Friday, February 27, 2015

Tools & Tricks: How To Perfect Your Front Pages In One Hour

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An accurate, updated, and aesthetically pleasing front page is just as awesome as it is attainable. Follow these steps to perfect the most immediately visible portions of your metro’s front pages in under an hour. The more frequently you complete the process, the quicker it becomes!

Have a question? Check the ‘FAQ / Answers' section at the bottom of the page.

How To Perfect Your Front Pages In One Hour
  1. Set yourself up for success.
    1. A second monitor is highly recommended.
      1. A slammin’ Spotify playlist is too.
    2. Clean off your desktop.
    3. Quit all unnecessary programs.
    4. Close all of your windows except for one.
    5. Log on to your metro’s site.
      1. Make sure you’re using an account that has ‘Manager’ permissions.
      2. Head to your home page.
  2. Check your Leaderboard, Brand and Listings ads.
    1. Are all ads displaying correctly?
      1. Does anything look stretched or pixelated?
  3. Check your ‘Latest.’
    1. Click ‘View All Latest’
    2. Scan through the first page of Latest Entries
      1. Are there any duplicate posts? Misspellings?
      2. Are all of covers relevant, text-free and low contrast?
      3. Do all the tags make sense?
      4. Should anything be posted to ‘Latest’ that hasn't yet been?
  4. Check your Search Bar.
    1. Is your search suggestion still relevant?
      1. Can you update the suggestion to something more timely?
    2. Click into the ‘Search’ field.
    3. Are any of your Featured Stuff outdated?
      1. Is there anything that you should add to Featured Stuff?
    4. Do any of the featured Tastemakers have strange display names?
  5. Scan through today’s event listings.
    1. Check for event listings in need of the human touch.
      1. Do all the events make sense?
      2. Do all of the lineups seem like they’re updated?
      3. Are there any duplicate events?
      4. Are there any lame or off-brand events?
      5. Are there ‘Buy’ links present (when applicable)?
      6. Are there any shows that seem like they should be sold out that aren’t marked as such?
      7. Are all of the cover photos text-free?
      8. Are there any misspellings or strange / redundant top lines?
    2. Open each substandard event in a new tab (on the same window) - but don’t address right away.
    3. Continue working down the event listings until you’ve hit the ‘View More’ button.
    4. One by one, click into each window and address the elements of the event listing that need to be improved.
      1. Questionable lineup? Open the ticket link in a new window to double-check.
      2. Subpar photo? Use a separate window to locate an ideal image.
        1. Once you find said image, drag it your desktop.
        2. Upload the image to the event page.
          1. Make sure you keep your computer’s ‘Open File’ popup modal sorted by ‘Date Added’ (in descending order) by default.
            1. That way, you know the most recently added image will always be on top and you don’t have to spend time digging for it.
    5. Continue this process until all additional windows have been closed.
    6. Switch to ‘Tomorrow’ and repeat the process.
    7. Continue the process for six days into the future.
  6. Check your site’s footer.
    1. Are all of your Featured Event ads displaying correctly?
      1. Are any ads stretched or pixelated?
    2. Are there any outdated links in your footer?
    3. Are all of your social links present and working?
  7. Check your category navigation and click into each category.
    1. Is every category displaying more than 10 events (on a given day)?
      1. If not, consider either displaying all upcoming events within the category (see FAQ for instructions) or just removing the category.

Celebrate! You’ve finished. You now have a magnificent looking website.

FAQ / Answers

How often should I update Latest?
You should update your Latest section whenever you or a member of your team produces a piece of content that you are proud of. This can include (but is not limited to):
  • A new list (or an updated evergreen list such as ‘Top Picks,’ ‘Free Shows’ or ‘Just Announced’)
  • A new /p page
  • An awesome new giveaway or RSVP offer
  • A doXYZ-presented event announcement

Should I delete Latest entries?
No. Latest entries should never be deleted. Rather, newer updates should push older Latest posts down the list. Your Latest section should read like a blog feed and tell the ‘story’ of all your metro’s key cultural happenings throughout the year.

How do I update my Search Suggestions or Featured Stuff?
Navigate to Radmin -> Content (on the left sidebar) -> Words

How do I edit a Shortcut?
Navigate to Radmin -> Content (on the left sidebar) -> Shortcuts. When editing a shortcut:
  • Check ‘Display?’ to include the shortcut on your site’s shortcut navigation bar
  • Check ‘Show Ongoing?’ to have the shortcut include ongoing events
  • Check ‘Show Upcoming’ to have the shortcut display upcoming events immediately below the given day’s events (highly recommended for shortcuts with less than 10 events per day)

How do exclude a certain category’s events from my front page?

Navigate to Radmin -> Content (on the left sidebar) -> Shortcuts and find your metro’s default (home page) shortcut (it’s frequently titled ‘What to do’). Edit the Shortcut to ‘exclude’ events from any unwanted categories.

Have something you'd like added to this section? Send your suggestion to support@dostuffmedia.com.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Product Update: Pages Drafts, Spammers, Notify Venue Emails & More!

1 comment:
Our regular Product Updates give you a rundown of the features and bug fixes that were rolled out over the past week, plus a look ahead to some of the bigger changes that are on the way.


New updates are popping up!

By Popular Request

We added a published / unpublished toggle to /p pages. Now, you can build a /p page and keep it hidden from search until you're ready for the world to see it!

From now on, all /p pages will begin as 'unpublished' by default - which means they're hidden from front end search.


When you're ready to publish your page, click the (edit) pencil, check the 'Published?' box and save the page. The page can then be easily surfaced through front end search (and anywhere else you choose to feature it).


Given the way front end search results are cached, this feature is only meant to be used to hide /p pages from search before publishing. Once a /p page is published, unpublishing it will not immediately remove it from search.

Also please note that this feature will not be able to hide your drafts from Google or any other search engines - only metro-wide searches.

