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Shiny and New... again

Shiny and New... again
Michael Ricci By

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Dear fellow AAJ contributor,

We're celebrating our 15th anniversary in style with a relaunch. You can read the general announcement here and learn more about some of the specific design improvements below.

Index

  1. The New All About Jazz
  2. Thank You, One and All!
  3. Track Reviews According To C. Michael Bailey
  4. Twitter: Follow you, follow me
  5. How to Add Gallery Photos to an Article
  6. Facebook "Like..." Click It!
  7. Help Wanted: Photo Editor


The New All About Jazz

If you've been to the site over the last few weeks, there's a good chance you saw something change; and hopefully for the better. We retooled every page top to bottom and here are a few improvements worth noting:
Removed the left panel from every page to give us more space for articles and to allow us to expand the size of our photos;

Made several style changes. Check out the home page for the new featured stories box, a tabbed box for reviews and a scrollable photo box;

Increased the visibility of the calendar of events and the photo gallery;

Expanded the author byline pop box to include recently published articles;

Resurrected the pull quote (example);

Moved the track listing, personnel, and MP3 downloads directly below the CD cover on a CD review;

Implemented Jack Bowers's view all idea to present an entire article on a single page. Click the "View All" link in the pagination section to load the full article. Thanks, Jack!;

Added the bottom tool bar for convenient access to our content from any page. The tool bar also allows us to broadcast important messages to our readers.




Thank You, One and All!

I can say unequivocally that All About Jazz has changed my life in a very positive and meaningful way. It gave me the opportunity to combine my creative and technical talents with my love for jazz. Back in 1995, long before banners and commercialism, the web was a meeting place for entrepreneurs with ideas and enough technical chops to build their own websites. Technology wasn't like today where virtually anyone can create a site or a blog without knowing how things really work under the "hood," and I suppose the "how" isn't important anymore, but it was then, and it gave everyone who built a website a real sense of accomplishment.

AAJ has evolved over the years (check the Wayback Machine to get a glimpse of the many iterations—some are downright embarrassing!) and our foundation (i.e. database) has served us well. The internet is an "innovate or die" environment, and though we've always operated with limited financial and human resources, we've made a good go of it if I must say so myself.

The vision, the technology, the ideas are all well and good, and if AAJ is a high performance automobile then our contributors are our high octane fuel. In the end, the site is only as good as our content, and I want to thank everyone, long-timers and newcomers, for your time, your dedication and your commitment to constantly raising the bar. We're a talented group and after 15 years, it feels like we're just getting started again. Cheers to 15 more!



Track Reviews According To C. Michael Bailey

C. Michael Bailey is leading the way on track reviews, and has developed an approach that contextualizes the album while digging deep into the track itself. Following his approach, track reviews should consist of two paragraphs: the first gives an overview of the album and the second describes the track and how it fits within the context of the album. Check out a few of his track reviews in case you have an interest in submitting one yourself.

Twitter: Follow you, follow me

If you have a Twitter page, please add a link to it from your All About Jazz contributor profile—and let us know about it via email. We'd like to follow all our featured contributors on Twitter. Likewise, you can follow All About Jazz here.

How to Add Gallery Photos to an Article

The new photo gallery has made it much easier to add photos to your articles. Fussing with tags are no longer necessary—just follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way.

Facebook "Like..." Click It!

Are you a Facebook user? If so, please post links to your articles by clicking the Facebook LIKE link (located above your byline). Once clicked, a link to your article will appear under "Recent Activity" on your Facebook Wall.

If you have a Twitter page, post a mention and link there as well. AAJ has developed several methods to help circulate your article beyond the site, but we can use your help too.

Help Wanted: Photo Editor

Speaking of help, we're looking for a photographer or someone who has an eye for photography to act as the All About Jazz photo editor. Though the position requires checking in daily, the actual work time involved is only about 15-20 minutes per day.

The editor will approve (or reject) new photos; select and schedule photos as "Photos of the Day"; and send email invitations to jazz photographers asking them to share their work at the gallery. Familiarity with the photo gallery is a must.

Sound good? If so, contact me.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the new site.

Michael Ricci Founder/Publisher

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