Site Related

Chorus.fm & AbsolutePunk.net Buttons

A couple of weeks ago I added magnets to our shop, and today I’m adding buttons. All of the designs come in two sizes: the classic 1.25″ size or a larger 2.25″ option.

I’m really happy with how Threadless keeps rolling out new products like this. I made white AP.net buttons years ago but they were such a pain to get printed and shipped. In fact, I still have one that I turned into a magnet and have on my fridge. Anyway, I figured I’d throw these up in the shop for anyone that’s interested.

August Supporter Pitch Update

As I wrote about last week, I’m making my yearly pitch to everyone that reads this website to become a supporting member:

Based on these calculations, I am exactly 90 supporters short of this website hitting my goal for the year.

That means if 90 more people sign-up to any tier of the supporter membership by the end of this year, I’ll be sitting right where I want to be and it’ll be a massive weight off my shoulders.

Last week over 20 new people signed up to be a supporting member and I can’t thank you enough. It’s a fantastic start.

My Yearly Pitch for Becoming a Supporting Member

Each August I do an evaluation of how this website’s running, how our traffic numbers are doing, and what kind of revenue we’re bringing in from advertising, merch, and from our supporting members. It’s not the most fun part of running this website, but it’s one of the necessities to make sure we’re still on the right track and to assess the website’s viability for the upcoming year. I use this time to figure out what kind of freelance work I’ll need to schedule out for the rest of the year, as well as what projects I can focus on during the last quarter.

Based on these calculations, I am exactly 90 supporters short of this website hitting my goal for the year.

That means if 90 more people sign-up to any tier of the supporter membership by the end of this year, I’ll be sitting right where I want to be and it’ll be a massive weight off my shoulders. My plan, if I can hit these numbers, is for my next big project to be a rethinking of the homepage. I have wireframed a refreshing of the main website’s design, and that’s what I’d like to tackle next.

So, this is my yearly pitch to everyone that reads this website: if you like reading the news and content during the week, like reading the newsletter each Friday, and/or like reading or participating in our community, please consider becoming a supporting member. Every tier gives you the same perks: no ads on the website, dark mode, extra features in the forums, and it basically comes down to about seven cents a day.

Thank you to everyone that reads this website every day and for helping to make it what it is. I try not to post about this sort of stuff all that often, but once a year I like to try and update everyone on where we’re at and how everything is currently working out.

Updated Recommendations

Once a year I update a bunch of my recommendation posts around the website to see if new things need to be added to them, this year I’ve made updates to:

Also, I tossed out an ask on Twitter for recommendations of blogs or websites (about any topic) that people recommend reading. I like to ask this every once in a while to refresh what I have in my feeds, so if you have any recommendations of websites I should be checking out and reading, please let me know.

Happy Fourth of July

Today is the 4th of July holiday so we will be on a more relaxed posting schedule. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable day and we’ll be back to our regular schedule when we release our “Best of 2019 (So Far)” feature with all of our mid-year best of lists tomorrow.

I’ll be spending some time with the friends and doing a little bbq and baseball watching.

A Simple Streaming Music Sharing Page for Chorus

The music streaming service revolution has been one of the biggest, and most exciting, developments to the music and technology world in my lifetime. We went from driving to a store to buy music, often without ever hearing it beforehand, to having countless hours of music in our pockets with virtually no limits to what we could discover and listen to with the mere press of a button.

As someone that runs a music website, and now a weekly newsletter, that often includes recommendations about new music, I’ve long struggled with just how to share those recommendations with the most people. On this website, I often link to the YouTube video in the post itself for instant listening and then will link to Apple Music and Spotify when appropriate (or if the song isn’t on YouTube yet) since those are the two biggest streaming platforms. I like those short URLS that a lot of labels and PR people are using these days that aggregate all of the streaming platforms into one place for easy sharing; however, what I really wanted was something that I had a little more control over. What if I use a service like this and then it goes under, and all my links die? All of a sudden hours of meticulously linking music recommendations on this website or my newsletter could end up having dead links. So, after coming across the excellent Song.Link service and their API, I decided I would be best served in creating something for myself. That way I could easily create a place to share a song or album, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the URL going away in a few years or it not being updated as streaming services come and go.

The end result is a page that includes links to all the big streaming services, as well as a YouTube video for quick streaming if it exists, and links to purchase the music as well. For example:

Limited Edition Pride Logo Version of Chorus.fm Merch

Today I’m excited to launch a special limited edition collection of Chorus.fm Pride Merch. I’ve created a new LGBTQ+ pride rainbow version of the Chorus.fm logo and it’s up on a variety of t-shirts, tanks, v-necks, hoodies, mugs, and more.

I don’t make much money from the merch shop (like $3-$4 per shirt), but for the rest of this month I’m going to donate 82% of what I do make from the entire store (not just this collection) to LGBTQ+ organizations and charities.1

All the merch comes in variety of t-shirt sizes, colors, and types (if you’re curious about the brand of t-shirts printed on, you can find that information here).

image

Check out the pride collection here.


  1. I’m not sure which ones yet, I’m still doing some research. Reach out if you have suggestions.

The Chorus.fm Merch Store

The Chorus.fm Merch Store

Our new merch shop has the Chorus.fm and AbsolutePunk.net heart logo on a whole bunch of t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, stickers, and more.

Introducing the Chorus.fm Shop

Chorus.fm Merch

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time is put together a merch store of some kind. I wanted to do this going back to the AbsolutePunk.net days but could never get the support needed to do it. I’ve played around with a few different options over the past three years, but when I saw Less Than Jake post up their Threadless shop last week, that was the kick-in-the-ass to make this a priority. I had a lot of fun putting this together last week, and I think it’s a good first step with a bunch of simple and classic designs. If you want to browse for yourself, you can check out our Threadless shop right here.