Giveaway Winners

We fleshed out your 'Notify Venue' emails to be rich in both information and character. Prior to this update, the 'Notify Venue' emails only included the winners' names and email addresses - so it was up to metros to add the rest of the information every time one was sent.

Before:

After:

Spam Prevention

We added the ability to mark a user as a Spammer. Do you have a user that's adding strange or spammy events to your site? Go to their User Page in Radmin and mark them as a Spammer!


When a 'Spammer' attempts to add an event, our site's front end appears to follow the exact same steps and UI as it does when a regular user is adding an event - but doesn't actually save the event the Spammer is attempting to add.

We moved the 'Ask Zip?' checkbox to a more logical place in the RSVP modal.


The new and uber-intuitive modal looks like this:


Workflow Aids

We limited the number of events that display in your featured venue widgets and the widget portion of your featured venue reports to 25. This will allow your featured venue reports to load considerably more quickly. Prior to this update, these widgets never had an upper event limit - so ad reports for venues with 100+ upcoming events would often time out during export.

Please note that this fix will not effect your ad data counts as it will only be hiding events that never get a chance to load (or be interacted with) anyway.

We added Venue Keywords to Radmin. To ensure that all logical variations on a venue's official name are searchable on the front end of your site, be sure to include them as 'Keywords' on the venue's page in Radmin.

You may add to the Keywords section by typing in your new keyword and pressing enter. Merged venue names will also be automatically added to this list once a merge is completed.

We added the ability to immediately wipe a user's list of upcoming events. This allows us to update the '_____ in our Town' features without going through each metro's list and manually removing every single event. On a related note, look out for a SX In Our Town list coming soon!

We exposed 'Category:_____' as an event field in our JSON. Partners such as DoLA's "Visit West Hollywood that want to license our data for a fee (as opposed to having an ECP) will now be able to sort our .JSON event feed into categories.

We fixed a bug that prevented metros from publishing property images. HazDF noticed that they were unable to change their mobile icon - but this has been fixed.

We also fixed a bug on HazDF's Latest form and another on their RSVP Emails - and added Spanish Email Error Notifications and Confirm Delete Account? pages to their site.

Thanks for reading this week's update - a huge hats off to Dev and a GIGANTIC thanks to YOU for all of your hard work and valuable suggestions! Have a wonderful rest of your week.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 2/23/15

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Winner of the Week: Do502!

- How to get traffic snowballing in 48 hours - 

Welcome to our new format of Weekly KPI Updates! In the spirit of unifying how DoStuff communicates with the whole network, you'll start seeing Winners of the Week in this format popping up in your inbox each Monday. But have no fear - they'll still have all the same stats, metro highlights, and stupid YouTube videos as before.

So with that out of the way, how did Do502 happen to lock down this week's honors?  While most cities were lighting trashcan fires and huddled in basements avoiding snowpocalypses, Do502 took a page right out of Do312's (and most recently, Do617's) book to have a city-wide snowball fight.

What helped Do502's event go from the standard snow slinging to the simply sublime was a 48-hour media blitz that had the event showcased in everything from local Louisville radio news and sports talk stations, a daily newspaper, and every major local affiliate (FOXABCCBSNBC).

While all of that is some sweet PR gravy, it's the hard numbers that matter, and in this case, the snowball fight was responsible for Do502's:
Above and beyond all the numbers is this: in terms of branding your DoXYZ as THE glue that connects your city, it's hard to beat getting a bunch of influential people in your city to come out on a cold day and throw snowballs at each other. And if said snowball fight leads to a semi-public confrontation that pits your metro agains "the man," then all the better.

Curious how you can turn some freakish weather into a flash mob of traffic? I'd encourage you to hit up Jeffrey and Amelia at Do502 for some PR tips.  In the meantime, check out last week's stats and start planning some ways you can bring sunshine to your Weekly KPIs.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Metro News: Do214 Takes Home the Golden Wombat, Do206’s Big Giveaway, and Do617 Hits a Milestone

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Our regular Metro News updates highlight big wins, cool ideas, and notable events from around the Network so you can stay up to date on what your counterparts around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are doing.

A prestigious new trophy has been debuted, a festival giveaway turned into a big win, and a metro hits some big milestones. Check out below for news from around the Network, plus helpful sales collateral, and upcoming birthdays.

Do214 Awarded the Golden Wombat

An iconic new football trophy debuted in 2015. No, not this one. THIS one…

Our own Jordan Ripley has volunteered to hand deliver the trophy every year on his own dime. Thanks Jordan!

Do214 is now the proud holders of the brand new “Golden Wombat” trophy. Since their “Mortal Wombats” were the winning team in this year’s DoStuff Fantasy Football league, we thought it was only fair to name the trophy after the inaugural winners.

The Golden Wombat will stay in Dallas until January 2016 when a new Fantasy Football winner is crowned, along with $350 towards metro swag!

Do206’s Sasquatch Giveaway Goes BIG

After Sasquatch announced their 2015 lineup earlier in the month, Do206 launched a pre-onsale giveaway for a pair of passes. While tickets officially went on sale on Saturday the 7th, Do206 gave away two of their passes on Friday night.

That meant that the most diehard festival goers -- who would probably go to Sasquatch no matter what -- could find out if they were going for free before they bought tickets.


This giveaway strategy scored Do206 over 2,800 entries in less than three days! While usually we recommend giving away tickets right before the show, this method unfortunately excludes the most diehard fans who have already bought tickets.

Do206’s pre-onsale strategy shows that if you have multiple pairs of passes to give away, giving serious concert goers a chance to win some before they buy can lead to the highest levels of engagement.

