Site Update

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.

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:

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.

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.

The Second Anniversary of Chorus.fm

Today marks the second anniversary of Chorus.fm. Sometimes it feels like the world is stuck in slow motion with so much news and chaos surrounding us and the days making the weeks feel like months. But then I also can’t figure out where the last two years went. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was saying goodbye to AbsolutePunk.net, and hoping that some readers would follow me here to Chorus. I want to thank all of you that have been reading the website the past two years. I’m finally coming to the point where I don’t feel like everything I’ve done has been defined by AP.net, and where what I’m doing now, this website, this community, can be something that at the very least fulfills me in a way that AbsolutePunk never really could. It’s like looking at pictures of what you wore in high-school and wanting to yell through time to buy clothes that fit. Chorus.fm feels like it fits me. And every day I feel lucky that it’s something that I get to do. So, thank you, all of you. Especially those that have become supporters and helped make this website everything that it is.

Here’s a run down some of the numbers from the last 12 months:

  • 4,257 new articles posted on the main site. (9,402 total.)
  • 1,420,222 words have been published on Chorus.1
  • 1,002,023 new forum posts. (1,897,160 total.)
  • 47,191 new registered accounts. (81,957 total.)
  • 1,779,477 likes given out since last April.
  • 5,106 private message sent per month (average).

I’ve got a lot of things planned for this year. The goal is to improve the website and try some new things. As always, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, email, or in the forums with thoughts, ideas, or concerns about the website. And if you like what we’re doing, please give our supporter options a look. If you can swing $3 a month to help us out, it would mean the world to me. It’s with the support of readers like you that we’re able to keep publishing and stay online.


  1. I’m using a new tool to calculate the number of words published this year. It should be more accurate going forward. 730,299 of these words were written by me.

Join the Dark Side: Bringing Dark Mode to the Main Website

It’s fitting that on release week for Star Wars: The Last Jedi I can bring the Dark Side to the main website. One of my favorite supporter perks in the forum has been Dark Mode — a dark slate colored theme — and I’m excited to be able to bring this color palette to the main website as well. I love our white, grey, and blue color scheme, but at night I almost always switch over to the dark theme while browsing the website on my phone. However, I’d often move over to the main site to read an article and the white contrast would be a rude awakening for my eyes. No more! Supporters can now activate Dark Mode on the main website via their supporter options page or in the forum preferences. If you’re not a supporter yet, join now to get Dark Mode.

I’ve included some screen shots below of what the website and forums look like in Dark Mode, for those curious. I think it maintains my main design goals: simple, clean, and focused on readability, while adding a new flavor to the overall feel of the website.

Bridging the Forum and the Website’s Supporter Systems

Today I’m excited to announce I’ve completed the work on bridging our community and the main website’s supporter systems. Now, if you’re a supporting member of the forum community you can use your username and password to login on the content side of the website to view supporter only content (like my first impressions), manage your payment options, turn off advertisements site-wide, and soon gain access a special Dark Mode for the main website that matches perfectly with the Dark Mode of the forums.

And don’t forget: you don’t have to be a community member to be a supporter of the website! You can join right now for only $3 a month and help support this website and independent publishing. It’s because of readers like you that I can keep running this website. I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for your support over the past two years.

It’s funny how a project like this, which doesn’t end up having many outward facing changes, can be a massive undertaking behind the scenes. But now that it’s done, the foundation is better set for a bunch of cool things we can do in the future and the system is much more robust for handling payments and login credentials for our growing community.

If you are already a supporter, you don’t have to make any changes if you don’t want to, everything will just keep working as it has been. If you’d like to move away from PayPal and to the new credit card based system, you can do that here. Again, it’s totally optional to make that change if you want.

If anyone has any questions at all, feel free to drop me an email or message me in the forums.

Batch Two and Three of First Impression Blogs

Last week I posted about bringing over my first impression blogs from the forums for supporters of the website. Today I’ve got a some more to share:

Batch Three

Batch Two

Batch One

I’ve got one more group to move over and then I’ll be posting new ones on the main website, in our review database, roughly one day after they first appear live in our supporter forum.

Bringing First Impressions to the Main Site

For as long as I can remember I’ve been doing some version of “first impression” blogs about music on the internet. It started back on AbsolutePunk.net in my blog as I’ve always loved being able to offer some thoughts on an album without the full pressure of an official “review.” My original idea was a more free flowing and less structured way to comment on music usually after having only heard an album one or two times. Today we’ve got things like our forums and social media to serve as a similar medium for putting together opinions on something without it needing to feel too official. I like that. It’s freeing.

One of the things I’ve been doing for supporters in our supporter forum is these first listen/first impression live blogs for certain albums. The basic idea is the same as always: I listen to an album and I do a little live blogging of my thoughts, impressions, and feelings as I listen to it. It started out as a fun little way to talk about music and once again helped me feel free from some of the pressures of “official” reviews on music. It’s been a lot of fun and it seems like everyone really enjoys reading them. Now, one of the downfalls of using the forum for this is that it’s not as easy to archive and save these pieces for posterity. And they’re behind the community package paywall and therefore unaccessible to patrons of the main website. Today, I’m fixing both of those problems.

