year for new releases, so if you're short on music to review, feel free to review favorites from your personal collection. We're always looking for fresh perspectives on albums released between the 1950s and the 1970s and you can submit them under our Reassessing column category. With "Reassessing" you are not limited to a word count. For examples, read Chris May's recent review of John Coltrane's Kulu Sé Mama, Greg Simmons' recent review of Horace Silver's Song For My Father or C. Michael Bailey's recent review of Ornette Coleman's Something Else!!!!.

5. Thanks to One and All!

I want to thank you, yes, you, for remaining a part of the All About Jazz family in 2011 and believing in our vision. Collectively, we continue to elevate the awareness of jazz and we continue to forge our own path for jazz online. Enjoy the holidays and here's to another year of curling rocks.

Michael Ricci Founder/Publisher

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