Other News

Here's a quick rundown of other big happenings around the Network:

  • Do617 Hits Pair of Milestones: Just a few weeks after their one year anniversary, Do617 surpassed 25,000 registered users and 18,000 Twitter followers in late January.
  • Do502’s New Ad Deck: Do502 put together a spiffy new ad deck explaining all the various advertising opportunities on their site. If you want access to the design files, hit us up!
  • Do512 Lounge Proposal: Do512 is in the midst of negotiating their Lounge sponsorship for 2015. If you’re thinking about starting a regular event series and want to know how they present the opportunity to partners, take a look at their proposal deck.
  • Do512 Testimonials Page: Speaking of, have you ever seen Do512’s Testimonials page on their site? Collecting blurbs from trusted partners is a great tool for helping along the local sales process.
  • Do502’s FREE WEEK in the News: Do502’s first annual Louisville FREE WEEK was a big hit. Check out some of the publicity they got from the local NBC affiliate.
  • HazDF Turns One: They grow up so fast! HazDF turned one on Feb. 19th. HazDF blazed a lot of trails in its first year -- DoStuff’s first metro outside the U.S. and our first spanish-speaking metro. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for year two! ¡Feliz cumpleaƱos!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Product Update: Page Improvements, Radmin Merging, Registration Enhancements & More!

1 comment:
Our regular Product Updates give you a rundown of the features and bug fixes that were rolled out over the past week, plus a look ahead to some of the bigger changes that are on the way.

We're rolling out a bunch of improvements later tonight. Here's what you'll find waiting for you when you get to work tomorrow.

PAGES CHANGES

We received requests from around the network to improve and stabilize /p pages. We want you to know that we hear you - and we've dedicated a big part of the last few weeks to making your experience creating and editing pages significantly more awesome. We're really excited by what we've come up with - and we hope you will be too.



The 'Duplicate Image' issue is fixed. Metros were reporting an issue where any images uploaded to /p pages were appearing as the first image on the page (as opposed to separate images). This will never happen again.

The 'I can't add anything below this video!' issue is fixed. After uploading a video to a page, it was often difficult to add any text or media below it. That issue is fixed too.

We decreased the line height of text. Pages now have a tasteful and respectful line height of 1.5 em.

We upgraded the Medium Editor. The open source WYSIWYG editor that all pages utilize was in dire need of an update - and you will now observe both increased speed and stability when editing /p pages. This upgrade also fixed some specific issues including making the H1 and H2 buttons work in content-heavy pages and ensuring that centering a piece of content did not strip its HTML properties.


Here’s to less stress and more stability when building pages! And they're going to keep getting better.

OTHER POPULAR REQUESTS

1. We've added 'The bands you follow just announced some shows' emails to conference lenses. Now, users will be alerted when their favorite artists announce SX shows. Please note: these emails will not send if the venue name contains 'tba' or 'tbd.' This prevents placeholder events from firing off these alerts.

2. We've displayed Artist Popularity in Radmin Artist Lists. This is especially helpful when determining which of two legitimate artists is the most frequently used.




3. Metros have frequently had trouble exporting the HTML for their 'Top Picks' email blasts because of Admin's inability to load excessively large featured event ads.



So, we've built an alert that displays whenever one attempts to upload an advertisement greater than 2 MB. Please heed its warning.


4. We made front end search honor deleted page counts. So you won't be seeing this anymore:




5. We squashed a bug that was preventing all relevant 'Latest' posts from showing up under their appropriate hashtag,


6. We removed the calendar view from ECP, Artist and Venue Pages. It was mostly empty and slow to load. But now it's gone - and visitors get to spend more time on the strongest parts of the sites.

REGISTRATION CHANGES

1. We've added co-registration across all metros. Co-registration is an awesome way for our network to work together and increase registration opportunities for users that are traveling away from their home city. Here's how it works:

 When users register for a DoXYZ site, our platform checks their IP addresses to see if their location matches the metro for which they are registering. If there is a more proximate option available, our platform will offer the user the ability to register for his/her home metro in addition to the site (s)he is visiting.

 So, for example, if a music fan in New York City signs up for Do512 by registering for a SXSW Party, (s)he will then be immediately prompted to sign up for doNYC via one of these pop-up windows:

CoReg Offer.png

 These windows are customizable, so let us know if you’d like us to edit the copy for your metro.

 2. To prepare for our migration to Mandrill, we also broke the different types of auto-generated messages into separate emails. Previously, users who registered for a metro by entering a giveaway would receive one message explaining that they had both (1) entered the giveaway and (2) signed up for the metro. Now, such users will receive two separate emails, each explaining one individual action.

 The reason for this change was made to avoid the large number of permutations caused by collapsing multiple emails into one. This update might not sound sexy - but it's a huge step forward in giving you the ability to build your own super sleek emails for giveaways, RSVPs, band notifications and more.

MERGING

You can now merge venues, artists, users and events in Radmin. The process works as follows (using events as an example):

1. Select the event you would like to merge other event(s) into by selecting the merge icon.


2. Search for and then select the events you would like to merge. You may merge multiple events at a time if so desired. Then click 'Merge Selected Events' to complete the process.


The main event will inherit the merged event's votes plus any of the following fields that are left blank on the main event: ticket URL; ticket info; cover image; poster image; description.

In artist merges, the main artist will inherit the merged artist's gigs, fans, festival gigs and grooveshark songs - plus the following if left blank on the main artist: YouTube ID, cover image; icon image; Facebook ID.

Users will inherit all of the events, venues, permissions, votes, RSVP, preferences and images of the users merged into them.

Venues will inherit all of the events, scrapers, featured widgets, advertisers and images of the venues merged into them.

Last but not least, we prevented the merge of an event with RSVP. giveaway or advertisement into another event.

If anyone has any questions about merges, let us know.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone! Have an amazing rest of your week - and here's to the network! Every week, we grow stronger.


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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 2/17/15

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Hola,

Now that everyone is done with their Valentine's festivities, I thought I'd return to my one true love - analyzing metros' data!

Who captured the Winner of the Week title (and subsequently my heart) this week? Do317!

