Monday, July 28, 2014

rADmin: Making Your Ads Rad

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"This post and accompanying walkthrough video focus on setting up and managing ads through Radmin. If you haven’t done so already, check out this post first for an introduction to Radmin."

The ads section of Radmin is here, and while we can toss around a bunch of reasons why it's a great leap forward, we'll instead just let you know it single-handedly cures a whole bunch of headaches of the old ad system. Things like advertisers not always being keen on staying associated with ads. Or the dreaded error message from adjusting weights. ALL GONE.

In the old system's place, we've created a robust platform for ad creation, management, and reporting. We can go on and on about why it's great, but here to do the honors himself is Justin Schaffer, the man behind the design, the Legend of DoStuff. Watch the video for a complete walk-through of how the new system works. Then, if you ever need to reference the more high-level information contained in the tutorial you will soon be able to find it all on LearnStuff. Or you can just check out our summary below this video.

Ladies and gentleman, Justin Schaffer on rADmin:


Video Highlights

Overall Advertising Interface

When you first click into the "Advertising" section of Radmin, you'll see a grid with a similar layout as the other sections of Radmin.
  • For clarity, you'll see only your current active ads, sorted alphabetically by ad location.  
  • Clicking into the filters section at the top of your ads will allow you to filter by Advertiser name and ad unit, or check "Include Inactive" to display ads not currently running. 
  • The columns displayed on the Advertising homepage include:
    • Advertiser: The advertiser attached to the respective ad. This controls how ads are grouped together when pulling ad reports. For best results, you should have one and only one advertiser in your system for each respective client/partner that advertises on your site.
    • Campaign: The campaign attached to the respective ad. This field is purely for organizational purposes, and should be used to group together ads with a common theme/ad buy. 
    • Ad Name: The unique name attached to the respective ad. This is most commonly used to combine the advertiser, campaign, and location to make the ad easily identifiable when scanning the list of ads. Review the below recommended hierarchy of the Advertiser/Campaign/Ad Name relationship-


    • Start Date: The date the respective ad will go live.
    • End Date: The last date the ad will run. For Featured Events, the ad will end at the start time of the event. For brand ads, the ad will run through the entirety of the end date, then automatically pause afterwards.  
    • Location: The ad's respective ad unit (Featured Event, Top Right, Listings Middle, User/Venue Widget, Leaderboard)
    • Weight: The percentage (out of 100 page loads) that a brand ad will be served. Adjusting a brand ad's weight will proportionately adjust the weights of all other brand ads concurrently running in the same ad unit. For example, adding a new Top Right ad with a weight of 50 will cut the weights of every other Top Right brand ad in half. Adding a new Top Right ad with a weight of 100 will set all other Top Right ads to a weight of 0.
    • Impressions: The number of impressions that the respective ad has accumulated over its lifetime, compared to its Impression Goal (the target number of impressions set during ad creation). 
      • ***Note: the daily update of how many impressions a given ad has received will not be immediately live when launching, but should be introduced in the week following when you first have Radmin ads access.

Ad Creation

Ad creation for all ads now takes place in the same area. No more navigating between different sections of admin for each ad unit. Simply click "New Ad" in the top right of your Advertising home page, and you'll have an option of creating an ad for any ad unit on your site. Much of the basic ad creation process is the same as admin, with a few differences highlighted below:
  • Required Advertiser/Campaign Fields: It is now impossible to create an ad without associating it with an advertiser. This should prevent any problems with ads not showing up when ad reports are pulled. For brand ads, you must associate it with a campaign before creating the ad. 
  • Duplicate Advertiser Prevention: It is also impossible to create two advertisers that have the same name. You'll get this error message instead:



    (Note: you could still create one advertiser called "Live Nation" and another called "LiveNation" so always try to add an existing advertiser before creating a new one)
  • Venue/User Widget Mutually Exclusive: When creating a venue/user widget, once you associate it with a user OR venue, the other option will no longer be available. In other words, you can't associate a widget with both a venue and user. Once associated with a particular venue/user, that will automatically become the Advertiser for the widget. 
  • Impression Goal: How many impressions a brand ad needs to deliver to the advertiser for the respective ad. Used for comparison against how many impressions the ad has actually received to date, which will display for each ad on the Advertising home page. 
Ad Management

Most of ad management will be controlled from the icons at the furthest right column of your Advertising home page. The icons serve similar functions as icons in other sections of Radmin, with the following specific actions:
  • Magnifying glass: View the details page for a previously created ad.
  • Pencil: Edit a previously created ad (adjust an ad's weight from this page).
  • Play/Pause: If the ad is active, click the Pause icon to make the ad inactive. If you wish to make a currently inactive ad live on your site, apply the "Include Inactive" filter, and then hit the Play icon. This tool is especially handy for monitoring impressions and controlling which ads show without having to constantly adjust ad weights. 
  • Graph: Pull an ad report for the respective ad and all other ads attached to the same advertiser.

You're a rADmin grAD

At the end of the day, we recognize that easy ad setup and management means happy advertisers, and happy advertisers means happy metros. That said, if there's something here that's making you less than giddy, we want to hear it. We're still in the early stages of this, so any feedback is welcome.

That's all for now; start making some rADs!
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Radmin Introduction: Your Faster, Prettier, More Intuitive CMS

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It’s alive!

After nearly a year of work from the Product team over here at DoStuff, Radmin is finally up and running and ready to put to use.

How Do I Get Started?

Before you log in and start clicking around like crazy, the best way to get started is to watch the Radmin Introduction walkthrough video put together by our own Justin Schaffer. Thirty-eight minutes and thirty-six seconds may sound like a long time, but just think of it as your own personal Radmin crash course.

Plus, we know some of you would be sitting on YouTube for the next 40 minutes anyway.


Radmin Highlights

While you’re watching the walkthrough video and testing out Radmin for yourself, here are some of the important changes and features we want to make sure to point out:

Fast, Simple User Interface (UI)

The first thing you’ll notice when you come over to Radmin from Admin is the completely redesigned user interface (UI). It’s faster, prettier, and more intuitive.

