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Update #2

Onwards & Upwards (and always twirling, twirling, twirling...)

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Well despite my best efforts and the invaluable assistance of the awesome people at Kickstarter & SoundCloud, it looks like the youarelistening.to Kickstarter project is most likely going to come up quite a bit short of its funding target. Needless to say, this is a tiny bit disappointing, but actually the entire process of preparing and running the campaign has been a really great opportunity for me to do a lot of learning and thinking about what's next for the site, in the months & years to come.

By setting the fundraising goal relatively high, I was hoping to be able to make the next step in the development of youarelistening.to a really major one, by "kickstarting" the creation of a mobile app that offered some exciting new tools for sharing & collaboration among members of the youarelistening.to community, better promotion & discovery opportunities for learning about all the artists featured on the site and a bunch of other stuff that went beyond just replicating the functionality of the website. Since the Kickstarter model is "all or nothing", I wanted people to feel confident that if the funding was successful that the resulting project would get done in a timely fashion *and* would be something really new and special.

However, as I've thought about this more and more, I've come to realize a few things. First, the site is only a year old, and there are still lots of people out there who haven't heard about it at *all* yet. Second, what really makes youarelistening.to unique (and amazing, IMHO...) is the relationship between listeners and musicians (and  of course all the men & women of law enforcement whose lives we get a chance to peer into by listening to the site.

With all that in mind, I've decided that the best thing to do in the next few months is not necessarily to shoot off in any totally new directions (as exciting as that might be...) but instead to really focus on the site's existing strengths and work on making them even stronger! To that end I'm planning to continue adding new artists to the site, and finding better ways for listeners to learn more about the ones they really like, and also moving forward with producing some of the most popular Kickstarter rewards, since it seems like everyone is excited about showing their support for youarelistening.to, regardless of whether or not an app gets produced in the next few months! So stay tuned to the site for more details on stickers, shirts, and compilation albums in the next few weeks and if there's any other URL2LA gear you'd like to see, then please let me know.

And finally, I just wanted to say "THANKS!" one more time to all the people who have pledged to the Kickstarter campaign, contributed your music to the site, told your friends about the project, posted on Facebook, Twitter, blogs & everything else, because it's been truly inspirational to see how many people the youarelistening.to project has resonated with so strongly that they've gone out of their way to get in touch, ask how they can help, suggest new features & music for the site or even just write to say "Wow, this is weird and I *like* it!" =)

(BTW, if you've written in the last week or two and I haven't gotten back to you yet, please accept my apologies, but I've been juggling a lot of stuff with both this project and several other things, so it's been just a little hectic. But rest assured that your emails and SoundCloud submissions are all neatly queued up and awaiting my next available bit of free time!)

So aaaanyway, communication overload notwithstanding, I really want to make sure that I can keep in touch with as many of you as possible, and if you feel the same way, please take a moment to do any (or all!) of the following:

And as always... just keep listening!!


Update #1

Stickers, Interviews & Thanks!

4 comments

Hey everybody! It's been a fantastic couple of weeks for youarelistening.to & I'm mainly just writing to say thanks to everyone who's pledged to the project so far. It's very rewarding to see the project finding a new audience in Atlanta, Baltimore, Portland and all the other new cities and even with listeners from all over the world! Just this morning I spoke with Anders Kjærulff for a segment he's producing on the Danish radio station Radio24syv & yesterday a piece on youarelistening.to was broadcast on The Mobius on WREK in Atlanta. It was an honor to be featured on the Kickstarter blog & newsletter, and the response from the SoundCloud community has been really great as well. For those who haven't had a chance to hear it I wanted to share this short recording I put together to introduce the site to new listeners on SoundCloud:

It's kind of similar to what I spoke about in the Kickstarter video, but I also went into a bit more detail about some of my plans for the iPhone app and other new features I'm planning to add to the site, so please take a look & let me know what you think.

Secondly, I'm attaching an initial draft of the sticker reward that's included with most of the different pledge tiers, so I'd appreciate any feedback on that as well. I wanted to keep the design for this sticker very minimal & somewhat mysterious, so I thought the "Country Code" oval that you often see on cars and luggage lended itself nicely to these goals. I've also done some paper prototypes & can confirm it looks pretty cool on laptops as well...