Give it away, give it away, give it away, newsletter. Last week, Do317 had off-the-charts numbers for their weekly email:
  • More clicks and opens than any week in Do317's weekly stats history
  • Of the people that opened their Top Picks, 31% (!) of them clicked. That's more than double the network average for last week, and was again their highest click rate of all time.
  • This stampede of clicks helped drive 4.5K WIN clicks (2K more than their previous record) and a year-over-year traffic increase of 90% 
What's interesting about all of this is that typically we see one or two pieces of content that drive the vast majority of email interaction in weekly newsletters. However, in Do317's case, it was a whole bunch of links that drove this uptick in email engagement.

The one overarching theme from these links is that the top 6 most popular links were all giveaways (from Ed Sheeran to Hozier, and DMXto DMB). The most popular link, accounting for 18% of all clicks, was the Guestlist page itself. Check out their weekly email and their click map (you may want to zoom in) for the full data. 

And yes, this might be the "Presented by: Obvious" edition of Winners of the Week, but it's a good a week as ever to check if your giveaways are in an easily identifiable, prominent location in your newsletter. Need examples?
  • Super Easy to Spot Giveaways like Do317 and DoNYC, among others
  • Tricky to Spot Giveaways like Do416 and Do214
So that you're squeezing all the clicks you can out of your weekly newsletters, I'd recommend:
  1. Make sure that every time you're calling out your really big giveaways in editorial mentions (this is where Do317 got the largest amount of clicks)
  2. Ensure that your giveaways are easy to find in your email
  3. Subscribe to all of the other metros' newsletters to see whom you can pull ideas from, and monitor the weekly KPI report to see who's killing it on email metrics.
If you have any questions for ways we can help you regarding email stuff, reach out! In the meantime, check out last week's email stats, as well as all the rest of the data goodness, in the updated Weekly KPI report:
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Product Update: Opt-In Emails Sending Automatically, 'Show Ongoing' Shortcut Fixed and so. Much. MORE.

4 comments:
Our regular Product Updates give you a rundown of the features and bug fixes that were rolled out over the past week, plus a look ahead to some of the bigger changes that are on the way.

The RSVP 'Door List' file now also includes the opt-in emails. Guys, your days of manually exporting, formatting and re-sending RSVP opt-in lists are over. Now, all RSVP lists that are downloaded from the front end or automatically sent when the RSVP list closes will include a .tsv file of all the opt-in names and email addresses.

We fixed the 'Show Ongoing?" shortcut filter. Previously, this filter was only displaying ongoing events that started on the day in question - and was hiding active ongoing events that had started on a previous date. No longer, however!


Please note, if you'd ever like to hide ongoing events within a single shortcut, you may simply uncheck the 'Ongoing Events?' box within the Shortcut's page in Radmin.

The list of 'DoStuff Network' sites in your footer will now display in your metro's default font. The previous font choice made this collection of links seem out of place as it was inconsistent with the font used on the rest of the page.

We re-ordered all giveaway pages to sort in order of popularity by default. We've been recommending this ever since Do502 found the positive effects on exit rate and time on page. That said, you can easily switch this around at any time by (un-)checking the 'Sort By Pop' field within your giveaway user's 'Promo Options.'

You can now insert a photo between the header and event listings on a user page. This was a very popular feature request - and will be especially helpful when adding a lineup admat to a festival's user page. Simply drop your image code in the 'Body HTML' section under 'Promo Options' within the user's page in Radmin. Your basic HTML code will be: <center><img src="Place Image URL here"></center> and the result will look something like:



We implemented a fix to ensure that the headlining artist's photo will display as the cover image for events if no event photo has been scraped or uploaded. A quick reminder that the hierarchy of automatic selection for event cover photos is:
  • A cover image uploaded to the event page
  • An image scraped in as 'cover image'
  • The photo of the headlining artist
  • The photo of the venue
  • Your metro's default hero photo
The system that sought out and presented these band photos was working correctly - but it was 19,000 jobs behind - so our Dev team re-structured the system to deliver a considerably quicker load time and come to the rescue of 'Battle of the Front Pages' teams everywhere.

You may now indicate a Start Time as (Doors) via the front end. This is the week's "it already exists in Radmin so why not have it in the front end?" addition.

We fixed a bug that was preventing certain band photos from displaying on the front end. If you've ever wrestled with the Quiet Company or Imagine Dragons photos, then this one is for you.

We confirmed that the '________ created this event' activity is displaying as it should. Please note that all events brought in via a scraper will not present this activity. For all other events, the creation will be correctly credited to the appropriate user's display name.

You can now display all upcoming events below today's listings within each shortcut on your site. Simply check the 'Show Upcoming?' box while editing the Shortcut to enable these additions.


This feature solves two problems:
  • There was no way to view all upcoming events within a single category on the front end
  • Most metro shortcuts only contain an average of 4-5 events per day - and therefore selecting a single day within a category brought you to an overly sparse and dull-looking page
Before:

After:

Now, your shortcuts' event listings will be beautiful, bountiful and most beneficial to your benevolent visitors!

HazDF's RSVP Confirmation Pop-Up is now in Spanish - as is the text on their 'Get RSVP List' buttons. A reminder that anyone listed in the 'Email Guestlist To' field may download the RSVP List (which now includes opt-in emails!) from the event page on the front end of the site at any time.

Lenses got their own Featured Stuff. You can change the 'Featured Stuff' links for lenses or your site by navigating to Content -> Words within the specific property's version of Radmin. Please note that lenses which are not assigned specific Featured Stuff will inherit their links from the parent metro.

We fixed a glitch that caused a very strange batch of band notification emails. An odd batch of band emails was delivered shortly after midnight on February 3rd. These emails contained duplicate listings and incorrect start times - and will now be considered an extremely rare collector's item as these strange emails will not be sent again.