From the very start, we focused on designing Radmin around the way you work. In addition to the new menu bar on the left side of the screen, there are a number of elements that are consistent across the site so you can always find what you need:

  • Magnifying Glass: Always takes you to that item’s detail page
  • Pencil: Always takes you to that item's edit page
  • Cog: Always drops down additional options (takes place of that massive sidebar in Admin)

Better Sorting

In Admin Pending Events were always sorted by most recent. That meant that you might have to go through pages of pending events before you found out that Kanye West announced a new tour date over the weekend. 

In Radmin Pending Events are sorted by popularity rating automatically, so the most important shows are the ones that will be edited and approved the soonest. From now on, if you're keeping up with your queues, there will be no question that your site is the best resource for up-to-the-minute event listings in your metro.

New Media Search Function

Speaking of Pending Events, you may have noticed all the red and green bubbles in your queue. That color coding system is part of the all new Media Search function being seen for the first time here in Radmin.

When you see an Artist or Venue name surrounded in red, that means that it’s missing a matching Facebook account, a YouTube video, or it’s been 6 months since either were updated. Green means all media is up-to-date.

For a full run-down of the new Media Search features, check out Justin’s tutorial here.


Duplicates Queue

We made two major changes to the Duplicates queue in Radmin that will make it faster and easier to sort through duplicate events.

First, you’ll notice that only one match is displayed per page. Instead of stacking all the dupes on top of one another and causing confusion, Radmin only displays one dupe at a time. After you approve, merge, or delete a dupe, Radmin automatically refreshes to display the next match. The result is a faster, easier to navigate queue.

Second, the newer event (the duplicate event) is always displayed on top with the new, conflicting information displayed in red. The older event (the original event) is always displayed in white and appears below. This color-coding will make it simpler to identify what information is different, and what action you should take.

Approved Events

In Radmin the Approved Events queue is sorted by date created by default, but you can quickly sort by event date or popularity rating if needed. You’ll also notice the new magnifying glass and pencil icons that take you to the Event details page and edit Event page, respectively.

And with Radmin, you can now edit the Event Category (e.g. Music, Comedy, Film) and add Event tags right within the edit Events page!

Back in the Approved Events queue, the new cog icon on the far right is now your go-to shortcut for a number of common actions related to Events:

  • Advertise: Set-up a new ad for that Event in the Advertising tab
  • Giveaway: Open a pop-up to create a Giveaway for that Event
  • RSVP: Open a pop-up to set up an RSVP
  • Slideshow: Enter Flickr information to add photos to the Event
  • Voting: Quickly vote on event using the email of promo accounts (ex: Top Picks, Free, etc.)
  • Merge: Merge with another Event (note: this action will take you back to Admin for now)
  • Copy: Create a new Event using the same information
  • View: Check out the Event on your metro site
  • Delete: Be careful! Once you delete an event, it’s gone

Scrapers

Brand new to Radmin is a Scraper support function built right into the site. In the past you would need to email Taro about any issues and remind yourself to check to see if it got fixed. Now all communication and updates are displayed right in Radmin.

To view your Scrapers, look under the Events tab in the Radmin menu bar. In the far-right column you’ll see a chat bubble icon that pulls up the support window. If you log a problem, the scripter will be notified by email automatically and will then report any updates within Radmin. You'll also receive an email any time a new update to the scraper happens and is communicated in the chat section.

Also new to Radmin, the Venue list will display any Scraper associated with that Venue in green, red, or gray. Green means that scraper is functioning properly, red means it’s broken, and gray means it’s been paused.

No More Sass

The final feature we want to highlight is the addition of all the Sass editor functions into Radmin! For now your Sass editor will still work as before, but Radmin makes it possible to avoid it altogether.

The first place you’ll want to look is the Site Design tab in the Radmin menu bar. This is where you can control all the design elements for your metro site, including adding custom CSS, JavaScript, and AB testing code. Your search suggestions and what you call your Tastemakers/All-Stars/Unicorns is controlled  in the Metadata tab.

You can now also bust caches on your site right from Radmin. Look under the Advanced tab in the menu bar and you will see the option for Caches. We’ve worked to improve the way site changes are updated, but there may still be times when you need to bust a cache to force an update to appear.

Advertising and more


There is way too much to cover in one blog post alone, so be sure to refer back to the Radmin Introduction video as many times as you need to get a feel for the new platform.

Once you’ve had time to familiarize yourself with the basics, the next step is to move onto advertising. Start by checking out this short Radmin Ads video and accompanying blog post. There we’ll walk you through the completely streamlined process of creating and monitoring ads in Radmin.

Enjoy trying out Radmin and let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

What DoStuff's Doing: Welcome Do502, Do312's Pizzafied Punk Albums, and Front-end Updates

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It's been a few weeks since out last Network Update and there's a lot to cover, so let's get right to it!

Product Updates

Big Front-end Rollout

This week saw a big rollout of some of the front-end features we’ve been working on the past few months.

In addition to the Artist Cards, Event Tags, and Latest page updates profiled here, yesterday’s rollout also added a sold-out button to the front-end edit tool and the inclusion of hours of operation to Venue Pages.

New Sold Out Button.png


El Meson Hours of Operation.png


If you haven't done so already, check out these new features on your site and let us know what you think.

What else? 


  • How Old is Your Audience? We've updated tracking on all sites so that you can now view the demographics and interests of your site visitors in Google Analytics (including whether or not your fans have been lying about their age). Find it under the "Audience" tab in your GA profile. 
  • Search Bar in New ECPs: New ECPs now have the same search functionality as your DoXXX site, nestled in the sticky navigation bar at the top: 


***Note: the search bar replaced the "Featured Venues" dropdown in ECPs, since this was the most logical area to embed the search bar for users. Featured Venue widgets will remain in the new ECP design.
  • Tastemaker Sorting Improved: new Tastemakers added to your site will appear at the bottom of your list of all Tastemakers (they used to appear at the top), and will move up to the top of the list based on most recent activity on the site. 
  • Start Poking Your Friends: we've changed how Facebook pulls in the data from your site when you're posting a link to your homepage. It used to pull your mobile logo; now it pulls your shiny full-sized logo. 

