Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/30/15

No comments:
As many of you know, it's Lolla announce season, which means Do312 enters their make-or-break time of the year for site traffic. To put some numbers to it, 23% of Do312's site traffic for the entire last year went to Lolla-related pages on Do312. So nailing Lolla can mean the difference between YoY growth or decline.

So how are they doing so far? 
  • Due to the Lolla announce, Do312 is up 40% in traffic from last year, or 12K+ site visitors
  • More interesting than that pie in the sky number is how Do312 got that traffic increase:
    • Traffic to the Lollapalooza pages themselves were only up about 1K from last year. This isn't too surprising since this traffic was mostly driven by Do312's email and social channels
    • However, traffic to the Lolla aftershows page was close to 8K sessions; last year they got virtually none until the announce of the aftershows on June 3rd
    • Of course this traffic increase was entirely due to Lolla linking to the "2014 Aftershows" page from their header. And then Do312 was smart enough to populate this page with their Lolla giveaways until the time they announce the actual aftershow acts. 
All told, Do312 got 8K more sessions, which drove 722 people to enter their Lolla giveaway, and that's just in the first 5 days it's been live. Project out the 2+ additional months that the aftershows page will receive traffic compared to last year, and you've got a ton of new users.
 
This highlights a hugely important strategy when teaming up with large partners: find out where they're sending traffic and build out content accordingly. Sure, having a giveaway on your site for a large festival is fantastic and should be your first step in your promotion of the fest. But festival sites have many times over the traffic that most metro sites do, so if you're able to host the aftershows or any other related content that a fest would link to, you NEED to:
  1. Work with the partner to link to your site as prominently and as soon as possible prior to the fest
  2. Make sure that you have content that can capture users (so, giveaways) on the pages that the festival sends traffic to. This is regardless of if the aftershows have actually been announced or not
And sure, not all markets host the festival aftershows page for events as big as Lolla, but several markets do have aftershows that they've locked in or are pursuing (Do415, DoNYC, Do502, etc.). Follow the steps above to make sure you're getting the very most out of those relationships.
Read More

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/23/15

No comments:
In our first KPI update post-SX, it seemed like a crime to not acknowledge Do512 for another year of the massive fest under their collective belts. Especially when you consider that March of this year brought an increase of more than 100K sessions of site traffic when compared to the same SX + pre-SX lead up time interval last year.

While organic traffic and email both saw nice upticks, more than half of this YoY increase came from Facebook alone. Some specific standouts:
  • This post about an art installation hit a jackpot of people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the fest. 
  • A steady stream of boosted posts featuring show announcement roundups like this,thisthis, and this were consistent drivers of solid traffic.
  • However, given the year-round popularity of lists of free stuff and lists of booze stuff, it's no surprise that their SX list of free booze was the biggest beneficiary of Facebook traffic, thanks to posts like this and this.
Nice work guys, and we're looking forward to you doing it even bigger next year!

For the rest of the network that doesn't have the luxury of hosting an international music/tech/film fest - it was still a pretty fantastic week. Eight out of ten metros that have been around for over a year have 40% or more site traffic than they did the year previous. On top of that, Louisville and Seattle had their 3rd and 4th highest weeks of traffic since their respective launches. If I could give winner accolades to all of you, I would.

Check out the things you did well last week, as well as the things you can do event better, in the newly updated KPI report below:

Read More

Friday, March 20, 2015

Metro News: SXSW Edition

No comments:
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.

SXSW is heading into the homestretch this weekend, so we wanted to keep you up to date on what everyone in the Network has been doing down here in Austin the past week.

DOxPBR Was A Big Success!

Yesterday was the DOxPBR day party featuring Of Montreal, Ghostface & Raekwon, and a surprise appearance from Charles Bradley. It was exciting to have the Network and all the metros in the spotlight in front of such a big crowd and alongside great brands like PBR and Rhapsody.








Thanks to everyone that came down to The Soot Inn from far and wide to help promote the Network!

Metro Parties All Over SXSW

Besides the DoStuff Network party, metros have been well represented over the past week here in Austin.

Do415 and NoisePop are throwing a showcase this afternoon down on Red River St. at the Red Eyed Fly.



DoLA and The Echo threw a rowdy hump day happy hour earlier in the week at Serrano’s.



And Do512 has had their hands on a handful of big showcases throughout the week, in addition to keeping great bands filing through the Do512 Lounge. Check out the video from Surfer Blood’s performance below, and swing by the lounge this afternoon for Gang of Four!



Do312 Shows How To Own Social Media

Do312 had their most successful Facebook post of all time earlier this week. A simple a screenshot of one of their #ChicagoSkipDay tweets got over 13,000 likes and 1,200 shares. Meanwhile, back on Twitter their “#ChicagoSkipDay” hashtag trended locally in Chicago and included over 160 tweets and RT’s.


There are couple important things to point out here.

First, this shows how valuable it is to be authentic on social media. Twitter and Facebook can do a lot of things for you, but none of them can happen unless people like following you.

