• The Beta Code

    Lug 22 2008, 6:22 di Babs_05

    It's a funny thing in my life: people tell me their secrets. I don't know what it is. I used to think it was my open face and winning smile but even on the internet, people tell me things.

    I won't tell you who told me but I'll tell you what they said. And if I find I can't log in tomorrow, I've got this article saved...

    Let's unravel the mystery, shall we?

    Let's start with CBS, one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States with a great portfolio, now including As a business, they need their assets to perform whilst at the same time meet their needs. So it was that at some point last year, a new release was promised by, one that would fix all of CBS's problems.

    What might those problems be? Let's make some intelligent guesses and arrive at some assumptions:

    * improved advertising
    * new business, ie attract more users, ie target mainstream audiences
    * better incorporation of CBS data, ie their back catalogue
    * better promotion of artists (CBS artists?)
    * a more up-to-date look
    * room for future growth
    * CBS and senior managment probably signed off a vague paper which wasn't more than a list of ticked boxes. The 'creatives' would do the rest.

    What came next was a year's worth of mismanagement and ignoring of 'creatives' on the shop floor. Writing code which wasn't going to be released for 8 months was a recipe for disaster and a disaster it was. The silver bullet promised by senior management didn't work. Understandably, after waiting a year, CBS wanted to see results. What was taking so long? Get it done! And so it was an unfinished beta was released to over 21 million users worldwide.

    It's the old story, isn't it? You have senior management who make all the decisions; middle-management who are effectively the go-betweens; and the shop floor who do all the work. It's people on the shop floor who always have the closest relationship with a company. And it's senior management who are the most disconnected. The go-betweens can work for good or evil, depending on the point they want to make. We all have our stories...

    The new look went live on Thursday 17 July 2008 at 4.45pm, British Summer Time. There was no announcement or forewarning but that's not unusual, I have never known them to make a big announcement prior to a new release in all the years I have been here. There was an immediate backlash and staff on the shop floor were left to cope on their own, without any guidance or support. I noticed throughout beta testing, whenever they put a foot wrong or revealed a little too much to us, they were punished, yet the vague directions they had to go on weren't fleshed out. If communication between and users was lacking, it was even worse back at base. If you think we impassioned users don't like it, imagine how heartbreaking it is for those staff who have been there for years.

    Where do we go from here?

    Effectively, what we have right now is an open beta, which means the site is being built and tested whilst in use. We are testing the new site as we go along and it is up to us to report bugs as we find them; remember to mention which operating system and which browser you're using, and don't forget to mention if you have a disability and are using any additional systems. We can request new features for consideration in the final version. Staff are going through all our feedback. It's exciting to see them go through. Recommendations on the Music landing page? Mine. Claimed! (at least, I think it's mine...) With only one site to look after and with any luck, it should be a much smoother process than when trying to maintain two.

    To find out known issues and what teams are working on, go to the Forums (at the bottom of the page), and in particular this thread: Site Update: KNOWN ISSUES (Updated 21 July). Frequently asked questions are answered here: Site Update FAQ. To find out what will definitely be added in the future, go here: Previously Suggested Ideas 3 (!). To leave your feedback and suggestions, go to the Feedback and Ideas forums. To report bugs, go to Website Support.

    Some users are working on 'survival guides'. I will add those journals to this one as and when I find them. If you are writing one and want me to add it, please give me a shout.

    Well, I feel much better. I have been sitting on this information for a little while and I look forward to sleeping soundly and not dreaming about beta bugs or drowning in my Library.

    Hope I can log in tomorrow...

    Babs My Gang


    * Journal: 4.45 - beta goes live
    * Journal: I can't believe it's not beta...!
    * News stories bookmarked by me: StumbleUpon
    * The thread to read: this one

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  • Calling All Artists... !

    Lug 11 2008, 21:07 di Babs_05 Group: Central Point: where artists and listeners meet

    I've started a group in where artists are invited to self-promote - the more shamelessly the better! - and where we listeners can browse, investigate, find stuff we may not otherwise come across.

    Join policy is Open to all. I only made it Owner Approval so I can say hello.


