Hey, Hi, How’s Your Weekend Going?

Chorus.fm Logo

I try not to be too heavy-handed when it comes to pitching our upgrade membership program. I try and keep the big sell to once a year, and as we walk into October, it’s that time again.

As I wrote about last year, things are bizarre in the online space. Ad revenue has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The place for a small independent, primarily text-based music website and community is extremely not in the mainstream of where the internet is these days. But, tens of thousands of people still come and read our homepage daily, and thousands of people hang out and talk in our forums as well. And, like so many of you, I still have a passion for music that bursts from my seams.

So, if you’d like to see us continue to do what we do, please consider becoming a supporting member of the website. Doing so gives you awesome perks like a dark theme for the website and removes all of the advertisements. I built the website to be extremely fast to load, and without ads, it’s almost unbelievable how speedy it feels. I know many of you use an ad-blocker, and I could be far more hostile to those that have them installed to incentivize either uninstalling them or becoming a member, but I don’t. But if you do use an ad-blocker, please consider just signing up for our smallest package. For pennies a day, you can get a better experience on the website and can be absolved of any ad-blocking guilt because without the ads and the supporting members, we simply could not exist.

There are three packages, all of them have the same perks, and you can choose what tier fits with you. The truth is, I’m bad at selling myself but built the kind of system I wish more online businesses had. I think we have a great core product, and we have an easy way to remove all ads and help keep us online. That’s really the entire pitch.

As always, thank you for reading. In a world dominated by YouTube or hot-take chasing SubStack personalities, it’s often hard to know where we fit into the landscape. But every week, I see how many people still check out our little corner of the internet. And every week, someone tells me they’ve discovered a new band they love because we wrote about them. And every week, I laugh at a joke posted somewhere in our community. So, I remain happy we’re still online, and if you feel the same, please consider becoming a member.

Thank you.

An Update on the Rest of 2020

Chorus.fm

As I wrote about in October, this was a very weird year to be running an independent, online, business. I just wanted to take a few moments to be upfront about a couple of changes that I’m going to be making for the rest of this year. In the online ad world, the last part of the year is usually one of the best for online advertising. It tracks along with the holidays and consumer spending and advertisers wanting to convince shoppers to buy their gadgets and gizmos. Now, digital advertising has been a mess for virtually everyone this year, but there’s a small hope we can make up some of that lost revenue with a terrific final quarter. So, I’m going to let the company that handles all of our display ads run a few different advertisements on the website for the next month.

Honestly? They’re probably going to be annoying as hell. They’ve promised to keep everything frequency capped so that users only see one of the annoying ads one time per session, but there’s no nice way to spin the fact that these kinds of advertisements suck for the user experience. I know it, you know it, but it’s me throwing everything at the wall as we end the year in an attempt to salvage what, in many ways, has been a lost year. I want to be forthright about it, so everyone knows what is coming. And, to let you know you can remove all ads on the website by becoming a member. (These ads will only run for a few months, and we have a monthly option for just $3 a month. Remove all ads, get dark mode, live the good life.)

I don’t know what 2021 will hold, but I plan to continue to keep everyone updated as we journey into this uncharted territory together. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. The contributors and I have begun preparing for our end of the year feature, which we hope to run, like always, in early January.

Mending Broken History

AbsolutePunk.net

In April of 2016, we said goodbye to AbsolutePunk and launched Chorus. Saying goodbye to something that was such a massive part of my life was difficult, but also absolutely necessary. The following years have allowed me a freedom and release from the mental weight of that website that I find hard to put into words. The only minor regret I have, from time to time, is that so much of the history of the music scene was lost. But whereas I am very glad many threads, comment sections, and horrific posts are forever scrubbed from the internet, there is a part of me that misses the content and historical record of big events, certain album releases, and old interviews with bands that have been forgotten to time.

In order to keep some of the scene’s musical history alive, we’ve republished some of the old AbsolutePunk content here on Chorus and will continue to bring over various articles we think are historically relevant. We’ve also added a new visual banner on this content to better signify that it was once on AbsolutePunk and to link to this post, explaining as such.

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All Punked Up Podcast Talking AbsolutePunk.net

I was a recent guest on the All Punked Up Podcast:

Join us as Jason Tate takes us on the entire journey of what it was like to run the now defunct AbsolutePunk.net website in the early 2000s, how the site played a huge part in launching the careers of some of the bands we still love today, what he learned along the way and how he took that knowledge to re-brand what was our old favorite news site as a new and improved version that is now Chorus.fm.

