by Malcolm Petch
Back in January the staff here at Streaming Café came to the decision to rebuild our website from the ground up.
We had started online life two years ago with a fully functioning website, and a few months in we went to website 1.1, with a re-skinning and retooling of the website appearance.
This time we wanted to make the leap to website 2.0, with a complete re-do of the inner architecture and functions of the site. We’d learned from online guests and from our own experiences what aspects of the online experience could be made better, so we decided to jump in with both feet and see what we could do about it.
By now you have no doubt noticed that our site looks different. We went live on March 16 after two and a half months of solid work by an excellent marketing strategist and his top-notch crew (thanks D!).
The first thing you’ve probably noticed is that there is no video player on our home page unless the live show is on. We wanted you, the online viewer, to be able to choose which music you watched/listened to rather than be subject to whatever happened to be looping through the player at the moment you tuned in.
Along with no video player on the mid-week home page, you’ve probably seen that we have large banner images moving across the front of the page telling you who has just played and who is coming up in the next few weeks. We’d heard from folks who’d told us, “Hey, your previous and past shows list is hard to see and hard to understand…”, so we wanted to increase the clarity of who’s who in the zoo – and when they’re playing.
Now when you click on one of those images you’ll be taken to that artist’s page, where you can either learn about them if they’re due to play at Streaming Café, or where you can view some videos of when they did play, if their performance has already happened.
Those videos of past performances are from our YouTube channel. But here’s a little insider secret: for most of our previous artists you’ll find more videos of them on our site than you will on YouTube. That’s our way of rewarding you for spending time on streamingcafe.net; we like giving out rewards – that’s just the kind of people we are.
One other change we made was with the chat room on our home page when we’re live with a show. Used to be that you had to become a member and sign in to be able to chat with the artist or other viewers. We heard from tons of people that they found that frustrating and tedious, plus it didn’t even work on some browsers, so we’ve completely eliminated that. You’ll need to give yourself a nickname and confirm that you’re a human
being (way easier than it sounds), but membership is not required. Oh – but if you’re reading this in newsletter format you’ve probably already become a member…
Hey, there’s a ton of other good stuff and innovative features on the new site. Check it out, even during the week when the show’s not live. And we are looking for feedback from you, too: What’s not working still? What could be better? Any suggestions for other stuff we could add?
And did we mention the LIVE album release that’s coming up?...