Sunday, May 22, 2016

somerville success!

I admit, design- and "juiciness" wise it's not my best work, but this year the Somerville Porchfest Map Webpage stayed alive throughout the very popular event - the first time it did so in the event's 5 or so year history! I think I tried to reach out to them last year, but this year they finally took me up on my offer - I worked with the organizers and one of their developers to work in a system that dumped a static version of the band list to JSON, and then had the webpage grab that in one giant gulp (with the same kind of Google Maps integration.) I also spent some cycles grabbing the thumbnails and making a CSS sprite sheet.

I finally got to meet the people I was volunteering for and with on the day (My tuba and I also participated in two different groups, a Porch-i-oke Sing-along and the School of Honk.) In retrospect I probably should have pushed to meet earlier, just because there were some features (like linking back to their main band display pages) that would have been on their wishlist that I didn't think of.

The days leading up to the event were kind of frantic, in fixing data issues and tracking down missing bands. The data was pretty messy, for sure (hence my recent post on Debugging JSON) but we got through. It was a HUGE amount of data though - many, many bands.

Maybe next year I'll pitch a more-geared-to-mobile site, like I had for JP Porchfest.  As a pipedream it would be great to have a Porchfest Mobile App, but making a version for both iOS AND Android sounds onerous, unless maybe I was able to make an HTML5 version and bundle it via Phonegap or something.

One further observation I made on my regular blog:
Trying to figure out why my page for the Somerville Porchfest was looking wonky - the "Music Genre" selector was stretched to an ungainly degree. Apparently, up 'til now we haven't had "genres" such as "definitely not 'country' per se - but instead classic country" or "post MAN-o-pause-al rock super group" 
Note to self: bands are bad at taxonomy. 
And so it goes! Or went.

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