I’ve been teasing it, and here it is: the new version of Tophour. Different, ain’t it?
New site, new changes, new audio (later in the week). But what’s new, you ask? Dig it…
All I Wanna Know Is: Who’s Responsible?
Before I get into too much of what’s new, I want to give props to Christina from Moxie Design Studios, who did an amazing job on the rebuild. I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to give up building the site by hand (er, mouse?), but the direction I wanted this thing to go was beyond my skills. Christina asked the right questions and built almost exactly the site I had envisioned in my head. I couldn’t be more pleased, and in fact, I have a couple other ideas in mind that I might throw her way. If you have a site you need worked on, you should talk to her.
More Peeps, Less Waiting
If you’ve spent much time around here over the past 3.5 years (my geekly baby will be four in August) then you’ve no doubt seen the name Lou Pickney. He’s contributed a lot of audio to this site and as of today has entered this Very Special Hell as co-editor. Lou will be updating the site and bringing in lots of new stuff, including some pretty interesting new markets if all goes as planned. In addition to what’s here, you can check out Lou’s website at loupickney.com.
Pay No Attention To The App Behind The Curtain
The new site is based around blogging software from Movable Type. The change to the new system will make it easier for us to update the site, and because of my travel schedule with my wife’s health, I wanted something that I could update from the road. The new system will also add the ability for you to comment on what you read, see and hear. It’s not quite a bulletin board system — you can reply to topics we’ve created but not start any new ones — but you can still voice your opinions on stuff.
Big Audio Napoleon Dynamite
The audio management system is fully integrated, and the majority of the audio from the old site has been restored. There is some stuff missing: a lot of the IDs from the first generation of the site didn’t conform to the standards that we’ve set since, but luckily I have most of the source audio, so look for those to return.
Also, Lance from radio-info.com had sent a bunch of stuff, but it was mostly in the old RealAudio format. In addition to all his other projects, Lance is working on a CD of IDs that feature all the old stuff that was here before and a ton of new stuff.
And even though this isn’t exactly life or death or anything, I also decided not to post audio that I didn’t have a month and year for. We previously had some audio posted that I only had the year for, but a station can change a lot between, say, February and November, and I wanted the record to show at least a general time frame. There wasn’t a terribly large amount of content that didn’t make the cut, but there was some.
Changes: Not The Obvious Bowie Reference, But Tupac
Sadly, the one thing that isn’t making the move from the old site to the new is the market listings for each market. There’s simply no way that we’ve found to make it work within Andromeda, and while the listings were great, it was the audio that was the point of the site in the first place. There are sites that catalog stations already — some are pretty great and some aren’t that aren’t great but get the job done — so that’s not a sandbox Toppy needs to play in.
There’s a Google ad at the bottom of every page now. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, but Christina’s the one who made it work. No, we’re not becoming whores. When those phat checks start rolling in, they’ll pay for hosting and other ways to expand the site. Fear not.
And In Closing, Fellow Citizens…
I’m sure there’s stuff I haven’t thought of yet, and if you have comments, questions, analysis or whatever, you’re more than welcome to post a comment. You can also e-mail me or drop a note to say “Hello and Welcome To Hell” to Lou. (Spam note: remove the dashes.)