You have to build up camaraderie with your fans before they’ll listen to your opinion about what they should and shouldn’t do in your city. If all you do is post about things you're trying to promote, people will get bored and tune you out (and your social reach will drop). Just talk to your followers the same way you would talk to a group of friends.



Second, this post didn’t drive traffic back to Do312, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big win. If users are interacting with and sharing your content inside the social streams, that’s just another channel you can use in the future to act as an influencer. BUT, you need to build a repertoire with them first (see above).

Other News

Here's a quick rundown of other big happenings around the Network:
  • Do512 Family’s Big SXSW: South By isn’t just for the grown ups. Do512 Family has had a big week with their social media posts and had a day party of their own.
  • Do416 & Do214 Turn One: Dallas’ Do214 and Toronto’s Do416 both started one year ago this month. We’re all excited to see what’s in store for year two!
  • Ryan Adams RT’s Do206: Do206 posted a fun Ryan Adams-themed article and got RT’d by the man himself!



Read More

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Product Update - Coming Soon: Ongoing & Repeating Event Overhaul, A New Scraping System and 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 lot of updates early next week - and wanted to give you the good news now.

Ongoing and Repeating Events

We are updating our platform's treatment of ongoing and repeating events in the daily listings to improve the user experience and fix a few key issues. Here's how it will work:

Underneath the third event listing, there will be a new side-scrolling widget that contains the day's 12 most popular ongoing and repeating events, sorted by popularity. 


Ongoing and repeating events will be displayed in this window by default - but metros can pull any event out of this window and display it in the regular listings by checking a box on that event's page in Radmin.



Ongoing and repeating events that are displayed in the regular listings will behave exactly like regular events for all the days that they occur. This means that you can now create one event for a 3 day music festival such as Lollapalooza or Governors Ball and have that single ongoing event appear at the very top of your daily listings for each day that it occurs.

This is especially handy if you're giving away 3-day passes for a festival because you can now power the giveaway from a single event page. You don't have to put "Win 3-day passes!" on three different events.

This solution will also put an end to the occurrences of random and unimpressive weekly events appearing in the #4 slot on your metro's daily listings (our platform currently displays a random weekly event in this position). Going forward, you can rest assured that the new widgets will always display the most popular events first - so a user is much more likely to find a weekly event that they want to go to.

Please note that these changes only apply to the regular daily event listings. They do not apply to lenses, user, artist pages, ECPs or users.

New Scraping System

We have also redesigned our platform's scraping system to allow for better stability, greater visibility and improved functionality. This is going to improve accuracy, cut down on headaches, and most importantly, free up a lot of time in your work days.

Better Stability

We've rewritten the steps necessary for determining if an event ends up in the pending queue or duplicate queue to be as simple as possible. And we've added better support for accents, apostrophes and other non-alphanumeric characters - which were causing a lot of issues in the old system including placing duplicate events in the pending queue and creating broken URLs.

We also modified the duplicate queue logic to ensure that unchanged versions of the same event do not continue to appear in your duplicate queues. Now, once a potential duplicate event is deleted, the event will not return to the duplicate queue unless changes have been made to the event.

Greater Visibility

Prior to this update, we had no idea how long it took for a certain scraper to run - which made it difficult to assess whether a certain scraper was problematic. We've now added run-time information to each scraper's page in Radmin - which will serve as a great way to identify your problem children moving forward.



Improved Functionality

This is the really exciting part. We now have the ability to write over-arching rules into your scraping system that can govern your entire site, a specific script or a specific venue. Examples of this functionality include:
  • Omitting the date from all event titles
  • Omitting 'Sold Out' from all event titles
  • Omitting 'Record Release' from all band names
  • Omitting any excessive language from all ticket info
We recommend making most of these decisions on a scraper-by-scraper basis - and we'll be here to work with you to fine-tune these rules to optimize your site's content and the efficiency of your work day.

For now (once your new scraping system gets rolled out), please email support if you'd like to request a rule for your metro.

Wondering how these rules are affecting your scrapes? We've broken out your new scraper readouts into two sections: "Scrape" is a readout of the scraper's data exactly as it was pulled in and "Clean Scrape" is a readout of the data after all pre-processing (which includes the scraper rules) is complete.



Changing Over

Toronto and Mexico City are already running on the new system, Louisville and New York are switching over today, and we're hoping to have all metros switched over within the next week.

We'll be reaching out to coordinate your migration to the new scraping platform - but just as an FYI: once you give the OK, your scrapers and queues will be unavailable for 2-3 hours while we complete the migration.

Once the migration is complete, your CM will receive email notifications every time a scraper fails or returns zero results. These notifications have been broken for years - but they're finally fixed. Be warned: you're going to get a lot of them (possibly hundreds) - so it will be best to filter these from your inbox and then address (by either deleting the scraper or requesting a fix) once you have a chance.

Additional Advancements

Also Arriving Next Week:

We fixed the RSVP Slots field. And it accounts for +1's too! Please keep in mind that this field should still only be used as a last resort - you always want to push partners to keep the lists open as long as possible so you can collect as many new email addresses and registered users as possible.

