Back in April I posted a solicitation for new advertisers outlining that, despite the site's continuing popularity, my advertisers are down this year. They still are. In the comments there was the suggestion that I start a Patreon for readers to support the site, and the suggestion that I add a forum. I'm pleased to announce both of those are coming very soon!
I've just launched a Patreon page for the site at https://patreon.com/discchord_com! If you can support the site please strongly consider doing so. For the last few months I've had to dig into my savings to pay bills, and my quarterly estimated taxes just wiped that out. If the site doesn't start paying the bills soon I will have to make a hard decision about getting a day job. If you've enjoyed the site and want to make sure it remains my top priority, please Patronize Me! Patreon Patrons of both this and my Let's Play series will get special "supporter" flair in comments on the site as well as the new forum!
I've resisted the idea of doing a forum for years, but I'm kind of excited about it now. I've been learning Python at a hobbyist level for the past 2 years, but lately I found myself getting quite passionate about it. I now know enough to do some pretty big projects. So not only will I be bringing you a custom forum, I'm moving the whole site to my own custom content management system. I mean entirely custom. The new site is written from scratch using Python, Flask, and MongoDB. I've been very happy with Squarespace for the last 5 years, but now I'm feeling ambitious!
I've been working on it in the background for the last two months and I keep having more and more feature ideas. Long-time readers of the site may remember the iPad Music Buyer's Guide; which is still on the site, but not linked anywhere. I abandoned it because it became a nightmare to maintain and it was just not getting a lot of reader interaction. I think I've figured out how to address both of those problems and I can't wait to show off the new music app buyer's guide!
It's amazing to me just how much Python I've learned. It's weird. There are vast swaths of my brain that think and interact with other parts of my brain, and none of that was there a couple of years ago.
Webb's Law: Cognita Ad Infinitum
This experience of learning an entirely new discipline has led me to the creation of my own Law. In the tradition of Godwin's Law and Poe's Law, I'd like to offer you Webb's Law:
Any discipline with less concepts than Latin has words, is easier to learn than Latin.
Nearly everything I know is self-taught, from music theory to writing, but I obstinately refuse to learn Latin. See I believe in reincarnation, but I don't have delusions of grandeur or fantasies of being some long-dead King. What I do have is this eerie-almost-panicky feeling whenever I look at Latin like, "I should know what this means. Why don't I? What's wrong, why don't I know this?!" It's quite disconcertingly haunting, and I've always had this feeling throughout my life. I've come to interpret it as a sign that I've definitely spent way too much time, in way too many lifetimes, learning Latin. I won't do it this time. Fuck that. I'm not wasting another minute learning the same language that I'll just forget AGAIN when I die. It's not worth it. There are far more things worth learning and most of them are easier.
Statistics, Damned Statistics, and Surprisingly Few Lies
Now all of this Python and database knowledge is humming along in my brain, thinking up new and interesting ways of doing things. I've already written the code to migrate from Squarespace's database to my own, and I instantly got to thinking about ways to interact with that. Now I know things I couldn't have known before using Squarespace's analytics alone. For instance: very few people have abused the anonymous commenting system! I cross-referenced IPs to usernames and not even IK Multimedia's infamous marketeers have abused the system! This is fantastic news, so I'll make sure you can still anonymously comment on the new site.
I can also do some unique app tracking using this DB and Apple's iTunes API! In the last 5 years I've posted news for 1500+ apps. Of those, about 1200 list "Music" as their primary iTunes genre. Of those 1200, 800 apps have been updated in the last 18 months, 676 have been updated in the last 12 months, and 500 apps have been updated in the last 6 months. That's a hell of a lot of actively developed music apps! All of this has lead to a bunch more ideas I can't wait to share.
My goal is to launch the new version of discchord before the site officially turns 5 in August! This weekend I'd like to collect feedback from you about what you'd like to see changed in the site. Please comment here with all suggestions!