We made the 'Service Fee' field on ECP Lense Agreements editable. In the past, this field always displayed '$0' and was not editable - which was not ideal when a metro is selling a calendar to a partner.
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Tools & Tricks: How To Perfect Your Front Pages In One Hour

An accurate, updated, and aesthetically pleasing front page is just as awesome as it is attainable. Follow these steps to perfect the most immediately visible portions of your metro’s front pages in under an hour. The more frequently you complete the process, the quicker it becomes!

Have a question? Check the ‘FAQ / Answers' section at the bottom of the page.

How To Perfect Your Front Pages In One Hour
  1. Set yourself up for success.
    1. A second monitor is highly recommended.
      1. A slammin’ Spotify playlist is too.
    2. Clean off your desktop.
    3. Quit all unnecessary programs.
    4. Close all of your windows except for one.
    5. Log on to your metro’s site.
      1. Make sure you’re using an account that has ‘Manager’ permissions.
      2. Head to your home page.
  2. Check your Leaderboard, Brand and Listings ads.
    1. Are all ads displaying correctly?
      1. Does anything look stretched or pixelated?
  3. Check your ‘Latest.’
    1. Click ‘View All Latest’
    2. Scan through the first page of Latest Entries
      1. Are there any duplicate posts? Misspellings?
      2. Are all of covers relevant, text-free and low contrast?
      3. Do all the tags make sense?
      4. Should anything be posted to ‘Latest’ that hasn't yet been?
  4. Check your Search Bar.
    1. Is your search suggestion still relevant?
      1. Can you update the suggestion to something more timely?
    2. Click into the ‘Search’ field.
    3. Are any of your Featured Stuff outdated?
      1. Is there anything that you should add to Featured Stuff?
    4. Do any of the featured Tastemakers have strange display names?
  5. Scan through today’s event listings.
    1. Check for event listings in need of the human touch.
      1. Do all the events make sense?
      2. Do all of the lineups seem like they’re updated?
      3. Are there any duplicate events?
      4. Are there any lame or off-brand events?
      5. Are there ‘Buy’ links present (when applicable)?
      6. Are there any shows that seem like they should be sold out that aren’t marked as such?
      7. Are all of the cover photos text-free?
      8. Are there any misspellings or strange / redundant top lines?
    2. Open each substandard event in a new tab (on the same window) - but don’t address right away.
    3. Continue working down the event listings until you’ve hit the ‘View More’ button.
    4. One by one, click into each window and address the elements of the event listing that need to be improved.
      1. Questionable lineup? Open the ticket link in a new window to double-check.
      2. Subpar photo? Use a separate window to locate an ideal image.
        1. Once you find said image, drag it your desktop.
        2. Upload the image to the event page.
          1. Make sure you keep your computer’s ‘Open File’ popup modal sorted by ‘Date Added’ (in descending order) by default.
            1. That way, you know the most recently added image will always be on top and you don’t have to spend time digging for it.
    5. Continue this process until all additional windows have been closed.
    6. Switch to ‘Tomorrow’ and repeat the process.
    7. Continue the process for six days into the future.
  6. Check your site’s footer.
    1. Are all of your Featured Event ads displaying correctly?
      1. Are any ads stretched or pixelated?
    2. Are there any outdated links in your footer?
    3. Are all of your social links present and working?
  7. Check your category navigation and click into each category.
    1. Is every category displaying more than 10 events (on a given day)?
      1. If not, consider either displaying all upcoming events within the category (see FAQ for instructions) or just removing the category.

Celebrate! You’ve finished. You now have a magnificent looking website.

FAQ / Answers

How often should I update Latest?
You should update your Latest section whenever you or a member of your team produces a piece of content that you are proud of. This can include (but is not limited to):
  • A new list (or an updated evergreen list such as ‘Top Picks,’ ‘Free Shows’ or ‘Just Announced’)
  • A new /p page
  • An awesome new giveaway or RSVP offer
  • A doXYZ-presented event announcement

Should I delete Latest entries?
No. Latest entries should never be deleted. Rather, newer updates should push older Latest posts down the list. Your Latest section should read like a blog feed and tell the ‘story’ of all your metro’s key cultural happenings throughout the year.

How do I update my Search Suggestions or Featured Stuff?
Navigate to Radmin -> Content (on the left sidebar) -> Words

How do I edit a Shortcut?
Navigate to Radmin -> Content (on the left sidebar) -> Shortcuts. When editing a shortcut:
  • Check ‘Display?’ to include the shortcut on your site’s shortcut navigation bar
  • Check ‘Show Ongoing?’ to have the shortcut include ongoing events
  • Check ‘Show Upcoming’ to have the shortcut display upcoming events immediately below the given day’s events (highly recommended for shortcuts with less than 10 events per day)

How do exclude a certain category’s events from my front page?

Navigate to Radmin -> Content (on the left sidebar) -> Shortcuts and find your metro’s default (home page) shortcut (it’s frequently titled ‘What to do’). Edit the Shortcut to ‘exclude’ events from any unwanted categories.

Have something you'd like added to this section? Send your suggestion to support@dostuffmedia.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Product Update: Pages Drafts, Spammers, Notify Venue Emails & More!

Our regular Product Updates give you a rundown of the features and bug fixes that were rolled out over the past week, plus a look ahead to some of the bigger changes that are on the way.


New updates are popping up!

By Popular Request

We added a published / unpublished toggle to /p pages. Now, you can build a /p page and keep it hidden from search until you're ready for the world to see it!

From now on, all /p pages will begin as 'unpublished' by default - which means they're hidden from front end search.


When you're ready to publish your page, click the (edit) pencil, check the 'Published?' box and save the page. The page can then be easily surfaced through front end search (and anywhere else you choose to feature it).


Given the way front end search results are cached, this feature is only meant to be used to hide /p pages from search before publishing. Once a /p page is published, unpublishing it will not immediately remove it from search.

Also please note that this feature will not be able to hide your drafts from Google or any other search engines - only metro-wide searches.

