Redesign Feedback, Part 1: Segregate the Music

by Winston "Stone" Ford

I’m finally on my way to creating a relaunch of the Couch Sessions. The actual relaunch probably won’t happen until October though, because I’ll be adding new features and reorganizing the content of the site. I’m also trying to create a new design and layout, and since I busted my whole design budget on the logo (it’s worth it though!), I’m designing all of the graphics and layout by myself as well as the PHP, Ajax, and JavaScript programming.

On top of that, I’m trying to think of ways to reposition the site. See, I’ve been in the game for over 4 years and to be quite honest, I’ve seen other sites completely pass me by as far as status, hits, and advertising dollars. Part of the problem is just my general indiscretion. See, if you haven’t noticed, you have to be a little left field to buy into the Couch Sessions. This leaves some people scratching their heads. One dude I know is straight flabbergasted (yeah, I pulled out a term from the John McCain era) that I don’t post about any artist that isn’t on BET as if its some requirement.

But, it is what it is. The music that I post here is basically Me and Rome post artists that we dig on The Couch Sessions without adherence to any agenda or major corporation. We’ve been able to profile artists months or even years before record companies and major media outlets catch on.

But unfortunately, posting left field music and artists that aren’t on the radio will never get us up to the upper echelon of blogs, especially in the hip-hop/urban market. There is a culture and a familiarity that urban readers demand and I don’t provide this. And unfortunately, if you want to expand you have to deliver what the people want. And apparently, the people want Lil’ Wayne.

So as I sit down to craft the future direction of The Couch Sessions, I’m wondering….should I break off all hip-hop related posts in a sepearate sub site (ie to keep the masses happy, while the main site goes into a slightly different direction?

Let me know in the comments.

  • Michael In LA

    I can understand the desire to drive more traffic through the website, but how will you guys make yourself unique by plowing the same dusty field that everyone else in the hip/hop blogosphere is?

    If staying to the left of the Black music scene isn’t paying the bandwith bills, could you align yourselves with an internet retailer that sells the type of music you are interested in? You highlight the artists, then link to the site that sells their stuff?

    Just a thought – I’ve never run a website in my life. Good luck though – I refer to this spot all the time when I mention artists I like over on Afropunk.

  • Lesly

    I agree with Michael. I’ve been reading this blog for about two years and I like it precisely because its sort of a random mix of popular and obscure. As you know, not ALL the people want Lil Wayne!

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