Tools to Help You Win

  • New Weekly KPI Report: Goodbye old weekly audience update form (and all that work), hello Weekly KPI Reports. Here’s a link to the How To doc so you can brush up before the first email goes out on Monday. 
  • New DSD Queue: The New DSD queue in Asana features colored tags and headers to help you figure out where your request stands. There is also now a Reference DSD queue to archive ideas that were passed up this time around. You can read more about how it works here
  • New Twitter Analytics: Twitter just launched a new Tweet Activity Dashboard that shows impressions and engagements for all of your Tweets. To get this data, you'll need to have a current account with Twitter ads, BUT this allows you to see metrics on both promoted and organic tweets. No need to pay to play. Just go to your Twitter Ads dashboard and look for the Analytics tab at the top.



Big Network Wins

Do312's 'Pizzafy' a Punk Album Contest

With nearly two weeks still to go until a winner is selected, Do312 has received over 140 entries to its Pizzafy a Punk Album Contest. Instead of just a normal ticket give-away for their upcoming Riot Fest, the team in Chicago came up with this fantastic way to engage their community.

People are noticing, too. This week the contest was Tweeted out to Riot Fest's 10,000 Twitter followers and was mentioned in a blog post by Brooklyn Vegan. Be sure to show Do312 some love and share this out, and let us know if you're running any similar contests in your metro!



What else?

  • Do416 + NXNE Lense: Do416 doubled its June traffic with their North by Northeast (NXNE) festival lense sponsored by Pemberton Music Festival. They also had their Events Recommended by Tastemakers promoted on the official NXNE site, providing a great example of cross-promotion with a festival partner.
  • Do206 KEXP ECP: Seattle’s landmark public radio station just launched its new events page powered by Do206! The page is built on the old ECP platform, but is still a huge win and continues the trend of adding top public radio stations as ECPs. Since launching, KEXP has accounted for a third of Do206's traffic, with 5,000 visits in less than a month. Reach out to your market's public radio station to start laying the groundwork for a traffic shot in the arm! 
  • Do312 Riot Fest Page: Stuart whipped up an awesome custom layout (complete with animated Ferris wheel) for Do312’s Riot Fest page. Wanting to try your hand at some sweet page customization? Check out our custom CSS documentation and give it a crack! 
  • Do512 and Do312 Killer Facebook Posts: Do512 scored 2,500 Likes and 150 Shares on this World Cup post, all adding up to a record-breaking organic reach of over 4 million! Do312 captured the doom and gloom of their market with this weather post, racking up 2,200 Likes, 2,600 Comments, and 920 Shares. The success of both of these mean you should always be looking for what is top of mind in your market, and surfacing it in creative ways on your social channels. 
  • DoLA Hits 100K: Be sure to congratulate our friends at DoLA for hitting the 100,000 registered users mark last week! But as Josh Feingold pointed out, with 3.9 million residents in the city of Los Angeles they have their sights set much higher. 
  • Do414 Page Redesign: Give our friends in Brew City a high five for at last transitioning to the redesigned site this month. 
  • Do312 Anniversary: Do312 celebrated their 4th birthday! 

NBD & Programs

Welcome Do502!

The DoStuff Network continues to grow and is now expanding into the Bluegrass State! DoStuff has teamed up with Jeffrey Smith from Crash Avenue and Lizi Hagan from Production Simple to bring Do502 to life.

do502010-600xx3000-2000-0-0.jpg

Thanks to them, "bands" will now be added to "bourbon" and "bats" on the list of things synonymous with Louisville.

Do210 Graduates from Bootcamp!

The San Antonio crew joined us in Austin for training, and is now on the fast track to launching their site. They've already made strong headway on locking in venues, securing giveaways, and planning events for their community.

Keep an eye out for their site to go live in the upcoming days, as they're on their way to breaking the speed record for getting a DoSite up and running.

What else?

  • Future Folk: Halfway through the Future Folk Part of Earth Tour 2014, we’re seeing excellent turnout at all of the screenings. Plus, the FF BitTorrent Bundle has brought in over 1M pageviews, 620,000 downloads, and captured over 11,000 emails so far! 
  • Ballantine Ale Deal: New York signed a deal with Ballantine Ale, Pabst’s newest resurrected beer label that will be promoted within the metro. This deal was a renewal buy based on the success of the Lone Star program in Texas. 

10349208_478354558934378_6428341082762998197_n.jpg

If you have comments or feedback, or just want to give a shout out, let us know!


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Surprise! New Front-end Update Includes Artist Cards On Event Pages, Tags, and Upgrades to “Latest” Page

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Surprise! We just rolled out a big update to the front-end packed with powerful new features.

Included in today’s update are improvements to artist info displayed on event pages, new tag functionality, and phase one of our overhaul to the Latest page. We’ll soon add more detailed information and best practices to LearnStuff, but for now here are the most important highlights and changes we want to show you:

Artist Info

One bit of feedback we’ve been hearing quite often since the redesign is that artist info became much less prominent on event pages. Starting today, we’ve added new collapsible Artist Cards to event pages to help promote artists and improve the overall user experience.





These Artist Cards are displayed just above the event description, and make it easier to find artists’ social links, their Artist Page, and view their YouTube videos. Now, if only we could find a way to get this Trace Adkins/Prince/Bon Iver triple bill booked.

Tags

For the first time ever tags have been added to event pages. Tags are a great way to organize similar events and help users discover new awesome stuff to do in your city.

Tags appear prominently at the top of the event page with the other important event info, just below the location and user count. Clicking on a tag takes you to a page showing all future events that share that tag.

New Event Tags.png

Right now, the only tags you’ll see are those already associated with the performing artists, these flow through to events automatically. But, coming to a Radmin dashboard near you (ETA next week) will be the ability to add any additional event tags you wish. You will be able to tag related music genres and sub-genres (e.g. #Rock, #Psych, #CookieMonsterDeathMetal), tag the type of event (e.g. #PerformanceArt), or group recurring event series (e.g. #SoundAndCinema) and loosely-organized neighborhood festivals (e.g. #SoCoFirstThursday).

It’s important to note that tags on your site will show up on your ECP partners’ sites. If needed, these can be hidden with custom CSS.

Latest Page

Possibly the most significant change in today’s update is phase one of the upgrades we’re making to the Latest page. Since the redesign, the Latest page has lagged behind Event listings in terms of both layout and functionality. Not anymore.

