Thursday, June 25, 2009

Contributor News: June 2009

Dear fellow AAJ contributor,

2009 continues to be our year as we recently won our 8th consecutive Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) Jazz Award for best website. For more exciting news please read on...

AAJ: Built to Last

Amongst all the industry doom and gloom, AAJ remains a beacon that is experiencing significant growth. Regardless of what you hear about the state of the music business in general, we remain optimistic about our future as more and more sponsors (and readers) turn to the web and choose All About Jazz. Our content is stronger than ever, we're building a formative editorial and writing staff, our technology is constantly improving, we're following our project plan and seeing impressive results, we're developing strategic partnerships, and above all, we're having fun and serving jazz.

Embedded Comments and Pagination

We made two significant improvements to article.php (the script that presents articles and CD reviews). You'll notice that we now show the comments box to registered members. Adding the box has already given our reader comment volume a boost and activity grows by the day. We also added a new pagination feature to make our longer articles easier to read. Check out this example.

Gina Vodegel: How You Can Help

We're always on the look out for more editors to help us prepare articles and CD reviews. Please read this request by fellow editor Gina Vodegel on how you can participate.

First, I'd like to say a few words about being an editor for All About Jazz. The job description is simple, to edit incoming reviews by various contributors. You never know what will be next, what artist or style you'll be reading about. This is a nice surprising element I enjoy very much. And it's also very handy to learn about new music this way!

The work itself requires a sense for the English/American language, of course. And has a few basic and often practical or technical guidelines. In general, contributors are free to write in their own style and voice. As such, editing is never the same, never boring and always a challenge in the most positive meaning of the word. Another nice aspect is the opportunity to communicate and become friends with other people.

Contributors as well as editors hail from different backgrounds, with one main thing they share: commitment to spread the word about music. Good music. So, if you happen to be reading this and feel an itch to join the editorial staff, please do. Visit the Contributor Center and click the appropriate links.

Thank you!

Contact John Kelman if you have an interest in joining our editorial staff.

Big Numbers

Speaking of encouraging signs, All About Jazz won its 8th consecutive Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) Jazz Award, we exceeded 91,000 readers on June 9th, we topped 60,000 MY AAJ registrations on June 22nd, and we raced past 4,000,000 MP3 downloads on May 26th. The web is all about building momentum, and we're definitely on a roll.

Jason Crane's Podcast of the Week

Long-time AAJ contributor and podcaster Jason Crane is now featuring his outstanding weekly program The Jazz Session at AAJ. You can access it by clicking "Podcast" in the navigation bar or scroll down the right side of each page and click the latest podcast. This week Jason is featuring the band Rudder.

CD Assignments

We just sent out a big batch of CD packages to several writers. If you requested CDs over the last couple of months, chances are your package is on the way.

We do have a surplus of vocal and straight-ahead jazz CDs, so if you have an interest in either style and would like to review some, contact me direct.

Looking for reviews of...

We're looking for reviews of the following three CDs for inclusion on the AAJ home page:

David Hazeltine & Joe Locke
Mutual Admiration Society 2
Sharp Nine Records

Bill Anschell & Brent Jensen
We Couldn't Agree More
Origin Records

Nineteen-Eight Records

Get Your Widgets!

We're expanding our suite of widgets in an effort to push our content out beyond All About Jazz. If you have a website or blog, please consider adding an AAJ widget or two.

What are AAJ widgets you say? AAJ widgets are dynamically updated and customizable content boxes that are pushed from to a user's website or blog. View how they appear at the Jazz Excursion website, the Montreal Jazz Festival website or the AAJ News Blog. See them all in action on a single page.

Chris May

Congratulations to one and all for a much deserved 2009 JJA Jazz Award. This year we'd like to bring special attention to the efforts of Chris May. Chris is a senior editor, a regular contributor, and has helped shape the direction of AAJ since he came on board back in 2004. Thanks, Chris!

All the best,

Michael Ricci

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