We added an Open/Closed toggle for RSVPs. Promoters often ask metros to re-open an RSVP that has closed - but there was no way to do on this on our new platform. 

Now, when an RSVP closes, the 'Disable Additional RSVPs' checkbox on the RSVP modal will automatically become checked - but you may un-check the box to re-open the RSVP at any time.


Please note that the RSVP lists will only be automatically sent once. So, if you re-open an RSVP, you'll need to manually re-close the RSVP and send the lists to your partner (or have the partner download them from the front end of the site).

You will be able to name and search for Assets in Radmin. Navigate to Radmin -> Site Design -> Assets to do so.

The new 'Buy VIP' buttons will now display when hovering over the event in the main event listings. Please note that if a 'Buy VIP' button is used, the 'Buy VIP' button will display when hovering over the event in the daily listings along with the 'Buy' and 'Add' buttons. This is true EVEN if the event has an RSVP or giveaway attached to it. All 4 buttons will display, however, on the event page itself.

Here's an example of how a listing will display with both a giveaway and a 'Buy VIP' link attached.


Thanks so much for reading - and please let us know if you have any questions. We'll let you know as soon as these features are deployed. To victory!
Read More

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tools & Tricks: Radmin Added To LearnStuff

No comments:
Our regular Tools & Tricks updates bring you badass tips from the Delivery team for making the most of the DoStuff platform, growing your audience, and improving your daily workflow.

Even though it’s less than a year old, we’re well aware that our LearnStuff knowledge base is sorely out of date. Launching in a year when we moved the whole Network over to a new front-end and back-end set a pretty short expiration date for the entire thing.

We’re working to overhaul LearnStuff in the coming months to make it more intuitive and useful, but in the meantime we’ve been applying Band-Aid fixes to the existing knowledge base where we can.

Radmin Guides In LearnStuff

The biggest of these stopgap fixes has been writing basic documentation for Radmin. Ever since Radmin launched, there has been no central place for you guys to look up self-help information about the back-end.

The only option was to bug one of your fellow metros via Slack every time you got stuck.

Well now we’ve added an entire Radmin section in LearnStuff for you to look up solutions to an issue you’re having, or to help onboard new employees and interns. It’s a light but comprehensive intro to everything Radmin, so you’re not left scrambling for answers about how to export votes at 1am.

We’ll be working over the next few months to get the rest of LearnStuff updated, but for now take a look at the Radmin guides for yourself and let us know what you think.



Read More

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Product Update: Age-Gating, 'Buy VIP' Ticket Options & More!

No 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.

Age-Gating

You now have the ability to age-gate an event. From this day forth, you can require users to validate their age in order to a view a certain event page.

This should help you push forward discussions with beer and liquor brands as many of the top companies (including Brown-Forman) require this sort of functionality on a sponsored event page.

In order to age-gate an event, locate the event in Radmin and click the 'Set it up to force 21+ link' under customizations (and please note that the age number will automatically reflect each metro's proper drinking age):


Next, add any HTML to the 'Age Gate Prompt HTML' and 'Age Gate Access Denied HTML' fields to customize the appearance of the respective modals to fit your event (we can help you with this).



Back on the Radmin event page, you can click the 'Age Prompt Page' and 'Age Denied Page' links to preview these respective pages and ensure they are set up to your liking.


Finally, return to the configuration screen and check the 'enabled' box to make age-gating live on the event.

Once age-gating is enabled, users that click through to the event (either through a direct link, front end search or from a set of event listings) will be asked to confirm their birth date.

If a user enters a birth date that is of the metro drinking age, then (s)he will be directed to the event page as normal.

If the user's birth date is under the metro drinking age, then (s)he will be directed to an 'Access Denied' screen and then re-directed to responsibility.org after 5 seconds - as per the industry standard.

If you have any questions about age-gating or would like our help optimizing your pages to meet a brand's needs, please let us know.

We hope this new functionality is a huge win for you guys and leads to lots and lots of money!

Buy VIP

We also added a 'Buy VIP' ticketing option. Here's another one that can lead to more money. In addition to the regular 'Buy Tickets' link, you now have the ability to add a separate 'Buy VIP' button to an event page.


The button will display on an event page once a VIP Ticket URL is added to the given event in Radmin:



Please note: the 'Buy VIP' button does not express on-sale date. It's either there or it's not. Also, the button will not display on the event cards within your listings - only on the event page itself.

More Stuff

Your home page's 'Latest' dropdown will now display all recent updates. Prior to this adjustment, visitors to a metro's home page weren't necessarily seeing an updated list of 'Latest' posts displaying in the feed - and this was due to the fact that new posts did not automatically bust the header cache. But, now they do.

We fixed Page Titles' issues with ampersands. If you've ever seen something like this....
... then you'll know that /p pages were not correctly handling ampersands. Until now. The days of replacing '&' with '+' are over.

We made the 'RSVP Confirmation Email?' checkbox work. There was a bug that was preventing metros from disabling confirmation emails on a given event.

