VLM Site Relaunch 2019Published: 01/05/2019
After over 6 months of downtime, the VLM site has relaunched and we are in the process of getting things slowly back to normal. A lot of folks asked why we took the site down. Here's the short story:
Back in May 2018, Facebook changed their rules regarding access to their API. We were using the API to automatically collect music events to post on the site. Keep in mind that we were only collecting events where the privacy setting was set to "public", meaning everyone has access to them. This process worked beautifully and allowed us to write a computer program to gather the majority of music events that were shared on Facebook for the state of Virginia without having to visit each and every page ourselves. Of course all good things must come to an end and now we're having to compile our list of music events manually until we can come up with a better way.
Why did it take over 6 months to bring the site back? The main reason is that the site is only developed by one person and sometimes work and life gets in the way of things that aren't paying the bills. In recent years, it has become nearly impossible to get people to leave the comfort of Social Media. Despite many attempts to get people to visit the site by advertising/posting on many different Facebook groups, Twitter and other Social Networks, we would get 20-30 visitors a day at most. While we'd obviously like our visitor count to improve, we're still grateful for those that took the time to visit the site and give us feedback.
With that being said, we feel there's still potential in a site catered to the support of local music in Virginia. Far too many sites, Facebook pages, etc are focused on the next big signed act that's coming to town and seem to not really care so much for the musicians in their own city/state. The amount of venues offering live music seems to be dwindling, partially because many people just aren't coming out to see live music like they used to. Maybe it's because too many bands are just running down a list of cover songs and not trying to put on a "show". It could be that venues owners/managers aren't doing their part to help advertise the bands and expect the bands to draw the crowd themselves. No matter what the reason, there signs are there and the red flags are waving. Something needs to change and we all need to work together.
So what does all this mean? In the days/weeks/months to come you'll see quite a few new additions and features to the site. One of the first things we're going to do is allow people to register for the site which will allow us to implement features such as the ability to rate venues, comment on blog posts and vote on certain polls we'll be having in the future.
At any rate, please check back often and bear with us while we make some long overdue changes and get things ready for the spring/summer months when the music scene in Virginia really kicks off. Thanks for reading this and as always, thank you for supporting local music in Virginia!