    You probably already know you may not 'spam' in, however that means it's harder for you to get the word out. In Central Point, you are invited to start a dedicated thread all about You. Tell us who you are, where we can hear you, if you have any free mp3s, where we can find you elsewhere on the net. Anything you want us to know, this is where you can advertise.

    The same goes for all service providers: all of you who are DJs, have radio shows, podcasts, etc. Keep us up-to-date on your news and activities.

    Bloggers: add yourselves to The Blog Directory.

    On my part, I tag all artists , thereby creating a global radio. Click on the link to see how it stands. We haven't limited the love and we've also been tagging other artists who may not otherwise get much exposure. (see this thread to find out who they are). If you would like to hear who's on board already, try the Boss's tag radio.

    If you know anyone who'd be interested, pass it on. Spread the word.

    Do you like my Index? I did that. :D

    Ok, that's your announcement from the Front Desk.

    You can find me in The Kitchen.

    Babs Central Point: where artists and listeners meet

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  • Dead Can Dance is NOT Goth

    Nov 1 2005, 19:23 di evilangela

    I just have to say that openly and loudly.

    Dead Can Dance is NOT Goth.

    They are so varied, so complex, with so many different sounds for various songs.

    I know they're popular in the Goth scene, and that's just fine... they deserve it with the amazing music they've made over the years. And yes, some of the stuff they've done has been dark and brooding. But a few songs don't qualify them for that label.

    I just wanted to say this cause I've seen them refered to this way in a few places, and it always bugged me.
  • Dead Can Dance - OH MY GAWD

    Set 19 2005, 19:29 di evilangela

    Well, last night, months of waiting finally came to an end. I got to see Dead Can Dance in concert!

    I never thought it would happen - they split up 9 years ago, well before I discovered them. So as I've familiarized myself with their music, and began my collection of albums, I've gone about it assuming that's all I'd ever get to experience. So when I found out they reunited, I was shocked and excited beyond belief.

    It was worth it.

    They played at the Paramount in Seattle, a gorgeous theatre that was very fitting. The crowd was VERY varied - you could see the fans that had been with them since the early days when they were popular with the Goth scene. Plenty of black clothes, black hair, clove cigarettes outside, and so on. At the other end, there were plenty of older people there, couples gay and straight. And everyone in between. I didn't feel out of place at all with my jeans, black see-through top, and multi-colored hair (which is now various shades of blue and purple).

    They sounded absolutely great throughout the show - I've heard some people complain about the acoustics or the levels, but I had no problems with hearing anything distinctly, and was probably too busy in awe to really notice any small details.

    I recognized most of the songs they played, though there were a couple that I didn't - since I haven't managed to get their complete collection yet, that's not surprising. Mostly it was ones with just Lisa Gerrard and the synths playing that I didn't recognize. I thought they did a few too many of those - they were rather slow, and my attention would start to wane after a couple minutes of that. But it's a minor complaint.

    After the show, they actually waited a while for the encore - the crowd had to really work to get them out there, and it was starting to seem like it was taking too long. But they came out, and so made it worth it - hearing Yulunga live was a spiritual experience for this professed Atheist! :)

    In the end, the only real complaint I had was that they didn't play my favorite song - Cantara. I was so anxious to hear it, and it never happened. But besides Yulunga, they also played The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove, which I've already loved, but the concert version was totally amazing.

    I am really, REALLY excited about the fact that they're selling recordings of the show, and I, of course, bought my voucher to get one. It should be arriving in November, if I heard right.

    I just wish I had went and bought tickets for both the Sat and Sun show now...

    Someone on Flickr even has pictures of the show!

    Finally, here's the set list (taken from the DCD Forums):

    The Ubiquiyous Mr. Lovegrove
    The Love That Cannot Be
    The Lottus Eaters
    Minus Sanctus
    The Wind That Shakes The Barley
    How Fortunate The Man With None
    Dreams Made Flesh
    I Can See Now
    American Dreaming

    Encore 1:
    Black Sun
    Salems Lot

    Encore 2:
    Hymn For The Fallen