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Music Mends Broken Hearts
Inside AP.net & More
01/20/10 at 09:13 AM by Jason Tate
Few things to write about this morning ...

First up, the new (beta) version of the mobile website is now up and running. We've had a mobile site for a while; however, it's sort of sucked. Not many features. Bland. Boring. So I finally had a spare minute to sit down and change it. So, what you'll now see if you visit AP.net in your mobile phone is a streamlined version of the website specifically made for the new era of smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry, Android powered phones). The website is made to load as quickly as possible - and give you access to as many of the features on AP.net as we can. After spending a few days with it - I may even enjoy the experience more than I do on my desktop (it's more along the lines of my design style at the moment as well). There are still a few things left to do (such as fixing some bugs, adding some other notification stuff to the page [like # of PMs and quoted messages on the homescreen, and a dot or something on "new" threads], and trying to streamline the code even more). The goal is simple design and as fast loading as humanly possible - with as many of the AP.net features as we can realistically fit.

A few notes: There are more mobile browsers than desktop browsers it seems - so it's harder to make sure everything works in all of them. At the moment I have focused on the big ones and hope that most of the features scale down. However, I know for a fact that the site looks horrible in the default Blackberry browser. So please install Opera Mini if you have a Blackberry. It should be the very first install on a new Blackberry phone no matter what. As for other phones/browsers -- I am still testing things and discovering problems as time goes on. I don't personally own an iPhone or android device - so I will have to find ways to go test it (hmmm, I'm thinking I'll go hang out in the Apple store with a pen and paper) and take advice/tips from user comments.

If you'd like to leave bugs/questions/comments about the new mobile site - this thread is a good place. Please leave me as specific of information as you can. Browser/phone is crucial. Thank you! Also, because I know I won't be able to respond to everyone on Twitter -- thank you for all the kind words that everyone sent so far about the new mobile site. That was really unexpected, but very appreciated.

On to other topics ...

The new Fair album is really good. It's got a Death Cab for Cutie vibe -- but if you like Aaron Sprinkle's past work (solo albums or production) this is a must own. I'm really impressed. The single is on Amazon - and you can pre-order the album. I definitely recommend it.

Also recently watched (500) Days of Summer which I thought was surprisingly good. Unique way of telling the story - good acting - and so many Morrissey/Smiths references. Check it out.

Ugh. Can't stop sneezing.

Watched District 9 last night. Was a fun movie. Guess that one was set up for a sequel. Hopefully not in an over the top way - but with the same feel as this one.

Hmmm, it looks like the new Alkaline Trio album hasn't been well received by some people in our forums. I haven't heard it yet - but now I'm worried. Hope it's good. Gonna wait a bit before I give it a spin though - don't want to be influenced by comments I've read and I'm not really in the mood for that style at the moment. Maybe in a few days.
Tags: inside ap.net, mobile site, recommendations
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Inside AP.net: Minor WQM Change
01/12/10 at 04:04 PM by Jason Tate
For those curious why they have XXXXXXX quoted posts appearing at the top of their screen (or did): I reset the counter today for how "new" quoted messages are displayed on the website. For the longest time it was based on a timing structure that would leave the notification message up by your private message section even after you'd viewed the quoted messages. Today I simply made a minor change that resets the notification when you view your WQM page. Much more intuitive. But it caused the little bug to pop up on the top of your screen until you viewed your WQM page once to reset the counter.

Sorry for any inconvenience. But in the long run - this is worth it.
Tags: inside ap.net
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Just Getting Started
12/30/09 at 02:45 PM by Jason Tate
What will AP.net look like in 5 years?

That's the question I continually ask myself when thinking about the future of social news - and more importantly social music news.

The answer? Well, I can't give away everything. However, the basics are this: a much sleeker and simpler design. The idea would be for people to be able to view (and use) the website in a variety of methods (web, mobile, etc.) while maintaining a very simple - yet efficient design. A google/twitter/facebook/AP.net hybrid that allows fast searching, integrated pieces (one stop shopping), all in a visually pleasing atmosphere. The backend would be scalable and built with the moderator in mind. Probably shouldn't divulge all my ideas.

So is this a reality 5 years out? Hmmmm ... let's just say the future may be closer than you think. I honestly believe I have some things that could revolutionize how you communicate, share, and discover new music and follow the bands you love.

What would you want to see?

PS: Yes, we're trying out a different kind of ad on the footer of the website. Instead of the display ads we're trying a partnership with Pronto. Hopefully all the really bad ads we've been struggling to control over the past few months are all dealt with now ...

Tags: ap related, inside ap.net
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Inside AP.net: Featured Bands
11/11/09 at 10:29 AM by Jason Tate
Wrote a quick script so staff can edit featured bands ... just don't have time lately to do it each week and multiple heads (insert joke) are better than one. Shoulda done this years ago.
Tags: inside ap.net, ap related
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Inside AP.net: New Icons
10/13/09 at 12:38 PM by Jason Tate
Thanks to Mr. Anton Djamoos we have updated our news posting icons (the little topic icons you see on news posts). Quite a few got facelifted and then we added 34 new bands/topics to our list as well. Thanks Anton. Man, is that a pain in the ass to update.