Starting today you now have the ability to add both pictures and tags to links you highlight on the Latest page. Instead of a bland list of events and headlines, your Latest page will now resemble something closer to the layout on your homepage. This means a more customizable design and a more engaging experience for your users.

By default your new Latest page will just carry over your site design, but custom CSS options will allow you to customize the design over time to distinguish it from event listings and other areas of your site.



We felt these changes were especially important because the Latest page is where you have the greatest editorial control on your site. This is where you can decide to showcase featured events, sponsored lists, editorial content, cultural topics, and other top pages. But in order to really capture the value that the Latest page offers, it needed to look the part.

Another important change that will increase the visibility of your Latest posts is the new widget displayed in the sidebar of all pages (anything with /p/ in the URL). Appearing just below Featured Events, this Latest widget is identical to the one displayed in the footer of your site. By adding it to the sidebar, it will drive even more page views to the content you decide to feature each day.

Future updates will show you more ways to optimize your Latest page and tags, but for now get in there and start testing out the new features!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Goodbye Weekly Audience Update; Hello Weekly KPI Report!

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Beginning next Monday, we will be officially transitioning from the old audience update form to our new Weekly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Report system.

What does that mean for you? First and foremost, it means you'll never have to fill out a weekly audience report again. Congrats! There's 30 more minutes per week you can now spend being productive.

As for the new Weekly KPI Report, here's what to expect:
  • Every Monday, you'll get an email entitled "How you (and the network) did this week." This email will link you to the Weekly KPI Report with the most recent week's worth of data. That's right, we pull all of the stats for the weekly update. It only seemed fair after making you guys do it for so long.
  • In the same email, we'll highlight wins across the network that we've culled from collecting stats across all the metros. Each week, you'll get a few actionable tips on how to improve your social posts, newsletters, site content, etc. from cases we've observed in other markets.
  • Once you actually click into the new Weekly KPI Report spreadsheet, you'll find a bunch of improvements over the old system of data collection. Some benefits:
    • Only the essential metrics: We spent hours combing through which KPIs are necessary, that way the report only surfaces what you need, all in an easy-to-read fashion. 
    • Network-wide comparison: Quickly see recent performance across all metros, so that you can compare your progress against the rest of the network.
    • Continuous benchmarking: Each time a new week of data gets pulled in, you can automatically see how it compares to Week over Week, Month over Month, and This Week vs. Same Week Last Year data.
    • Links to custom Google Analytics dashboards: All of the data in the world isn't useful unless it's actionable. We've built "Diagnostic Dashboards" so that you can quickly find the reason behind why your weekly data is up, down, or flat over time. 

In the end, we hope that this will make reporting and looking at your numbers more reliable, more usable, and more effective, all while taking up less of your time.

So without further ado, check out the new Weekly KPI Report spreadsheet:


But before you spend too much time scrolling through columns and scratching your head, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND reading through this "How-To Deck" that explains all of the features and how to use it:
We realize there's a ton of information related to adapting to the new system and using it, so feel free to reach out with any and all questions!
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A Brand New DSD Queue: Color Coding, Headers, and an Archive For Old Items

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As the network grows, we constantly need to check in on processes to see what’s working and what needs updating. The Do Stuff DoStuff (DSD) queue in Asana is one of those places that needed to be fixed -- so that’s what we did.


Starting today, we’re using a brand new DSD queue in Asana that will change how requests are organized and assigned. (If you don't have access to that link, shoot us an email and we'll get you squared away.)


The goal of the new system is twofold. First, we wanted to make it more clear to you what items we’re working on, and where they stand in order of priority. New requests will be processed weekly so you’ll get quicker feedback on tasks that you input. Second, we wanted to help our Product and Delivery teams sort out requests that aren’t urgent, or are better saved for a future episode. Organizing requests by area of focus will allow them to determine how best to allocate their resources.

Better communication and less pileup? Sounds pretty good right?



Important Stuff


Here’s some of the important stuff to note about the New DSD queue above:


  1. Add New Items: Here’s where all new items should be added. Found a bug or thought of something that could benefit you or your users? Create a new task and describe the issue -- no need to assign it or put it under a header, we'll do that for you.
  2. Headers: Once a week the DoStuff team will assign all new items to the proper header. By organizing the DSD queue into Metro sites, Admin, Fests, ECPs, and Backend, we’re hoping everyone will get a better sense of where new changes are coming and what areas need some work. Remember, you don’t ever need to assign tasks to a header. The DoStuff team will make these decisions once per week.
  3. Red = Request: All tasks assigned to REQ indicate a request that has not yet been confirmed as something we will definitely implement. See something in red that you feel strongly about? Let us know in the comments so we can take your ideas into consideration.
  4. Green = Gone to Dev: All tasks assigned to DEV indicate that we have a ticket in for our Developers to implement the change. These items are slated to be completed during the current Episode, but you can follow the task or comment on it to track its status.
  5. Blue = Bug: All tasks assigned to BUG indicate a bug that has been discovered. We prioritize bugs to be fixed more immediately because they disrupt the way the site should be working for you and your users.
  6. Hearts: You can still use Asana's "heart" feature to let us know the tasks you think are priority. Even if you don’t comment, a heart shows us that this request deserves our attention.


The Reference DSD Queue: An Archive For Old Requests


Some of you may be wondering at this point, what about the requests that don’t get sent to Dev? We’ve heard feedback in the past that we need better transparency about what happens to DSD items that aren’t implemented, so we’re adding a new Reference DSD queue in Asana.


This Reference DSD queue will serve as an archive for all the items that we decide not to dedicate current Dev resources to. In the past, some tickets would be closed out without a clear explanation from us. Now these “passed” requests (closed tickets) will be sent to the Reference DSD queue with a short comment after being processed from the New DSD queue.


The great thing about the Reference DSD queue is that anyone will be able to look up what items were passed on and why. This could happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, we think it’s a great suggestion but it’s better saved for a future episode. Other times, we may feel that a request doesn’t fit with our current goals but want to archive the idea for later use, like when looking for inspiration for new product ideas during Episode planning.