Anyway, thanks once again for all your support so far. There's still a loooong way to go before the project reaches it's funding goal though, so if you haven't had a chance to share a link to the youarelistening.to site or the Kickstarter project with your friends & family yet, I would definitely appreciate any support you can offer in that way. There are some handy Tweet & Facebook "Like" buttons on both the site & the Kickstarter page, so feel free to use those, write your own little blurb about it or even just email the link to a couple of friends. And of course, keep the new music submissions and other suggestions about the site coming! I'm buried under a mountain of emails these days, but in a *good* way & I'm always very glad to hear from listeners.

Cheers & stay tuned for more soon!

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    38 backers

    Special thanks! Every dollar counts & we'll say thanks by adding a special "URL2.LA Founder" icon to your site & app account.

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    39 backers

    Stickers! We'll send send you a handful (10-15?) of tasteful URL2.LA stickers to adorn your laptop, iPad, bike, car, skateboard or body and let everyone know where your head is at! (and you'll also get the "URL2.LA Founder" status from the $1 reward)

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    93 backers

    Digital Album! Own a high-quality (FLAC/ALAC) version of the first official URL2.LA mix album, featuring music from dozens of the artists featured on the site, plus carefully selected scanner excerpts from around the world. Learn more about the included artists & the project itself from the extensive digital liner notes. (and you'll also get the "URL2.LA Founder" status from the $1 reward)

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    40 backers

    Physical Album! Travel back in time to the 20th Century with this optically encoded version (i.e. a CD) of the above digital mix album (which is also included so you don't have to bother ripping it). I will personally sign the packaging with some kind of antique writing implement. Also, there will be stickers. (and you'll also get the "URL2.LA Founder" status from the $1 reward)

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    40 backers

    Shirt! Are you wearing Los Angeles? You will be, with this minimal design silkscreened onto a high-quality t-shirt available in one of several sizes & cuts (#heyLadies). Design forthcoming, but rest assured... "You're going to like the way you look; I guarantee it." Stickers, digital album & "URL2.LA Founder" status will be included, naturally...

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    3 backers

    Tote Bag! What would a radio station fund-raiser be without a Tote Bag? Incomplete, that's what. Select this reward to get a stylish new friend for your collection of NPR Tote Bags. Design also forthcoming, but it will be "Totes Awesome" for sure. Stickers, digital album & "URL2.LA Founder" status will be included, naturally...

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    2 backers

    Shirt in a Bag! Can't decide between the Shirt & the Tote Bag? Don't want to cut holes in the bag & wear it as a shirt? We have a remedy... Get both! Plus the stickers, digital album & "URL2.LA Founder" status.

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    4 backers

    Megabox! The Shirt... The Tote Bag... The signed Physical Album... The Stickers... This box has it all! Also included is "URL2.LA Founder" status & my undying gratitude for making such a generous contribution!

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    Megasponsorship! Want to get all the URL2.LA rewards *and* show a little extra love? Megasponsorship includes everything in the Megabox reward *plus* lifetime membership in the "Founder's Circle" on the site & app "About" page. I'll also schedule 30 to 45 minutes of time for chatting on Skype (or in real life, if we find ourselves in the same city at some point) so if you have any questions or want to make some suggestions about the project, you will have my undivided attention. (Please note that I'm *always* up for chatting via email/IM/etc. without any money changing hands, so feel free to get in touch! The intention here was simply to dedicate some larger chunks of time to talking about the project during which I won't get distracted by emails, cell phones or HEY THAT DOG HAS A PUFFY TAIL!!)

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    2 backers Limited (10 left of 12)

    Ultrasponsorship! Are you "committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world" or something like that? If so, why not become a URL2.LA "Ultrasponsor" and share that dream with the world? This includes exclusive placement & an outbound link on the URL2.LA site & app home screen for one month, as well as perpetual membership in the "Founder's Circle" on the "About" page. Also includes the full set of other rewards (Shirt, Bag, etc.) and the Skype / real-world chat thing from Megasponsorship.

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    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    Installation! Many people have asked about curating or participating in a URL2.LA live show or gallery installation & I agree that this would be super cool. On a personal level, it would also be super cool to meet some of the listeners all around the world who I've corresponded with in the past year, so if you have a space & want to stage a "You Are Listening" live event in your city, this is your chance. The price is inclusive of basic costs (i.e. portable sound system rental, projector & etc.) and I can travel within California for no additional fee. Outside of CA I'll also need basic (i.e. coach) airfare and lodging for for 3-4 days (hotels or comfortable couches are equally acceptable). We can also discuss additional expenses beyond what's included here if you want to throw a massive rave & have me parachute in or whatever. Also includes the full set of other rewards (Shirt, Bag, etc.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)