Giveaway Winners

We fleshed out your 'Notify Venue' emails to be rich in both information and character. Prior to this update, the 'Notify Venue' emails only included the winners' names and email addresses - so it was up to metros to add the rest of the information every time one was sent.

Before:

After:

Spam Prevention

We added the ability to mark a user as a Spammer. Do you have a user that's adding strange or spammy events to your site? Go to their User Page in Radmin and mark them as a Spammer!


When a 'Spammer' attempts to add an event, our site's front end appears to follow the exact same steps and UI as it does when a regular user is adding an event - but doesn't actually save the event the Spammer is attempting to add.

We moved the 'Ask Zip?' checkbox to a more logical place in the RSVP modal.


The new and uber-intuitive modal looks like this:


Workflow Aids

We limited the number of events that display in your featured venue widgets and the widget portion of your featured venue reports to 25. This will allow your featured venue reports to load considerably more quickly. Prior to this update, these widgets never had an upper event limit - so ad reports for venues with 100+ upcoming events would often time out during export.

Please note that this fix will not effect your ad data counts as it will only be hiding events that never get a chance to load (or be interacted with) anyway.

We added Venue Keywords to Radmin. To ensure that all logical variations on a venue's official name are searchable on the front end of your site, be sure to include them as 'Keywords' on the venue's page in Radmin.

You may add to the Keywords section by typing in your new keyword and pressing enter. Merged venue names will also be automatically added to this list once a merge is completed.

We added the ability to immediately wipe a user's list of upcoming events. This allows us to update the '_____ in our Town' features without going through each metro's list and manually removing every single event. On a related note, look out for a SX In Our Town list coming soon!

We exposed 'Category:_____' as an event field in our JSON. Partners such as DoLA's "Visit West Hollywood that want to license our data for a fee (as opposed to having an ECP) will now be able to sort our .JSON event feed into categories.

We fixed a bug that prevented metros from publishing property images. HazDF noticed that they were unable to change their mobile icon - but this has been fixed.

We also fixed a bug on HazDF's Latest form and another on their RSVP Emails - and added Spanish Email Error Notifications and Confirm Delete Account? pages to their site.

Thanks for reading this week's update - a huge hats off to Dev and a GIGANTIC thanks to YOU for all of your hard work and valuable suggestions! Have a wonderful rest of your week.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 2/23/15

Winner of the Week: Do502!

- How to get traffic snowballing in 48 hours - 

Welcome to our new format of Weekly KPI Updates! In the spirit of unifying how DoStuff communicates with the whole network, you'll start seeing Winners of the Week in this format popping up in your inbox each Monday. But have no fear - they'll still have all the same stats, metro highlights, and stupid YouTube videos as before.

So with that out of the way, how did Do502 happen to lock down this week's honors?  While most cities were lighting trashcan fires and huddled in basements avoiding snowpocalypses, Do502 took a page right out of Do312's (and most recently, Do617's) book to have a city-wide snowball fight.

What helped Do502's event go from the standard snow slinging to the simply sublime was a 48-hour media blitz that had the event showcased in everything from local Louisville radio news and sports talk stations, a daily newspaper, and every major local affiliate (FOXABCCBSNBC).

While all of that is some sweet PR gravy, it's the hard numbers that matter, and in this case, the snowball fight was responsible for Do502's:
Above and beyond all the numbers is this: in terms of branding your DoXYZ as THE glue that connects your city, it's hard to beat getting a bunch of influential people in your city to come out on a cold day and throw snowballs at each other. And if said snowball fight leads to a semi-public confrontation that pits your metro agains "the man," then all the better.

Curious how you can turn some freakish weather into a flash mob of traffic? I'd encourage you to hit up Jeffrey and Amelia at Do502 for some PR tips.  In the meantime, check out last week's stats and start planning some ways you can bring sunshine to your Weekly KPIs.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Metro News: Do214 Takes Home the Golden Wombat, Do206’s Big Giveaway, and Do617 Hits a Milestone

Our regular Metro News updates highlight big wins, cool ideas, and notable events from around the Network so you can stay up to date on what your counterparts around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are doing.

A prestigious new trophy has been debuted, a festival giveaway turned into a big win, and a metro hits some big milestones. Check out below for news from around the Network, plus helpful sales collateral, and upcoming birthdays.

Do214 Awarded the Golden Wombat

An iconic new football trophy debuted in 2015. No, not this one. THIS one…

Our own Jordan Ripley has volunteered to hand deliver the trophy every year on his own dime. Thanks Jordan!

Do214 is now the proud holders of the brand new “Golden Wombat” trophy. Since their “Mortal Wombats” were the winning team in this year’s DoStuff Fantasy Football league, we thought it was only fair to name the trophy after the inaugural winners.

The Golden Wombat will stay in Dallas until January 2016 when a new Fantasy Football winner is crowned, along with $350 towards metro swag!

Do206’s Sasquatch Giveaway Goes BIG

After Sasquatch announced their 2015 lineup earlier in the month, Do206 launched a pre-onsale giveaway for a pair of passes. While tickets officially went on sale on Saturday the 7th, Do206 gave away two of their passes on Friday night.

That meant that the most diehard festival goers -- who would probably go to Sasquatch no matter what -- could find out if they were going for free before they bought tickets.


This giveaway strategy scored Do206 over 2,800 entries in less than three days! While usually we recommend giving away tickets right before the show, this method unfortunately excludes the most diehard fans who have already bought tickets.

Do206’s pre-onsale strategy shows that if you have multiple pairs of passes to give away, giving serious concert goers a chance to win some before they buy can lead to the highest levels of engagement.