We’re looking forward to your feedback, so go check out the New DSD queue now and try it out for yourself!
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Monday, July 28, 2014

rADmin: Making Your Ads Rad

"This post and accompanying walkthrough video focus on setting up and managing ads through Radmin. If you haven’t done so already, check out this post first for an introduction to Radmin."

The ads section of Radmin is here, and while we can toss around a bunch of reasons why it's a great leap forward, we'll instead just let you know it single-handedly cures a whole bunch of headaches of the old ad system. Things like advertisers not always being keen on staying associated with ads. Or the dreaded error message from adjusting weights. ALL GONE.

In the old system's place, we've created a robust platform for ad creation, management, and reporting. We can go on and on about why it's great, but here to do the honors himself is Justin Schaffer, the man behind the design, the Legend of DoStuff. Watch the video for a complete walk-through of how the new system works. Then, if you ever need to reference the more high-level information contained in the tutorial you will soon be able to find it all on LearnStuff. Or you can just check out our summary below this video.

Ladies and gentleman, Justin Schaffer on rADmin:


Video Highlights

Overall Advertising Interface

When you first click into the "Advertising" section of Radmin, you'll see a grid with a similar layout as the other sections of Radmin.
  • For clarity, you'll see only your current active ads, sorted alphabetically by ad location.  
  • Clicking into the filters section at the top of your ads will allow you to filter by Advertiser name and ad unit, or check "Include Inactive" to display ads not currently running. 
  • The columns displayed on the Advertising homepage include:
    • Advertiser: The advertiser attached to the respective ad. This controls how ads are grouped together when pulling ad reports. For best results, you should have one and only one advertiser in your system for each respective client/partner that advertises on your site.
    • Campaign: The campaign attached to the respective ad. This field is purely for organizational purposes, and should be used to group together ads with a common theme/ad buy. 
    • Ad Name: The unique name attached to the respective ad. This is most commonly used to combine the advertiser, campaign, and location to make the ad easily identifiable when scanning the list of ads. Review the below recommended hierarchy of the Advertiser/Campaign/Ad Name relationship-


    • Start Date: The date the respective ad will go live.
    • End Date: The last date the ad will run. For Featured Events, the ad will end at the start time of the event. For brand ads, the ad will run through the entirety of the end date, then automatically pause afterwards.  
    • Location: The ad's respective ad unit (Featured Event, Top Right, Listings Middle, User/Venue Widget, Leaderboard)
    • Weight: The percentage (out of 100 page loads) that a brand ad will be served. Adjusting a brand ad's weight will proportionately adjust the weights of all other brand ads concurrently running in the same ad unit. For example, adding a new Top Right ad with a weight of 50 will cut the weights of every other Top Right brand ad in half. Adding a new Top Right ad with a weight of 100 will set all other Top Right ads to a weight of 0.
    • Impressions: The number of impressions that the respective ad has accumulated over its lifetime, compared to its Impression Goal (the target number of impressions set during ad creation). 
      • ***Note: the daily update of how many impressions a given ad has received will not be immediately live when launching, but should be introduced in the week following when you first have Radmin ads access.

Ad Creation

Ad creation for all ads now takes place in the same area. No more navigating between different sections of admin for each ad unit. Simply click "New Ad" in the top right of your Advertising home page, and you'll have an option of creating an ad for any ad unit on your site. Much of the basic ad creation process is the same as admin, with a few differences highlighted below:
  • Required Advertiser/Campaign Fields: It is now impossible to create an ad without associating it with an advertiser. This should prevent any problems with ads not showing up when ad reports are pulled. For brand ads, you must associate it with a campaign before creating the ad. 
  • Duplicate Advertiser Prevention: It is also impossible to create two advertisers that have the same name. You'll get this error message instead:



    (Note: you could still create one advertiser called "Live Nation" and another called "LiveNation" so always try to add an existing advertiser before creating a new one)
  • Venue/User Widget Mutually Exclusive: When creating a venue/user widget, once you associate it with a user OR venue, the other option will no longer be available. In other words, you can't associate a widget with both a venue and user. Once associated with a particular venue/user, that will automatically become the Advertiser for the widget. 
  • Impression Goal: How many impressions a brand ad needs to deliver to the advertiser for the respective ad. Used for comparison against how many impressions the ad has actually received to date, which will display for each ad on the Advertising home page. 
Ad Management

Most of ad management will be controlled from the icons at the furthest right column of your Advertising home page. The icons serve similar functions as icons in other sections of Radmin, with the following specific actions:
  • Magnifying glass: View the details page for a previously created ad.
  • Pencil: Edit a previously created ad (adjust an ad's weight from this page).
  • Play/Pause: If the ad is active, click the Pause icon to make the ad inactive. If you wish to make a currently inactive ad live on your site, apply the "Include Inactive" filter, and then hit the Play icon. This tool is especially handy for monitoring impressions and controlling which ads show without having to constantly adjust ad weights. 
  • Graph: Pull an ad report for the respective ad and all other ads attached to the same advertiser.

You're a rADmin grAD

At the end of the day, we recognize that easy ad setup and management means happy advertisers, and happy advertisers means happy metros. That said, if there's something here that's making you less than giddy, we want to hear it. We're still in the early stages of this, so any feedback is welcome.

That's all for now; start making some rADs!

Radmin Introduction: Your Faster, Prettier, More Intuitive CMS


It’s alive!

After nearly a year of work from the Product team over here at DoStuff, Radmin is finally up and running and ready to put to use.

How Do I Get Started?

Before you log in and start clicking around like crazy, the best way to get started is to watch the Radmin Introduction walkthrough video put together by our own Justin Schaffer. Thirty-eight minutes and thirty-six seconds may sound like a long time, but just think of it as your own personal Radmin crash course.

Plus, we know some of you would be sitting on YouTube for the next 40 minutes anyway.


Radmin Highlights

While you’re watching the walkthrough video and testing out Radmin for yourself, here are some of the important changes and features we want to make sure to point out:

Fast, Simple User Interface (UI)

The first thing you’ll notice when you come over to Radmin from Admin is the completely redesigned user interface (UI). It’s faster, prettier, and more intuitive.

