Sunday, January 1, 2017

How the blog came to be

David Southard has been a member
of the Concord Band saxophone section
since 1988.
by David Southard, blog editor

I was an engineer at a federal research laboratory in 1995, when I learned of a novel concept for data retrieval called hypertext. The Internet was in its infancy, and something called the World Wide Web was just beginning to emerge. The World Wide Web was born and, as they say, the rest is history.

At the time no one could have predicted the success of the web. I felt that the Band was a special organization, and by publishing our newsletters and programs online, we could offer a resource to band musicians and music directors. We could promote our concerts, certainly, but also promote community bands around the world.

I registered the Band’s website domain name concordband.org in 1995 and have donated the registry to the Band every year since. I handed off management of the website around the year 2000 and later shifted my attention a relatively new phenomenon: the web log or blog.

Web pages are good for stable information, but they can be difficult for maintaining dynamic content. On the other hand, social media like Facebook are great for capturing the moment—pictures, events, comments and reactions.

As an electronic journal, the Concord Band blog complements our other communication vehicles, including those in print and those that are Internet based, particularly social media. The blog strikes a pleasant balance, in that it records thoughtful posts and articles, organized so that the most timely and relevant information is always front and center. The Concord Band blog may be reached via a link from the Band’s website home page, or directly at blog.concordband.org.

Over the course of a year, the Concord Band produces a surprisingly rich set of publishe materials—press releases, posters, announcements, feature articles, guest artist biographies, programs, programming notes, reviews and performance videos. The blog captures and organizes all of these in a way that is very accessible.

The main section contains the most recent articles, yet all past articles are easily found using the navigation bar on the left. The tabs across the top reference all the Band's other online media, including our Performance VideoDatabase—a powerful way to access our YouTube performance videos—and complete programs for the past eight years.

The navigation bar on the left helps the user find background on our national recognition, the Sudler Silver Scroll award from the John Philip Sousa Society, as well a rich collection of articles and features. The navigation bar on the right provides the season schedule calendar of events, map and directions to 51 Walden.

Although the blog publishes publicity and program information that the Band normally produces, we've also had a number of band members submit memoir articles specifically for the blog, speaking personally about how they became involved in music, and how community band has become a significant influence in their lives.

I would like to see more articles written expressly for the blog. For example, it would be very interesting to read audience members’ observations on how the Band has changed in their opinions over the years. What new repertoire would you like to hear? How has the Band enriched your life? What directions could we take to become more involved in local communities? I invite Band and audience members to submit articles. You can submit your suggestions in the comment section, below.

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