You’ll find the Chorus.fm logo in various designs, like a full color centered logo that looks great on darker clothing, the logo on the left breast, the logo in a monochrome white (centered, and breast), and a monochrome black logo (centered, and breast). All of the shirts come in various t-shirt weights and colors (I’m partial to the tri-blend). And there’s tanks, sweatshirts, hoodies, and longsleeve shirts as well for men, women, and kids. And there’s also various products like mugs, stickers, bags, and pillows available as well.

Along with the Chorus.fm merch, I’ve also finally realized my AP.net merchandise dream by putting the classic AP.net heart logo on merch as well. There’s the left breast version, a version with the logo and text that sat at the top of the website for years, and a fun “music mends broken hearts” shirt for if you want to remember the slogan that 16 year old me thought was amazing. These come in all the same colors and clothing options as the Chorus.fm logo.

I also tossed the Encore logo on some shirts as well, and the AP.net heart logo is available on other items like stickers, mugs, pillows, and things like that.

Take a look around, and if you see something you like, please grab it. I don’t make much per sale, but the little bit that I do will go right into keeping this website and community running. And when it shows up, please send me some photos so I can see it all out in the wild. I can’t wait for the first story of two people meeting in the wild in our little website’s shirts and giving a knowing nod.

All of the merchandise is digitally printed and processed via Threadless. They have product and sizing information on each product page and a 100% happiness guarantee (if you’re curious about the brand of t-shirts printed on, you can find that information here). If there’s an issue with your order you can email them and they’ll make sure it gets taken care of. I’ve ordered a couple of things off Threadless in the past and was happy with the quality. As I said, I love their tri-blend shirts. I even ordered three of these over the weekend. (Yes, I’m going to be the guy wearing shirts with both of my website’s logos on them.) I plan to add other designs and products to the shop in the future, and if you ever have an idea for a product or design, let me know!

The Third Anniversary of Chorus.fm

Today marks the official third anniversary of launching this website.

This year was another great one for the community. There were quite a few new features added to the website, and we saw good growth in pretty much every metric that matters to me. One of my goals for the year was to start writing a whole lot more, and that morphed into a weekly newsletter that is now regularly over 1,500 words a week. I didn’t podcast nearly as much as I wanted to, but the episodes we did release I’m really proud of. My goals for 2019 are to try and figure out a way to make regular podcasting a thing I can do again, continue my weekly Liner Notes, add some new features to the forums that have been on my to-do list for a while now, and start re-thinking what a redesign of the main website could look like and what it would take to write that code and implement it.

I’m able to do these things because of the support of so many of you. I can’t thank those of you have become supporting members of the website enough. That this number, specifically, keeps increasing is why I know I can keep doing this website for another year. It’s because of your support that this website can exist and I can work on it each day. If you’re not a supporting member yet but enjoy visiting and reading, I’d love if you’d think about signing up. We’re getting so very close to this being the only job I have to have, and I’m getting excited thinking about the possibility of diving into a significant code re-write and re-design and not having to worry about needing to stop and take a freelance job in the middle.

I always find it fun to look back on the past year and evaluate everything that has taken place, over the past twelve months we’ve seen:

  • 3,684 new articles posted on the main site. (13,086 total)
  • 1,912,545 words have been published all time.1
  • 802,906 new forum posts were made. (2,700,066 total)
  • 11,381 new registered accounts. (93,338 total)
  • 1,367,965 likes given out since last April.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that visits this website each day. It’s been an incredible journey from AbsolutePunk.net to Chorus.fm and beyond. I feel extremely lucky that I get to do something I love and care about each day and it’s a true pleasure to be able to talk about music, pop-culture, entertainment, and technology with so many of you.


  1. 1,053,621 written by me.

Happy New Year

I just wanted to take a moment 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. We’re hard at work on our year end lists recapping 2018, and are aiming to publish them early next week. Here’s to 2019.

Gift a Chorus.fm Membership

With the holiday season coming up, this is just a quick plug of our “gift a membership” option. If you’re looking to get someone in our forums a special gift, this is a non-renewing, one time, $25 option. You’ll be gifting all the perks of membership: an ad-free, Dark Mode, exclusive content experience for an entire year.

Site Update: A Few Changes to the Ad System Coming

One of the biggest challenges to running this website has been figuring out a business model that works, and that allows me to sleep well at night. This website is my full-time job, and the income it provides is how I put food on the table. My goal from the start has been to find a way to make this website the only job I have to have.1 Right now I do some consulting work to make up the difference between what the website brings in and what my family needs. The vast majority of the website’s revenue comes from our readers and our supporter system. It’s because of all the people that read this website and visit our forums that it exists.

Over the past two years I’ve played around with a few other ways to bring in additional revenue, the main one being advertising. I set up a self-serve advertising system where anyone could buy display ads on the website, and I priced them way under what most websites charge for the number of impressions they would get. Unfortunately, they never sold as well as I hoped they would. So, it’s time to try something different again.


  1. The long-term goal was, and continues to be, to hopefully find a way to expand the website into an entity that could support more than one person.

One Last Supporter Pitch in August

Today’s the last day of August, and since I’ve made it a goal of mine to pitch the supporter upgrades this month as I get ready to figure out what the next year of Chorus and my work schedule needs to look like, I’d like to do it one last time:

I’ve run some of the math, and basically, if everyone reading this signed up for just one year, this website would be sustainable basically immediately for multiple years. If only a small fraction of the people reading this right now signed up, this website is viable for me to keep running as my full-time job for another year. And, that’s the ultimate goal.

Thanks to everyone that has signed up. Your support made it so I could spend more time writing this past month, and it’s felt really good to do that again.