From the very start, we focused on designing Radmin around the way you work. In addition to the new menu bar on the left side of the screen, there are a number of elements that are consistent across the site so you can always find what you need:

  • Magnifying Glass: Always takes you to that item’s detail page
  • Pencil: Always takes you to that item's edit page
  • Cog: Always drops down additional options (takes place of that massive sidebar in Admin)

Better Sorting

In Admin Pending Events were always sorted by most recent. That meant that you might have to go through pages of pending events before you found out that Kanye West announced a new tour date over the weekend. 

In Radmin Pending Events are sorted by popularity rating automatically, so the most important shows are the ones that will be edited and approved the soonest. From now on, if you're keeping up with your queues, there will be no question that your site is the best resource for up-to-the-minute event listings in your metro.

New Media Search Function

Speaking of Pending Events, you may have noticed all the red and green bubbles in your queue. That color coding system is part of the all new Media Search function being seen for the first time here in Radmin.

When you see an Artist or Venue name surrounded in red, that means that it’s missing a matching Facebook account, a YouTube video, or it’s been 6 months since either were updated. Green means all media is up-to-date.

For a full run-down of the new Media Search features, check out Justin’s tutorial here.


Duplicates Queue

We made two major changes to the Duplicates queue in Radmin that will make it faster and easier to sort through duplicate events.

First, you’ll notice that only one match is displayed per page. Instead of stacking all the dupes on top of one another and causing confusion, Radmin only displays one dupe at a time. After you approve, merge, or delete a dupe, Radmin automatically refreshes to display the next match. The result is a faster, easier to navigate queue.

Second, the newer event (the duplicate event) is always displayed on top with the new, conflicting information displayed in red. The older event (the original event) is always displayed in white and appears below. This color-coding will make it simpler to identify what information is different, and what action you should take.

Approved Events

In Radmin the Approved Events queue is sorted by date created by default, but you can quickly sort by event date or popularity rating if needed. You’ll also notice the new magnifying glass and pencil icons that take you to the Event details page and edit Event page, respectively.

And with Radmin, you can now edit the Event Category (e.g. Music, Comedy, Film) and add Event tags right within the edit Events page!

Back in the Approved Events queue, the new cog icon on the far right is now your go-to shortcut for a number of common actions related to Events:

  • Advertise: Set-up a new ad for that Event in the Advertising tab
  • Giveaway: Open a pop-up to create a Giveaway for that Event
  • RSVP: Open a pop-up to set up an RSVP
  • Slideshow: Enter Flickr information to add photos to the Event
  • Voting: Quickly vote on event using the email of promo accounts (ex: Top Picks, Free, etc.)
  • Merge: Merge with another Event (note: this action will take you back to Admin for now)
  • Copy: Create a new Event using the same information
  • View: Check out the Event on your metro site
  • Delete: Be careful! Once you delete an event, it’s gone

Scrapers

Brand new to Radmin is a Scraper support function built right into the site. In the past you would need to email Taro about any issues and remind yourself to check to see if it got fixed. Now all communication and updates are displayed right in Radmin.

To view your Scrapers, look under the Events tab in the Radmin menu bar. In the far-right column you’ll see a chat bubble icon that pulls up the support window. If you log a problem, the scripter will be notified by email automatically and will then report any updates within Radmin. You'll also receive an email any time a new update to the scraper happens and is communicated in the chat section.

Also new to Radmin, the Venue list will display any Scraper associated with that Venue in green, red, or gray. Green means that scraper is functioning properly, red means it’s broken, and gray means it’s been paused.

No More Sass

The final feature we want to highlight is the addition of all the Sass editor functions into Radmin! For now your Sass editor will still work as before, but Radmin makes it possible to avoid it altogether.

The first place you’ll want to look is the Site Design tab in the Radmin menu bar. This is where you can control all the design elements for your metro site, including adding custom CSS, JavaScript, and AB testing code. Your search suggestions and what you call your Tastemakers/All-Stars/Unicorns is controlled  in the Metadata tab.

You can now also bust caches on your site right from Radmin. Look under the Advanced tab in the menu bar and you will see the option for Caches. We’ve worked to improve the way site changes are updated, but there may still be times when you need to bust a cache to force an update to appear.

Advertising and more


There is way too much to cover in one blog post alone, so be sure to refer back to the Radmin Introduction video as many times as you need to get a feel for the new platform.

Once you’ve had time to familiarize yourself with the basics, the next step is to move onto advertising. Start by checking out this short Radmin Ads video and accompanying blog post. There we’ll walk you through the completely streamlined process of creating and monitoring ads in Radmin.

Enjoy trying out Radmin and let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

Friday, July 18, 2014

What DoStuff's Doing: Welcome Do502, Do312's Pizzafied Punk Albums, and Front-end Updates


It's been a few weeks since out last Network Update and there's a lot to cover, so let's get right to it!

Product Updates

Big Front-end Rollout

This week saw a big rollout of some of the front-end features we’ve been working on the past few months.

In addition to the Artist Cards, Event Tags, and Latest page updates profiled here, yesterday’s rollout also added a sold-out button to the front-end edit tool and the inclusion of hours of operation to Venue Pages.

New Sold Out Button.png


El Meson Hours of Operation.png


If you haven't done so already, check out these new features on your site and let us know what you think.

What else? 


  • How Old is Your Audience? We've updated tracking on all sites so that you can now view the demographics and interests of your site visitors in Google Analytics (including whether or not your fans have been lying about their age). Find it under the "Audience" tab in your GA profile. 
  • Search Bar in New ECPs: New ECPs now have the same search functionality as your DoXXX site, nestled in the sticky navigation bar at the top: 


***Note: the search bar replaced the "Featured Venues" dropdown in ECPs, since this was the most logical area to embed the search bar for users. Featured Venue widgets will remain in the new ECP design.
  • Tastemaker Sorting Improved: new Tastemakers added to your site will appear at the bottom of your list of all Tastemakers (they used to appear at the top), and will move up to the top of the list based on most recent activity on the site. 
  • Start Poking Your Friends: we've changed how Facebook pulls in the data from your site when you're posting a link to your homepage. It used to pull your mobile logo; now it pulls your shiny full-sized logo. 

