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# Introducing FanConcert

It's time to announce my new project here, I think. It's still in development right now but it would be really good to have feedback as I work. I've already invited about twenty friends to check it out.

The project is a website called FanConcert. Yes, I know I've sworn off websites in the past but Ruby on Rails has brought me back from the brink. It's a fantastic agile development platform. I'll write a post about it soon.

The website I'm working on will let you compile a list of music artists/bands, which I'm calling 'Favourites' (for now). Then it will show you news about just those Favourite artists, like upcoming album releases or concert dates in your area.

Where does this news come from? From other users, who are also fans of the bands that you like. Think of the site as a gigantic music-related link blog, and you'll be on the right track. FanConcert's key difference from blogging software is that the information will be moderated and organized so it can be presented in a variety of ways.

Why make a website like this? Because of the alternatives. I like well over 100 bands. I can't keep up with them on their websites. I can't subscribe to and read that many mailing lists. I just want to know when my favourite bands are releasing albums or coming to Ottawa to play a show. I'm totally scratching my own itch here and I'm hoping other people have this itch too.

Sound good? Then check out FanConcert and let me know what you think. Remember: it's still in development -- probably only about 1/4 done.

By the way: yes I will be adding RSS feeds, not only for artist and venue pages but also customized feeds based on a user's Favourite artists. I don't know much about the RSS file format so I'd like people's input about the best way to do it.

Right now I'm thinking something like del.icio.us but since the site is password protected, I could
make up a unique key for each user that acts like a password
for their RSS feeds:


The key would also prevent users from hammering on their personalized feed too much and downloading it too often. I can record the last time they accessed the feed and make sure the next time is at a reasonable interval. I suppose I could also do that by IP address as well.

Update 11:30 AM: By the way, I forgot to mention something very important: FanConcert is meant to be INTERNATIONAL. The plan is to translate and localize it for many different countries, languages and cultures. Feel free to add artists from anywhere in the world, in any language. I want FanConcert to work well for anyone in the world.

Also, you'll get the most out of FanConcert if you sign up and tag favourite artists.

posted at August 31, 2005 at 08:23 AM EST
last updated December 9-, 2005 at 08: 0 AM EST

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# Less Talk, More Walk

Wow, I really haven't been blogging lately. Fear not! I'm still alive. Yeah, now you feel better. Over the past few months I've been working on one of my harebrained projects -- the one I'm building with Ruby on Rails.

Honestly, a piece of software hasn't made this much sense since Andrew introduced me to JUnit and XP years ago. Just like unit testing, I have a hard time believing you'll have to do anything less than try Rails to know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, the project is starting fast but will inevitably slow down any day now. It should be ready for public consumption this fall. Just between you and me: the site is already live. If you can find it, give it a go and let me know what you think of what I have so far.

posted at August 13, 2005 at 05:11 AM EST
last updated December 8-, 2005 at 19: 0 PM EST

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