Dear Harp Column Community:
We want to let you know about some big changes coming to harpcolumn.com as we transition to a new website design. Beginning Monday, May 26, you’ll need to visit new.harpcolumn.com to place and view classifieds, events, and manage your subscription information. After we complete the transition (scheduled for June 1), you can continue to access old content by visiting old.harpcolumn.com; harpcolumn.com will take you to the new design.
Why the Change?
We were so incredibly excited about our last site redesign in fall of 2012, centered around our MusicStand social networking concept. We built some amazing features that we were hoping would catch on, but we also know there were many areas of the site that were confusing and lacking basic features you want. And unfortunately, with the old platform,we were having a hard time implementing changes and growing the site the way we wanted to. So we’ve decided to make a switch to a system that will be easier to maintain and grow with us. There are also some behind the scenes benefits with our new system, such as keeping track of our print magazine subscription database and keeping a better handle on the amount of spam we’ve been encountering recently. (We can’t promise spam will never happen, but we’re trying our hardest to put a lid on the annoying attacks we’ve recently been experiencing.)
The new design will of course include our popular discussion forums, as well as a social networking section where you can interact with each other. (We’ll be importing the current forums as soon as we officially make the transition.) The new feature we are most excited about is “Groups” where you can create your own public or private groups that will each have their own forum. So for example, a teacher can form a group that includes just their own students. Or harpists in a certain city can form their own group, etc. Or harpists who like Tournier can form their own group. Right now we’re having fun testing things with “Harpists who like beets”. Anything goes. The new design also allows you to control your own privacy and notification settings and easily receive email notifications of new posts, a big feature we know you’ve been asking for.
As proud as we continue to be of our MusicStand concept, we’ve made the hard decision to let it go in favor of the new, easier to use, platform. So things like “Practice Journal” and “Instruments” will no longer be available. We plan to keep our “Pieces” library by turning it into a wiki format that you may be more familiar with, but we’re holding off on that until we get everything else running smoothly. All your current MusicStand data will be available for a while at old.harpcolumn.com, so that you can retrieve any important posts or information you don’t want to lose. (If you need help retrieving data, just let us know.)
What’s Staying the Same:
Harp news, event listings, classifieds, user blogs, and online subscriber magazine content will continue to be integral components of the site, hopefully even better than before! We think the new design will showcase this basic information in a much better and easier to use format, as well as grow with our needs and as the technology changes (every day, it seems!).
We hope you like our new design, and as always we welcome your feedback at email@example.com. Please let us know what you think.
Kimberly Rowe and Hugh Brock, Founders
Alison Reese, Editor