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March 2006

Michael Ricci By

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Dear fellow AAJ contributors,

We have some timely and important information to share about the future of AAJ and how it affects you. Please read on for all the details...

  1. MY AAJ
  2. The regional calendar of events
  3. We're popular! Server upgrade and load balancing
  4. An outlet for your content
  5. How to check your submission's activation date
  6. Books reviewers wanted!


It's nearly seven years overdue, but we are finally breaking ground on MY AAJ development. We've often mentioned the system with great anticipation and great expectations; here's a brief outline of how it will work.

Readers—and we mean enthusiasts, contributors, musicians, industry types and educators—will have the opportunity to do the following:

  • Post and receive local announcements (news, CDs for sale, organized outings, etc.)
  • Post/append comments to articles and CD reviews, like at Amazon.com
  • Filter content based on personal preferences (genre, zip code, etc.)
  • Allow readers to subscribe to columns (interviews, Big Jazz Nerd, Genius Guide to Jazz, etc.) or specific contributors; they will receive an email notification when a new article is published
  • Receive local calendar information
  • Access local guide information (venues, festivals, record stores, etc.)

MY AAJ will make the site much more interactive, useful and entertaining—and, if used properly, it will have a positive impact on jazz at the community level.

The Regional Calendar of Events

The AAJ regional calendar of events will work much like most calendars you see on the web. Readers will be able to view event information by zip code, city, date, and other searchable parameters. We also plan to ticket certain events.

The calendar will be conveniently located on a reader's MY AAJ page, in the Calendar Center, and on an artist's profile page.

Allowing musicians to broadcast calendar information regionally is a powerful tool. Among other things, it will allow readers to know who is coming to town and when.

We're popular! Server upgrade and load balancing

If you visit AAJ regularly, you've most likely encountered one of those pesky "503 Service Unavailable" messages. You'll either see them embedded in the page (which wreaks havoc with our margins) or you get a page with the error message and nothing else.

As our traffic continues to grow, the frequency of these messages has also been increasing. AAJ is a popular website—we're closing in on a million monthly readers—and it's becoming increasingly more difficult to handle the load.

Balazs, AAJ's server admin guy, got us a sweet deal on a new database server, and we hope that will do the trick for now. With MY AAJ and the regional calendar looming ahead, we do expect traffic to increase, but we should be able to handle it. Come May, we'll invest in a service that helps balance the load between the website server and the database server—it's called load balancing.

An outlet for your content

If you contribute jazz content to other music sites and don't necessarily feel strongly about where you place your articles/CD reviews, please consider submitting them to All About Jazz. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. AAJ is the top-ranked jazz website (according to Google), so your articles will index higher
  2. AAJ reaches more readers than all the other jazz websites combined
  3. We archive and back up all your articles to tape
  4. All your articles can be accessed and managed from your contributor profile page

How to check your submission's activation date

Mike & Nils receive periodic inquiries from contributors regarding the activation date of their submissions. Nils manages the CD Review Center, and you can count on him to activate every submission there within five days, barring overload or editorial concerns. Because the volume of CD reviews runs higher than articles, the activation date for articles can stretch beyond five days.

The best way to view your article/CD review's activation date is to go to your contributor profile page and click the "View Your CD Reviews" or "View Your Articles" link. Pending articles are listed at the very bottom. Click them and scroll to the bottom of the page. The article's activation day appears to the right of the EDIT THIS ARTICLE link. You can also locate recent submissions using the links that we automatically email you immediately after submission.

Books reviewers wanted!

We have a surplus of books and are looking for writers to review them. Please see this page for a complete list of what's available. If you're interested in reviewing one or two books, contact Michael Ricci.

As always, we welcome your ideas and input. Thanks for being a part of the team!

Mike and Nils


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