My Little Musical Pony April 11, 2012 5:19 AM   Subscribe

Pony request: music.mefi's 'most favorited this week' widget on sidebar (or at least this week's most favorited track).

We've discussed raising the visibility of music.mefi several times passim and I know from those conversations that the Bosses are not opposed to the general idea of featuring music tracks in the sidebar. However, how to do it has always been a bit of a stumbling block. However, the music charts -- for all their oft-discussed faults -- do offer a simple functionality for either embedding a widget in the sidebar or the single 'top' track. The most appropriate one is, I think "Most Favorited Tracks (in the past 7 days)" which generally gives a decent snapshot of what's rocking the music.mefi world.

As an alternative, maybe we could sidebar the mefi music challenge once a month instead when it is issued? Unless you're regular it's really easy to miss but it's one of the most interesting parts of the site.
posted by unSane to Feature Requests at 5:19 AM (32 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I would absolutely love something like this. Projects has a way of getting onto the front page, why not Music? A single song maybe isn't worth an FPP the way that projects posts sometimes are, but I think it would be awesome if we could use the sidebar to give Music some more exposure.
posted by Scientist at 6:17 AM on April 11, 2012


A single song maybe isn't worth an FPP the way that projects posts sometimes are, but I think it would be awesome if we could use the sidebar to give Music some more exposure.

I don't think anyone would object to a semi-regular "Here's what's new in MeMu this [fortnight/month/quarter]!" omnibus post. Well, this is MeTa, so someone will object, but I still think it's a good idea. If others agree, maybe the MeMu regulars could arrange a casual rotation, so that it doesn't fall to one user to constantly make that sort of post?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:26 AM on April 11, 2012


I support this little pony.
posted by tavegyl at 6:32 AM on April 11, 2012


This is just to say that while I would probably not spend the time to dig through an omnibus music post, I almost definitely would listen to a song or two if they were sidebarred once a week or so. I don't know why this is, or if it's a position that many others share, but make of it what you will
posted by Scientist at 6:50 AM on April 11, 2012


This is such a good idea.
posted by koeselitz at 7:22 AM on April 11, 2012


I don't think anyone would object to a semi-regular "Here's what's new in MeMu this [fortnight/month/quarter]!" omnibus post. Well, this is MeTa, so someone will object, but I still think it's a good idea. If others agree, maybe the MeMu regulars could arrange a casual rotation, so that it doesn't fall to one user to constantly make that sort of post?

We've talked about this before but it's the failure to ever get it together that is the stumbling block!

For example, we've talked about a music podcast but the people who are interested in producing it (eg me) never seem to be able to block out the time. That's why I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that autowidgetizing it may be the best way forward, for some value of 'forward'.

If it could be an option to display the widget or not in the sidebar, that would be cool.
posted by unSane at 7:24 AM on April 11, 2012


One factor to consider about this, I guess, is that favoriting a track would then be a means of giving it a push onto the sidebar. You could see this as a bug or a feature, depending on your attitude to favorites and your fondness for Reddit.
posted by unSane at 7:26 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A projects-like 'post this track to Metafilter' button would be all kinds of awesome. The pony that this thread is about is really cool too.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:30 AM on April 11, 2012


One other possibility would be to utilize the 'flag as fantastic' option as a means (somehow) of promoting tracks to the sidebar.
posted by unSane at 7:40 AM on April 11, 2012


Maybe a widget in the sidebar that loads up a random song? I love this idea.
posted by frecklefaerie at 7:47 AM on April 11, 2012


I, too, would like some way to have some of MeMusic kicked to the sidebar. Not sure what the mechanism would be, but random or most-favorited once a week sound like two good possibilities.

Good pony. Nice pony. Have a carrot.
posted by hippybear at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2012


why not Music?

I'm fully in favor of getting music more eyeballs, but for a site that is primarily not a music blog having a mechanism to promote songs to the front page doesn't really work the way the Projects thing does. People know each other more. A specific song on its own is less likely to make a good post, a lot of things. That said, I think a little sidebar widget that would play a recent or recently favorited or even randomly recently favorited song would be good.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would ride that pony into the sunset, whistling.
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 AM on April 11, 2012


What if the sidebar widget played a random recent entry in the monthly challenge?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:04 AM on April 11, 2012


If the sidebar is a no-go, why not simply add Music posts and comments to the Popular Posts Page? Perhaps in their own separate category, since it seems unlikely they would ever make the regular threshold for Ask and Mefi? Something similar could be done for Projects, too. Project that get a certain number of votes make the Popular page.
posted by zarq at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2012


I've always appreciated the low-tech pre-web-2.0 aesthetic here on MeFi, and I think autoplaying MIDI arrangements of recently favorited songs would be the right way to go.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:25 AM on April 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Or, you know, a sidebar Flash widget or something would be cool too.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:26 AM on April 11, 2012


Yes! This is a good idea.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:26 AM on April 11, 2012


jessamyn: for a site that is primarily not a music blog having a mechanism to promote songs to the front page doesn't really work the way the Projects thing does.

I was thinking of the sidebar as a part of the front page. I didn't mean that the system for promoting Music posts to the front page should be the same as the system for promoting Projects posts, just that I thought it would be great if there were some mechanism (this widget idea is a good one in my view) for getting Music posts onto the blue.
posted by Scientist at 8:28 AM on April 11, 2012


Speaking of Projects: pronoiac also runs a great song-a-day podcast from Music if you're into podcasts.
posted by immlass at 8:49 AM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like the idea of a featured song.
posted by h00py at 9:07 AM on April 11, 2012


Agreeing with Jess that an actual as-a-post approach to featuring Music content would be not a great fit, but a sidebar-oriented approach makes sense (and to some extent this is something I feel like I should just be committing myself to being a lot more consistent about).