We also fixed a bug that was preventing end times from saving on Do512's SX Lens. Just in time for the festival.

That's all for this round, folks. But stay tuned for next week's update as we fill you in on some major changes coming soon - including big advancements to ongoing and repeating events, the RSVP platform and our entire scraping system.

Thanks so much for reading - and thanks for being the best.
Read More

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/9/15

No comments:
By popular demand, the Weekly KPI report now includes Open Rate and Click Rate, so that you can ideally:
  1. More quickly benchmark your metro's newsletters against your own historical data
  2. Get some idea of how your newsletter stacks up against other newsletters across the network. 
In honor of the new metric additions, we'll highlight DoLA's most recent weekly email, which boasted an open rate of 15.41%, 3rd highest in the network, and highest among metros with >11K subscribers.

Of course one of the biggest drivers of open rate is the subject line, and in this case, DoLA chose to lead with "Top SXSW Bands Visiting LA." If you've kept up with previous Winners of the Week, you'll know the "[Big Festival] in [Metro]" content piece is no stranger to newsletter success. For LA specifically, this meant:
That said, the newsletter was down in click rate for content outside of their SX piece, which points to the fact that finding the right piece of content to feature in your subject line is the first part of the battle, but then making sure the most enticing content is easy to find and click is the second component of a newsletter win. For help with accomplishing that, we'd recommend A/B testing until you're blue in the face. We're just an email away if you have any questions on how to put together a plan to start testing design elements in your newsletter.

With that, sign up for all of the other metros' newsletters for ideas, brainstorm if there's a fest with national implications that you can contextualize with local content, and check out all of your last week's stats in this hot off the presses Weekly KPI Report:
Read More

Friday, March 6, 2015

Metro News: Do206’s Bicycle Ads, doNYC’s Gov Ball ECP, Do214’s Anniversary Party, and more

No comments:
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.

Things are starting to starting to heat up in 2015 as we cruise into March. Check out all the awesome stuff that’s been going on around the Network the past couple of weeks!

Do206’s Freewheelin’ Bicycle Ads


If you been in downtown Seattle the past week, you might have noticed Do206’s logo roll by you on the back of a bike. Do206 put together a great trade deal with the “carbon free cargo” company, Freewheel.

As part of the deal, Do206 exchanged 2 weeks of brand ads on their site for 1.5 weeks of Freewheel ads on their bikes. Freewheel also posted a great blog post introducing Do206 to its followers. (CMs -- scout that link back to Do206!)

This was a great win by Do206 to leverage excess ad inventory on the site into greater brand awareness in the downtown Seattle area.



doNYC’s Governors Ball ECP

doNYC has always had a close relationship with the Governors Ball festival, but this year they worked together to build an ECP on the Gov Ball website to show curated concerts featuring Gov Ball artists in NYC.

The ECP was introduced yesterday in a dedicated email blast by Governors Ball, and has received over 4.7K page views in the first 24 hours!

Other News

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



Read More

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/2/15

No comments:

Winner of the Week: Do210!


The past 7 days marked the highest non-Mccartney-induced week of traffic since Do210's launch.  Once again, the culprit was an explosive RSVP. In this case, it was the launch of a local beer named after a local band, a perfect storm of local that allowed Do210 to step in as RSVP partner.

Some specific impressive stats:
  • The event page received over 2,500 pageviews the day it went live. 
  • On that same day, more than 1,000 people RSVP'd 
  • No surprise that the event also received the most interaction on socials for the week
The fact that yet another RSVP had such an impact on week-to-week traffic made me think - how much is an RSVP actually worth? Not specifically in terms of cash, since you should get any money you can from partners running RSVPs. I'm more curious about it in terms of traffic - what's the incremental lift of running an RSVP compared to a standard event?

Luckily, thanks to us rolling out content groups in Google Analytics, we can now answer that question. Check it out for Do210 specifically:
  • Since content grouping went live on January 27th, Do210 has had 2,014 event pages that received 24,061 pageviews. So on average, an event page receives just under 12 pageviews (11.95 to be exact).
  • On the other hand, there were only 6 separate RSVP events during this time that accounted for 4,981 pageviews. So an average of  830 pageviews per RSVP event.
  • So every time Do210's site hosted an RSVP, they added an average of 818 pageviews above building out a standard event page. Or put another way, it takes the traffic of 70 different standard event pages to get the same traffic as one RSVP on Do210.
This is obviously skewed somewhat, since they only have a few RSVPs, and one was massive. But check out the table below and you'll see similar comparisons with other metros: 

Do312 - 182 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event579310131717.5
RSVP15430655199.1

Do317 - 164 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event41227394017.9
RSVP6612006181.9

DoLA - 117 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event47856325513.2
RSVP577394129.7

Do206 - 398 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event24433245313.3
RSVP208218410.9

Curious about how much of a difference RSVPs make in your market? Or wondering how many more pageviews a Giveaway gets on average? Hit up support@dostuffmedia.com, and we'll showyou how to find all of those good stats and more.