Hint: You can click a topic icon to see all the news posts filed under it. Enjoy.
Tags: inside ap.net, icons
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Inside AP.net: Attacking the Music Player
10/06/09 at 04:19 PM by Jason Tate
Ok, I've answered close to 300 emails today ... I can't handle any more gmail. I took a look at my to-do list, and I think one of the best ways to motivate myself is to pick the hardest project on the list and just do it. So, I am picking the re-writing of our music player system on the artist profiles. Currently it's a pretty convoluted system that only Garett and myself really know how to use. I think I can re-write this to be something every single staff member can use. But it's going to mean I'm doing it, personally, from scratch ... I'll post updates in here while working on it.
Tags: music player, ap related, inside ap.net
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Inside AP.net: Now in 50+ Languages
10/02/09 at 10:21 AM by Jason Tate
In an effort to bring AP.net to the rest of the world - we have added the ability to automatically translate our content into 50+ languages. At the bottom of every page on the website there is a link where you can click to translate the page into whatever language you would like (powered by Google):

Clicking this link will pop up a little in-screen menu that will allow you select any language you wish to automatically translate the page:

It's not a perfect solution (as no automatic service is perfect); however, we hope that this addition at least helps aide the process in bringing our little world to the rest of the world.
Tags: inside ap.net, translate, google
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Inside AP.net: Stats
09/30/09 at 11:23 AM by Jason Tate
Quick stat check: +21.09% visits YTD, +8.21% pageviews YTD.
Tags: inside ap.net, stats
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Inside AP.net: VIP Accounts
09/17/09 at 04:25 PM by Jason Tate
Just spent the past few hours organizing our VIP/Band Members page. I linked all of the band accounts to their artist profiles, and hopefully Anton will help me figure out who the rest of the accounts are shortly. I figured it was better if all of the VIP accounts were formatted the the same; and hopefully I only have to do this once and all the new accounts will be formatted correctly. Blarg.
Tags: inside ap.net
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Today is Tuesday
09/15/09 at 08:55 AM by Jason Tate
Nice. HD version of Brand New's new album showed up in my inbox this morning. Thank you PlayMPE for still being my favorite way to get new music (although when my vinyl version shows up, I'll be a happy boy). Hint: RCA, wanna send me the new Say Anything disc?

Few things to do today:

1) Post News.
2) Take some time to answer emails.
3) Look at fiances/budget stuff.
4) Work on bringing "Who Quoted Me" to the artist profiles and gallery.
5) Few more minor changes on blog stuff.
6) Make a few minor userCP changes.
7) To-Do List

I'm seeing lots of love for the WQM portion of blogs; thanks for the kind words -- glad to finally get that into the wild, been a long time coming, and was a pain in the ass to do. But I think it will greatly improve the quality (and amount) of conversations in blogs. The blogs now act like little mini-forums where you can dictate what the topic of conversation is.
Tags: inside ap.net, to-do, daily
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Inside AP.net: New Staff Members
09/15/09 at 08:50 AM by Jason Tate
We have new staff members: Adam and Deborah. Welcome them to the wonderful world of AP.net. Adam's (old?) blog can be found here (worth reading) and Deborah is here.
Tags: inside ap.net, staff
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Inside AP.net: Who Quoted Me? Blog Edition
09/14/09 at 03:23 PM by Jason Tate
This is really just another blog for me to test some comments out in. However, I believe the "who quoted me" feature is now active for all blog comments (your WQM page should be face-lifted to a new iconized version as well). While we're on the subject: the fix for the 16th/31st/etc. comment on the blog going to the next page should be fixed as well. Now, I am working on a separate comment posting page (so you don't only have to use quick reply in blog comments) ... and that's what I'll be using the comments of this blog for testing.

Only took three days to figure out how to get the blogs to talk to WQM correctly (and soon profiles and gallery).
Tags: inside ap.net
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Inside AP.net: Still Fighting SPAM
09/10/09 at 01:32 PM by Jason Tate
Updated some portions of our registration code to check with StopForumSpam.com to see if a username/email addy/IP address is registered with them as a spammer before letting them register for AP.net. This won't completely eliminate spam, but it's one of (many, many) tools we have employed on the website to help keep it down.

So far it looks to be working:

Tags: inside ap.net, spam
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Inside AP.net: In-House Ads
09/04/09 at 03:25 PM by Jason Tate
Got tired of those 146x146 in-house banners we had around the website (no more amoxicillin!!) ... so I designed a new set of 6. I just quickly tossed some stuff together, but hopefully we'll have these trafficked in soon. If you have any suggestions for other things we could use for in house promotions, drop me a comment. Thanks.

Tags: ap related, inside ap.net
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Inside AP.net: Trying Out Some Lalas
09/03/09 at 01:20 PM by Jason Tate
I am playing around with something on album reviews at the moment (screen shot below). I'm going to run a test of this feature for a month or so and decide if I want to include it into other places around the website. I figured running it on album reviews was a good place to start because it gives people a chance to listen to the music they're reading about. Basically just an in-page music player.

Tags: inside ap.net, image, ap related
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Last Updated: 01/09/13 (2,807,420 Views)
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