This was a fun trip down memory lane and a nice opportunity to stretch out some of those podcast muscles. (Overcast link.)

Read More “All Punked Up Podcast Talking AbsolutePunk.net”

Pride Merch Available for a Limited Time

Chorus.fm Pride Merch

Like last year, in celebration of Pride Month, I have put the “pride” version of the Chorus.fm merch into our store for the month of June. This year sees the addition of stickers, buttons, and magnets featuring the logo as well. I will be donating all of the proceeds from all merchandise sold in June to various charities at the end of the month.

If you’re curious about materials and sizing: this is a good starter on shirts, and this is good for fit.

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Building Chorus.fm 3.0 – The Design Process

design

It’s been a little over a week since I launched the new version of Chorus.fm and I’ve been pretty blown away by the positive response. I think it may be the best reaction to a redesign of any website I’ve ever built. For fun, I pulled out a bunch of the initial sketches I made during the process, as well as some of the various other designs I played around with before actually building the website. I thought some might find the entire process interesting.

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Introducing Chorus 3.0

Chorus White Logo

I started designing the new version of Chorus.fm before the COVID-19 shit hit the fan. My initial sketches were in the middle of last year, and I began playing around with things in Sketch not long after that. My first commit, for the version I’m calling 3.0 of the website, was on February 19th, 2020. However, it was this last month or so of quarantine where the vast majority of the work got done. With not a whole lot else to do beside buckle down and attempt to turn anxiety about the world into productivity, I put together the new website you’re looking at now.

April of this year was the fourth anniversary of this website, and I’ve been itching to take another run at the design and feel of the website for a while. When I first launched the site, it was my first real foray into the world of WordPress, and it was done on a very tight timeline as I knew I needed to make the transition from AbsolutePunk.net by a specific date. I’ve always been happy with what I put together, but I also knew it was never quite right. This new version of the site is virtually everything I’ve always wanted my website to be and was written from the ground up to fulfill my vision of what a music website or blog should be. My design goals were to keep a similar aesthetic to the current website so that things felt familiar while also focusing on new features, simplicity of use, and an obsession with speed and a great mobile experience. I’m proud of what I came up with, and I’d like to highlight a few of the changes.

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The Fourth Anniversary of Chorus.fm

Chorus.fm

Today marks the official fourth anniversary of launching this website.

Another year, and wow, are we in the middle of some weird shit right now. I just wanted to take a brief moment to thank everyone for visiting this website every single day and, specifically, to everyone that helps support us. With all the uncertainty in the world right now, turning to the one constant I’ve always had, working on this website and listening to good music, has been comforting. I’m currently in the middle of a redesign of the entire homepage, and I hope to have that completed within the next few months. I’ve tried to turn all of this “at home time” into something productive, and I’m excited to share the results with everyone in the near future. I’ve been documenting some of the process in my weekly newsletter.

I hope everyone is staying safe out there.

Some of the stats from the past year:

  • 3,467 new articles posted on the main site. (16,553 total)
  • 530,082 words were published last year. (2,405,320 total)
  • 948,794 new forum posts were made. (3,648,860 total)

Ranking the Re-Rankings of the Rankings

If there’s one thing we like doing on this website, it’s ranking things. We like ranking things so much it’s become a meme in the forums for just how often it happens in threads. From albums to food, to the new sub-genre of brackets, ranking has become a core part of our little culture. It’s also part of what we do on a pretty regular basis here on the editorial side of things. We’ve got our yearly most anticipated lists and the mid and end of the year “best-of lists.” Back in the days of AbsolutePunk, we scored these lists using a basic scale that I think Thomas Nassiff originally came up with. When there were 30+ staff members all contributing, it worked pretty well to give a basic structure to what albums were the most popular amongst staff members. I never really gave much thought to it, and it’s been passed down and continued to be used by different contributors that help put together all of the various lists here on the website. Last week I got the itch to re-think this process.

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Happy New Year

I wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a safe New Year’s Eve tonight. I hope everyone has a fun evening. If you’d like to join the community as the clock strikes twelve, our forums are the place to be.

Thank you to everyone that visited this website over the past year. Here’s to 2020.