Tools to Help You Win

  • New Weekly KPI Report: Goodbye old weekly audience update form (and all that work), hello Weekly KPI Reports. Here’s a link to the How To doc so you can brush up before the first email goes out on Monday. 
  • New DSD Queue: The New DSD queue in Asana features colored tags and headers to help you figure out where your request stands. There is also now a Reference DSD queue to archive ideas that were passed up this time around. You can read more about how it works here
  • New Twitter Analytics: Twitter just launched a new Tweet Activity Dashboard that shows impressions and engagements for all of your Tweets. To get this data, you'll need to have a current account with Twitter ads, BUT this allows you to see metrics on both promoted and organic tweets. No need to pay to play. Just go to your Twitter Ads dashboard and look for the Analytics tab at the top.



Big Network Wins

Do312's 'Pizzafy' a Punk Album Contest

With nearly two weeks still to go until a winner is selected, Do312 has received over 140 entries to its Pizzafy a Punk Album Contest. Instead of just a normal ticket give-away for their upcoming Riot Fest, the team in Chicago came up with this fantastic way to engage their community.

People are noticing, too. This week the contest was Tweeted out to Riot Fest's 10,000 Twitter followers and was mentioned in a blog post by Brooklyn Vegan. Be sure to show Do312 some love and share this out, and let us know if you're running any similar contests in your metro!



What else?

  • Do416 + NXNE Lense: Do416 doubled its June traffic with their North by Northeast (NXNE) festival lense sponsored by Pemberton Music Festival. They also had their Events Recommended by Tastemakers promoted on the official NXNE site, providing a great example of cross-promotion with a festival partner.
  • Do206 KEXP ECP: Seattle’s landmark public radio station just launched its new events page powered by Do206! The page is built on the old ECP platform, but is still a huge win and continues the trend of adding top public radio stations as ECPs. Since launching, KEXP has accounted for a third of Do206's traffic, with 5,000 visits in less than a month. Reach out to your market's public radio station to start laying the groundwork for a traffic shot in the arm! 
  • Do312 Riot Fest Page: Stuart whipped up an awesome custom layout (complete with animated Ferris wheel) for Do312’s Riot Fest page. Wanting to try your hand at some sweet page customization? Check out our custom CSS documentation and give it a crack! 
  • Do512 and Do312 Killer Facebook Posts: Do512 scored 2,500 Likes and 150 Shares on this World Cup post, all adding up to a record-breaking organic reach of over 4 million! Do312 captured the doom and gloom of their market with this weather post, racking up 2,200 Likes, 2,600 Comments, and 920 Shares. The success of both of these mean you should always be looking for what is top of mind in your market, and surfacing it in creative ways on your social channels. 
  • DoLA Hits 100K: Be sure to congratulate our friends at DoLA for hitting the 100,000 registered users mark last week! But as Josh Feingold pointed out, with 3.9 million residents in the city of Los Angeles they have their sights set much higher. 
  • Do414 Page Redesign: Give our friends in Brew City a high five for at last transitioning to the redesigned site this month. 
  • Do312 Anniversary: Do312 celebrated their 4th birthday! 

NBD & Programs

Welcome Do502!

The DoStuff Network continues to grow and is now expanding into the Bluegrass State! DoStuff has teamed up with Jeffrey Smith from Crash Avenue and Lizi Hagan from Production Simple to bring Do502 to life.

do502010-600xx3000-2000-0-0.jpg

Thanks to them, "bands" will now be added to "bourbon" and "bats" on the list of things synonymous with Louisville.

Do210 Graduates from Bootcamp!

The San Antonio crew joined us in Austin for training, and is now on the fast track to launching their site. They've already made strong headway on locking in venues, securing giveaways, and planning events for their community.

Keep an eye out for their site to go live in the upcoming days, as they're on their way to breaking the speed record for getting a DoSite up and running.

What else?

  • Future Folk: Halfway through the Future Folk Part of Earth Tour 2014, we’re seeing excellent turnout at all of the screenings. Plus, the FF BitTorrent Bundle has brought in over 1M pageviews, 620,000 downloads, and captured over 11,000 emails so far! 
  • Ballantine Ale Deal: New York signed a deal with Ballantine Ale, Pabst’s newest resurrected beer label that will be promoted within the metro. This deal was a renewal buy based on the success of the Lone Star program in Texas. 

10349208_478354558934378_6428341082762998197_n.jpg

If you have comments or feedback, or just want to give a shout out, let us know!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Surprise! New Front-end Update Includes Artist Cards On Event Pages, Tags, and Upgrades to “Latest” Page



Surprise! We just rolled out a big update to the front-end packed with powerful new features.

Included in today’s update are improvements to artist info displayed on event pages, new tag functionality, and phase one of our overhaul to the Latest page. We’ll soon add more detailed information and best practices to LearnStuff, but for now here are the most important highlights and changes we want to show you:

Artist Info

One bit of feedback we’ve been hearing quite often since the redesign is that artist info became much less prominent on event pages. Starting today, we’ve added new collapsible Artist Cards to event pages to help promote artists and improve the overall user experience.





These Artist Cards are displayed just above the event description, and make it easier to find artists’ social links, their Artist Page, and view their YouTube videos. Now, if only we could find a way to get this Trace Adkins/Prince/Bon Iver triple bill booked.

Tags

For the first time ever tags have been added to event pages. Tags are a great way to organize similar events and help users discover new awesome stuff to do in your city.

Tags appear prominently at the top of the event page with the other important event info, just below the location and user count. Clicking on a tag takes you to a page showing all future events that share that tag.

New Event Tags.png

Right now, the only tags you’ll see are those already associated with the performing artists, these flow through to events automatically. But, coming to a Radmin dashboard near you (ETA next week) will be the ability to add any additional event tags you wish. You will be able to tag related music genres and sub-genres (e.g. #Rock, #Psych, #CookieMonsterDeathMetal), tag the type of event (e.g. #PerformanceArt), or group recurring event series (e.g. #SoundAndCinema) and loosely-organized neighborhood festivals (e.g. #SoCoFirstThursday).

It’s important to note that tags on your site will show up on your ECP partners’ sites. If needed, these can be hidden with custom CSS.

Latest Page

Possibly the most significant change in today’s update is phase one of the upgrades we’re making to the Latest page. Since the redesign, the Latest page has lagged behind Event listings in terms of both layout and functionality. Not anymore.