Introducing Chorus 2.0

One of the best parts about running my own website again is that I can work on improvements and changes and roll them out when they’re done instead of waiting for the never ending drudge of bureaucracy. Today I’m excited to bring you a collection of changes, improvements, additions, and new features that I am calling Chorus 2.0. Basically, I’ve spent the past year or so learning about what makes this website work, what doesn’t work, what needs to be improved, and how to better organize the information we push into it each day. And of course, how you, the reader, are using it. I’ve taken what I’ve learned and combined that with an optimization obsession to get this website to load as fast and reliably as possible on virtually any device you view it on. You may not see a lot of outward changes, but there were thousands of lines of code tweaked and changed along the way. I want to quickly go through some of the bigger changes, and introduce you to some of the more headlining features.

It’s Been a Year

One year ago I retired AbsolutePunk.net and launched Chorus.fm into the world. I can’t believe it’s been a year. First, I want to thank everyone that’s supported the website for a full year and all of you that kept monthly payments on and re-signed up today with a new yearly subscription. Seriously, thank you. I had no idea if this entire endeavor was ever going to work, and all of the support has truly blown me away. I’ve loved getting to know so many of you over the past year and being able to share this experience with you. Again, I can’t tell you thank you enough.

One year in I figured is as good a time as ever to run down some of the numbers from the last 12 months:

  • 5,145 articles posted on the main site.
  • 1,004,735 words written in those articles.
  • 895,137 forum posts.
  • 34,766 registered forum members.
  • 891,056 likes given out.
  • 2,000 private messages sent per month (average).
  • 27 podcast episodes recorded (and 3 bonus episodes).
  • Over 160,000 podcast listens.
  • 83,035,328 pageviews.
  • A 6:40 average session time.
  • 13 “first listen” blogs in the supporter forum.
  • 365 days where I was happy with the choice I made.

Turns Out™ People Like Monthly Options Best

A couple weeks ago I tweaked our supporter program just a bit to put together a few new options at various tiers. It’s been incredible to see so many new people sign up and help us out at all the levels, but one of the more common things I heard was that you all love the monthly options way more than the annual ones. I think I messed up because of my own bias of liking to pay for things upfront, and so I built the program with that in mind. Welp, I think I was wrong. After seeing so many people ask about monthly tiers I’ve inverted what I highlight on our supporter page. The monthly options are now front and center and the annual options are still there but just a little less prominent.

A huge thank you to everyone that gave me feedback on this and a massive thank you to everyone that’s signed up so far. If you haven’t peeped the supporter packages yet, please take a look and/or read my little plea about becoming a member.

I’ve been working on cleaning up the website code, improving all the mobile pages, and making some other little changes to the site over the past few weeks. I’ll be rolling those out in the next few months along with some new features and perks for supporters.

Thanks again for reading!

We Need Your Help: We’re Expanding Our Supporter Packages

This April will see the one year mark of when I started Chorus. By and large it’s been the most fulfilling stretch of work in my entire career. It’s been stressful. It’s been intense. But it’s also been extremely fun, challenging, and stimulating. As we come up on this anniversary I’ve been working on the first set of changes I want to make to the website to prepare ourselves for the future. There will be some design tweaks coming shortly, but the first thing I want to focus on is tightening up our supporter program.

Our supporter program has been a resounding success. When I started this project I made the argument that I believed the future of online publishing was going to depend on dedicated readers for websites to continue development and publication. Over the last year I’ve only become more convinced of this direction. And, I’ve been blown away by the first year of support from readers of this website. However, one of the main pieces of feedback I’ve heard is: I love this website, I love what you’re doing and want to help make sure it stays around, but I don’t really want to sign up for a forum membership account, is there any way I can become a patron without needing to join the forum community? My goal was to provide that functionality in the easiest form possible and allow readers to help support our continued existence for mere pennies per day.

If that’s all you need to hear, please take a look at our membership packages and sign up, if you want to be woo’d a little bit more, I’ve a longer pitch for you below.

If You Really Wanna Get Me a Gift

As we enter December I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for visiting our website each day. November was one of the best months our forum has seen since we launched, and I’m starting to gear up for the new year. I have some ideas to make our membership options a little more straight forward, and streamline everything on that end as we continue to expand coverage and grow our community. In the meantime, a huge thank you to everyone that has become a supporting member and helped us outpace even my conservative estimates of where we might be by the end of the year.

If you’re looking for a Christmas present to get me, think about upgrading your forum account for a year! Or maybe if you do your holiday shopping at Amazon use our affiliate link. Both really do help push us through this relatively slow news, and advertising, period of the music industry.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the new website as much as I’ve being enjoying running it.

The First Holidays With Chorus

One of my favorite things on AP.net was when I got to change the website to the “holiday” theme and let there be light blue snowflakes all around us. Now, with this new website, it’s built in a more minimal style that is harder to really spice up for the winter months. (Although, if you’re a supporter, you’ll see we do have a cool dark theme that’s great for all seasons.) However, I still wanted to bring a little holiday cheer to the website, so you’ll see a special holiday logo change for the months of November and December.

I’m going to continue brainstorming ideas for bringing even more holiday joy to our theme in the next year, but I just wanted to wish everyone a happy start to the holiday season! Thanks for visiting and reading.

Quick Site Update and a Thank You

I just wanted to take a moment to plug our forums and the supporter upgrade we have available. We’ve now passed a half-million posts on the forum, and are closing in on 20,000 registered members. The website is continuing to grow each month, more people are signing up to help us continue on our journey, and I can’t say thank you enough.

In the next few months we’ll be focusing on expanding our publishing and coverage. So that means more interviews, music and movie reviews, and featured articles. We’ve got an episode of Encore ready to go this week talking about all sorts of stuff, and after our Yellowcarddeep dive” episode did so well two weeks ago we recorded a special episode on the upcoming Jimmy Eat World album that will be out next week.