More Facebook Music Rumors

October 31, 2007 at 6:17 pm

6a00d83451b36c69e201676863b68c970b-120wiFacebook Music will essentially be a way for musicians (or their labels) to create their own fan pages just like on MySpace, each with a separate sub-domain within Facebook. Facebook members will be able to join any artist’s network as a “fan”. This will be similar to joining a group, but centered around music. Members will be able to listen to streamed songs, watch videos, add music to their own pages, find out about upcoming tours, and meet other fans. Facebook is also supposedly working on sales widgets for these pages (to be introduced at a later date) so that artists can sell downloads directly through Facebook.

More Facebook Music Rumors

It will be interesting to see how this stacks up against MySpace, and if bands will move their web presence from MySpace to Facebook. Many bands don’t even have their own website these days, and prefer to just use their MySpace page as their “homepage”. This is really silly because you’re essentially giving MySpace all of your traffic, and making your fans look at all those banner ads.

As Christopher Penn said at Podcamp this weekend, you don’t want to build your house at the intersection of major highways, but you want to post billboards to direct traffic to your own home on the web. In other words, use these sites to promote your own website, but don’t give all of your content to them.

Ever since Facebook opened up it’s platform up to developers, we’ve seen a plethora of interesting apps created for Facebook. This was a brilliant move on the part of Facebook, because it means there is now a way for 3rd party developers to tap into a huge existing social network, one that is growing at a phenomenal rate:

  • 350,000 new users per day
  • 50 million users
  • # of users double every 6 months
  • average person spends 21.5 min on the site
  • 65% come back the next day

It will be interesting to see what happens with Google’s OpenSocial which launches tomorrow. Apparently, it provides a common set of APIs for accessing social networking data.

If I’m building a social networking app for musicians/bands today, I don’t think I necessarily want to be tied to one particular platform which may go out-of-style tomorrow. Can anyone say Friendster?

Scraping a jazz events calendar

June 12, 2006 at 12:48 am

As mentioned in my last post building a live music calendar, I’m disappointed that the websites that list jazz events in Boston don’t offer the data as an RSS or iCal feed. One example of this is the WGBH Jazz Calendar, which has probably the most comprehensive listing of jazz events in the Boston area.

In my talk about Plone4Artists at EuroPython 2005, I mentioned a tool called Scrape ‘n’ Feed, which will scrape a website and generate an RSS feed. Well, it’s been a year since I first discovered this tool, and now I’m revisiting it to see if I can make it work. Here is my first foray into this scraping business.

ScrapeNFeed depends on Beautiful Soup and PyRSS2Gen which are easily installable on Ubuntu Linux with:

Once I installed these two packages, I downloaded the script and created the following file ‘’:

Run the script with ./ and it will output a file wgbh.xml , which is in the RSS 2.0 format. You can then open this file using your RSS reader of choice, and view all the Boston jazz events.

Once thing that I noticed is that some of the items in the list have an extra <br /> which means the title doesn’t get read in correctly. I’ll have to find a way to ignore the <br /> which I sure will be fairly simple with BeautifulSoup.

What’s next

At the OPMLCamp a few weeks ago, I met Mike Kowalchik, the creator of grazr. After seeing this tool, I immediately thought about how useful it would be for generating a browseable directory of event listings. You simply supply grazr with an OPML file, and it will then display all the RSS feeds and their entries. After I get a couple more event listing sites scraped, I’ll generate the OPML file and try them out with grazr.

Mike also mentions on his blog about Tom Morris’ idea about using grazr to ‘kill myspace’ by creating a better way for independent bands and artists to self promote using OPML. Note to self: follow up with Tom to discuss this idea further. I love the integrated MP3 player in his grazr box. Update: left him an Odeo message.

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How to Feel Miserable as an Artist

June 12, 2006 at 12:09 am

Remind yourself. From wish jar journal found via Michael Martine’s blog.
 Wp-Content Miserableartist

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