In the meantime, check out your updated stats below, and have a winner-worthy week!
Read More

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/30/15

As many of you know, it's Lolla announce season, which means Do312 enters their make-or-break time of the year for site traffic. To put some numbers to it, 23% of Do312's site traffic for the entire last year went to Lolla-related pages on Do312. So nailing Lolla can mean the difference between YoY growth or decline.

So how are they doing so far? 
  • Due to the Lolla announce, Do312 is up 40% in traffic from last year, or 12K+ site visitors
  • More interesting than that pie in the sky number is how Do312 got that traffic increase:
    • Traffic to the Lollapalooza pages themselves were only up about 1K from last year. This isn't too surprising since this traffic was mostly driven by Do312's email and social channels
    • However, traffic to the Lolla aftershows page was close to 8K sessions; last year they got virtually none until the announce of the aftershows on June 3rd
    • Of course this traffic increase was entirely due to Lolla linking to the "2014 Aftershows" page from their header. And then Do312 was smart enough to populate this page with their Lolla giveaways until the time they announce the actual aftershow acts. 
All told, Do312 got 8K more sessions, which drove 722 people to enter their Lolla giveaway, and that's just in the first 5 days it's been live. Project out the 2+ additional months that the aftershows page will receive traffic compared to last year, and you've got a ton of new users.
 
This highlights a hugely important strategy when teaming up with large partners: find out where they're sending traffic and build out content accordingly. Sure, having a giveaway on your site for a large festival is fantastic and should be your first step in your promotion of the fest. But festival sites have many times over the traffic that most metro sites do, so if you're able to host the aftershows or any other related content that a fest would link to, you NEED to:
  1. Work with the partner to link to your site as prominently and as soon as possible prior to the fest
  2. Make sure that you have content that can capture users (so, giveaways) on the pages that the festival sends traffic to. This is regardless of if the aftershows have actually been announced or not
And sure, not all markets host the festival aftershows page for events as big as Lolla, but several markets do have aftershows that they've locked in or are pursuing (Do415, DoNYC, Do502, etc.). Follow the steps above to make sure you're getting the very most out of those relationships.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/23/15

In our first KPI update post-SX, it seemed like a crime to not acknowledge Do512 for another year of the massive fest under their collective belts. Especially when you consider that March of this year brought an increase of more than 100K sessions of site traffic when compared to the same SX + pre-SX lead up time interval last year.

While organic traffic and email both saw nice upticks, more than half of this YoY increase came from Facebook alone. Some specific standouts:
  • This post about an art installation hit a jackpot of people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the fest. 
  • A steady stream of boosted posts featuring show announcement roundups like this,thisthis, and this were consistent drivers of solid traffic.
  • However, given the year-round popularity of lists of free stuff and lists of booze stuff, it's no surprise that their SX list of free booze was the biggest beneficiary of Facebook traffic, thanks to posts like this and this.
Nice work guys, and we're looking forward to you doing it even bigger next year!

For the rest of the network that doesn't have the luxury of hosting an international music/tech/film fest - it was still a pretty fantastic week. Eight out of ten metros that have been around for over a year have 40% or more site traffic than they did the year previous. On top of that, Louisville and Seattle had their 3rd and 4th highest weeks of traffic since their respective launches. If I could give winner accolades to all of you, I would.

Check out the things you did well last week, as well as the things you can do event better, in the newly updated KPI report below:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Metro News: SXSW Edition

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.

SXSW is heading into the homestretch this weekend, so we wanted to keep you up to date on what everyone in the Network has been doing down here in Austin the past week.

DOxPBR Was A Big Success!

Yesterday was the DOxPBR day party featuring Of Montreal, Ghostface & Raekwon, and a surprise appearance from Charles Bradley. It was exciting to have the Network and all the metros in the spotlight in front of such a big crowd and alongside great brands like PBR and Rhapsody.








Thanks to everyone that came down to The Soot Inn from far and wide to help promote the Network!

Metro Parties All Over SXSW

Besides the DoStuff Network party, metros have been well represented over the past week here in Austin.

Do415 and NoisePop are throwing a showcase this afternoon down on Red River St. at the Red Eyed Fly.



DoLA and The Echo threw a rowdy hump day happy hour earlier in the week at Serrano’s.



And Do512 has had their hands on a handful of big showcases throughout the week, in addition to keeping great bands filing through the Do512 Lounge. Check out the video from Surfer Blood’s performance below, and swing by the lounge this afternoon for Gang of Four!



Do312 Shows How To Own Social Media

Do312 had their most successful Facebook post of all time earlier this week. A simple a screenshot of one of their #ChicagoSkipDay tweets got over 13,000 likes and 1,200 shares. Meanwhile, back on Twitter their “#ChicagoSkipDay” hashtag trended locally in Chicago and included over 160 tweets and RT’s.


There are couple important things to point out here.

First, this shows how valuable it is to be authentic on social media. Twitter and Facebook can do a lot of things for you, but none of them can happen unless people like following you.