A dedicated widget pulling from some sort of at least semi-curated list of tracks would be great, and we're tossing around ideas for how that might work on email this morning as well.

In any case, yeah, it'd be really nice to have some way to raise the visibility of Music and of individual nice tracks. We're chewing on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:31 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've put a lot of stuff on Music over the years, & the slowness of the page has definitely diminished my ardor for posting, as of late. It's self defeating, but I find myself occasionally asking "why bother?" I'd like to feel more positive about the utility of it all, and wholly support this sidebar thingy, as an idea. FPP's about songs is obviously a non-starter, but a "song of the week" determined by faves/playcounts/comments as a widget in the sidebar would be cool. I'd click it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:31 AM on April 11, 2012


If this happens, can it be an optional widget? The front page already has contact activity, the side bar, and the posts - I don't really need a flash player on there as well.
posted by zamboni at 9:35 AM on April 11, 2012


actually I have some time to kill, I'll go into music and listen the hell out of some shit right now.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on April 11, 2012


I think Music is a great section of the site; there's all kinds of stuff going on over there. I would support whatever gets more members interested in it. I just wonder if using "most favorited" would mean more views for whatever's popular, rather than inspiring people to poke around and find stuff in the genres they like?

It seems like there's a pretty active core group of people who post stuff, but there's plenty of tracks that go un-commented upon. Not sure what the solution would be to that, other than mentioning repeatedly that IF YOU ARE READING THIS YOU SHOULD GO LISTEN TO AT LEAST ONE SONG RIGHT NOW.
posted by dubold at 9:36 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, while we're at it, it'd be great to up the file size limit. Some of the longer pieces I've done lately sound unacceptably bad munched down to a bit rate that'll fit into 10 mb.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:40 AM on April 11, 2012


If this happens, can it be an optional widget?

Yeah, I think like most things on the sidebar it'd be a "click to hide" situation so if you don't want to see it, you don't have to.

I just wonder if using "most favorited" would mean more views for whatever's popular, rather than inspiring people to poke around and find stuff in the genres they like?

I am inclined to think that whatever we did here would involve at least an element of direct human curation, specifically to avoid being trapped by that, yeah. When I pick stuff out for the normal mefi podcasts it tends to be a mix of stuff that was actually favorited or commented on a lot and stuff that has maybe no activity at all but I still think is pretty great, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on April 11, 2012


A semi-curated model would be best, I think. This is a fantastic idea, and I'm very happy to see the mods - and cortex, in particular - on board and thinking about how to do it.
posted by The World Famous at 10:03 AM on April 11, 2012


I'm excited about this too. I didn't listen to Mefi Music much before I started posting to it, and it's too bad cuz it turns out that there's a lot of fantastic music there. Anything we can do to raise its profile will benefit everyone. Those of us who post have a shot at more feedback, and regular mefites who click stuff on the front page will get to hear some awesome, unique music made by everyday people with songs in their hearts.
posted by chrchr at 12:18 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would be super interested in a Music podcast like the one unSane mentions, in case one* more person's interest would be what it takes to get those who would do it into gear.

In fact, I'm interested enough in it that I'd assist in actually producing it (despite not having a ton of experience) if there is interest; I wouldn't feel comfortable enough to do the curating but if a group of folks wanted to take that task and leave me to do the heavy lifting, let me know. Having that sort of responsibility would get me to listen to more stuff over there, and that seems pretty win/win.

All that said, if someone else REALLY wants to run with that ball and take the lead, but needs a little help, I'd be up for that too.

(I'm not that experienced in podcast producing either, but I'm interested enough to teach myself.)

* But maybe, because I'm a pretty standard Mefite, my response is, like a Nielsen family, representative of more than one potential listener.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:19 AM on April 13, 2012


As the former Music Podcaster Prime, I'm really totally comfortable with anyone who wants to give it a shot doing so. Worst case scenario is you don't end up enjoying it or it turns out to be a logistical pain in the ass for some reason, in which case you can just not keep doing it.

The ones I did were all pretty cut-and-dried affairs: I picked out a handful of songs, came up with a playlist for them, wrote up a little intro and outro for what was gonna get played or had been played, and then recorded my VO bits and strung it all together in garageband to set the levels right.

I also tried to do short interviews with Mefi musicians, like a little 10-15 minute thing between sets of tracks, and that was a lot of fun but some additional work. To some extent my failure to get back to making them comes down to failing to get up the gumption to execute those, since suddenly it's scheduling and making sure they have skype set up and doing a bit of prep-work to be familiar with what they've posted and what they've done and trying to run an interesting set of questions by them and editing live conversation down a bit to keep it snappy as a final product.

So the interview stuff is neat to have done, but a fair bit of work to do. I'd be all for people doing more of that but it might be easier to rekickstart the music podcast by not worrying about that so much initially and just putting together a nice ten-song playlist instead.

And doing that as a rotating guest-podcaster thing (or even a guest-playlister thing, all else aside I could really pretty easily put together a just-music podcast episode from someone else's "these are ten of my favorite Mefi Music tracks" pick list) would also be totally fine if multiple people are interested and want to actually do the work of putting one together. Doesn't have to be a lifetime commitment.

Basically I would be super happy to make more music podcast episodes happen one way or the other, so if you have a legit interest in doing some work on it, please do and please feel free to coordinate with me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


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