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:
- Join the youarelistening.to email list for periodic news & updates
- Follow me on Twitter for (much) more frequent updates (and randomness!)
- Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts & suggestions
And as always... just keep listening!!