Starting today you now have the ability to add both pictures and tags to links you highlight on the Latest page. Instead of a bland list of events and headlines, your Latest page will now resemble something closer to the layout on your homepage. This means a more customizable design and a more engaging experience for your users.

By default your new Latest page will just carry over your site design, but custom CSS options will allow you to customize the design over time to distinguish it from event listings and other areas of your site.



We felt these changes were especially important because the Latest page is where you have the greatest editorial control on your site. This is where you can decide to showcase featured events, sponsored lists, editorial content, cultural topics, and other top pages. But in order to really capture the value that the Latest page offers, it needed to look the part.

Another important change that will increase the visibility of your Latest posts is the new widget displayed in the sidebar of all pages (anything with /p/ in the URL). Appearing just below Featured Events, this Latest widget is identical to the one displayed in the footer of your site. By adding it to the sidebar, it will drive even more page views to the content you decide to feature each day.

Future updates will show you more ways to optimize your Latest page and tags, but for now get in there and start testing out the new features!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Goodbye Weekly Audience Update; Hello Weekly KPI Report!

Beginning next Monday, we will be officially transitioning from the old audience update form to our new Weekly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Report system.

What does that mean for you? First and foremost, it means you'll never have to fill out a weekly audience report again. Congrats! There's 30 more minutes per week you can now spend being productive.

As for the new Weekly KPI Report, here's what to expect:
  • Every Monday, you'll get an email entitled "How you (and the network) did this week." This email will link you to the Weekly KPI Report with the most recent week's worth of data. That's right, we pull all of the stats for the weekly update. It only seemed fair after making you guys do it for so long.
  • In the same email, we'll highlight wins across the network that we've culled from collecting stats across all the metros. Each week, you'll get a few actionable tips on how to improve your social posts, newsletters, site content, etc. from cases we've observed in other markets.
  • Once you actually click into the new Weekly KPI Report spreadsheet, you'll find a bunch of improvements over the old system of data collection. Some benefits:
    • Only the essential metrics: We spent hours combing through which KPIs are necessary, that way the report only surfaces what you need, all in an easy-to-read fashion. 
    • Network-wide comparison: Quickly see recent performance across all metros, so that you can compare your progress against the rest of the network.
    • Continuous benchmarking: Each time a new week of data gets pulled in, you can automatically see how it compares to Week over Week, Month over Month, and This Week vs. Same Week Last Year data.
    • Links to custom Google Analytics dashboards: All of the data in the world isn't useful unless it's actionable. We've built "Diagnostic Dashboards" so that you can quickly find the reason behind why your weekly data is up, down, or flat over time. 

In the end, we hope that this will make reporting and looking at your numbers more reliable, more usable, and more effective, all while taking up less of your time.

So without further ado, check out the new Weekly KPI Report spreadsheet:


But before you spend too much time scrolling through columns and scratching your head, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND reading through this "How-To Deck" that explains all of the features and how to use it:
We realize there's a ton of information related to adapting to the new system and using it, so feel free to reach out with any and all questions!

A Brand New DSD Queue: Color Coding, Headers, and an Archive For Old Items

As the network grows, we constantly need to check in on processes to see what’s working and what needs updating. The Do Stuff DoStuff (DSD) queue in Asana is one of those places that needed to be fixed -- so that’s what we did.


Starting today, we’re using a brand new DSD queue in Asana that will change how requests are organized and assigned. (If you don't have access to that link, shoot us an email and we'll get you squared away.)


The goal of the new system is twofold. First, we wanted to make it more clear to you what items we’re working on, and where they stand in order of priority. New requests will be processed weekly so you’ll get quicker feedback on tasks that you input. Second, we wanted to help our Product and Delivery teams sort out requests that aren’t urgent, or are better saved for a future episode. Organizing requests by area of focus will allow them to determine how best to allocate their resources.

Better communication and less pileup? Sounds pretty good right?



Important Stuff


Here’s some of the important stuff to note about the New DSD queue above:


  1. Add New Items: Here’s where all new items should be added. Found a bug or thought of something that could benefit you or your users? Create a new task and describe the issue -- no need to assign it or put it under a header, we'll do that for you.
  2. Headers: Once a week the DoStuff team will assign all new items to the proper header. By organizing the DSD queue into Metro sites, Admin, Fests, ECPs, and Backend, we’re hoping everyone will get a better sense of where new changes are coming and what areas need some work. Remember, you don’t ever need to assign tasks to a header. The DoStuff team will make these decisions once per week.
  3. Red = Request: All tasks assigned to REQ indicate a request that has not yet been confirmed as something we will definitely implement. See something in red that you feel strongly about? Let us know in the comments so we can take your ideas into consideration.
  4. Green = Gone to Dev: All tasks assigned to DEV indicate that we have a ticket in for our Developers to implement the change. These items are slated to be completed during the current Episode, but you can follow the task or comment on it to track its status.
  5. Blue = Bug: All tasks assigned to BUG indicate a bug that has been discovered. We prioritize bugs to be fixed more immediately because they disrupt the way the site should be working for you and your users.
  6. Hearts: You can still use Asana's "heart" feature to let us know the tasks you think are priority. Even if you don’t comment, a heart shows us that this request deserves our attention.


The Reference DSD Queue: An Archive For Old Requests


Some of you may be wondering at this point, what about the requests that don’t get sent to Dev? We’ve heard feedback in the past that we need better transparency about what happens to DSD items that aren’t implemented, so we’re adding a new Reference DSD queue in Asana.


This Reference DSD queue will serve as an archive for all the items that we decide not to dedicate current Dev resources to. In the past, some tickets would be closed out without a clear explanation from us. Now these “passed” requests (closed tickets) will be sent to the Reference DSD queue with a short comment after being processed from the New DSD queue.


The great thing about the Reference DSD queue is that anyone will be able to look up what items were passed on and why. This could happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, we think it’s a great suggestion but it’s better saved for a future episode. Other times, we may feel that a request doesn’t fit with our current goals but want to archive the idea for later use, like when looking for inspiration for new product ideas during Episode planning.

We’re looking forward to your feedback, so go check out the New DSD queue now and try it out for yourself!