You have to build up camaraderie with your fans before they’ll listen to your opinion about what they should and shouldn’t do in your city. If all you do is post about things you're trying to promote, people will get bored and tune you out (and your social reach will drop). Just talk to your followers the same way you would talk to a group of friends.



Second, this post didn’t drive traffic back to Do312, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big win. If users are interacting with and sharing your content inside the social streams, that’s just another channel you can use in the future to act as an influencer. BUT, you need to build a repertoire with them first (see above).

Other News

Here's a quick rundown of other big happenings around the Network:
  • Do512 Family’s Big SXSW: South By isn’t just for the grown ups. Do512 Family has had a big week with their social media posts and had a day party of their own.
  • Do416 & Do214 Turn One: Dallas’ Do214 and Toronto’s Do416 both started one year ago this month. We’re all excited to see what’s in store for year two!
  • Ryan Adams RT’s Do206: Do206 posted a fun Ryan Adams-themed article and got RT’d by the man himself!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Product Update - Coming Soon: Ongoing & Repeating Event Overhaul, A New Scraping System and 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 lot of updates early next week - and wanted to give you the good news now.

Ongoing and Repeating Events

We are updating our platform's treatment of ongoing and repeating events in the daily listings to improve the user experience and fix a few key issues. Here's how it will work:

Underneath the third event listing, there will be a new side-scrolling widget that contains the day's 12 most popular ongoing and repeating events, sorted by popularity. 


Ongoing and repeating events will be displayed in this window by default - but metros can pull any event out of this window and display it in the regular listings by checking a box on that event's page in Radmin.



Ongoing and repeating events that are displayed in the regular listings will behave exactly like regular events for all the days that they occur. This means that you can now create one event for a 3 day music festival such as Lollapalooza or Governors Ball and have that single ongoing event appear at the very top of your daily listings for each day that it occurs.

This is especially handy if you're giving away 3-day passes for a festival because you can now power the giveaway from a single event page. You don't have to put "Win 3-day passes!" on three different events.

This solution will also put an end to the occurrences of random and unimpressive weekly events appearing in the #4 slot on your metro's daily listings (our platform currently displays a random weekly event in this position). Going forward, you can rest assured that the new widgets will always display the most popular events first - so a user is much more likely to find a weekly event that they want to go to.

Please note that these changes only apply to the regular daily event listings. They do not apply to lenses, user, artist pages, ECPs or users.

New Scraping System

We have also redesigned our platform's scraping system to allow for better stability, greater visibility and improved functionality. This is going to improve accuracy, cut down on headaches, and most importantly, free up a lot of time in your work days.

Better Stability

We've rewritten the steps necessary for determining if an event ends up in the pending queue or duplicate queue to be as simple as possible. And we've added better support for accents, apostrophes and other non-alphanumeric characters - which were causing a lot of issues in the old system including placing duplicate events in the pending queue and creating broken URLs.

We also modified the duplicate queue logic to ensure that unchanged versions of the same event do not continue to appear in your duplicate queues. Now, once a potential duplicate event is deleted, the event will not return to the duplicate queue unless changes have been made to the event.

Greater Visibility

Prior to this update, we had no idea how long it took for a certain scraper to run - which made it difficult to assess whether a certain scraper was problematic. We've now added run-time information to each scraper's page in Radmin - which will serve as a great way to identify your problem children moving forward.



Improved Functionality

This is the really exciting part. We now have the ability to write over-arching rules into your scraping system that can govern your entire site, a specific script or a specific venue. Examples of this functionality include:
  • Omitting the date from all event titles
  • Omitting 'Sold Out' from all event titles
  • Omitting 'Record Release' from all band names
  • Omitting any excessive language from all ticket info
We recommend making most of these decisions on a scraper-by-scraper basis - and we'll be here to work with you to fine-tune these rules to optimize your site's content and the efficiency of your work day.

For now (once your new scraping system gets rolled out), please email support if you'd like to request a rule for your metro.

Wondering how these rules are affecting your scrapes? We've broken out your new scraper readouts into two sections: "Scrape" is a readout of the scraper's data exactly as it was pulled in and "Clean Scrape" is a readout of the data after all pre-processing (which includes the scraper rules) is complete.



Changing Over

Toronto and Mexico City are already running on the new system, Louisville and New York are switching over today, and we're hoping to have all metros switched over within the next week.

We'll be reaching out to coordinate your migration to the new scraping platform - but just as an FYI: once you give the OK, your scrapers and queues will be unavailable for 2-3 hours while we complete the migration.

Once the migration is complete, your CM will receive email notifications every time a scraper fails or returns zero results. These notifications have been broken for years - but they're finally fixed. Be warned: you're going to get a lot of them (possibly hundreds) - so it will be best to filter these from your inbox and then address (by either deleting the scraper or requesting a fix) once you have a chance.

Additional Advancements

Also Arriving Next Week:

We fixed the RSVP Slots field. And it accounts for +1's too! Please keep in mind that this field should still only be used as a last resort - you always want to push partners to keep the lists open as long as possible so you can collect as many new email addresses and registered users as possible.