Other News

Here's a quick rundown of other big happenings around the Network:

  • Do617 Hits Pair of Milestones: Just a few weeks after their one year anniversary, Do617 surpassed 25,000 registered users and 18,000 Twitter followers in late January.
  • Do502’s New Ad Deck: Do502 put together a spiffy new ad deck explaining all the various advertising opportunities on their site. If you want access to the design files, hit us up!
  • Do512 Lounge Proposal: Do512 is in the midst of negotiating their Lounge sponsorship for 2015. If you’re thinking about starting a regular event series and want to know how they present the opportunity to partners, take a look at their proposal deck.
  • Do512 Testimonials Page: Speaking of, have you ever seen Do512’s Testimonials page on their site? Collecting blurbs from trusted partners is a great tool for helping along the local sales process.
  • Do502’s FREE WEEK in the News: Do502’s first annual Louisville FREE WEEK was a big hit. Check out some of the publicity they got from the local NBC affiliate.
  • HazDF Turns One: They grow up so fast! HazDF turned one on Feb. 19th. HazDF blazed a lot of trails in its first year -- DoStuff’s first metro outside the U.S. and our first spanish-speaking metro. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for year two! ¡Feliz cumpleaƱos!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Product Update: Page Improvements, Radmin Merging, Registration Enhancements & More!

Our regular Product Updates give you a rundown of the features and bug fixes that were rolled out over the past week, plus a look ahead to some of the bigger changes that are on the way.

We're rolling out a bunch of improvements later tonight. Here's what you'll find waiting for you when you get to work tomorrow.

PAGES CHANGES

We received requests from around the network to improve and stabilize /p pages. We want you to know that we hear you - and we've dedicated a big part of the last few weeks to making your experience creating and editing pages significantly more awesome. We're really excited by what we've come up with - and we hope you will be too.



The 'Duplicate Image' issue is fixed. Metros were reporting an issue where any images uploaded to /p pages were appearing as the first image on the page (as opposed to separate images). This will never happen again.

The 'I can't add anything below this video!' issue is fixed. After uploading a video to a page, it was often difficult to add any text or media below it. That issue is fixed too.

We decreased the line height of text. Pages now have a tasteful and respectful line height of 1.5 em.

We upgraded the Medium Editor. The open source WYSIWYG editor that all pages utilize was in dire need of an update - and you will now observe both increased speed and stability when editing /p pages. This upgrade also fixed some specific issues including making the H1 and H2 buttons work in content-heavy pages and ensuring that centering a piece of content did not strip its HTML properties.


Here’s to less stress and more stability when building pages! And they're going to keep getting better.

OTHER POPULAR REQUESTS

1. We've added 'The bands you follow just announced some shows' emails to conference lenses. Now, users will be alerted when their favorite artists announce SX shows. Please note: these emails will not send if the venue name contains 'tba' or 'tbd.' This prevents placeholder events from firing off these alerts.

2. We've displayed Artist Popularity in Radmin Artist Lists. This is especially helpful when determining which of two legitimate artists is the most frequently used.




3. Metros have frequently had trouble exporting the HTML for their 'Top Picks' email blasts because of Admin's inability to load excessively large featured event ads.



So, we've built an alert that displays whenever one attempts to upload an advertisement greater than 2 MB. Please heed its warning.


4. We made front end search honor deleted page counts. So you won't be seeing this anymore:




5. We squashed a bug that was preventing all relevant 'Latest' posts from showing up under their appropriate hashtag,


6. We removed the calendar view from ECP, Artist and Venue Pages. It was mostly empty and slow to load. But now it's gone - and visitors get to spend more time on the strongest parts of the sites.

REGISTRATION CHANGES

1. We've added co-registration across all metros. Co-registration is an awesome way for our network to work together and increase registration opportunities for users that are traveling away from their home city. Here's how it works:

 When users register for a DoXYZ site, our platform checks their IP addresses to see if their location matches the metro for which they are registering. If there is a more proximate option available, our platform will offer the user the ability to register for his/her home metro in addition to the site (s)he is visiting.

 So, for example, if a music fan in New York City signs up for Do512 by registering for a SXSW Party, (s)he will then be immediately prompted to sign up for doNYC via one of these pop-up windows:

CoReg Offer.png

 These windows are customizable, so let us know if you’d like us to edit the copy for your metro.

 2. To prepare for our migration to Mandrill, we also broke the different types of auto-generated messages into separate emails. Previously, users who registered for a metro by entering a giveaway would receive one message explaining that they had both (1) entered the giveaway and (2) signed up for the metro. Now, such users will receive two separate emails, each explaining one individual action.

 The reason for this change was made to avoid the large number of permutations caused by collapsing multiple emails into one. This update might not sound sexy - but it's a huge step forward in giving you the ability to build your own super sleek emails for giveaways, RSVPs, band notifications and more.

MERGING

You can now merge venues, artists, users and events in Radmin. The process works as follows (using events as an example):

1. Select the event you would like to merge other event(s) into by selecting the merge icon.


2. Search for and then select the events you would like to merge. You may merge multiple events at a time if so desired. Then click 'Merge Selected Events' to complete the process.


The main event will inherit the merged event's votes plus any of the following fields that are left blank on the main event: ticket URL; ticket info; cover image; poster image; description.

In artist merges, the main artist will inherit the merged artist's gigs, fans, festival gigs and grooveshark songs - plus the following if left blank on the main artist: YouTube ID, cover image; icon image; Facebook ID.

Users will inherit all of the events, venues, permissions, votes, RSVP, preferences and images of the users merged into them.

Venues will inherit all of the events, scrapers, featured widgets, advertisers and images of the venues merged into them.

Last but not least, we prevented the merge of an event with RSVP. giveaway or advertisement into another event.

If anyone has any questions about merges, let us know.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone! Have an amazing rest of your week - and here's to the network! Every week, we grow stronger.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 2/17/15

Hola,

Now that everyone is done with their Valentine's festivities, I thought I'd return to my one true love - analyzing metros' data!

Who captured the Winner of the Week title (and subsequently my heart) this week? Do317!

