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State of AAJ: July 2010

Michael Ricci By

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Dear fellow AAJ contributor,

2010 is shaping up to be the most important year in All About Jazz's 15 year history and I wanted to share our progress since our March newsletter.

Index

  1. The State of AAJ
  2. Label Profile Assignments: Interested?
  3. Track Reviews Wanted
  4. The AAJ Store: Check Us Out
  5. What's Coming Soon
  6. Think Strategically
  7. New Columns
  8. Upload Your Photos to the Gallery
  9. Email Notifications: Give Your Articles a Viral Boost
  10. P. S. Get Well Raul!




The State of AAJ

All About Jazz was built on a volunteer staff of keen observers and some kick ass technology. Our technology, which is constantly improving and fully developed in house, is similar in certain ways to WordPress (a publishing platform) but has far greater impact potential for jazz as its sole purpose is to serve jazz. We've established a solid foundation for our web site and are rapidly building on it so we can ensure that AAJ will remain a vibrant and meaningful access point for jazz for years to come.

There's been more chatter of late about our plan to compensate you for your efforts. It's important to us to pay you because (a) you deserve it (b) it will help us remain competitive in an increasingly competitive field (c) it's always been our goal. We'll keep building the back end, but we need your support on the front end, so please continue to submit and edit articles.

We decided it was best to part ways with our two newspaper affiliates. In the end, they created tremendous brand confusion in their respective markets (NY and LA) and made it difficult for the website to sell ad space, which ultimately obstructed our growth. It's also my belief that the sooner we can consistently sell in the two top U.S. markets, the sooner we can pay our staff. We have brought in two reps to help me sell ad space and develop proposals, with our primary focus on New York metro.

Label Profile Assignments: Interested?

Jakob Baekgaard is currently working on a Dreyfus Records profile, but we're looking for others to profile like Posi-Tone Records, High Note Records, In + Out Records and Alma Records. If you're interested, please contact me and I'll put you in touch with the label. We typically ask for a 350-500 word introduction followed by 8-12 capsule reviews. To check out a model profile, see Sam Chell's report on Resonance Records. And you're more than welcome to pitch us on a profile.

We're also looking for a review of Keeper by the Stryker Slagle Band and Spiral by The Dave Wilson Quartet.

Track Reviews Wanted

We're re-launching single track reviews. We prefer CD reviews, but we wanted to provide an option to contributors who have limited writing time or those whose primary listening experience is on an MP3 player.

The AAJ Store: Check Us Out

We launched the AAJ Store back in February and though our focus has been primarily on reissues, we are looking to stock new products like Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense DVD. If reissues are your game, read our last two news announcements (July 20th and July 7th) to catch up on what we're carrying.

What's Coming Soon

We're working on a new design which is a dramatic departure from our current design. The new version is more modern and polished in appearance. It's also more compact. We've successfully reduced our home page length by 2000 pixels without sacrificing content. In fact, it will allow us to greatly improve how we organize and present our content moving forward. The design will be 100% XHTML compatible and uses CSS, which will result in a faster website and a higher Google page rank.

We continue to work on all aspects of the AAJ calendar and we're about to break ground on the AAJ mobile app which we'll crowd fund like an ArtistShare project.

We're not at liberty to disclose all of our projects currently under development or under consideration, but you'll be the first to know about them once they hit the alpha or beta stages.

Think Strategically

With increased competition from other websites and blogs, we encourage you to submit your live reviews and to a certain degree, CD reviews in a more timely manner. Ideally, with multiple day festivals, we prefer to report from the festival while it's ongoing. For weekend festivals, we'd like to see something within a week. If you are covering a festival, please coordinate your efforts with the festival's house photographer and have them upload their photos to the AAJ Photo Gallery. We can then place their photos in your article.

New Columns

We mentioned some of our new columns in March—here's the complete list of news columns for 2010. Thank you Sean, Brian, Chris, Bruce, Jack, Chuck, Dan and Mr. P.C.

Upload Your Photos to the Gallery

John Kelman and I no longer accept images as email attachments. If you're planning to submit an interview, artist profile or live review, please upload your photos to the AAJ Photo Gallery, then copy and paste the string in the IMG CODE section into your article. John, Chris May, Jeff Rzepiela and the other editors including myself will help first timers embed images, but we've made adding images to articles a quick and simple process.

Email Notifications: Give Your Articles a Viral Boost

Please include email addresses in the email notification box when you submit your articles. When your article is published recipients receive an email from AAJ (similar to the email you receive), but we encourage them to share the article on their Facebook and Twitter pages. So please include the artist, the publicist, the festival contact, the venue contact, the label contact, etc., etc. The most read articles typically include the most email notification addresses.

Thanks for reading and thanks always for your continued time and effort.

Michael Ricci Founder/Publisher

P. S. We want to wish Raul d'Gama Rose a speedy recovery from injuries suffered in a car accident on his way to the Montreal Jazz Festival. If you know Raul, please send him "get well" note.

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