We added an Open/Closed toggle for RSVPs. Promoters often ask metros to re-open an RSVP that has closed - but there was no way to do on this on our new platform. 

Now, when an RSVP closes, the 'Disable Additional RSVPs' checkbox on the RSVP modal will automatically become checked - but you may un-check the box to re-open the RSVP at any time.


Please note that the RSVP lists will only be automatically sent once. So, if you re-open an RSVP, you'll need to manually re-close the RSVP and send the lists to your partner (or have the partner download them from the front end of the site).

You will be able to name and search for Assets in Radmin. Navigate to Radmin -> Site Design -> Assets to do so.

The new 'Buy VIP' buttons will now display when hovering over the event in the main event listings. Please note that if a 'Buy VIP' button is used, the 'Buy VIP' button will display when hovering over the event in the daily listings along with the 'Buy' and 'Add' buttons. This is true EVEN if the event has an RSVP or giveaway attached to it. All 4 buttons will display, however, on the event page itself.

Here's an example of how a listing will display with both a giveaway and a 'Buy VIP' link attached.


Thanks so much for reading - and please let us know if you have any questions. We'll let you know as soon as these features are deployed. To victory!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tools & Tricks: Radmin Added To LearnStuff

Our regular Tools & Tricks updates bring you badass tips from the Delivery team for making the most of the DoStuff platform, growing your audience, and improving your daily workflow.

Even though it’s less than a year old, we’re well aware that our LearnStuff knowledge base is sorely out of date. Launching in a year when we moved the whole Network over to a new front-end and back-end set a pretty short expiration date for the entire thing.

We’re working to overhaul LearnStuff in the coming months to make it more intuitive and useful, but in the meantime we’ve been applying Band-Aid fixes to the existing knowledge base where we can.

Radmin Guides In LearnStuff

The biggest of these stopgap fixes has been writing basic documentation for Radmin. Ever since Radmin launched, there has been no central place for you guys to look up self-help information about the back-end.

The only option was to bug one of your fellow metros via Slack every time you got stuck.

Well now we’ve added an entire Radmin section in LearnStuff for you to look up solutions to an issue you’re having, or to help onboard new employees and interns. It’s a light but comprehensive intro to everything Radmin, so you’re not left scrambling for answers about how to export votes at 1am.

We’ll be working over the next few months to get the rest of LearnStuff updated, but for now take a look at the Radmin guides for yourself and let us know what you think.



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Product Update: Age-Gating, 'Buy VIP' Ticket Options & 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.

Age-Gating

You now have the ability to age-gate an event. From this day forth, you can require users to validate their age in order to a view a certain event page.

This should help you push forward discussions with beer and liquor brands as many of the top companies (including Brown-Forman) require this sort of functionality on a sponsored event page.

In order to age-gate an event, locate the event in Radmin and click the 'Set it up to force 21+ link' under customizations (and please note that the age number will automatically reflect each metro's proper drinking age):


Next, add any HTML to the 'Age Gate Prompt HTML' and 'Age Gate Access Denied HTML' fields to customize the appearance of the respective modals to fit your event (we can help you with this).



Back on the Radmin event page, you can click the 'Age Prompt Page' and 'Age Denied Page' links to preview these respective pages and ensure they are set up to your liking.


Finally, return to the configuration screen and check the 'enabled' box to make age-gating live on the event.

Once age-gating is enabled, users that click through to the event (either through a direct link, front end search or from a set of event listings) will be asked to confirm their birth date.

If a user enters a birth date that is of the metro drinking age, then (s)he will be directed to the event page as normal.

If the user's birth date is under the metro drinking age, then (s)he will be directed to an 'Access Denied' screen and then re-directed to responsibility.org after 5 seconds - as per the industry standard.

If you have any questions about age-gating or would like our help optimizing your pages to meet a brand's needs, please let us know.

We hope this new functionality is a huge win for you guys and leads to lots and lots of money!

Buy VIP

We also added a 'Buy VIP' ticketing option. Here's another one that can lead to more money. In addition to the regular 'Buy Tickets' link, you now have the ability to add a separate 'Buy VIP' button to an event page.


The button will display on an event page once a VIP Ticket URL is added to the given event in Radmin:



Please note: the 'Buy VIP' button does not express on-sale date. It's either there or it's not. Also, the button will not display on the event cards within your listings - only on the event page itself.

More Stuff

Your home page's 'Latest' dropdown will now display all recent updates. Prior to this adjustment, visitors to a metro's home page weren't necessarily seeing an updated list of 'Latest' posts displaying in the feed - and this was due to the fact that new posts did not automatically bust the header cache. But, now they do.

We fixed Page Titles' issues with ampersands. If you've ever seen something like this....
... then you'll know that /p pages were not correctly handling ampersands. Until now. The days of replacing '&' with '+' are over.

We made the 'RSVP Confirmation Email?' checkbox work. There was a bug that was preventing metros from disabling confirmation emails on a given event.

We also fixed a bug that was preventing end times from saving on Do512's SX Lens. Just in time for the festival.