Give it away, give it away, give it away, newsletter. Last week, Do317 had off-the-charts numbers for their weekly email:
  • More clicks and opens than any week in Do317's weekly stats history
  • Of the people that opened their Top Picks, 31% (!) of them clicked. That's more than double the network average for last week, and was again their highest click rate of all time.
  • This stampede of clicks helped drive 4.5K WIN clicks (2K more than their previous record) and a year-over-year traffic increase of 90% 
What's interesting about all of this is that typically we see one or two pieces of content that drive the vast majority of email interaction in weekly newsletters. However, in Do317's case, it was a whole bunch of links that drove this uptick in email engagement.

The one overarching theme from these links is that the top 6 most popular links were all giveaways (from Ed Sheeran to Hozier, and DMXto DMB). The most popular link, accounting for 18% of all clicks, was the Guestlist page itself. Check out their weekly email and their click map (you may want to zoom in) for the full data. 

And yes, this might be the "Presented by: Obvious" edition of Winners of the Week, but it's a good a week as ever to check if your giveaways are in an easily identifiable, prominent location in your newsletter. Need examples?
  • Super Easy to Spot Giveaways like Do317 and DoNYC, among others
  • Tricky to Spot Giveaways like Do416 and Do214
So that you're squeezing all the clicks you can out of your weekly newsletters, I'd recommend:
  1. Make sure that every time you're calling out your really big giveaways in editorial mentions (this is where Do317 got the largest amount of clicks)
  2. Ensure that your giveaways are easy to find in your email
  3. Subscribe to all of the other metros' newsletters to see whom you can pull ideas from, and monitor the weekly KPI report to see who's killing it on email metrics.
If you have any questions for ways we can help you regarding email stuff, reach out! In the meantime, check out last week's email stats, as well as all the rest of the data goodness, in the updated Weekly KPI report:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Product Update: Opt-In Emails Sending Automatically, 'Show Ongoing' Shortcut Fixed and so. Much. MORE.

Our regular Product Updates give you a rundown of the features and bug fixes that were rolled out over the past week, plus a look ahead to some of the bigger changes that are on the way.

The RSVP 'Door List' file now also includes the opt-in emails. Guys, your days of manually exporting, formatting and re-sending RSVP opt-in lists are over. Now, all RSVP lists that are downloaded from the front end or automatically sent when the RSVP list closes will include a .tsv file of all the opt-in names and email addresses.

We fixed the 'Show Ongoing?" shortcut filter. Previously, this filter was only displaying ongoing events that started on the day in question - and was hiding active ongoing events that had started on a previous date. No longer, however!


Please note, if you'd ever like to hide ongoing events within a single shortcut, you may simply uncheck the 'Ongoing Events?' box within the Shortcut's page in Radmin.

The list of 'DoStuff Network' sites in your footer will now display in your metro's default font. The previous font choice made this collection of links seem out of place as it was inconsistent with the font used on the rest of the page.

We re-ordered all giveaway pages to sort in order of popularity by default. We've been recommending this ever since Do502 found the positive effects on exit rate and time on page. That said, you can easily switch this around at any time by (un-)checking the 'Sort By Pop' field within your giveaway user's 'Promo Options.'

You can now insert a photo between the header and event listings on a user page. This was a very popular feature request - and will be especially helpful when adding a lineup admat to a festival's user page. Simply drop your image code in the 'Body HTML' section under 'Promo Options' within the user's page in Radmin. Your basic HTML code will be: <center><img src="Place Image URL here"></center> and the result will look something like:



We implemented a fix to ensure that the headlining artist's photo will display as the cover image for events if no event photo has been scraped or uploaded. A quick reminder that the hierarchy of automatic selection for event cover photos is:
  • A cover image uploaded to the event page
  • An image scraped in as 'cover image'
  • The photo of the headlining artist
  • The photo of the venue
  • Your metro's default hero photo
The system that sought out and presented these band photos was working correctly - but it was 19,000 jobs behind - so our Dev team re-structured the system to deliver a considerably quicker load time and come to the rescue of 'Battle of the Front Pages' teams everywhere.

You may now indicate a Start Time as (Doors) via the front end. This is the week's "it already exists in Radmin so why not have it in the front end?" addition.

We fixed a bug that was preventing certain band photos from displaying on the front end. If you've ever wrestled with the Quiet Company or Imagine Dragons photos, then this one is for you.

We confirmed that the '________ created this event' activity is displaying as it should. Please note that all events brought in via a scraper will not present this activity. For all other events, the creation will be correctly credited to the appropriate user's display name.

You can now display all upcoming events below today's listings within each shortcut on your site. Simply check the 'Show Upcoming?' box while editing the Shortcut to enable these additions.


This feature solves two problems:
  • There was no way to view all upcoming events within a single category on the front end
  • Most metro shortcuts only contain an average of 4-5 events per day - and therefore selecting a single day within a category brought you to an overly sparse and dull-looking page
Before:

After:

Now, your shortcuts' event listings will be beautiful, bountiful and most beneficial to your benevolent visitors!

HazDF's RSVP Confirmation Pop-Up is now in Spanish - as is the text on their 'Get RSVP List' buttons. A reminder that anyone listed in the 'Email Guestlist To' field may download the RSVP List (which now includes opt-in emails!) from the event page on the front end of the site at any time.

Lenses got their own Featured Stuff. You can change the 'Featured Stuff' links for lenses or your site by navigating to Content -> Words within the specific property's version of Radmin. Please note that lenses which are not assigned specific Featured Stuff will inherit their links from the parent metro.

We fixed a glitch that caused a very strange batch of band notification emails. An odd batch of band emails was delivered shortly after midnight on February 3rd. These emails contained duplicate listings and incorrect start times - and will now be considered an extremely rare collector's item as these strange emails will not be sent again.

We made the 'Service Fee' field on ECP Lense Agreements editable. In the past, this field always displayed '$0' and was not editable - which was not ideal when a metro is selling a calendar to a partner.