That's all for this round, folks. But stay tuned for next week's update as we fill you in on some major changes coming soon - including big advancements to ongoing and repeating events, the RSVP platform and our entire scraping system.

Thanks so much for reading - and thanks for being the best.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/9/15

By popular demand, the Weekly KPI report now includes Open Rate and Click Rate, so that you can ideally:
  1. More quickly benchmark your metro's newsletters against your own historical data
  2. Get some idea of how your newsletter stacks up against other newsletters across the network. 
In honor of the new metric additions, we'll highlight DoLA's most recent weekly email, which boasted an open rate of 15.41%, 3rd highest in the network, and highest among metros with >11K subscribers.

Of course one of the biggest drivers of open rate is the subject line, and in this case, DoLA chose to lead with "Top SXSW Bands Visiting LA." If you've kept up with previous Winners of the Week, you'll know the "[Big Festival] in [Metro]" content piece is no stranger to newsletter success. For LA specifically, this meant:
That said, the newsletter was down in click rate for content outside of their SX piece, which points to the fact that finding the right piece of content to feature in your subject line is the first part of the battle, but then making sure the most enticing content is easy to find and click is the second component of a newsletter win. For help with accomplishing that, we'd recommend A/B testing until you're blue in the face. We're just an email away if you have any questions on how to put together a plan to start testing design elements in your newsletter.

With that, sign up for all of the other metros' newsletters for ideas, brainstorm if there's a fest with national implications that you can contextualize with local content, and check out all of your last week's stats in this hot off the presses Weekly KPI Report:

Friday, March 6, 2015

Metro News: Do206’s Bicycle Ads, doNYC’s Gov Ball ECP, Do214’s Anniversary Party, and more

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.

Things are starting to starting to heat up in 2015 as we cruise into March. Check out all the awesome stuff that’s been going on around the Network the past couple of weeks!

Do206’s Freewheelin’ Bicycle Ads


If you been in downtown Seattle the past week, you might have noticed Do206’s logo roll by you on the back of a bike. Do206 put together a great trade deal with the “carbon free cargo” company, Freewheel.

As part of the deal, Do206 exchanged 2 weeks of brand ads on their site for 1.5 weeks of Freewheel ads on their bikes. Freewheel also posted a great blog post introducing Do206 to its followers. (CMs -- scout that link back to Do206!)

This was a great win by Do206 to leverage excess ad inventory on the site into greater brand awareness in the downtown Seattle area.



doNYC’s Governors Ball ECP

doNYC has always had a close relationship with the Governors Ball festival, but this year they worked together to build an ECP on the Gov Ball website to show curated concerts featuring Gov Ball artists in NYC.

The ECP was introduced yesterday in a dedicated email blast by Governors Ball, and has received over 4.7K page views in the first 24 hours!

Other News

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



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How You (and the network) Did Last Week - 3/2/15

Winner of the Week: Do210!


The past 7 days marked the highest non-Mccartney-induced week of traffic since Do210's launch.  Once again, the culprit was an explosive RSVP. In this case, it was the launch of a local beer named after a local band, a perfect storm of local that allowed Do210 to step in as RSVP partner.

Some specific impressive stats:
  • The event page received over 2,500 pageviews the day it went live. 
  • On that same day, more than 1,000 people RSVP'd 
  • No surprise that the event also received the most interaction on socials for the week
The fact that yet another RSVP had such an impact on week-to-week traffic made me think - how much is an RSVP actually worth? Not specifically in terms of cash, since you should get any money you can from partners running RSVPs. I'm more curious about it in terms of traffic - what's the incremental lift of running an RSVP compared to a standard event?

Luckily, thanks to us rolling out content groups in Google Analytics, we can now answer that question. Check it out for Do210 specifically:
  • Since content grouping went live on January 27th, Do210 has had 2,014 event pages that received 24,061 pageviews. So on average, an event page receives just under 12 pageviews (11.95 to be exact).
  • On the other hand, there were only 6 separate RSVP events during this time that accounted for 4,981 pageviews. So an average of  830 pageviews per RSVP event.
  • So every time Do210's site hosted an RSVP, they added an average of 818 pageviews above building out a standard event page. Or put another way, it takes the traffic of 70 different standard event pages to get the same traffic as one RSVP on Do210.
This is obviously skewed somewhat, since they only have a few RSVPs, and one was massive. But check out the table below and you'll see similar comparisons with other metros: 

Do312 - 182 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event579310131717.5
RSVP15430655199.1

Do317 - 164 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event41227394017.9
RSVP6612006181.9

DoLA - 117 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event47856325513.2
RSVP577394129.7

Do206 - 398 more pageviews per RSVP
# of EventsPageviewsAverage
Standard Event24433245313.3
RSVP208218410.9

Curious about how much of a difference RSVPs make in your market? Or wondering how many more pageviews a Giveaway gets on average? Hit up support@dostuffmedia.com, and we'll showyou how to find all of those good stats and more.

In the meantime, check out your updated stats below, and have a winner-worthy week!